A couple days ago, in a trip to Target, my eleven year-old daughter asked for an AC/DC t-shirt. I couldn’t help but laugh because, by the time I was her age, AC/DC had become passé. It also got me thinking about how time breathes new life into past pop culture, and the strange pattern that it follows.
In the eighties, sea-foam green, leather jackets and the nostalgia of “Back to the Future” had a tremendous influence on the decade. We embraced an older, patriarchal Republican president, as we did with Eisenhower. Our attention moved away from Vietnam to slightly west, as the Cold War became real once again, along with our aim to end it.
The L.A. Riots of 1992 were the largest racially-fueled events our country had seen in decades. The rest of the nineties more-or-less focused on an era of peace and change, with a newer generation donning tie-dye, peace signs and Woodstock (this time, with a much bigger budget). The nineties echoed the sounds of sixties rock, reggae and funk. We ushered out the existing political regime in favor of someone younger; more handsome and eloquent. It only lasted a few years again, before we had an older Republican in office. Ironically, the presidents that closed out the sixties and nineties would both leave the office under monumental disapproval.
The turn of the century saw a resurgence in seventies interior, fashion and graphic design sensibility, incorporated into the technological advancements of our time. Seventies icons like ringer t-shirts with iron-on transfers were re-introduced and became property of this new generation as they protested a war that made no sense to many of us. We saw the rock music world re-capture the fashion and musical style of Lou Reed and The Rolling Stones, while disco was digitized and re-introduced in nightclubs around the world.
Now that we’re about to close this decade with horrific inflation and unemployment, a global energy crisis and car-makers in turmoil once again (don’t forget, Congress approved over a billion dollars to save Chrysler from bankruptcy in 1979), what do you see in store for the twenty-teens?