The Clothes Have No Emperor : A Chronicle of the American 80s

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today's book, "
The Clothes Have No Emperor is Paul Slansky's scathingly funny, no-holds barred chronicle of the 1980s - a stunning scrapbook of implausible events, outrageous statements, incredible anecdotes, and astounding photographs."

Today's book was really a 281 page timeline of the 80s - well most of the 80's anyway, the book starts in November when President Reagan was elected and ends in January 1989 when he leaves office. It kind of bugged me that there was nothing from the beginning of 1980 or the end of 1989 - I wanted to hear about the rest of the decade.

I've decided to make my own shallow timeline, focusing on entertainment news:
November 1980 - After eight months of hype 41 million viewers tuned in to find out who shot J.R. (I'm so glad that I've already watched Season 4 because the book gives away who shot him. People have no respect for those of us whose Mothers wouldn't let us watch Dallas when it originally aired.)
July 1981 - Nancy Reagan, aged 60, celebrates her 58th birthday. (The author adds this to the timeline EVERY year. It was amusing to me the first time it was listed, but by the 7th time I was thinking
Okay, I get it. She lied about her birthday.)
June 1982 - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is released to theaters. (I really wish I hadn't read that part, because I can never think about movie without thinking about Reeses Pieces - which sadly enough I am allergic to.)
February 1983 - The season Finale of M*A*S*H is watched by 125 million viewers, breaking the record previously held by the "Who Shot J.R." episode of
Dallas as the most watched episode of a TV series. (My mind can't wrap itself around Dallas not being the most popular one.)
September 1984 -
The Cosby Show premieres. (Second on my list of things I must do every fall - right after put on my Marcia Brady plaid and go buy school supplies - is to watch an episode of The Cosby Show. It's not a show that I love, but it always reminds me of Fall.)
March 1985 - Sally Field gives her now famous Oscar acceptance speech of "You like me! Right now! You like me!" (Now I'm kicking myself because I didn't include that sentence in my Thank You speech I gave for the blog entry celebrating 100 followers.)
May 1986 - Patrick Duffy agrees to return to
Dallas. (Crap, I guess that means I'm going to have to put up with him for most of the series. I know he's supposed to be the good guy of the show, but he annoys the snot out of me.)
September 1987 -
Thirtysomething premieres. (The only nice thing I can say about that show was that I like the theme song, it was very peppy which seemed to misplaced on a show that was built around incessant whining.)
November 1988 - Oprah Winfrey shows the the country just how much weight she has lost by bringing a wheelbarrow filled with 65 pounds of fat on stage. (Why on earth to celebrities feel the need to call a press conference every time they gain or lose weight.
Hey everyone, I just lost five pounds, alert the newspapers.)
January 1989 - Madonna files for divorce from Sean Penn. (I do realize that I'm really reaching with that one, but the author only covers one month of the year 1989, so it was either this or talk about world events, and since this isn't Social Studies class I went with shallow celebrity news instead).

And now it's time for my own personal 80s timeline:
1980 - Eat, sleep, lie around like 3rd base.
1981 - Eat, sleep, lie around like 3rd base while watching
Sesame Street.
1982 - Become big sister.
1983 - Lie around like 3rd base in some one's driveway, thereby giving them a chance to run over my leg with a bike, breaking my leg in the process. But I did get a really good chocolate cake that was covered in M&Ms from the kids Mom as an "I'm sorry my kid broke your leg" present, so it all worked out.
1984 - Cut my own hair into what was quite possibly the worst hair look I've ever had. Oh wait, I forgot about the Mortia Adams hair I had when I was 17. Let me amend that, the second worst hair look I've ever had.
1985 - Get really bad haircut. Really, really bad - although this one was not self-inflicted.
1986 - Get really bad perm.
1987 - Get another really bad perm
1988 - Begin experimenting with spandex pants under really big sweatshirts. (I was inspired by D.J. on
Full House.)
1989 - Talk Mom and Dad into getting me a water bed.

The lesson I've gleaned from this book - and this blog entry - is that the 80s were rough all the way around.