I grew up in the 1980s in the American Midwest me and my cohort. I was born in the decade of arcade video games; I remember playing Pacman from since the time I was five among other arcade video games. I still play them with some of my friends from way back then whenever I feel like reminiscing. The video games were awesome; they were very competitive and each and every player in the neighbourhood strove to outdo the other by becoming the master of this game and the master of that game.
The music that was listened to by a majority of the public was the rock-star influenced music a kind of funky rock. I remember hearing about Queen, Guns and Roses and John Lennon even though by the time I was born he had been dead for five years. My father and his generation though influenced me to listen to John Lennon and I am not the only in my age group who was influenced in such a manner. I also listened to some Soul music as a result of being influenced by my African American comrades (Logan et al. 2000). Bands like The Jackson Five and Earth, Wind and Fire, who in my opinion were the best band from the 80s to the 90s. Madonna was also a big thing, especially with the girls. She was a pop and fashion icon and especially in the late 80s I remember girls as young as ten and some younger saying that when they grew up, they wanted to be like Madonna.
The Berlin Wall fell,the year was 1989. It was all over the television; the black and white TV. There was some excitement in the air in the community which I rather enjoyed a lot. I recognised President Ronald Reagan among the many faces on the TV it was later on that I came to realise what a momentous occasion I had come to witness. I think this is the first historical event that I can safely say had the earliest impact on me and whom I wanted to be and on several members of my cohort too. The late 1980s also saw the age of the personal computer. I was a seven year old boy eager to get my personal computer. I pressured my father a lot but he used to say that computers were expensive, complex and delicate. I left it at that but several of my age mates were bought computers which we used to play computer games. I would wait another seven years before I got my own computer.
The family was a big unit under which we grew up. In the neighbourhood where I grew up, several members of my extended family also lived there. On occasion, there were family dinners held at several houses including our own and I knew about my relatives from a very early age. My mother was a very religious Christian Catholic a trait she passed to me and my siblings. The school was a must-go and failure was to invite the wrath of my parents and this was the general case scenario among all my age mates. Buses used to pick us up from our homes and go around the neighbourhood picking friends, schoolmates and rivals up. Concerning work, I learnt from my fathers generation that hard work pays period. My father, sometimes, used to be gone for very long (sometimes weeks) as a business representative. My cohort and I learnt the values of hard work and determination.
Through the 1980s to the 1990s, we grew up listening to my fathers generation talk about Vietnam. My father and several fathers in my cohort had served in Korea. As a young boy, I promised myself that if my country ever needed me, I would be the first to volunteer to join the military. I remember the Gulf War, which several of my friends relatives; cousins, siblings, uncles and so on were involved in. Terrorism is something I next heard of with the bombing of the World Trade in 1993. I remember the Olympic Games of 1996 and Michael Johnsons gold medals. Television and the media had become societys watchdog and the scandal involving Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky comes to mind.
Todays generation, twenty years younger than ours is a lot different and in some ways similar to ours. The music has changed of course and the celebrity has evolved with social media and the Internet. The family has become less knit with todays generation. There is a sort of recklessness with todays generation. Independence has been over-emphasised (Barnett, 1999. Education and work is still put into major focus and I am happy with the way arts can shape somebody nowadays case, for example, Justin Biebers singing. There has been a lot of cultural and social tolerance and racism is a thing of the past now. The world has become unisex regarding gender roles where anybody can do anything regardless of his or her gender.
Barnett, R. C. (1999). A new work-life model for the twenty-first century. The annals of the American academy of political and social science, 562(1), 143-158.
Logan, J. R., Alba, R. D., Dill, M., & Zhou, M. (2000). Ethnic segmentation in the American metropolis: increasing divergence in economic incorporation, 1980-1990. International migration review, 98-132.
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