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Comparing Decades, The 1960s vs. The 1980s

Updated on December 15, 2016

Just the other day, while teaching a rambunctious group of 4th graders, I started to sing a classic song from the Eighties. Joshua, our resident musical genius, raised his hand. "What are you humming Mr. Schilke?"

"To Shy shy, hush hush I do I," I sang out.

"To shy a what?" Joshua asked.

"It's a song by Kajagoogoo," I said.

"Kajagoogoo! Is he related to Barney?" Joshua asked.

"No, it's a group, a music group from the Eighties."

"You were alive in the Eighties!"

"Of course I was. It was the best decade of the Twentieth Century.

"Get out," Joshua said. "My Grandpa told me that the Sixties was the best decade."

"Your Gramps is wrong."

"Whatever," Joshua laughed. "All it means to me is that both of you are old."

"Ha, ha... now get back to work."

On the ride home that night I reflected on the idiocy of Joshua's statements. 'The Sixties were better than the Eighties'. "Yah right, and pink elephants are flying over this car right now," I mumbled to myself. I was so pumped up that I pulled over, grabbed a pad of paper out of my duffel bag and wrote down five reasons why the Eighties were better than the Sixties.



During the Sixties three presidents occupied the White House: JFK, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. In the Eighties there were only two presidents, Reagan and Bush. Both Kennedy and Reagan were shot, but sadly only Reagan survived. Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, Bush said 'Read my lips no new taxes... and proceeded to raise taxes and Nixon...well... he was a crook. Deciding which of the five presidents was the best proved difficult. I needed a tie breaker. Usually I use rock, paper and scissor but this time I used something different. First Ladies.

Using First Ladies as a tie breaker left me with a fine group of women: Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush. All of these smart and opinionated women were worthy occupants of the White House, but I decided to make my choice based upon one critical factor. Looks. After a careful and thoughtful evaluation of the evidence I came to a decision. To be honest, the winner was not difficult to choose; it was obvious. When it came to ravenous, over the top, eye popping beauty, there could be only one. Nancy Reagan.

Eighties win.

Live Aid "Queen"

Woodstock - Janis Joplin "Try"

Music Events

The Sixties and the Eighties each had their share of musical high notes. Woodstock is remembered as the defining musical festival of the Sixties while Live Aid, a musical benefit for Africa, took it's rightful place as the best of Eighties. The music of Woodstock was sublime, raw and trend setting while the music of Live Aid represented the collective works of an eclectic group of performers. Which was better? I have no clue, ask a musician. What I do know is that Live Aid had a point. Woodstock... I'm not sure what that was all about. No one does. Therefore I have to rule in favor of Live Aid.

Eighties win again

Hippies vs. Yuppies

In the Sixties you had hippies and in the Eighties you had yuppies. Which group was better? Don't quite know. You see, it's all kind of confusing. Most of the self absorbed "Make love not war" hippies turned into self absorbed "Make money not war" yuppies. Therefore, since most hippies turned into yuppies, it must be better to be a yuppy.

Eighties win....again.

The Mullet Vs. Long Hippy Hair


In the Sixties it was long hair and in the Eighties it was the mullet. Check out the pictures to the right.

Can there be any doubt which hair style will attract women? If I still had hair, I would be sporting a mullet.

Once again....

Eighties win.

Final Scene "Karate Kid"

Movies: Karate Kid vs. The Graduate

In the 1960s "The Graduate" starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, chronicled the tumultuous life of a recent college graduate looking for love and lust in the dynamic duo of Mrs. Robinson and her daughter. This film, a highly acclaimed piece of art, is considered to be nothing short of brilliant. I thought it was silly. An older woman hooking up with a man, who is courting her daughter, looks a whole lot like Gerry Springer to me. Dress it all up with some interesting cinematic angles, sharp dialogue and fine acting and voila, you get a piece of art. Nevertheless, it didn't work for me.

The Karate Kid, on the other hand, is, by all accounts, a silly Eighties movie. A pubescent teenage boy kicks the crap out of a bunch of arrogant bullies dressed up as martial arts experts. With the help of an aging mentor, the venerable Mr. Miyagi, Ralph Macchio (Danielson) learns everything there is to know about Karate by painting Mr. Miyagi's fence. It all ends with a brilliant one-foot knockout of Ralphy's tormentor.

Dustin Hoffman didn't kick the crap out of his rival. He pounded on some glass, broke up a marriage and jumped on a bus with someone else's bride. That's not inspiring, that's depressing. I prefer the Karate Kid version. Kick the snot out of your rival, then take the girl.

Once more.... Eighties win.


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    • Linda Martinez profile image

      Linda Martinez 9 years ago from Bay Area, California

      This made me remember things and moments, awesome writing, thanks for sharing!

    • Mike the salesman profile image

      Mike the salesman 9 years ago from birmingham alabama/sherwood oregon

      lol Good read! very "groovy"! thanks!

    • FoursX2 profile image

      FoursX2 9 years ago from Laguna Niguel, CA

      The sixties were a trip. Did I say that?

    • Pam Roberson profile image

      Pam Roberson 9 years ago from Virginia

      LOL! Great hub! :D

      Hmmm, about the whole hippie/yuppie thing...if the hippies didn't have it going on in the first place, then they'd never have the means to turn into yuppies. I say the 60's won that one. ;)

      Thanks for a fun read. :)

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great Hub.

      I agree that the 80s rule! And your research was outstanding (a few might question it, but they probably like the 60's). Thanks for the laugh. I've got to tell my cousins about this one. They are about a decade younger and used to put down the 80's music because theirs were better. Now I hear them listening to what I grew up to.

    • franciaonline profile image

      franciaonline 9 years ago from Philippines

      I enjoyed your hub and the comments!

    • sschilke profile image

      sschilke 9 years ago


      I must defer to anyone who is a musician when comparing Woodstock to Live Aid. When it comes to Nancy Reagan, the lady is simply divine.

      Thanks for the heads up abou the video... I will try to get something up again later.


    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Sschilke, You're KajaGooGoo video is "no longer available."  I remember them, they did the "Neverending Story" theme, too.  Thank you for the Queen video. Wow! Saw them three times at the L.A. Forum.  That being said...

      Nancy Reagan!?!?!  You're one twisted individual... but my Grandma wants your number, you stud.

      I'd have to vote for Woodstock.  I wasn't at either, but am a musician.  There was something special about it - just check out any video.  Joplin, Santana (BTW: the drummer was 15 when he performed at Woodstock, wow!), CSN&Y.  Historical!  Live-Aid was cool, but certainly not the event that Woodstock was.

      ...Don't even get me started on the Mullet.

      Fun hub!!!

    • sschilke profile image

      sschilke 9 years ago


      Pink elephants in purple swimsuits, SEXY...that gives me an idea for my next hub:).


    • profile image

      Ananta65 9 years ago

      Pink elephants are soooo cool, dude and they look extremely sexy in their purple swimsuits!

    • sschilke profile image

      sschilke 9 years ago


      Did you have to mention the pink elephants? :)


    • talented_ink profile image

      talented_ink 9 years ago from USA

      It's alright sschilike, I understand. The good news is from what you just said, you've explained about yourself, and you're cool and everything, but I don't want to see any pink elephants.

    • sschilke profile image

      sschilke 9 years ago


      It hurts to admit this, but I was born in the 60s. Just barely though... if that makes any difference.


    • talented_ink profile image

      talented_ink 9 years ago from USA

      It's good to see that you have given Nancy Reagan the cougar status she so rightfully deserves, but excuse me while I yak out my breakfast because I looked at her picture a second too long. I say the 80's are better just because I wasn't alive in the 60's and from what I hear, it was one long acid trip anyway.

    • sschilke profile image

      sschilke 9 years ago


      I'm not sure my analysis was spot on, but hey, it was fun to write.

      Cole connection,

      Glad you got a laugh out of it.

      R. Martin Basso,

      Thanks for the OK!....I think.


    • R. Martin Basso profile image

      Reid Martin Basso 9 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      ok. comparing the 60s to the 80s.


    • profile image

      Cole Connection 9 years ago

      I needed a good laugh today...this did it!

      Thanks sschilke...

    • profile image

      mcecuador 9 years ago

      The mullet and the movies...ABSOLUTELY!! And seriously Woodstock? What WAS that all about? Spot on with the analysis. I can't wait in the future and see what people think of the era we are now living in.

    • profile image

      Ananta65 9 years ago

      Then don't believe it, sschilke, by all means don't. It's completely irrelevant what I think of your evidence in terms of factuality ;)

    • sschilke profile image

      sschilke 9 years ago

      What!!! You found my evidence disputeable, I can't believe that for a second :). I believe that when it comes to the Eighties, it's best to suspend your belief in objectivity.


    • profile image

      Ananta65 9 years ago

      Although your substantiation is highly subjective and disputable I won't argue. I enjoyed this hub! Good work :)


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