My life as I once knew it is officially over.
The worst part about turning thirty is that I can't even legitimately complain about "getting older". There are just too many people still older than me that will simply shake their head and laugh in condescension. Yet at the same time there are more than enough young people around to make me feel like I really am aging past my prime. It's just one of those events in life you have to live through to really experience for yourself. Maybe I'm just being a bit too analytical, but that's just how I feel right now.
As an eternal optimist however, I've decided to look back all the way to 1985 to see if I could reflect on a few awesome things that are going to turn 30 with me this year. I apologize ahead of time for the generations before and after me that just won't appreciate this list as much as those of us sitting in the middle of the pack.
In retrospect, this is arguably the single greatest Chuck Norris movie of all time. At the time it might have been just another 80's action film with a terrible plot and script... but today? Pure awesome. It's basically an entire string of Chuck Norris jokes put together into an hour-long video experience, all in one place. To me it stands there right next to Walker Texas Ranger as one of the primary reasons for Norris' post-career fame.
I don't care if half of the stuff is totally made-up and wouldn't work in real life - the pure ingenuity of this TV series is the stuff of legend. It was incredibly cool to watch this man achieve so many epic feats and escapes with nothing but his innovative mind and nearby scrap and garbage. He was basically the low-budget secret agent that made everyone feel like they could suddenly become James Bond if they needed to.
There are few things more incredible than a teamup between Mr.T and Hulk Hogan, two iconic 80's legends; and this was the event that started it all. Is it totally fake and full of ridiculously bad acting? Sure, but at that time what TV acting wasn't terrible and bad still so appealing? If not for the success of Wrestlemania #1, the extreme popularity of the WWF in its prime probably never would have existed. No Rock. No Steve Austin. No HHH. No HBK. No cage matches. No ladder matches. Nothing. Wrestlemania was epic and recieved well - and modern televised fake-wrestling entertainment (that we came to know and love in the 90's and 2000's) was born. Brother, I pity the fool who hasn't enjoyed a good episode of WWF.
The Nintendo Entertainment System
Sure it had already been out for a couple of years in Japan, but this was when it arrived in the United States. Very few things compare to the very first NES games. Sure there were big arcade joints, and even the earliest versions of home computers, but none of those were as amazingly addictive and accessible as this game-industry jewel. It was like having an entire arcade in your living room - a gamer's dream come true.
Microsoft Windows 1.0
While the pure monetary success that came later for Microsoft created a large minority of critics and haters, it's hard to argue against what Windows did for home computing. Microsoft revolutionized user-friendly operating systems with this first version of Windows GUI. It's definitely worth arguing that Steve Jobs one-upped his former associates in the "ease of operation" category via it's iPhenomenon, but Windows based systems still dominate the market as the preferred OS of choice. The PC generation is still so strong.
Calvin and Hobbes
Ahh... good old Calvin and Hobbes. This one doesn't really need much explanation. If you've never seen a Calvin and Hobbes comic, then you probably haven't picked up a newspaper in the last 30 years. If there were a top five list for the greatest daily comics of all time, this would be on there, and could arguably be at the top of that list.
(Jefferson) Starship - We Built This City
This is probably the most debatable awesome thing from 1985 I have on this list. It's kind of a really terrible song, but it's just so damn catchy. It managed to lead Billboard's Hot 100 list for a little while, but in the same year it was also voted the worst song of all time in VH1 and Blender's "50 most awesomely bad songs ever". Still, it was nominated for a grammy the following year in 1986, go figure? Rolling Stones also had it atop its list of "worst 80's rock songs ever" published in 2011. It's just one of those love/hate things - and I happen to love it. Have a listen for yourself, but I highly advise keeping your eyes closed (since the video-portion is 100% horrific):
There we go. Thanks for reading my official 30th birthday article. I know there were plenty of other things I could have put on this list, but those are the ones I thought would be fun an interesting! Feel free to leave a comment below with your own awesome 1985 throwbacks.
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