Thursday, January 01, 2009

I just have to say...

Holy Christ, it's 2009...

Where did the decade go?

If you'd asked me January first 1989 if I would still be on this earth (instead of in it) on January first 2009, I'd have given 50/50 odds (less if you'd asked me in 1994).

1989 is officially "a long time ago", now, at 20 years. Hell, there were people voting this past election who weren't even alive then.

After 10 years, the soviets left afghanistan; but we were still cleaning up the mess Carter left in Iran in '79 shooting down two Iranian fighters in the gulf of Sidra. Oh, and Khomeni orders the death of Salman Rushdie for writing nasty things about that pedophile Muhammad. At least he died a few months later.

The single most important even of '89 though? The Berlin wall came down. My god... 45 years under the communists, and finally in November, they tore it down. The cracks in the communists facade grow too wide to ignore, as Hungary dismantles it's border walls, Solidarity is legalized in poland and wins control of government, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania follow suit and a chinese student stops a column of tanks by force of will alone.

George Bush becomes president, and some nutbag kills 5 kids with a Chinese AK copy in Stockton California, prompting Bush to ban their importation.... Yeah, that worked, really it did.

Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Lethal Weapon 2 were the top movies of the year (funny that sequels to two of those would be the top movies of 2008 isn't it). My favorite movie of the year, Heathers, didn't even make the chart.

Oh, and the Simpsons get their own show. Yes, it's been 20 years.

In Music, it was a bad year for the charts, dominated by Debbie Gibson, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Milli Vanilli... the only bright spot being Aerosmith.

It was however, a good year for albums: The Offspring, The Bosstones, Mr. Big (don't laugh, they kick ass. Billy Sheehan is amazing) and Dream Theater released their first album; Dylan and the Dead came out, De La Soul had "Three feet high and rising", The Pixies released "Doolittle", Tom Petty dropped "Full Moon Fever " (which I still think is his best album), Faith No More released "The Real Thing", The Beastie Boys had "Pauls Boutique", Nine Inch Nails released "Pretty Hate Machine", Satriani had "Flying in a blue dream" and Aerosmith crushed the world with "Pump" (it was their best selling release to date, went 7x platinum, was the fourth best selling album of the year, and earned them a Grammy).

I'm not even going to note the achievments of those born in '89 yet. Not to say they haven't had ANY, but they are few, and mostly in the field of pop music.

It was a bad year for those we lost however: Salvador Dali, John Cassavetes, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Jim Backus, Mel Blanc, Lawrence Olivier, Irving Berlin, Bette Davis, Graham Chapman, Vladimir Horowitz, all passed in '89.

Remember back to the future, in 1985; when he went back to 1955... yeah, that's 1979 to right now...

1979 is practically ancient by todays standards, but I remember Reagan campaign commercials. It doesn't feel that long ago... but by anyones standards, it was a bad year.

In '79 Iran fell to religious dictatorship... and we helped. Then our own people were taken hostage, and we did... not very much (though it was not for lack of trying; it was for lack of political will). The Russians invaded afghanistan, and inresponse we armed the islamic fanatics opposing them. Meanwhile, Britain grows a spine, and sends Margaret thatcher to number 10.

John Wayne, Charlie Mingus, Arthur Fiedler, Sid Vicious, and Lester Flatt all died... Those born that year... well let's just say it was an imbalance (though maybe we should count Sid on the positive side of things).

Pop culture ws at it's very lowest ebb. Kramer vs. Kramer was not only the number one movie, it was an Oscar sweep too. Disco ruled with every number 1 album and single of the year; and five of the top ten songs being from the Bee Gees or Donna Summer.

At least punk and new wave were doing cool things, with Madness, and The Pretenders first albums, The Clash dropping "London Calling", the talking heads, the Cars, the Police, The Tubes, the Ramones, The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, and Elvis Costello all doing interesting things. Metal (and hard rock) had its moments too, with Motorhead releasing 3 albums, AC/DC with "Highway to Hell", Diamond Heads "Lightning to the Nations", a live album and the hell bent for leather tour from Judas Priest, and the first demos from Iron Maiden.

The one real highlight to break into the mainstream was Pink Floyds "The Wall".

Woodstock, and the moon landing? 40 years ago this year. So if you went to Woodstock, you're gonna be pushing sixty at best; and hurricane Camille killed 250 people while you were partying and didn't notice.

Led Zeppelin released their first album, the Beatles broke up; Richard Nixon became president, and Eisenhower died. The 747, the Concorde, Internet Packets, UNIX, and Monty Pythons Circus first flew.

I'm not even going to get into the number of pop culture icons of today born in '69... let's just say that mid '68 to early '69 must've been a good 9 months for pretty people to breed.

Boris Karloff, Judy Garland, and Brian Jones passed, and the world was lessened. Allen Dulles, Ho Chi Minh, Joe Kennedy, Jack Keruac, and Walter Gropius died, and the world was made a better place. Ted Kennedy killed a woman and was allowed to sit in the Senate with no reprecussions.

The day the music died was 50 years ago this year. Hawaii and Alaska joined the union. Cypress and Singapore became independent nations; and Cuba fell under communist dictatorship. The first seven astronauts were selected for Mercury.

Raymond Chandler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Preston Sturges, Mario Lanza, Erroll Flynn, Blind Willie McTell, and Billy Holiday all passed on.

On a personal "makes me feel old" note; Perry Farrel, Brian Setzer, Robert Smith, Morrissey, John Linnell (Flansburgh is next year), Richie Sambora, Joe Elliot, Weird Al, and Rebecca DeMornay (damn... Risky Business... just damn) will be fifty this year.

All this, and I just have to say: Where are my damn flying cars?