[Marxism] Common People: Class And The 80s

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 7 07:54:28 MDT 2012

In the 1970s it was unusual to see wealthy families on television. The 
Jeffersons with their deluxe apartment in the sky, the occasional rich 
couple flitting over to "Fantasy Island" or booking a cruise on "The 
Love Boat"—these were the exceptions. But as the economy accelerated, 
mass culture was suddenly inundated with images of affluence. The wave 
hit around 1981, as the economy slowly recovered from the stagnant wages 
and inflation of the 1970s. Rabbit Angstrom, John Updike's scampering 
everyman, began to make serious money on his appreciating property and 
selling Toyotas on his father-in-law's lot in Rabbit is Rich; Joan 
Collins joined the cast of "Dynasty" as the splendid and venomous 
Alexis; and the second edition of The Official Preppy Handbook came out, 
gently mocking but also instructing a peculiar subculture of 
well-coiffed, pastel-hue wearing teenagers who wanted to look as if they 
summered on Cape Cod and worked on Wall Street.


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