I was thinking about this persistent question the other day: what the hell did we do before the internet?
I put in St. Elmo’s Fire recently. I own the DVD as something of a tribute to the 1980s and the Brat Pack, and because the DVD was 99¢. It’s not very good.
I also own a box set of thirtysomething, and as I watch it, I am disappointed to see how poorly it aged. I think that sallowing is because the culture of the 1980s was, for lack of a better term, immature. The entertainment of the era all seems one-dimensional. It’s not just me, is it? Maybe it is just me, and I was caught in observance of the worst aspects of 1980s culture.
What did we do? There was no internet. There were no smart phones. There was no Netflix. Did we watch television? Did we play outside? Did we go to bars?
For my own part, I spent the middle part of the decade with a girlfriend with whom I split time between renting VHS movies and watching music videos. In fact, we looked forward to Friday “video night,” which consisted of surfing from MTV to VH1 to Night Flight to Night Tracks, all of which showed nothing but music videos. We mostly made fun of how terrible they were.
This isn’t some kind of sociological high five to today’s culture. I recognize today’s shallowness. At the same time, I feel like I can share more now with this web site than I ever could passing around my journal.