Just a 90’s baby in my 80’s Mercedes…

Every time I hear that song, I think of the year I graduated from high school… 1984. Why? Because I was completely and utterly mortified that I had to drive to school on the few days I got to drive to school in my mother’s 1974 Mercedes. I guess that was better than when she had the 1966 (the year I was born) Mercedes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure back in the 70’s it was a sweet ride. But not so much when the ‘it’ cars back then were either a Black Trans Am with a T-Roof and an after factory installed stereo system with a tape player! Or a Yellow Camaro, with the similar system. Not a brown Mercedes with an AM radio!

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This I remember from 1984 without having to think about it:

Like Oh, My, God!

Someone, can’t think of their name, made the “first untethered space walk”. I remember because I thought, wow, wouldn’t that be cool. I want to do that. And back then, I think I did want to do that. Now. No freaking way.

I also remember that Apple Computer started selling the Macintosh Personal Computer and I thought, that will never take on. PC all the way baby! What the hell did I know back then. I was a business/computer major. Macs were for dorks.

I voted in my first election. Ronald Regan defeated Mondale (and not saying I voted one way or the other). During that election I kept thinking back to when I was just in elementary school in the 70’s and there were long lines at gas stations and my dad would tell this horrible joke all the time: “Hey Jenni, guess what I saw today? I saw a Ford on a truck and a Dole on a Banana.” Har har, real funny Dad.

Who can forget the famous Oscar speech by Sally Field, “You like me, you really like me!”

Like a Virgin was hot.

Purple Rain. Saw it a few oh…dozen times.

I fell in love with Kevin Beacon in Footloose.

But, mostly I think back to the first half of my senior year where I took a Media course and we had to read the book 1984 by George Orwell. The chant at school that year was always, “big brother is watching!” And we often thought the world was spying on us since we kept getting caught doing things we weren’t supposed to be doing…


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Even back then, I was a bit of a tech nut. Typewriters were considered ancient. If you didn’t have at least a word processor, you were so not cool in my book. Of course, I had an original IBM personal computer long before the schools had them. Now Bob’s going to go all, but I had the original Mac whatever. I’m still the coolest tech nut in Cool Gus, just saying. So, the concepts in 1984 fascinated me and actually, the book is what sparked my interest learning more about technology and studying computers and informational systems when I first went to college. I was already into science fiction, but only when it involved Aliens, like ET, but that was summer 1982, so I really digress.

While the 1984 I lived in, with all its bad fashion and big hair bands was not much like the novel (though the overall uniforms was a tad freaky since overalls were kind of hot back then too), there was a scary undertone that the entire class could not deny. As the generation that grew up “learning technology” as opposed to those before me who are still fighting it and those after me who are, well, don’t know life without it. The idea that a fiction writer could be so forward thinking as to write 1984, not knowing that our current world would not only have the capabilities, but using them? And of course, the super secret underground agencies. All so fascinating. Makes you really wonder about the Hunger Games and will our future look something like that, doesn’t it?

Final thought: Did you know that many technologies of the world today came from people and inventors watching the Star Trek TV show? Really. Its true. A topic for next time.

So what do you remember from 1984? The year? The book? Both?


  1. I remember the book–yes, I had to read it in HS, too–and thinking, “Oh, that could never happen! We as a society are too smart for that.” Yeah, just like The Terminator: computer control will never happen….

    I have fallen in love with the now-ended TV show “Person of Interest.” Wanna know creepy? On first DVD commentary, director/producers say “those are real camera images. Watch it and be afraid, be very afraid.

    That said, my (now donated?) neon pink, off-the-shoulder cutoff shirt reminiscent of Flashdance still brings a smile.

  2. I sure do. We had to read that book in 9th grade English class. Didn’t appreciate then.

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