Contemporary culture is determined to make all of us think the 1980s were a more innocent time. We know this isn’t true. Even if the adults making movies and TV shows, writing music and books, came of age during the decade and remember it mostly as an era defined by neon, synthesizers, and good movies, it was also a period of right wing ascendancy and social conservatism in countries like America and the United Kingdom, brutal proxy wars waged between West and East, an intensified war on drugs, the beginning of AIDS, famine in Ethopia, and plenty of other awful shit.
All of that said, for anyone hoping to forget the bad stuff and argue that actually the ‘80s were truly an idyllic time, here’s a bit more ammunition in the form of a 1985 news report about a kid’s giant snow fort.
The clip comes from the CBC’s broadcast archives and shows the crowning achievement of a 13-year-old in Regina, Saskatchewan: A big-ass snow fort. After introducing the story with a garish purple graphic entitled “Holding The Fort,” we learn that Reuben Harris, creator of the giant, excellent structure, is going up against city hall, which wants him to tear down his fort for safety reasons.
“Oh, it’s safe,” Harris says in the interview, smiling. “They have to look at it before they can judge.”
The story tells us that Harris is ready to wait for the bulldozers to come in before he’ll see his incredibly sick, “more than 20 [foot] tall” fort torn down. Naturally, he “and his younger brother have spent hours” out in the cold working on it and even made it into ice as a precaution. Harris wants to be an architect when he grows up and, per the video’s description, he eventually won out against the bureaucratic bastards, keeping his castle intact until the spring. Hopefully he’s out there now, professionally making permanent structures with the same devil may care attitude toward local building guidelines.
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