During my final semester at college, I worked on an independent study for my favorite (and coolest) professor, Mr. Toby Miller, which focused on Reaganomics, class conflict, and the yuppie as portrayed in 80s films. I really had to reach to find source materials because, at the time, it was difficult to find a large amount of truly worthy 80s analysis in literature and even online, since so little historical distance has passed since the 80s.
I utilized a number of great non-fiction works from the 80s and 90s, including Yuppies Invade My House at Dinnertime, America; What Went Wrong? et al. I utilized a number of great fiction works including Bonfire of the Vanities, American Psycho, et all. Even more fascinating, I screened 80s movie upon 80s movie, everything from Flashdance to Baby Boom to The Big Chill to St. Elmo’s Fire to Bad Influence to Big, seeing close to fifty movies in a three week period (research is FUN).
But there was one resource I needed desperately. I hunted high and low in bookstores, online, and in libraries. The libraries’ copies were stolen. It was the first item I ever listed on my Amazon wishlist and, for years, not one single copy surfaced on Amazon. I couldn’t even find a photo of the book’s cover online. The book, out-of-print for several years, seemed to be impossible to find (WTF!)
The book is called The Yuppie Handbook: The State-of-the-Art Manual for Young Urban Professionals.
The other night, while updating my wishlist, I came across a (wait for it) like-new copy of the handbook (OMG!). Within seconds, I placed my order, and sat by my mailbox for three days (LOL!).
It was a happy day when I reached into my mailbox and molested my bubble-wrapped gift. I tore it open and held it close to my bosom as I ran up the five flights to my apartment. Before my jacket was off, I was giddily sitting on the edge of my sofa reading excerpts aloud…to myself (ROFL!). It was kind of like getting drunk alone, only less pathetic, and less detrimental to my liver (IMHO!).
The handbook includes sections like: Yuppie: A Dictionary Definition; Yuppie Role Models; Some Essential Vocabulary Words; Yup and Away: A Yuppie Vacation Guide; What Shall We Name the Baby Yuppie?; Yuppie Backlash: A Case Study.
Had this wonderful handbook been in my possession at the time of writing the aforementioned thesis, I could have easily tacked on several more pages. Nevertheless, my project totaled a whopping 100 pages and I received an A; however, I believe a revision is in order. This resource, sort of the prototypical Hipster Handbook, is invaluable and I will cherish it dearly forever.