Summer 2010: Time Warp to 1984

Financial über-journo Heidi Moore first pointed out this phenomenon over in the blogger faculty lounge, I’m just fleshing it out a bit here in my own words…

But doesn’t it feel a bit like the Summer of 1984 here in the Summer of 2010?  The similarities and echoes of that moment in time are eerie to say the least.  Here are a few examples, I was only 7 years old then so chime in if I’ve missed any good ones:

1.  Summer Athletes – For whatever reason, even casual sports fans got way into the World Cup this summer, maybe it was those horns.  The ’84 Summer Olympic games were held in Los Angeles and America was captivated by 23-year-old Carl Lewis repeating the historic Jesse Owens feat of winning the 100, the 200 and the long jump.

2.  Lakers vs Celtics – In 1984, the NBA’s greatest rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers was in full swing as the two teams faced off in the finals that year.  Larry Bird’s Celtics won out over Magic Johnson’s Lakers then, but this year, Kobe’s Lakers took the championship home.

3.  Russian Spies – Talk about a Cold War throwback, in 1984 virtually every movie or TV show featured Russian spies or “The Ruskies” as bad guys (Rocky IV would be released in ’85).  Paranoia was running high, even as Gorbachev was pursuing his policy of Glasnost (openness).  Yesterday’s news that ten Russian spies were arrested for carrying on “long-term deep cover assignments” was like a fantasy right out of the mid-eighties, complete with normal sounding cover names (“Richard and Cynthia Murphy” from Montclair, NJ!) and electronic communiques from the Motherland.

4.  Gary Coleman – If there was a face of 1984 pop culture, Gary Coleman’s may not have been it, but he was definitely in the running.  The star of Diff’rent Strokes was everywhere.  The news of his tragic death this summer was a harsh reminder of how readily we chew up and spit out the stars we loved.

5.  Fashion – This guy who created Silly Banz, those rubber, multi-colored bracelets you see on every kid’s wrist, had no idea what he was tapping into!  Teens and tweens in the mid-eighties were hopelessly fascinated with this kind of throwaway jewelry from the moment Cindy Lauper and the other pop-punkers started wearing it.

What else have I missed?

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