October, 1984: A Material World

A glistening new mall elevates atop what was once a corn field, and before that sacred native land. Madonna slinks across the MTV screen, her dress looks like it cost a million bucks as she preaches the gospel of neo materialism as Material Girl. Coke or Pepsi is the choice of the new generation, not […]

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January, 1984: The End of Big Brother

The Raiders are up against the favored Washington Redskins, but the Redskins are losing this Super Bowl. During a two-minute timeout, the most amazing ad comes on TV. For months there’s been heavy coverage of George Orwell’s book 1984. Orwell’s book is about a world ruled by “Big Brother,” who controls every aspects of public […]

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April, 1983: Letter from the Iron Curtain

Nuclear fear reached into the collective soul. A girl on the East Coast, two years younger than me, writes a letter to the new Soviet President Yuri Andropov expressing fear about a nuclear holocaust. Her letter is actually published in the Russian paper Pravda: “Dear Mr. Andropov, “My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten […]

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August, 1981: Video Kills the Radio Star

There’s a renewed American confidence in bloom. Even John Hinkley’s bullet into Reagan himself could not stop this new world unfolding: a company called IBM rolls out personal computers, private companies are given the OK to fly satellites, and a brand new TV station debuted with Video Jockey’s playing music videos. The first video MTV […]

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September, 1980: The New Confidence

American presidential elections: a bloodless revolution every four years. The incumbent Jimmy Carter is challenged by a seemingly doomed Independent candidate John Anderson and Republican Ronald Reagan. There was a debate for the candidates, but for some reason Carter didn’t show, so it was just Reagan verses Anderson. The usual topics of the day are […]

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