Thursday, January 21, 2010

i saw the decade in when it seemed the world could change at the blink of an eye

The above Bloom County cartoon appeared in newspapers at the beginning of the 80s. I guess now that we're starting a new decade it popped into my head. Most Bloom County books are out of print, but fortunately a new collection has just been published. I was able to painstakingly and suspiciously photograph the cartoon while in the bookstore. Anyway, I like this particular comic especially in the context that it was predicting how the future decade would be.

I've noticed that the beginnings of decades tend to be far more interesting than the ends.

Let's look at the beginnings of the three decades I've lived through.

1980 was an incredible year. My two favorite movies came out: Flash Gordon and The Empire Strikes Back. Also, The Shining came out which is one of only five movies that scares me.

Musically, New Wave in 1980 was in full swing as a sort of pop mutation of punk. New Wave had a very specific look and attitude that was very missing from the more polished second half of the 80s. I think the fact that New Wave happened at the beginning of the decade was no coincidence. A new decade is almost like a frontier to explore. At the beginning of the 80s we were threatened by nuclear war so lots of the music I think tried to advance to the future faster than was necessary. That's why lots of the 80s is remembered for cheesy futuristic synths and space-age looks. We laugh at that kind of stuff now, but at the time (and I remember!) the 80s were awesome. It WAS like living in the future even though everything about the 80s is extremely dated now. It wasn't SO much fun in the second half of the decade though. A little stale I suppose.

Anyway, then the 90s came. The title of this post is from a song lyric from the early 90s. Remember the song? I got the lyrics from one of my favorite sites called At the site, beneath the lyrics to songs people can comment on what the song means to them. Green Day and Fallout Boy have hundreds of comments to most of their songs. The song that the title of this post stemmed from though? Only four comments. It was the band's most popular song and IT WAS HUGE at the time. Why only four comments for a song I remember as being popular? I think it's because the song didn't come to represent what 90s music is traditionally remembered for. The comment section for Nirvana has a hundred times more posts.

Okay, that took forever to say. Anyway, grunge was big in the 90s, which is weird because what did we have to feel bad about in the 90s? Communism was dead and people weren't flying planes in buildings yet. It's almost like there was an insecurity in security. Grunge stopped being big on April 5, 1994. The second half of the decade wasn't nearly as defined or interesting. Grunge started the decade revolution in the early days and Nu Metal let the revolution wind down in the later days.

The '00s are harder for me to define. All I know is that at the beginning of the decade people bought cds and at the end they didn't. Maybe it was too recent or maybe I'm just too old and I don't know what you kids listen to anymore.

The point is that there is an energy that comes at the beginnings of decades that is palpably exciting. This energy yielded True Colours by Split Enz in 1980, Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden in 1991 and De Stijl by The White Stripes in 2000.

The 80s had a futurist kind of energy. The 90s had a cynical kind of energy. So now the question is what is the energy that happens in the next decade?

Here is the very strange new Domino's Pizza promotional campaign called "The Pizza Turnaround":

Okay weird right? When I first started seeing the new Domino's commercials I laughed out loud because they were actually ADMITTING that their pizzas were crap. Of course all the rest of us already knew this. I never understood how Domino's kept in business. Best I can guess it's from all the people who buy pizza for a party who for some reason don't actually participate in the eating of the pizza.

But then I got to thinking: wouldn't it be great if I don't have to NOT eat Domino's Pizza anymore? If whenever I got free pizza at an event that I snuck into and someone was gracious enough to give me free pizza I didn't give them a dirty look?

I'm excited for Domino's. I'm excited for the new decade. I like to think that maybe this decade will have some kind of "positive honest energy." It will be nice. I envy kids today. While i was growing up in the 90s we were conditioned to scoff at things and take things ironically. I think the new energy will be free of cynicism. It'll be cool -- at least for four or five years.


Blogger jamirodana said...

That is a hilarious "commercial" to watch. I never eat Domino's. My kids always get a FREE pizza when they win stuff at school and we don't use them.
Just yesterday Gavin(7) came home and said,"Mom! I won my class Spelling Bee!" I said,"Wow! Good job! What did you win?" He said, "A Domino's coupon for FREE pizza."
I cussed.

January 23, 2010 9:33 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

1980 was totally awesome just based on the fact I was born that year!

January 23, 2010 1:58 PM  
Anonymous The Mad Giggler said...

Pizza snob.

January 24, 2010 9:35 PM  
Blogger jaime said...

I like your list Juan. It got me to thinking of each decade I've lived in and what has stood out to me or defined it for me. Of course my mind went to movies and what movie would sum up a whole decade or describe how people were then. Here's what I was thinkin:

70's: I can't say because I was born in 78. I bet people all acted like Animal House though

80's: Breakfast Club

90's: Reality Bites

00's: Juno

January 25, 2010 8:58 AM  
Blogger Maker said...

Haha! Great post!

January 25, 2010 1:34 PM  
Blogger Craig Barlow B. said...

Swell post Jon. I was a little shocked by Domino's new ads myself. But then I realized that somehow they had managed to make me curious. Very clever of them.

January 25, 2010 7:14 PM  
Blogger newby said...

hmm. growing up i always thought jesus jones was saying "i saw the decade end wishing the world would change in the blink of an eye. and if anything, then there's your sign of the times."

January 27, 2010 9:06 PM  
Blogger joN. said...

way to take notice of the artist brad. i think what you remember is actually what he says in the following verse. maybe i'll verify it another decade from now.

January 28, 2010 2:27 AM  
Blogger Johnny 5 said...

Good post, plus it is nice to see Bloom County again. There is very little on the comics page as good as that one. The Best are Get Fuzzy, Foxtrot and Dilbert, and they pale in comparison to the Bigs of the 80s and early 90s. Nothing will replace the era of Bloom County, The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes. Perhaps this decade will see the end of the daily newspaper.

January 31, 2010 9:32 PM  

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