Friday, September 23, 2011

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: 31 Years of Pop Culture

Tomorrow is a very special day, Blog readers.  In fact, I like to call it: The Holiest of Holy Days! Yes, tomorrow is my 31st Birthday.  I'm not ashamed to admit it (kind of!).  Today, for IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS, I want to go through the last 31 years of Pop Culture.  I won't go year by year (cause that would take to long, and quite honestly, depress the hell out of me!), but I will go through some of the most important News and Entertainment items from 1980 and this year (and the 30 years in between!).  So, let us go through this timeline with nostalgia, humor and respect (and if you want some alcohol, bring your own!):

NEWS: California Governor Ronald Reagan defeats President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential Election.
MOVIES: George Lucas returns to the far away galaxy in the summer blockbuster sequel The Empire Strikes Back (above), and the villainous Darth Vader reveals an all-important [SPOILER!].
TELEVISION: Dallas villain J. R. Ewing (played by Larry Hagman) is shot by an unknown assailant in TV's first major cliffhanger.
MUSIC: Beatles legend John Lennon is assassinated outside his Manhattan apartment building by crazed fan Mark David Chapman.
THEATRE: Director-Choreographer Gower Champion dies on the opening night of his masterpiece production of 42nd Street.
SPORTS: The "Miracle On Ice" occurs in Lake Placid, NY as the U.S. Men's Hockey Team defeats the Soviet Union and goes on to win the Gold Medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
CELEBRITY: Comedian Richard Pryor accidentally sets himself on fire trying to freebase cocaine.

Prince Charles marries (and divorces!) Princess Diana; the spaceship Challenger explodes; the Berlin Wall falls (as does European Communism!); Nelson Mandela is released; Disney revives itself musically; James Cameron shows his box-office strength (more than once!); landmark TV shows like The Cosby Show, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Friends, Survivor, American Idol, The West Wing and Mad Men all began; MTV ushers in Music Videos and superstars are made of Madonna, Prince, Sting, Nirvana, U2, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and many many more; Musicals dominate Broadway and New York tourism with shows like Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and Wicked; Baseball, Basketball, Football and Hockey all suffered Player lockouts at one point or another; The Internet age transforms the culture through Microsoft Windows, America Online, MacOS, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone; and we lose people like Irving Berlin, Jim Henson, Kurt Cobain, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Michael Jackson and the victims of 9/11.

NEWS: President Barack Obama announces that special forces have tracked down and killed terrorist leader Osama Bin-Laden.
MOVIES: The film adaptations of J. K. Rowling's best-selling Harry Potter books come to a close with the eighth and final movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part II, breaking several box office records.
TELEVISION: Talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey ends her long-running Talk show after 25 years of stories, laughs, tears, Favorite Things and A-Ha Moments.
MUSIC: Legendary pop-alternative band R.E.M. decides to break-up after 31 years together.
THEATRE: The much-anticipated, controversial and (oftentimes!) dangerous musical production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark finally opens after months of previews, creative changes and bad press.
SPORTS: The Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 45th Super Bowl (held at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, TX).
CELEBRITY: Prince William, eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, weds longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton in a well-publicized and regal ceremony at Westminster Abbey (below).

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