One of the great things about having all this content just laying around the interwebs is that the opportunity to go back and relive the past is open to just about anyone without a two-bit history degree or a time machine.
Case in point, the series of blog posts, Rembert Explains the ’80s over on Grantland (where else?). Here, Rembert Brown, who came of age during the nineties and the oughts, offers his take on random aspects of 1980s pop culture cheese. All sorts of oddities whose existence, in retrospect, defies explanation. TV show Bosom Buddies; band, the Outfield; Don Johnson’s music career etc. Various samplings of what passed for entertainment back in the day analyzed and explained with ample YouTube clips and attempts at analyses. I find Rembert’s dry, ironic takes to be very entertaining.
To date, one of the best I’ve seen was his take on the 1985 American Music Awards. Dissecting about eight minutes of highlights from the show, Rembert takes us back in time and let’s us (re)live this second rate awards show- everything from the latent racial biases (best “black” single/album) to what passed for an entourage back in the day.
The accessibility of some of random moments in history and the ability for anyone to go back and reinterpret them in a contemporary context is a powerful aspect of how digital is changing how we view ourselves. No longer do we simply glorify the best bits or vilify the worst bits of pop culture. Instead, past music, fashion, celebrities etc are constantly reinterpreted and reborn as new memes. No detail is safe from the time machine that is the internet.
Skinny jeans wearers, take heed.