The Michigan Daily Monday, December 4,1989 Page 8
Back in the Dark Ages, everyone Fat chance. Thanks to the magic
Was terrified of the year 1000. It was of nostalgia, you're going to have
what they referred to as "the millen- the chance to live the Reagan Years
hium" - 1000 years after the com- over and over again, whether you
Ing of Christ. There were Biblical like it or not.
prophecies, or so they interpreted You're going to listen to the Top
Ihem, that said that was when the 500 songs of the '80s on the radio.
vorld would end. The Beast would You're going to read enough '80s
Pe loosed from the pit. Cities would chronologies in the newspaper to
tall into the sea. The earth would be wrap around the equator. You're go-
pelted with rice cakes the size of ing to view and review the Top Ten
service Merchandise outlets. news events of the '80s on every
Of course, now, in these more news show short of maybe the
enlightened times, we can look back morning farm report, and that's be-
at this superstitious activity and cause that's going to be recapping
laugh. But we shouldn't, because the the Top Ten sweet corn hybrids of
Wncients were absolutely right in be- the '80s.
iPrr itha rtin meir dnp a
by Jim Poniewozik
ing from, say, the 50th annivers,
of the start of WWII (1989) to 1
80th Armistice day (1998), and
peating into eternity in the form
Time magazine cover stories a
VFW interviews in your local pal
(although we're starting to run (
of doughboys from the Great W
so we re going to have to start a n
But the end of a decade sends n
spectives on its cover for the past
few weeks (we anxiously await the
Top 100 Pie Graphs of the '80s),
and even MTV recently aired the
decade's Top 100 videos (giving the
top spot, ironically, to Neil Young's
"This Note's for You," a mediocre at
pry best lampoon of rock commercial-
he ism which MTV originally refused
e- to air for fear of offending its spon-
nd This is not to imply that taking
per time to look back and reflect on
)ut where we've been is a bad thing; it's
ar, not, and the end of a decade is as
ew good a time for it as any. But seeing
people attempt, over and over again,
U. S. troop withdrawal from Viet-
nam until the release of Never Mind
the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols,
leaving our nation's sound-bite
manufacturers hungry for a real
decade to sink their pearly whites
We'll probably manage to pull
through the end-of-the-'80s crisis,
though. Our real problem comes
when we hit the year 2000 - a
triple-nostalgia bonanza. The end of
a decade. The end of a century. And
the end of a millennium. All they
had to worry about in the year 1000
was Satan - we've got the entire
world media corps to deal with.
Imagine it - a wholesale on-
slaught of reflection. Radio stations
playing The Doors' "20th Century
Fox" over and over. "Recapping the
Top 100 singles of the second mil-
lennium A.D., we had
'Greensleeves' coming in at number
one, followed by 'Happy Birthday,'
Industry will grind to a halt.
People will lock themselves inside
their homes for fear of being trapped
and repeatedly interviewed by wanton
packs of journalists. We won't have
enough resources to relive the past,
much less do anything in the pre-
The world will end.
It seems to me there's only one
solution to the impending crisis.
Postpone the 21st century for 10
years. In its place will be a "leap
decade" devoted to nostalgia/looking
Everyone will take a ten-year
leave of absence from work, during
which time they will be debriefed ou
the past. People will spend the first
month writing down everything they
can remember about the past millen-
nium, and for the rest of the decade,
announcers will read the lists on na-
Then, maybe then, we'll be ready
for time to continue.
Wake me up in 2001.
leving tnat certain mystic ates can oteu e er fnsoyit
n Milking an anniversary for all dia into orgiastic frenzies likeLUoPh- t1dy,
ring on horrible disasters. it's worth is nothing new in the me- ing short of a presidential oth - tidy, meaningless little package
You see, the Eighties are cor- dia world, of course. Take, for ex- a major Hollywood divorce. We've ("The 'Me' Decade," "The 'We'
s d. ample, the war phenomenon. Hap- been feeling the first warning ripples Decade ")Te tiring.
This probably sounds silly, pily for publishers worldwide, World of the 1990 tsunami for several Aevel' Decade") gets tiring.h
-ight? I mean, the Eighties are over, Wars I and II had the courtesy to take months now. Rolling Stone, for ex- the 's followed close on the heels
rall cross the word "Cajun-style" 4 place from 1914-191 and1939- ample, recently listed its 100 top al- of the '70s, a mediocre decade at
:anallcros he ord"Cjunstye"1945 respectively. This means that bums of the '80s (speaking of milk- best. They elyol pne bu
ut of our dictionaries, right? any given calendar is the decennial ing a concept for all it's worth), three or four years, roughly from the
Rleght? anniversary of some war event, rang- USA Today has featured '80s retro-
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