20 May 2005

1988 - Environmentally Friendly, Red Nose Day, Clause 28, Lesbians Invade BBC News, Acid House, Roger Rabbit, Eggwina, Political Correctness,

In the June 1988 European elections, the Greens won an unprecedented number of votes. The Green Consumer Guide was published, soon becoming a bestseller, and we were worried. There was global warming, rising sea levels, a hole in the ozone layer... something must be done. It was around 1988/1989 that I noticed the new environmentally friendly products in the shops. They were all completely bio-degradable, no harm to anything. I, in common with many others, bought LOADS. Great - the only trouble was, they didn't clean things. My sink cleaner left a chalky deposit all over it and had the bog cleaner really got the bog hygienically clean? I had my doubts.

Still, something had to be done. When our mothers had gassed us with excessive amounts of hairspray in the 60s and 70s, we'd thought nothing of it, but now we did. "It's all your fault, Mum!"

Thank heavens for mousse and hair gel!

Acid House enthralled the kids and worried the grown-ups.

Militant lesbians, protesting at the introduction of Clause 28, burst into the BBC News studio on 23rd May 1988. Having evaded BBC security, they arrived as Sue Lawley and Nicholas Witchell began the bulletin. Nicholas battled with them off-screen, famously sitting on one of them, whilst Sue struggled on with the news. Read all about it here.
Political Correctness seemed a bonkers thing in 1988. The trend for being sensitive about whatever you said seems to have started with that poor excuse for misandry, the feminist movement. Around 1987, we began to hear of Political Correctness. A few examples: prostitutes were suddenly sex workers, which was perhaps fair enough, but pets were now animal companions; mentally and physically handicapped/disabled people were to be referred to as physically or mentally challenged and woe betide you if you were sizeist or fattist
It didn't do to offend anybody at all after the horrible Bernard Manning years of the 1970s and early 1980s, so a bald person should now be called follicularly challenged. Actually, this was usually said tongue in cheek, but I did come across several social workers at work in the late 1980s who used it perfectly seriously.

Some devotees of Politically Correct language I've met since then are honestly intent on not offending anybody. Others are prigs, pure and simple. 
Nowadays the PC scene is far more confusing, corrupt, and much further removed from logic. It started off as a commendable concept, in theory, but like so many things put to use by people has become warped and distorted.

It's almost like a form of mental illness, with 'in' words being 'out' at the drop of a hat. Trying to negotiate it is a nightmare.

Somebody apt to put her foot in it in the late 1980s was Junior Health Minister Edwina Currie, who briefly became known as EGGwina Currie over the salmonella in eggs scandal. Read more here

On the telly, the genius of Cosgrove Hall brought us a new hero - vegetarian vampire duck Duckula - more here.
In the ads, we were fascinated by Texas Tom, of the Texas DIY superstores chain, somebody who quite definitely was not what he seemed! Meet him here.