Controversial Culture Moments From the '80s That Will Never Be Forgotten

When you think of the 80s, you think of big hair, even bigger shoulder pads and a time when music and fashion were branching out like never before. But as you probably know, there’s a little more to it than that: there’s the controversies that still stir up heated debate to this day. To take you back down the memory lane, we’re going to revisit a few of the biggest controversies and remind you why they truly were the biggest news of their time.

Whether you love or loathe football (soccer,) you’d have heard about Maradona on loop after one fateful day in 1986. The pint-sized genius somehow managed to out jump Peter Shilton, England’s goalkeeper, and head home the opener…or did he? Replays clearly showed that it was indeed Maradona’s left hand that pushed the ball behind Shilton.

The way in which it was soon followed by the greatest World Cup goal anyone has ever seen just went to show how cynical the cheating was. Maradona certainly had a knack of infuriating and entertaining in equal measure, which is not too dissimilar to our next entry.

Red Triangle ratings were brought in to try and improve the age rating of film and TV to keep young viewers safe but, as is often the case, it had the opposite effect. When viewers realized that the most graphic, gruesome and gory content was awarded a Red Triangle, it quickly became a badge of honor. Before long, these new ratings were highly coveted because they drove viewing numbers, greatly increasing the amount of blood-lust type content being viewed in the typical family home.

Some rallied against the system because it seemed to inadvertently glorify violence even more than what was there before, others spoke out against it as yet more top-down interference. One thing is for sure: the ratings soon went back to the old model, and the industry hasn’t come close to making the same kind of mistake again.

Okay, so Ratner’s may have seen its decline start in 1991, but it was very much an '80s institution when you get down to it. Everyone knew they were buying cheap and cheerful jewelry that wasn’t really all that good, but no one let the cat out of the bag. No one that is, until Gerald Ratner himself took to the stage and revealed it was "all just a load of crap" in a clumsy attempt to get a quick laugh. £500 million in lost business later and his company folded, meaning one of the most controversial names on the High Street was gone.

Last but not least, who could forget Ben Johnson, an athlete who obliterated Carl Lewis in the 100 meters at the 1988 Olympics, only to test positive three short days later. He soon became the poster boy for cheating, underhand tactics and skullduggery. You can only imagine what the coverage and vilification would have been like if we had had social media back in those days!

Now that we’ve got you all riled up again, it’s time to tone things down with a few words of calm and reason. While everyone likes the buzz of watching controversy unfold from the outside, getting caught up in it is stressful. Consumer watchdogs and ombudsmans can help you with things like household bill disputes and local issues, but the help available doesn't stop there. Now there's independent sources who will help you with just about anything: from complaint resolution centers dealing with complaints about casinos to special centers that try to solve any possible problem you might face out of court.

Take a breath, count to 10 and then have a quick look on Google. You’ll find the help you need to settle any controversy in no time at all.

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