Tackled herein is the main point of contention in the United States…
Two symphonies are playing in opposition right now in the United States, abrasive sounds drowning out what could have been music. In the country of “E pluribus unum”, there are at least two factions of people, a chasm formed from frustration and a failure to understand how to communicate with each other. We’re frustrated, but it seems as if nobody can vocalize with precision that which discomforts our existence. The adults slogging through this situation were only kids when the cracks first formed in the ninth decade of the twentieth century at the end of the Regan administration. Thirty-four years later, the States seem to have found themselves clinging to one side or the other as the political and social paradigms threatened to snap.
The furious heat of summer in 1987 was marked by the debut of Debbie Gibson and her Billboard Top 100 hit, “Only in My Dreams” and Tiffany Dwarish and her number one hit, “I Think We’re Alone Now”, a remake of the Tommy James and the Shondells hit. There was no household left unaffected by the duo as each family would choose Tiffany or Debbie but never both. Though the United States made similar choices in the past, the two women assaulted our ears in ways The Beatles and The Monkees never did: the advent of shopping malls.
As 1987 evolved into the next year, mall courtyards would be crammed with shrieking teenagers crazed by the stars’ growing popularity. Tiffany and Debbie pursued their careers, pushing their talents in different ways. Tiffany released her sophomore album, “Hold an Old Friend’s Hand” while Debbie was already in The Guinness Book of World Records with the honor of having been the youngest person to write, produce, and perform a number one hit, “The Foolish Beat”.
It was a troublesome time. Television offered Alf and Perfect Strangers, and all the movies could offer were Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Good Morning, Vietnam. With so much on the line, where could a nation turn for solace?
Tiffany sealed her fate and our decisions when she turned to hip-hop/grunge genre in the early nineties. Unable to keep up, she faded into the background of what could have been while Debbie has released ten albums. Since her debut, she has worked consistently in film, television, and video games, often making fun of herself and the pop idol she was once was.
From there, the country was offered N’SYNC and The Backstreet Boys, among others of similar pop culture royalty, but never could a choice then be made. Do we love Enrique Iglesias more than Ricky Martin? How could one possibly choose between Destiny’s Child A and Destiny’s Child B? Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean?
When considering the state of the nation, and when we understand our inability to choose music, it becomes clear this split began back in 1987. Shortly after these two burst into our lives, George Herbert Walker Bush was elected as president, dragging along with him “Mr. Potatoehead” Dan Quayle. A slippery slope dropped our country into war with Iraq, the twin towers were bombed for the first time, there was an explosive set off in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City…case after case can be made, and we see Tiffany and Debbie may have been riding in on the apocalyptic cavalcade.
Would these events still have happened had we not been coerced to choose a favorite? Did our political-socio-economics decomposition begin when these two girls rose up to dominate the charts in an alleged attempt to destroy our nation?
Or was Roxette our salvation?