Culture 22

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today To get through this thing called “life”
Electric word, life, It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
The Afterworld
A world of never-ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, babe
‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the Afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy
Punch a higher floor!

— Prince and the Revolution, “Let’s Go Crazy” (1984). To my mind, 1984 is really the year the 1980s became the Eighties. There was movement in that direction from the start, of course, but 1984 is when it fully arrived. When it jelled, perhaps.