Showing posts with label 80s culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 80s culture. Show all posts

Al Gore comes out of the metal closet?

Finally unhindered by his wife Tipper's 25-year-long household ban on violent and sexually explicit music, former vice president Al Gore, 62, reportedly embraced his newfound independence this week by listening to the albums of the heavy metal band W.A.S.P.

"For the first time in decades, I get to play the kind of music I like without someone nagging me about what a bad influence it is," said Gore, sitting on the floor of his living room as he cued up the song "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)" on his stereo. "And I get to crank it up as loud as I want."

"These guys are kicking some serious ass," added the two-term U.S. Senator. "Check out this guitar break coming up—it's nasty."

Gore, who was prohibited from hearing music with graphic sex, violence, or drug references since Tipper founded the Parents Music Resource Center in 1985, confirmed yesterday that her crusade was "total bullcrap." In addition, Gore said that listening to the forbidden W.A.S.P. albums over and over again had not turned him into a satanic dope fiend as his wife and her associates had warned.

Dee Snider on Al Gore

Dee Snider sounds off on the subject of Al Gore, who targeted him and his music back in the 80s in Senate hearings:

Let’s cut to twenty-five years later, I’m still married – none of my kids have been busted for drug possession. Can Al and Tipper Gore say the same thing? I don’t think so – oh, snap!

These Senate hearings saw an unlikely coalition of John Denver, Snider and Frank Zappa firing back at the Senators. Snider's most colorful moment was suggesting Tipper Gore had S&M fantasies:

Nobody captured the 80s better than John Hughes

If you grew up in the 80s, odds were that some meaningful aspect of your life was captured in a John Hughes movie.

John Hughes wrote, produced and directed a string of 80s theatrical hits that were well-known for depicting life in the 80s. Set in "middle America" settings, the characters and storylines may have appeared to look like "average" people at first glance, but he often ended up showing us that Middle America didn't mean Middle of the Road personalities. Those movies included:

  • National Lampoon's Vacation(1982)
  • Mr. Mom (1983)
  • Sixteen Candles (1984)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Weird Science (1985)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

As one who had rough teen years and never really fit in (nor would totally allow myself to), I could identify with John Bender (Judd Nelson's character in the Breakfast Club). As someone fairly carefree and somewhat rebellious, I could identify with Ferris Bueller. Later, as a parent trying not to take life too seriously, I would sometimes act a bit like Clark Griswold.

I think many of us found at least one character in Hughes' movies to be someone we could identify with, which made those teenage years in the 80s a little more bearable for more than a few of us.

Max Headroom: Who is THAT?!?

Seriously, I know who Max Headroom is. But do YOU?

In my academic downtime, I've been been watching a set of the episodes from this 80s-era sci-fi cyberpunk televison series. It's SO nice to be able to veg out and just have to worry about work and kids for a change.

Well, only for a couple of weeks before my summer class.

Max Headroom was a "ghost in the machine". An experiment at artificial intelligence that escaped into the computer network of a major global television network, Max would show up on the tube at unpredictable moments, making unpredictable statements which often challenged the leading network's efforts to dumb down its audiences through bland programming.

Interestingly enough, the creator of Max Headroom was recently linked to a hoax video of an alien autopsy.

Leighton ryhmes with Satan, who allegedly deep-fries kittens, linked Max to new White House spokesperson Tony Snow AND the BS-arteest who stars in those cheesy Enzyte commercials.

Miami Vice: Don Johnson look-alike

If one looks at the background on the website for the upcoming Miami Vice movie, which pictures the "new" characters, with Colin Farell playing hard-edged Sonny Crockett, and Jaime Foxx playing ice-cool Ricardo Tubbs, you'll see Farell sporting stubble and wearing a white suit.

All you old 80s-era Vice fans may recall that was a regular look for Don Johnson when he played Sonny in the original TV series.

Interesting similarity ... with Mann producing the movie, as the producer of the original TV series, I wonder in what other ways the movie will be true to the TV series.
Stay tuned ...

"I'd like to make you laugh for about ten minutes though I'm gonna be on for an hour."

The world has lost a champion of the much-needed ability to laugh at ourselves. Richard Pryor will be missed.

Rest in peace, Richard.

Miami Vice ... then, now, and forever

Today, I got the recently-released DVD set of the second season of Miami Vice, which I've been eagerly awaiting since last spring, when I got the first season.

In the early 80's, Michael Mann created a cop show like none other. Built around cool hit music and fashion, an amazing roster of guest stars, and sporty cars, the show brought us weekly looks at high times, easy living, and fast dying in the multi-cultural blender of Miami.

Before Bad Boys and CSI Miami, Miami Vice was the REAL story of high-crime in Miami. Everything that came afterwards was just an imitation.

What most people didn't see behind the show's visual imagery was the complex stories Mann weaved through many of the episodes of the series. Characters who lived not in a world of good/bad or black and white, but rather shades of grey, with people living with (and sometimes trapped by) the fate they often made for themselves. Bad guys living by codes of honor, cops with personal struggles, and so forth. It wasn't just in Miami Vice where Mann told these kinds of stories, as one could see this approach in movies like Band of the Hand, Heat, and Collateral.

Next summer, Mann is releasing an movie version of the Miami Vice series, starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx playing Crockett and Tubbs. Judging from the preview, some of the behind-the-scenes chatter about the movie, and Mann's refinement of his complex storytelling approach, I'm eager to see how he has worked to reframe the story of Crockett and Tubbs, making their characters relevant to today's times.

Miami Vice ... then, now, and for years to come ... go check it out!