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posted by davidt on Friday July 30 2010, @11:00AM
Kewpie sends the link (via Morrissey reddit), originally posted by MILVA in the forums (original post):
The 80s: the best of times, the worst of times - The Guardian
Top Gun, the Smiths, The A-Team … popular culture reached its height in the 1980s – didn't it? Toby Litt on a decade he hated at the time, but is reluctantly starting to admire
...One way I have of understanding my total devotion to the Smiths between 1984 and 1989 is as a minor form of cultural dissidence. The Smiths are rarely seen as a political band – not when compared to the Redskins or even the Jam. Their ideological stance is too easy to parody as an extended bedroom sulk. But Morrissey was one of the few public figures to say anything as overt as "the sorrow of the Brighton bombing is that Thatcher escaped unscathed". To go along with being a Smiths fan involved a great deal of anti-consumerism. Meat was murder. Clothes came from charity shops, or your mum's bottom drawer. Music was supplied by genuinely independent labels – and the latest 12-inch remix from Level 42 was a work of the corporate devil. In other words, we were boycotting most of the world.
And this is where it gets complicated, because, looking back, I seem to find myself looking at myself over a wall. From 2010, where everything goes and nothing matters, Britain in the 1980s very much looks like a communist domain where nothing went and everything mattered.
Among the things, pop-culturally, that mattered most of all was Top of the Pops. If a film is bad, these days we say, "I want those two hours back." But if there was a really bad record in the higher reaches of the charts in the 80s, that meant you could anticipate a wasted four minutes of your life, waiting for it to finish and the next bad record to come on. But you couldn't not watch TOTP altogether, because there was just that chance that something life-changing (like the Smiths) might come along.