Monday, May 25, 2009

A Seminal Point In Time

When did everyone start believing that they could afford a life that could be featured on Robin Leach's show?
While only making $50k a year?
With both parents working?

When did it all start?
Some would say that we went through the same cycle of extravagance during the Roaring Twenties, or the Rockin' Fifties or the "Greed Is Good" 80's.

But our current economic downturn started in the 80's. (Reaganomics)
It was no longer acceptable to shop at J.C. Penny's Sears or Montgomery Wards.
"Designer" was the minimal expectation for even the poorest among us.

Crockett and Tubbs could afford a Ferrari or classic muscle car and to wear Yoji Yamamotto suits?
As cops?
And the woman who Eddie Murphy wanted so desperately to hook-up with in 48 Hours was cast as the "ugly" female cop?
The show even made Miami-Dade look glamorous.

Shows like Dallas and Dynasty brought the (fake) rich into most homes on a weekly basis.

MTV showed the world a lifestyle that many just imagined as occurring in some neighborhoods of Bel Aire.

Videos by groups like Duran Duran rolling on the Sri Lankan beaches with Black women now made international travel something to be desired by even those who were pirating their cable.
(Yeah... I liked Hungry Like The Wolf - but I really liked Late Bar (b/w of the Planet Earth 12")

Even Black people moved on up.
From Good Times to The Jeffersons - the next step was The Cosby Show.
It was no longer imagined that Blacks had to be aspirational -
Cosby even inspired a new generation of Blacks to imagine a life that included college (A Different World).


RunningMom said...

it's hard to stay satisfied with "things" when we don't feel emotionally fullfilled. It's like the crack high, more stuff, new stuff gives us a little rush, then it's gone.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ RunningMom - Exactly.
But that was the problem with most in America.
People thought that things=happiness.
(Even when most weren't even mentaly ready to manage those things.)

Anonymous said...

I love the Cosby show pic. But where is Sandra!lol.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ Kay - When I lived in Cali - a "Sandra" wasn't even an option.
Since being down South - I'd love to meet a Sandra.
Really, she was kinda' bland - but there was nothing really wrong with her.

FreeMan said...

It's the 2.0 part of life. Someone keeps coming out with more stuff. Look at Lexus they change their model every year. BMW is only company that keeps their 7 year change. Everyone else completely changed their marketing to every year. Mercedes came out with like 100 new cars in the 90's, shit they have more classes than GM.

Blame credit because that's the real culprit here. No one got turned down as they found a way to finance everyone. The credit card companies found a way to make money off of people defaulting off of stuff. This is where all this cribs stuff came from because everyone financed them. This is why this recession is nowhere close to being over because the whole country has a low FICO score!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - Yeah... but people didn't know that they "Needed" all of this stuff until someone else had it first.

FreeMan said...

@UBJ - Well we should call it the age of great marketing because it made Cribs look attainable to the average cat. I mean that's what marketing is supposed to do but maybe the past couple of years they have been hitting homeruns.