Halloween parties are always better with a theme. Left unorganized, normal costume parties descend into confusing chaos. Normal mummies mingling with sexy witches, funny banana suits collide with bloody grim reapers, plus that one guy who insists on being the latest meme sowing further disharmony amongst the costumes. Themes, however, offer a way to restore concord between the costumes. When everyone agrees to be pirates, pretense is established to deny entry to non-pirates, maintaining a fragile order at the party. A popular way to theme costume parties is around certain decades. Lately, with the rise of properties like “Stranger Things,” the 80s have suddenly come into vogue.
Hot Take—Stop glorifying the 80s
Like most decades, the 80s were garbage in some-way or another. Sure, the 80s gave us “The Goonies” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” but they also gave us Ronald Reagan. I worry the admiration of the 80s aesthetic (and it is a good aesthetic) will lead to a glorification of a decade chock-full of horror. Reagan policies on HIV and AIDS, breaking up unions, trickle-down economics and bringing crack-cocaine into minority neighborhoods left lasting consequences still felt today, but often he’s whitewashed over as a president who oversaw prosperity and single-handedly collapsed the Soviet Union. I worry the 80s will become like the 50s where major injustices are faded from the public consciousness in favor of milkshakes and diners. An 80s themed Halloween party should be fun, but it would also be appropriate to the decade if it was violent and scary too.
Cold Take—Don’t leave 80s pop culture behind
Unpopular and corrupt politicians aren’t special. Political turmoil isn’t special. There’s a lot in every decade. It’s not a new advancement. What is special is the rise of mom jeans, shoulder pads, “Africa” by Toto and bad, unnecessary hairstyles our parents still might be sporting. We take the art from the past to inspire us in the present. Though it is important for us not to forget about the most problematic parts of the 80s, we shouldn’t exclude the fun things because of it. Leg-warmers, I’m guessing, had very little to do with the Cold War. Also, themed Halloween parties are boring (hot take).
Vincent Rendon can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @VinceSagebrush. Sarah Strang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sarahstrang100.