(Orphaned) Child of the Eighties

I was a child in the Eight­ies. All of them. (Okay, so maybe I was a tod­dler for a tiny bit at the very begin­ning, but still: you get my point.) And yet being, as I was, a child (as opposed to a youth), I am immune to much of the Eight­ies nos­tal­gia that besets many of my (slight­ly old­er) friends and acquain­tances. This is fur­ther rein­forced by the fact that the lat­ter part of that decade was marked by my with­draw­al from the tra­di­tion­al school sys­tem, and the almost-total end of tele­vi­sion view­ing in our home.

In oth­er words, I grew up under a mush­room, and my pop­u­lar cul­tur­al aware­ness real­ly doesn’t come into full focus until I get to col­lege in 1996. I had a lot of catch­ing up to do at that point, but I was deter­mined, so I spent the last half of the Nineties stu­dious­ly explor­ing the pop cul­ture of the day, and also delv­ing back into some of the days I had missed. Per­haps I had the wrong guides in my retro research, but I nev­er found much in the Eight­ies to excite me, so I large­ly left it alone.

I am remind­ed of all this today by the release of the Max Head­room tele­vi­sion series on DVD. I was cer­tain­ly aware of the char­ac­ter of Max Head­room, I believe I even seen the Coke adverts he did (I still saw tele­vi­sion at my grand­par­ents’ hous­es, and at my friend’s). But until I saw the excit­ed posts of friends on Face­book this past week regard­ing the DVD release, I had no idea that there was an actu­al dra­mat­ic tele­vi­sion series star­ring this char­ac­ter, the dystopi­an premise of which sounds inter­est­ing and which I would very prob­a­bly enjoy. (Seri­ous­ly, if William Gib­son liked and praised it, it was prob­a­bly pret­ty cool.)

But I nev­er saw it, and so all any of this means to me today is that I will be briefly sur­round­ed by friends of more-or-less sim­i­lar tastes who will enthuse about yet anoth­er ele­ment of a cul­tur­al moment I lived through, but did not live in.

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