Eighties Revival – By @WeR4everPpl
By Sean Grace
I never did the Eighties thing first time round. Between the gauche, new Tory, idolatry of monied, yuppie success and what the tabloids vilified as an existential threat of mascara-wearing, Trotskyite, homo lesbians, most of us just got on with it, scared everybodies, in the boring middle. It turned out the Eighties night belonged to us marginalised freaks, and I didn’t join that party until the nineties so sadly I missed the beat. Back in the nightclub, it’s time to reclaim the floor, so let the music play…
Day one: I arrive in the danger zone feeling somebody’s watching me with hungry eyes. Thankfully it’s dark as knocking another brick in the wall won’t cut a new studio window. Marc says he likes fame and my ankles blow suddenly cold. I feel Invisible, thinking will anyone remember my name? He says he’s gonna shake you down and build you back up. Some of us are hungry like the wolf to get started but now is less say say say or do do do, more why why why.
We’re wondering father figure, when he threatens to break our mug, then breaks it to us that we must protect our reputation and not become notorious. There are times we will be under pressure but if we push it, and push it real good and are successful, it will be like earning money for nothing – just shedloads harder work. But in the meantime we must be professional and not late or it’s a flashdance for me.
Ben the Buddhist says the monkey’s all about the reflex. He says my reaction is my prerogative. I think of being by my mum’s side to the last chord of every breath you take. It was a cruel summer and for the first time I realise how totally and utterly Angry Anderson I still am. I wipe my eyes and start going underground. Should I stay or should I go? Then Ben tells a story about acceptance, of a man who loses his legs but gets on with it, then says “question everything”. I think of my dad, who lost his legs and got on with it and always told me to “question everything”. I sense my dad next to me. Clouds break and I see the whole of the moon. It’s a whole new take on me. So I ask my old way of thinking, what have you done for me lately? Turns out it’s very little so I tell it there and then, if you don’t know me by now, I’m no longer wearing the t-shirt.
As luck would have it I am getting a new T-shirt anyway, but first I need to make someone else’s, then have to tell her about it. Then it’s time for a giff on photoshop – not my strong point. Someone offers to do it for me but we don’t need another hero just someone with killer Adobe skills. I crack on anyway, corrupting layers like a virgin picture editor and end up with purple rain. I take a mental note to find some computer love and I don’t blame it on the rain.
Still shaking and reeling, my irrefutable truths being reduced to little lies, and not knowing how he got in my head, I decide Ben is some kinda Karma Chameleon. Then I’m cheered by a video of a chap called Joel who gets a job down under. He says goals are good so I pin my true colours to the mast and devise a new mantra: “Come on – I lean into the criticism”. It’s just in time as now it’s illustrator and here comes the rain again.
It spurs me to jump on a rickety skateboard and bust a move doing a buffalo stance. The result’s less how do I stay up, more how can I fall. I see perfectionism‘s not such a hard habit to break. It hurts so good I listen to my heart (rather than my butt) and get back on. Take a look at me now I croon. I cherish the moment as we belong here. It’s the end of the world as we know it and yet…strangely…I feel fine. As the Song says, if you love somebody, set them free. If you want to know what love is, that’s the power of love. Genius Love.
Just another 300 or so days in paradise to go…