sábado, 26 de marzo de 2011

Born in 1981

Esta gran entrada está en inglés. La mayoría de las referencias son americanas, no por ello dejan de ser internacionales. Algún día la traduciré. Sólo quiero deciros que vale la pena leerlo, única y exclusivamente para los nacidos en 1981:

In 1981, the world was a different place.
There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo.
In 1981, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was Raiders of the Lost Ark. People buying the popcorn in the cinema lobby had glazing eyes when looking at the poster.            

Remember, that was before there were DVDs. People were indeed watching movies in the cinema, and not downloading them online. Imagine the packed seats, the laughter, the excitement, the novelty. And mostly all of that without 3D computer effects.
Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to Chariots of Fire. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to Mephisto. The top actor was Henry Fonda for his role as Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond. The top actress was Katharine Hepburn for her role as Ethel Thayer in On Golden Pond. The best director? Warren Beatty for Reds.
In the year 1981, the time when you arrived on this planet, books were still popularly read on paper, not on digital devices. Trees were felled to get the word out. The number one US bestseller of the time was Noble House by James Clavell. Oh, that's many years ago. Haveyou read that book? Have you heard of it? Look at the cover!

In 1981... The subterranean Sarawak chamber is discovered in Borneo. Margaret Thatcher carries out a Cabinet reshuffle, sacking Norman St. John-Stevas. The first De Lorean DMC-12 automobile, a stainless steel sports car with gull-wing doors, rolls off the production line in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. Ronald Reagan succeeds Jimmy Carter, as the 40th President of the United States. Minutes later, Iran releases the 52 Americans held for 444 days, ending the Iran hostage crisis. Australia withdraws recognition of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. In Italy the Propaganda Due Masonic Lodge is discovered. IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands wins the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election. Daylight saving time is introduced in the USSR. The Israeli Air Force destroys Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor. The 1981 Springbok Tour commences in New Zealand, amid controversy over the support of apartheid. A Minor League Baseball game between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, becomes the longest professional baseball game in history: 8 hours and 25 minutes, 33 innings. Walter Cronkite retires from journalism. France abolishes capital punishment. The Church of England General Synod votes to admit women to holy orders. The thrash metal band Metallica forms in Los Angeles. The video game of the day was Frogger.
That was the world you were born into. Since then, you and others have changed it.
The Nobel prize for Literature that year went to Elias Canetti. The Nobel Peace prize went to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Nobel prize for physics went to Nicolaas Bloembergen and Arthur Leonard Schawlow from the United States for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy. The sensation this created was big. But it didn't stop the planets from spinning, on and on, year by year. Years in which you would grow bigger, older, smarter, and, if you were lucky, sometimes wiser. Years in which you also lost some things. Possessions got misplaced. Memories faded. Friends parted ways. The best friends, you tried to hold on. This is what counts in life, isn't it?
The 1980s were indeed a special decade. The Soviet-Afghan war goes on. Eastern Europe sees the collapse of communism. Policies like Perestroika and Glasnost in the Soviet Union lead to a wave of reforms. Protests are crushed down on Tiananmen Square in China. Ethiopa witnesses widespread famine. Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown. The AIDS pandemic begins. The role of women in the workplace increased greatly. MTV is launched in the US. There is opposition against Apartheid in South Africa as well as worldwide. Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands are extremely popular. The rise of Techno music begins. Originally primarily played on campus radio stations, College Rock enters the scene with bands like the Pixies, REM and Sonic Youth. The Hip Hop scene continues to evolve. Teletext is introduced. Gay rights become more widely accepted in the world. Opposition to nuclear power plants grows. The A-Team and Seinfeld are popular on TV. US basketball player Michael Jordan bursts on the scene. Super Mario Bros, Zelda's Link, and Pac-Man gain fame in video games. People wear leggings, shoulder pads and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Do you know what was on the cover of Life that year?


Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15? Mission: Impossible. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was Tha Crossroads by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?
In 1981, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.
Her hair is Harlow gold, her lips sweet surprise
Her hands are never cold, she's got Bette Davis eyes
She'll turn the music on you, you won't have to think twice
She's pure as New York snow, she got Bette Davis eyes
There's a kid outside, shouting, playing. It doesn't care about time. It doesn't know about time. It shouts and it plays and thinks time is forever. You were once that kid.
When you were 9, the movie Edward Scissorhands was playing. When you were 8, there was Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. When you were 7, there was a Disney movie out called The Little
Mermaid. Does this ring a bell?

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... it's 1981. There's TV noise coming from the second floor. Someone turned up the volume way too high. The sun is burning from above. These were different times. The show playing on TV is Hill Street Blues. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There's The Smurfs on now. That's the world you were born in.
Progress, year after year. Do you wonder where the world is heading towards? The technology available today would have blown your mind in 1981. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born? The WIMP Graphical User Interface. The Handheld Electronic Camera. The Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
Doomsday, doomsday's coming 1981
But until things blow
I'm gonna have some fun
The bubble's going to explode
I probably never live to get old
That's from the song All the Way by The Ramones.
In 1981, a new character entered the world of comic books: Elektra. Bang! Boom! But that's just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1981, Alicia Keys was born. And Paris Hilton. Hayden Christensen, too. And you, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life.
It's 2011.
The world is a different place.
What path have you taken?

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