The past does not become the past until we look at the old pictures in the present. Only then do we realize how weird everything was, especially in the shoddy 1980s, right when we thought The Future had arrived, what with the music videos and personal computers and scrambled soft-porn movies delivered directly to our parents' house via cable. America's only perfect website, Internet K-Hole (which has occasional/ridiculous nudity) is a functioning time machine. Use it.
Gawker has somehow never written about the delights of the Internet K-Hole, although our own Neetzan Zimmerman did write about it back in 2011, but not for us! So let's fix that right now. We love this photo blog, and this week there's a new batch of seemingly random old Polaroids and washed-out snapshots—posted without captions, without backstory, without any explanation beyond the photographs themselves, which are rich in charmingly horrific detail.
What did the 1980s look like? New-wavers and New Romantics existed alongside punk revivalists and the heavy metal kids in their sleeveless spiderweb-pattern t-shirts and black leather wristbands. The "scumbag look" was very popular with the middle-class suburban dudes. Pot-bellied dads sat smiling on the decks of motorboats bobbing in oily reservoirs, naked except for too-tiny shorts and a can of Miller Lite. Moms battled their daughters in the forgotten wars of over-teased and over-permed hair.
Cigarettes and cans of Coca-Cola are everywhere, as are the skateboards and the acid-washed jeans that sat low on the asses of the boys and above the navel on the girls. Beaches, camping, stadium concerts, skateboarding down the streets of pre-Bloomberg cities, even the parties are outside, in suburban backyards and driveways and tumbling out of the powder-blue vans and dusty orange compacts.
"Babs," who says she does engineering work in San Francisco, collects the images from swap meets, her own family trove, and mysterious corners of the Internet. The K-Hole is rarely updated—before this week's update, there hadn't been a new batch of pictures since June—so this is a perfect time to enter this historical exhibit of whatever happened in the Reagan Era and beyond. In order to Never Forget, first we must remember. ADVISORY NOTE: This gets weirder as you plunge deeper into the "Older Posts" archives. I'm pretty sure there's at least one double-murder crime-scene photo, and at least a few extremely dated porn shots (including a "naked hippie band," which is exactly as bad as it sounds). Proceed With Caution.