in 1980 i was in eighth grade and because i was a very popular kid for some reason the teachers always volunteered me to do things that i never wanted to do.
i still have a terrible fear of public speaking, i have no desire to be an actor or to be on stage. yet the teachers said, tony you are the funniest kid in school, we are about to have a talent show, and we want you to be the MC. i said no. they said please. i said damn you magic word!
once that was over i thought i was home free, high school here we come. but then they said omg we are going to have a School Dance. i said see ya! they said no everyone really should come and Tony we want you to be the DJ. i said i have like five records. they said no problem, we will ask all the kids to bring one or two of their favorite records. i said so wait i can go to the dance, but i dont have to dance? Awesome! so i played rock hits and some slow tunes and slow danced with the pretty girls during the slow dances.
thats what i remember of 1980. we didnt have a computer like the one in this picture until four years later and i didnt have a fax machine at home until like the 90s. and scissors? are you out of your mind?
but heres why i am glad i was born when i was: i got to see video games come into the world, and MTV, and crack cocaine (jk mom!). i am so grateful i was part of the last generation who truly understood how to use a library, and a real typewriter. i wrote love letters to my girlfriends. on stationary. in different colored inks. i rode a bike as a kid, without a lock. we played outside allllll day and when we were older, at OMG night!
and back to those records: we cherished them. all of them. we stared at every image, every word, while listening to every sound. often while using big monstrous headphones. most kids only had 5-10 records by the time they graduated high school so we knew those by heart. and because this was before MTV, often times we had no clue what some of these bands really looked like.
because this was the time before Tivo and DVRs and for a while even VCRs we watched tv live. not only that we knew exactly what was gonna be on and when. TV Guide was cute but you didnt have to tell most kids in 1980 what was on TV, there were only three networks, how hard was it to memorize that junk.
but the best were the Saturday Morning cartoons. it was the icing on the cake of a Saturday. which isnt to say the cartoons were all that great, but they were ours. and some of them were great even though i cant remember being as blown away by The Wacky Races as i have been by Game of Thrones. but im sure in my little heart back then i was.
so am i glad i was born when i was? fuck yeah. but im also extremely grateful of the innovations that we have been blessed with since then. and doubly glad the slow dance survived.