I’m halfway through Ready Player One and I now realize that we’re entering a time when we will start reminiscing on the new Good Ol’ Days. You know how we get on the Boomers who talk about how great life was back when they were kids? When every family owned a house and a garage and a car and a vacuum cleaner, and TV was wholesome and the news was upbeat and there were no problems that couldn’t be solved with a swift whack to the hind quarters? Those were Good Ol’ Days.
There was no racism back then. No one getting dragged through the streets because of the color of their skin. No one living in fear of their lives because of their sexual orientation. Women were encouraged to start careers and not just stay at home and be silent baby-making machines. There were no enemies stockpiling nuclear weapons at the same rate we were making bombs. We weren’t deployed in exotic lands leveling villages in an attempt to show another country how tough we were.
It was just perfect.
Ready Player One shows us how perfect the 80s really were. All the cartoons and video games and new technologies and Family Ties. A wonderful, peaceful time when nerds played Dungeons & Dragons and then grew up to become rich nerds. When all of life was a boys’ club but one girl out of every thousand saw these nerds for what they were - Nice Guys who love them for Who They Are - and also loved Donkey Kong or whatever. Like, really loved it. Not fake loved it.
There was no Reagan back in the 80s. No AIDS and we already solved all the race/sex/etc issues. No contras, no Iraq. No Rodney King and not even Yo! MTV Raps, Prince, or Madonna (apparently, “listening to everything,” meant “listening to Slayer AND Duran Duran”).
It was just perfect.
America was perfect whenever you were growing up. Yes, you. Because all you saw was the good back then, and never the bad. And, let me say - this new crop of people who’ll be framing the 1980s as The Good Ol’ Days…they’re going to be the worst people in the world in about twenty years. Because the 80s were just…terrible.
Also, I think it’s funny that Ernest Kline apparently read a website about Peak Oil and just said, “LET’S WRITE A BOOK ABOUT THIS!”
Also - it is so terrible.
Also - I love it more than I should.