I don’t want to argue with you. The 80s were and always will be the best decade ever, fact. It was a magic combination of economic success, laid-back tunes, perms, mullets and shoulder pads. If you could graph modern progress with the psychological impact on happiness, the 80s is where it peaked.
The 90s is proof. 90s music is depressing! Hole, Nirvana, Radiohead. That’s when the problems started and from there on it only got worse. I mean really, hit me baby one more time? Basically what happened is the internet, CDs and mobile phones. While they made life more convenient, they also made us busier, gave us too many choices, and pretty much sped up time. It’s not silly, it’s true. Time literally sped up. Compare a year today to a year in the 80s. See my point?
The 80s were great because we had all the progress we needed to be at our happiest. We valued the shit we had. Corruption was so easy back then too. Paper tax returns, are you kidding me? It was magic. Everyone was making money! And you did it slowly, with a cigarette and a drink in your hand. The pace of life in the 80s was so chilled. People worked hard, but methodically, and without today’s distractions. They still did things by hand and on paper, which people today are doing purely for relaxation purposes. You know what I’m talking about, adult-colouring-book people.
I’m so happy to have been alive in that time, even if I was just a baby. I was born in the late 80s, but the early 90s still had that 80s flavour before becoming a decade of its own. To turn on the radio and listen to Michael Jackson, not One Direction… I had just three cassette tapes: Madonna, MJ, and JJ (that’s Janet Jackson). If I wanted to hear my own music, I only had to think, am I more in a Michael or Janet mood today? Jesus, trying to choose music today is like, hmmm, what song out of every song of all time do I want to play right now? Well fuck me.
It’s the same thing with movies. Movies used to be such a treat! Going down to your local video store, scanning the VHS covers before picking your movies for the week. Everything used to be such a treat. If there is one golden universal rule, it’s that everything is best in moderation. Today’s information overload isn’t good for anyone. I love my Netflix, but I actually felt sick once after watching it for 12 hours straight. This was impossible to do in the 80s. At some point, you would get bored and have to go outside. It was inevitable. There was no Amazon delivery. Only the postman or pizzaman would show up at your door. And maybe the occasional door to door salesman to keep all those stay-at -home mummies company, wink wink. They think we don’t know, but we know. Those 60s broads were cray-cray.
If you wanted something in the 80s, you had to like, wait for it to be invented. I kid. Seriously though, you had to go out and get it. You would have to get in your car, because gas was cheap and everyone had one, drive out of the suburbs, which is where sane people lived, and make an unscheduled trip into town or to the nearest supermarket and literally stock up on supplies.
Growing up, I lived in a small suburban oil town called Sandnes in Stavanger, the centre of Norway’s oil industry. Norway discovered its oil quite late, with production kicking off in the 1970s and so by the 1980s, the town was booming. Life here was sweet. Everyone lived in a big house in neighbourhoods so safe nobody locked their front door.
Every Saturday was supermarket run, sweets and movie day. We had about 10 Disney VHS tapes, and a few other films I must have watched at least 100 times, like Mary Poppins (1964) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). I also really loved Home Alone (1990) and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), which played often on TV.
But of that 80s vibe, there are two really special movies I grew up watching, 3 Men and a Baby (1987) with Tom Selleck and Tom Cruise’s Cocktail (1988). Every time I hear the Beach Boy’s Kokomo play (which is like every other day because tune), I’m reminded of a young, superhot Tom Cruise shaking up one of his classic cocktails, and the gorgeous Elisabeth Shue with her long golden hair running up to the beach bar in Jamaica. It gives me goosebumps.
But the storyline takes a dark turn after they’re done frolicking under a waterfall. 3 Men and a Baby (1987) – and later 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990) – is my favourite feel good film. It’s about three bachelors who find themselves forced to raise a baby together. It’s full of hilarious witty lines and comical scenes. It’s the best. The moment they figure out time travel, I know where I’m going!