September 8, 2019

by Jesse Russell  •  •  September 7, 2019

Once again we point to an article posted by the false Catholic website Church Militant.  They may be militant but they are not the Church.  Nevertheless, in this article they capture a point of view worth considering.

For the past 20 years, secular pop culture has been stuck in a replay loop of 1980s nostalgia. 

From popular Netflix series Stranger Things, to the reintroduction of “synth wave” electronic music (ushered into the post-millennial period by the brilliant but gruesome 2011 Ryan Gosling film Drive), to the triumphant return of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, men and women within the United States have (with perhaps some desperation) attempted to entrench themselves in the era of big hair and big defense spending under the Reagan administration.

This 1980s nostalgia, however, is not merely a passing faddish desire for the novelties of retro Nintendo games and classic movies like The Karate Kid, which recently has been revisited into the YouTube series Cobra Kai. 

Eighties nostalgia reveals a deeper spiritual malaise within those living in the post-millennial period. 

Eighties nostalgia reveals a deeper spiritual malaise within those living in the post-millennial period.  Tweet

Throughout the 1980s under the (at the time) towering and comforting presences of Cold Warriors such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, many throughout the West felt safely assured that everything would be safe.

The largely homogenous and sheltering small-town feeling of movies such (the terribly vile) 1985 films The Goonies, The Explorers as well as the very weird 1982 E.T. — all of which are evoked in the contemporary series Stranger Things — is exceptionally appealing to so many Americans today who feel like strangers in their own country and who wander about the internet without a sense of community identity or purpose. 

For Catholics rooted in the perennial teaching of the Church and who have a deeper historical sense than the average Joe or Jill millennial, such a nostalgia for the 1980s — a time in America in which the terrible and dramatic changes allegedly mandated by the Second Vatican Council were beginning to take their effect under the Machiavellian and deeply corrupt reign of Cdl. Joseph Bernardin — seems a bit silly.

Moreover, rather than being a period of cohesion and stability, the 1980s were, in fact, a period of tremendous chaos and moral degeneracy.

As state after state legalized “no-fault divorce” and television shows and movies normalized the archetypes of the working single mother as well as the callous playboy deadbeat dad, the American family was slowly being torn asunder.

At the same time, Americans were bombarded with a series of horror films, ranging from slasher series like Halloween and Friday the 13th to more sophisticated psychological flicks like A Nightmare on Elm Street and a series of film adaptions of the novels of Stephen King. 

Rather than being a time of peace, prosperity and moral stability, the 1980s was, at least on a certain level, a time of tremendous chaos and anxiety. 

Translate »