Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The 80's Reboot

Oh no.

Oh gods no.

I survived the 80's by the skin of my teeth.  I was there, I've got the t-shirt and the list of Gen X maladies to go along with it.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, abuse, you name it, I've got it.  Why oh why are people so hell bent on bringing back the Reagan-esque age of excess?  Did we not learn anything from the housing bubble collapsing?  Did we not cringe at the neon colors or millions of Ferris Bueller knock-offs?  Didn't we get to the point where we burnt out on them so bad that they became a joke?  Why is it that we are hell bent on remembering all of the very painful moments of our childhood?

All of this stems from this article on CNN.com.   Oh here, I'll save you the pain, they're remaking the movie "Footloose".  Oh gods.  Why?

You know my rant on reboots, remakes and prequels.  Here we go again.  I want to know WHY we need to revisit a tale of bigotry, narrow minds and people who just outright need to get a friggin' life?  I remember sitting in the Brauntex theater with my sister to see that film.  The leg warmers, the really horrid shoes (I even thought so back then) and Kenny Loggins blaring over the speakers.  It was a bad movie back then, why does it need a remake and why in hell do we need to revisit the 80's?

We deal every day with bigots.  I'm the first one to absolutely abhor people who find it their mission in life to make sure people who are different feel outcast.  I've got tons of friends who are gay, who are atheist, who could be blue, green or aquamarine for all I care and they're beaten down on a daily basis because of one reason, they're different.

Now I could go into a rather painful story of a friend from the 80's who was told to basically jump off of a cliff by his best friend because he finally came out.  When I learned of the situation, I was outraged.  I loved the guy, I didn't care what his sexual preference was, it's none of my damn business who he sleeps with.  My job as his friend is to love him for who he is come good, bad, hell or high water.

So again, why do we need to revisit a tale of frigged up small town values, bigotry and parents who are so overbearing that they need to be shot in the ass with a cattle prod?

As I've glanced over the film as it has popped up on cable television over the years and well, you could say that the little town portrayed in the film wasn't too far gone from the town I grew up in.  The overbearing ministers, the rebellious preacher's kids, the high-profile "popular" kids with substance abuse issues.  Their problems weren't aired publicly...hell no, because everyone knew about it and just turned a blind eye.  No, it was the one kid that was different, who was attractive and smart that dared to stand up to their frigged up status quo that got burnt at the stake for their "heresy".  To be attractive and smart in a town who values people who are ugly and ignorant? To actually imply a corrupt system is corrupt?  Oh hell, break out the mesquite, those folks were going to have a barbecue.

There are small towns all over the country that are tales just like "Footloose".  They're a part of every day life.  They are filled with suffering "different" children who want nothing more than to survive the time they must live there, then break out and go to a new place, a new world of their own that dismisses all of the nightmares of the past.  All of the nightmares brought vividly to life in "Footloose" and the "different" kids prayed silently in the night that people would "get it" and realize that the status quo was the problem, just as it was illustrated in the film.

It's 30 years later.  People still aren't getting it.  The original film is fine as it is.  It makes it's point and we still can see Kevin Bacon, before he had his Seven Degrees, doing a half-gymnastics, half dance routine in an abandoned warehouse.  (*shudder*)  Or see the town tramp try to redeem herself with what is perceived to be the new 'bad boy'.  Either way, the original covers the bases.  We don't need to go there again.

The 80's are over.  They're dead and gone.  Leave them there.  We don't need to go back into a world of cocaine-fueled delusions of grandeur in Miami Vice over-sized jackets.  The fashion was god awful, the music more than forgettable outside of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" which is the quintessential 80's song outside of "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles.  From whatever viewpoint you have, the 80's are easily summed up and described in one word.  Cliché.

I remember coming home from school in the 80's and doing my homework with MTV playing the latest music on television. But, MTV hasn't played music videos in years.  So you could say when they aired "Video Killed the Radio Star" back in 1981, they were well on their way to killing music altogether, turning it from a means of expression to a hideous business model featuring kids who should be in rehab and not on television. It's just one more sign the 80's are dead and we should leave them alone.

Remakes, reboots and the lot.  Oh gods, I wish Hollywood would get a life and stop living in the past.

New stories folks.  We all need them.  Will the 10's be remembered as a time that we just looked back and disregarded the fact that the future will remember what we're doing and laugh at us for it, much as it does the Pat Benatar knock-offs and the Spicoli wannabes of Fast Times at Ridgemont High?  Well, hell, there's one they haven't messed with...Fast Times.  Oh hell, that one was awesome.  You can't touch a really good look at the past when the film was actually MADE back then so that we could laugh at ourselves.

Well, here comes "Footloose".  What's next?  Weird Science, Ferris Bueller, Sixteen Candles and the Breakfast Club?  God help us all if Hollywood really thinks it's ok to reproduce those tales.

The 80's are dead.  Leave them them there just for the sake of all of the folks with the Gen X list of maladies.  Give those who were beaten, abused and outright traumatized by that horrid decade a break.  We deserve it.  We're still paying our therapists and still working through the issues caused by a decade of self-indulgence and poor judgment.

I know lots of people who just LOVED the 80's.  News flash guys, it's 2010, let it go.   Make some new memories, write some new stories.  I'm sure we'd all love to hear them.

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