I'm having a wierd weekend re-discovering the music of the early '80s and gradually remembering why it's not one of my favourite musical eras. Now, I'm all for a bit of electronica and some hedonism, but it all seemed to go just a little bit too far.
When I think of that period now I automatically see Boy George's 'Taboo' musical in my minds eye, Steve Strange and Marilyn doing their stuff, Petal flogging drugs to all and sundry and it all being a little bit sordid and selfish. I've just been listening to Visage's 'The Anvil' which includes the refrain, 'nightclub school' and that sort of sums it up for me - the view that the most important thing in the world is learning how to present oneself appropriately at a nightclub. Now, in part, that was all a reaction to punk, with people wanting to get dressed up and be different, and using the new electronic instruments to signal a sonic and visual difference. But it also partially led to the 'me me me' generation of Thatchers children later in the decade. Total self-absorption isn't pretty.