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1985

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n 1985, the world was a different place.

There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo.

In 1985, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was Back to the Future. People buying the popcorn in the cinema lobby had glazing eyes when looking at the poster.

Remember, that was before there were DVDs. People were indeed watching movies in the cinema, and not downloading them online. Imagine the packed seats, the laughter, the excitement, the novelty. And mostly all of that without 3D computer effects.

Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to Out of Africa. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to The Official Story. The top actor was William Hurt for his role as Luis Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman. The top actress was Geraldine Page for her role as Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful. The best director? Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa.

In the year 1985, the time when you arrived on this planet, books were still popularly read on paper, not on digital devices. Trees were felled to get the word out. The number one US bestseller of the time wasThe Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel. Oh, that's many years ago. Have you read that book? Have you heard of it? Look at the cover!

In 1985... Tancredo Neves is elected president of Brazil by the Congress, ending the 21-year military rule. In Hollywood, California, the charity single "We Are the World" is recorded by USA for Africa. The American act includes Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Diana Ross. Nelson Mandela rejects an offer of freedom from the South African government. Minolta releases world's first autofocus single-lens reflex camera. Mikhail Gorbachev becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and de facto leader of the Soviet Union. Norwich City wins the English League Cup at Wembley Stadium, beating Sunderland 1-0 in the final. WrestleMania debuts at Madison Square Garden. In Auburn, Washington, police defuse a Unabomber bomb sent to Boeing. The Walt Disney World Resort Monorail Gold catches fire on the EPCOT beam around 9:00 p.m., due to friction from a flat tire. U.S. Route 66 is officially decommissioned. The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour by French DGSE agents. Commodore launches the Amiga personal computer at the Lincoln Center in New York. The Free Software Foundation is founded in Massachusetts, USA. A total solar eclipse occurs over Antarctica. U.S. President Ronald Reagan sells the rights to his autobiography to Random House for a record US$3 million. The Tommy Hilfiger brand is established. The computer game Tetris is released. DNA is first used in a criminal case. The video game of the day was Super Mario Bros.

That was the world you were born into. Since then, you and others have changed it.

The Nobel prize for Literature that year went to Claude Simon. The Nobel Peace prize went to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The Nobel prize for physics went to Klaus von Klitzing from West Germany for the discovery of the quantized Hall effect. The sensation this created was big. But it didn't stop the planets from spinning, on and on, year by year. Years in which you would grow bigger, older, smarter, and, if you were lucky, sometimes wiser. Years in which you also lost some things. Possessions got misplaced. Memories faded. Friends parted ways. The best friends, you tried to hold on. This is what counts in life, isn't it?

The 1980s were indeed a special decade. The Soviet-Afghan war goes on. Eastern Europe sees the collapse of communism. Policies like Perestroika and Glasnost in the Soviet Union lead to a wave of reforms. Protests are crushed down on Tiananmen Square in China. Ethiopa witnesses widespread famine. Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown. The AIDS pandemic begins. The role of women in the workplace increased greatly. MTV is launched in the US. There is opposition against Apartheid in South Africa as well as worldwide. Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands are extremely popular. The rise of Techno music begins. Originally primarily played on campus radio stations, College Rock enters the scene with bands like the Pixies, REM and Sonic Youth. The Hip Hop scene continues to evolve. Teletext is introduced. Gay rights become more widely accepted in the world. Opposition to nuclear power plants grows. The A-Team and Seinfeld are popular on TV. US basketball player Michael Jordan bursts on the scene. Super Mario Bros, Zelda's Link, and Pac-Man gain fame in video games. People wear leggings, shoulder pads and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Do you know what was on the cover of Life that year?

Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15?What Women Want. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was What a Girl Wants by Christina Aguilera. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?

In 1985, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.

Welcome to your life
There's no turning back
Even while WE sleep
We will find you
Acting on your best behaviour
Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world
...

There's a kid outside, shouting, playing. It doesn't care about time. It doesn't know about time. It shouts and it plays and thinks time is forever. You were once that kid.

When you were 9, the movie The Santa Clause was playing. When you were 8, there was Dennis the Menace. When you were 7, there was a Disney movie out called Aladdin. Does this ring a bell?

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... it's 1985. There's TV noise coming from the second floor. Someone turned up the volume way too high. The sun is burning from above. These were different times. The show playing on TV isThunderCats. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There's Larry King Live on now. That's the world you were born in.

Progress, year after year. Do you wonder where the world is heading towards? The technology available today would have blown your mind in 1985. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born? The Graphing Calculator. The Polymerase Chain Reaction. DNA Fingerprinting.

If heaven was a town, it would be my town
Oh on a summer day in 1985
And everything I wanted is out there waiting
And everyone I loved is still alive
...

That's from the song If Heaven by Andy Griggs.

In 1985, a new character entered the world of comic books: Strong Guy. Bang! Boom! But that's just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1985, Jack Osbourne was born. And Michelle Trachtenberg. Michael Phelps, too. And you, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life.
It's 2010.

The world is a different place.

What path have you taken?

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