Saturday, September 27, 2014

Football Counter-Programming #5

Who was a bigger 80s icon? Alex P. Keaton (as portrayed by Michael J. Fox on the NBC sitcom Family Ties or Milo Bloom, the 10-year-old policy wonk/newspaper reporter in Berkeley Breathed's seminal newspaper strip Bloom County?


That is today's question in this newest edition of Why Won't You Grow?!'s ongoing series "Football Counter-Programming."

Most of you are probably going to say Alex Keaton, because he was the mass market TV star of the decade. If you watched TV during the Reagan years, you know who Alex Keaton was--feathered hair, sweater vest and tie, penny loafers, Conservative social and fiscal values. Michael J. Fox's portrayal of this Reagan acolyte made him a star and jump started him into other vehicles--such as a certain time-travelling DeLorean. There is no denying that Keaton earned his status as an 80s icon. (Heck, he even lived in that most swingy of political swing states--Ohio. And you know that 's got to be a good thing.)

credit: Berkeley Breathed
But what about Milo Bloom? He wore the other fashion choice of the decade--chinos and suspenders. (Sometimes he even mixed it up with a bow tie. And he was definitely not afraid to wear a tie with those suspenders--no matter how long it might end up being.)He was also plugged into the politics of the 80s--he just might have been a bit more on the moderate (or even liberal) side of the spectrum. Milo's mound of blonde hair put Keaton's sensible cut to shame. But Milo's problem was that he wasn't a megastar like Alex's alter ego. And he held some controversial beliefs that probably didn't resonate with the people as the culture was really started to heat up.


Well, I liked them both. But as the 80s wore on and the 90s came, I became more of a Milo sort of guy. In the end, he's more my style . . . and the subversive nature of Bloom County helped shape me more--at least I WANT that to have been the case. Truthfully, I'm probably a lot more Alex P. Keaton than I'd like to be sometimes and not enough of a rabble-rouser like Milo Bloom.

But I'm not done growing and changing. I can STILL be whomever I want to be. And this version of me is hoping to be more and more like Milo as I get older.

What about you? Who do you like more? Who better defined the 1980s?

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