Everything I need to know, I learned from 1989 (the year, not the album)
Ok, unless you are a robot and/or you don’t like Taylor Swift (which classifies you as a robot in my mind), you probably have heard at least some of the new album 1989. The album came out last week and I believe I have roughly 98% of it memorized already. I’ve been listening to it eight hours a day at work, and also in my car because I bought two copies (I needed the Polaroids, duh), and because I have a CD player in my car and I’m hella old school like that. Anyway, 1989 got me thinking about what a great year 1989 really was, and yeah, I was only two years old, but man, that year really changed my life, kinda like this album did. So let’s do this.
EINTKILF 1989 (the year, not the album)
1. Video games are everything
The GameBoy was invented in 1989, and that obviously started a whole big trend of stuff like. . . doing everything electronic with your hands with a small screen in front of your face. You know what I mean, though? You couldn’t make a call from your GameBoy, but you still had hours of entertainment literally in the palm of your hands. Even years and years later, when I was 16 years old, I remember my brother’s Nintendo DS saved my life when the power went out at my job and I was stuck outside in the cold waiting for a ride home. Genius.
2. Movie theaters rule
Ok, movie theaters were definitely not invented in 1989, but that was the year I saw my first movie in one. My first theater movie was Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and I fell in love with movie theaters at that moment and never looked back. I ended up working at a movie theater, I worked at a video store, I now write for entertainment websites, and don’t even talk to me about streaming movies illegally because I will gladly shell out the money to see it on the big screen for the rest of my gosh darn life.
3. The comedy world lost a whole lot when Lucille Ball passed away
Of course, I was not aware of how sad it was at the time of her death (I was a wee little thing), but Lucille Ball passed away in 1989, and the world got a little less hilarious. I later became very obsessed with I Love Lucy, and really Ball herself. Her comedic timing was absolutely brilliant, and she became a legend to many funny ladies who followed in her footsteps. Point being, 1989 was not all awesome, because Lucy’s death left a gaping hole in our hearts. Lucy, you’re still the greatest of all time.
4. Batman was cool long before Christopher Nolan added his dark touch
I can feel the eyes of my loved ones rolling as I type, but I’m about to let the world know that I think Michael Keaton is the best Batman of all time, and not only that, but he is the only Batman for me. Now, I love Batman Forever, but everyone knows Val Kilmer ranks “meh” on the Batscale–I only love it because of Jim Carrey. Keaton, though? That is my dude. And I won’t pretend like I ever loved superhero movies, but I really did lovvvvvve Batman and Batman Returns. He’s dark and brooding and his voice doesn’t sound like a grizzly bear and he is really sexy and come on, people.
Also, Jack Nicholson’s Joker?! 1989’s Batman is the best.
5. Little brothers aren’t so bad!
Before 1989, I only had a big brother and he was pretty much the worst. I mean, I loved him of course, but he wasn’t all that nice to me. (He is now.) When baby brother Zach was born though? My word flipped upside down and I became the soft, maternal, murderously protective individual who you see here today.
6. What teen life was like
Yep, 1989 brought us Saved by the Bell, and if that show was not the most accurate depiction of what high school was like, I don’t even know, you guys. Dancing, dating, bright colors, cheerleaders, feminism, muscle-heads, charming pathological liars, speed, unusual friendships with your principal, I mean. . . the list goes on and on.
7. Love takes time
I had to choose only one lesson from the best movie ever (When Harry Met Sally) and “Love takes time” was the first that came to mind, though we all know there are plenty more. Sure, 1989 brought me my brother, and my favorite TV show (not Saved by the Bell, I haven’t gotten there yet), and my first movie theater experience, but it also brought me my favorite movie of all time. And yeah, everyone thinks Titanic is my favorite movie, and it is extremely important to me, but in recent years, I have admitted to myself that When Harry Met Sally is my real favorite movie. Nothing makes me happier or more secure than Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan together. This movie is an in-your-20s-godsend.
Thank you, Rob Reiner, and 1989, and Billy, and Meg, and, most importantly, Nora. You saved me, in every way a woman can be saved. (Had to throw Titanic some love.)
8. Cartoons are for kids and adults and everyone in between
The Simpsons premiered in 1989 and it changed my life, and your life, and everyone’s lives. I will save my rant about how The Simpsons redefined television, and cartoons, and politics, and basically everything in the world and just say that for me personally, The Simpsons really did change my life. They were the characters I related to most on television (and Roseanne–much love). They were literally always there for me, and they were the only constant in a very tumultuous childhood of change. Yeah, they are cartoon characters, but I will always and forever be indebted to Matt Groening and the crew.
Not to mention, writing about The Simpsons landed me right into the chance to write this very column, so thanks, yellow brethren.
9. Taylor Swift is the world
And I obviously would not go without mentioning that Miss Swift was born in 1989, as we all know. She has shared her vulnerability, and awesome dance music, and approachable feelings, and relationship issues, and damn good hair. I hated Swift for a while, I can admit, but I was one-hundred percent sold after Red.
When my ex-boyfriend broke up with me the first time–and both times were just heartwrenching–the song “Dear John” came on the radio as I was driving to work at 4am and by the time I got to Starbucks, my mascara was ruined, and the blush on my cheeks was tear-streaked. I was the physical interpretation of a Taylor Swift song. So, I started to like her because, for as much pain as I was in, she made me feel normal. Thanks, T. Swift. Sure happy you were born.
And just for the record, I’m sure lots of chicks think this, but “Blank Space” is my mantra, even down to how I thought she was saying “Starbucks lovers.”