Made in ’86

I usually don’t like announcing this, but today is my birthday. I have officially existed on this earth for 30 years. Hold your applause. 30 is supposed to be a milestone birthday – and it is – however I don’t really feel any different than I did yesterday (do we ever feel different when we celebrate a birthday?). It’s like prom – you build it up in your head for years, then you get there and realize it’s just another lame school dance. Do I feel young? Yes. Do I feel old? Yes. I feel all the things, y’all. But I want to share this day with you, our precious, noble, land mermaid readers, who should be able to feel all the feels I’m feeling and feel them deep in your soul. What am I even saying IDK I’m senile now.

Here are some things you may or may not realize are sharing the same milestone with me (and Molly) this year. So get in your Urkel time machine and travel back to 1986 with me, won’t you?

Pixar Animation Studios open

Pixar’s been making you laugh and cry simultaneously for years, but it officially started in ’86, when the Graphics Group, part of the computer division of George Lucas’ Lucasfilm, parted ways and became its own corporation with Apple. 20 years later, Disney bought it for about $7.4 billion. BILLION. Pixar’s first short film was Luxo Jr., which features one large and one small desk lamp, which might look familiar to you because they’re now Pixar’s logo. Luxo Jr. even became the first CGI film to be nominated for an Oscar, and is still better than a lot of movies I’ve seen in the past few years *ahem*Focus*ahem*

Geraldo Rivera Gets Mooneshine’d

I don’t really know why I thought this, but up until just before typing this sentence, I totally thought in my head Geraldo opened Al Capone’s tomb. All these years, I thought he went to his underground grave (?) and discovered nothing? Well opening Al Capone’s Secret Vault makes SO much more sense than opening Al Capone’s Grave. Anyways, Geraldo hosted this two-hour live TV special that got a lot of hype before it aired. Geraldo was expecting a treasure trove of items, and maybe even bodies (seriously, there was a medical examiner there) or piles of money. However, when he got into the secret vaults, the only things inside were dirt and several empty bottles – including one with moonshine (which makes sense, since he was a total rebel during the Prohibition Era). Even with the epic fail, it became one of the most-watched syndicated TV specials in history with about 30 million viewers tuning in to see an empty vault.

L. Ron Hubbard Succumbs To Lava

Note: L. Ron Hubbard didn’t actually die in lava, he had a stroke and died a week later. LRH had a whole shitload of health problems towards the end of his life, including weight gain, chain smoking (his teeth were disgusting), a “prominent growth on his forehead”, and suffered chronic pancreatitis. Actually, he was struggs real hard starting in the 1970s, when he faced a bunch of legal trouble, including in France, where he and the French Church of Scientology were convicted (in absentia) of fraud and customs violations. He went into hiding, living in disguise in New York then on his Sea Org fleet, and spent the last two years of his life in a luxury motorhome on a ranch in California. If you have time, just do more research on his life. It’s facsinating. He also had a son who committed suicide??

Tom Cruise Debuts Top Gun

Unrelated from Scientology, Top Gun was the top grossing movie of 1986, making over $353 million in the box office. It also marked Tom Cruise’s mark as a superstar in Hollywood with a blockbuster movie. I saw this for the first time last year and I totally got why he became such a huge heartthrob and bonafide movie star with Top Gun. Despite how kuckoo banana pants he may be now, this movie is prove that he deserves to be a star.

Disney Channel Kicks Off

It’s weird to think about now, but there was a time when TV networks just stopped progamming in the middle of the night because no one watched it, thus they saved money this way. The Disney Channel started as a premium cable network (like HBO, Showtime, etc.) in 1983, and in 1986, it went from having daily programming from 7am to 1am to 24 hours a day. That means more Disney movies, DCOMs, OG shows like Kids Incorporated and The All-New Mickey Mouse Club (yes, that MMC with Brit, JT, Ryan, Xtina, and more). I didn’t get DChan in my house until I was in middle school, which explains why I retroactively liked “kids” shows as a 13 year old.

Oprah Winfrey Begins Her World Domination

Oprah’s talk show roots started with a morning show in Chicago, and it became a hit within the first month. Oprah herself became popular thanks to her role in The Color Purple, so the network decided to take advantage of that and onSeptember 8th, 1986, her The Oprah Winfrey Show went national for the first time. That was the start of what became The Oprah Winfrey Show that went on to become bible for the next 25 years. Fun fact: the topic for Oprah’s premiere should was “How to Marry the Man or Woman of Your Choice”, notably much more different than the topics in her later years.

First 3D Printer is Built

TBH, I didn’t realize the 3D printer wasn’t a thing that was invented like 5 years ago. But what do I know, this dude clearly has had it down since ’86, and has been making plastic hubcaps ever since.

Hands Across America

So Hands Across America is still… interesting to think about. It was a fundraiser for charities serving those in poverty in the U.S. The idea was for as many Americans to hold hands and create a human chain along a path across the country. There were certain cities along the route, from New York City all the way to Long Beach, California, and some notable names at each stop. I mean from President Ronald Reagan to Michael Jackson to John Stamos to David Copperfield, plus 50 Abraham Lincoln impersonators, 54 Elvis impersonators, 2 Disney characters and 3 Star Wars characters. Like, what?? AND they held hands for 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES. I had trouble holding hands with people in church during the Lord’s Prayer and that lasts about 30 seconds. Do you even talk? What do you do after? Give a slight squeeze then call it a day? So many questions. Either way, the event raised $34 million for charity, and that’s all that matters right?

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7 thoughts on “Made in ’86

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