Altijd al willen weten wat er gebeurde in het jaar van jouw geboorte? Check dan deze interactieve presentatie. Zelf ben ik gefabriceerd in 1982, wat het volgende verhaal oplevert.

In 1982, the world was a different place.

There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo. Or, for that matter.

ET film posterIn 1982, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. 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 Gandhi. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to Volver a Empezar. The top actor was Ben Kingsley for his role as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Gandhi. The top actress was Meryl Streep for her role as Sophie Zawistowski in Sophie’s Choice. The best director? Richard Attenborough for Gandhi.

In the year 1982, 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 wasE.T., The Extraterrestrial by William Kotzwinkle. Oh, that’s many years ago. Have you read that book? Have you heard of it? Look at the cover!1982: What happened in my birth year?

In 1982… William Bonin is convicted of being the Freeway Killer. AT&T agrees to divest itself into 22 subdivisions. The lowest ever United Kingdom temperature of -27.2°C is recorded at Braemar, in Aberdeenshire Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, beginning the Falkland Wars. Mauno Koivisto is elected President of Finland. German singer Nicole wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1982 for Germany, with the song Ein Bisschen Frieden By Proclamation of the Queen of Canada on Parliament Hill, Canada patriates its constitution, gaining full political independence from the United Kingdom; included is the country’s first entrenched bill of rights. Israel completes its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in accordance with the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. Kielder Water, an artificial lake in Northumberland, is opened. Checker Motors Corporation ceases production of automobiles. In Hong Kong, health warnings on cigarette packets are made statutory. The first compact discs are released to the public in Germany. The first emoticons are posted by Scott Fahlman. Channel 4, the fourth terrestrial television channel, is launched in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the first program broadcast being the game show Countdown. 30,000 women hold hands in a peace protest, forming a human chain around the 14.5 km perimeter fence at Greenham Common. The first China Central Television New Years Gala program starts The video game of the day was Q-Bert.

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 Gabriel García Márquez. The Nobel Peace prize went to Alva Myrdal and Alfonso García Robles. The Nobel prize for physics went to Kenneth G. Wilson from the United States for his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions. 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?1982: What happened in my birth year?

Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15?The Fifth Element. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?

In 1982, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.

Ebony and Ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

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 Hook was playing. When you were 8, there was Home Alone. When you were 7, there was a Disney movie out called The Rescuers Down Under. Does this ring a bell?1982: What happened in my birth year?

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… it’s 1982. 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 isTales of the Gold Monkey. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There’s Family Ties 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 1982. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born? The Compact Disc Player. The ACE Inhibitor. The Artificial Heart.

Oogie knew there’s never ever time
Some of us will always stay behind
Down in space it’s always 1982
The joke we always knew
What’s a matter with you?
C’mon, let’s go slip away

That’s from the song Slip Away by David Bowie.

In 1982, a new character entered the world of comic books: The Mask. Bang! Boom! But that’s just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1982,LeAnn Rimes was born. And Billie Piper. Leelee Sobieski, too. And you, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life.
It’s 2013.

The world is a different place.

What path have you taken?

Gepubliceerd door Stijn Vogels

Stijn Vogels, een erkende expert in geopolitieke en technologische trends, analyseert wereldgebeurtenissen sinds 2003. Met een geschiedenisdiploma van de Universiteit van Gent worden zijn inzichten gepubliceerd op zijn blog, Aardling, en sociale media platforms. Stijn heeft ook een wereldwijde schrijversgemeenschap opgezet gericht op internationale betrekkingen. Gekend voor "connecting the dots" tussen technologie en politiek, streeft hij ernaar 'goed te doen' door middel van zijn doordachte analyses en waardevolle perspectieven op onze snel veranderende wereld.

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