March 18, 2015

A question lately occurs to me:


A lot of people sure seem to think they have!

And what is more, they think it noteworthy that they think they have seen it. They honor the deed by listing products and brands and calling it a day, except when they copy each others’ lists of contextless product acknowledgments and go home early. Remembering further back than five years is HARD.


I had high expectations for this one; it was going to go back in time and CHANGE my Childhood, making all the other lists inaccurate, and thus not my duty to disprove, but then it was just a bunch of fan drawings stolen off of deviantart without any credit to the admittedly uninspired but none-the-less credit-worthy artists, but with ample space to give the thug dork who copied them credit for doing so. Granted, no name is supplied and none of the social media scripts on the page WORK, but it has a heaping hamburger helping of advertisements, many of which do work, so it ultimately serves its purpose: getting real money to scumbags who have no discernible skills. This is the kind of person who insists critics “need to stop the hate” and then blocks all from replying.

I realize brainbread lists are nothing new, and people have gotten paid for the task of acknowledging that things exist and selling advertising on it for about a decade now. Half a millennium ago you gained fame by traveling around the world, gathering wonders that had never been seen in your homeland before. Now you don’t go anywhere and show people stuff they already had and got rid of, and there is actually more demand for this. My gripe is the fixation on the word “childhood,” specifically MINE. Certainly weak-willed dorks have been lamenting the ruination of [their] childhood(s) ever since Marco Polo brought back erotic fan fiction from the Far East; MY childhood this, MY childhood that, but only recently when this was turned around into YOUR childhood, (akaaaa mine), did I take personal offense. If you want to sum up your entire history of conscious functioning as a system of stagnant, staring inaction you may, and furthermore declare this unremarkable period of subservience to sponsored sludge and the sponsors themselves as something pure and infallible, but I refuse to have mine defined with anyone else’s! If My Childhood is anything special, it could surely not be summed up with a photograph of a bag of Keebler Ripplins. And if it can be, then it was wasted and is not worth discussing!

Pizzarias were better, anyway.

But not as good as “pizza,” that I can still buy, so I do not lament the facsimile-chips’ loss.


These things seem to be in agony, however.


You might notice, browsing those lists, that a Ninja Turtle product from 1989 will appear alongside some weird fad toothbrush from 1998, and wonder how those could simultaneously define the same childhood 9 years apart. In fact “your childhood” just means “potential childhood period of anyone currently in the 18-35 year old target demographic favored by advertisers.” That means in three years (as of yesterday) my childhood will officially no longer exist. And I almost believe it, because that is less important to me than my currenthood anyhow. It also means that the original websites from 18 years ago which literally just posted pictures of He-Man action figures and said “hey remember these?” are possibly part of someone’s childhood. I am lucky perhaps to not have gotten so hooked into having my nostalgia packaged and sold back to me by an outside party that to have it no longer available will be a painful blow. 25 OCCUPANTS FROM LISTS ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD THEY DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE ANYMORE

25. Saturday Supercade. Hey, remember when Saturday Supercade used to be on these lists? Well the people we want to see these lists don’t!
24. Handi-Snax. Gosh these were terrible! You should be GLAD nobody wants to convince you these were great anymore!
23. Juiceboxes. Nope! People who presently were kids in the past only had nutrient-free fake juice skittle-water in BAGS!
22. The pinball machine on Sesame Street. Better download the 5000 clips of this from youtube now that they aren’t relevant enough to be uploaded 5000 times! And hopefully these lists will be out of style before we get to the point where youtube is on them.

You know what I wanted to do as a child? Stop going to school. Now I am not in school, and I am glad. I cannot even drive a car and I like this better. I miss my grandmother, emergency broadcast system tests, being able to hear rain through my bedroom window and still having the capacity to be excited by the thought of the future, but overall I prefer this now, and look at how angry I am!
Entertainment made for people who were then the age I am now emphasized how much I would wish to be a kid in school once I no longer were. But now I can buy any weird cookies I want that my mother would never buy and can play every stupid Nintendo game on my own computer without having to hoard impractical lumps of plastic and stick a Lincoln log in the disk drive to hold one in place. I have the freedom to kill myself eating bacon pizzas, and maybe I will, if I enjoy that.


Alternatives to pizza do not look like that! A big heap of vegetables is not going to make me magically not want a very specific pizza! Maybe that is My Childhood’s fault, for getting me chemically dependent on horrible food! My Childhood is an irresponsible creep! How dare you remind me of it!

Here is a brief list of things I do not miss about the 1990s:
Roberto Benigni
the Dave Matthews band
the dos prompt
floppy disks
boot disks
Red Baron being the only frozen pizza
AOL busy signals
AOL
Video games that broke and/or needed to be paid for
When I ate pop tarts and hot pockets
Going to school (I told you!)
Not having a means to listen to whatever music I wanted and having to rely on radio stations or whatever CDs I could find, and thinking that was all there was.
Having to watch tv shows when they came on
Wanting to watch tv shows
Having to seek out and hoard vague pictures from tv shows to prove that they existed.
Elmo
Needing to use film to take photographs
Pop-up advertising (specifically, not being able to block it easily)
Tomagotchi-alikes
Molly Shannon
Real-player
Rwanda Genocide
Crash Bandicoot

I found that after I conquered nostalgia on my own terms, it was harder and harder for me to have a similar experience of rediscovery, and I just had to stop. But once something is monetized, it must be pushed and pushed until it explodes. As consumers become desensitized to incessant nostalgia-baiting, content regurgitators will have to dig deeper and skew yet vaguer and more generic.

13 non-food items you put in your mouth

7 jiggly rainbow keys that match no known locks

9 ingredients in your bottle formula that are more dangerous than anything your parents are worrying about in their own diets

18 Gametes You Wish Had Hooked Up!!

46 chromosomes that literally created your childhood! Unless you have Klinefelter syndrome or something

Nostalgia-baiting is this generation’s version of “when I was your age” except it is more like “When YOU were YOUR age” because they just pass it between themselves since nothing happened and they have no one to pass it to. It cannot be used to tell kids how easy they have it because part of the process is emphasizing how AWESOME it is, and much of what would be cited has not changed in 30 years anyhow because now a lucrative commercial property is never allowed to die. These people have NO STORY to tell because the whole point is that I was there too! So they just mention items that might be in the story. Perhaps the next generation’s childhood will just be their parents’ childhood and they can save themselves some trouble.



7 Responses
  1. 1
    9:52 am, March 19, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    You do not miss Animaniacs?? I hope that is because you, like me, own the full set of recordings! Thank goodness that, by inference, you do miss Tiny Toons.

    (If you forget: These two tv shows were thoroughly pantsless, much like my favorite video game.)

  2. 2
    11:44 am, March 19, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    The three primary ‘maniacs each lack a garment but only one lacks trousers, but that is not a factor in either direction toward how bearable a viewing experience it is, which for me it is not!
    I did play the Super NES video games based on both series and found the earlier one more engaging, though I reckon neither has aged very well.

    I decided it was unnecessary to make a comprehensive list of every cartoon I hated. I have only vague memories of watching tiny tune adventures, and it does not seem to have imposed or tried to impose itself on my present in a thoroughly negative fashion. Apart from inspiring sleazy, roughly identical fanart of the purple skunk character (that I do not think I ever saw an episode featuring), I cannot tell what it has done to people. It is easy to find the “zany” or “random” uninspiration of an Animaniac enthusiast, however. I also find Rob Paulsen’s voice considerably more grating than Charles Adler’s, though I am sure cursory research would reveal a fairly consistent behind-the-scenes staff throughout whatever company produced those. At some point I saw The Lion King and decided I hated ALL cartoons, which took me ten years to get over, which at least spared me from any deep awareness of subsequent bad weekday afternoon programming.

    Anyhow I think of TTA as the final chapter of the stupid 1980s craze of having tv shows about offspring of or child versions of famous characters, which also included A Pup named Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry Kids which aired in the 1990s. It looks like Tom Ruegger worked on most of these, as well as Snorks, which would be prominent on my list of 1980s things I do not miss, so maybe I should make a special examination of his contributions to culture as a whole.

    OR I should try and cram everything into this one comment and leave it alone like I did in the main entry, regardless of how cohesive a story it makes, since dwelling on it is not helping me!

  3. 3
    2:07 pm, March 19, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    I see.

  4. 4
    4:08 pm, March 19, 2015

    PurpleSpace sez:

    They can make chemicals vaguely taste like pizza, but not actually make anything good to eat. Someone recently wanted to show me episodes of Frasier online and I am still not sure how I feel about the show.

  5. 5
    8:39 am, March 20, 2015

    indighost sez:

    Frasier is truly terrible, even before you start to factor in the pants.

  6. 6
    1:16 pm, March 30, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    I amended the list to lack
    Animaniacs
    Literally every original cartoon network series
    Frasier
    Mad About You
    Friends (the tv program; actual friends go on the list of things I do miss)

    even though I still do not miss any of those things because I could probably add 80 more shows and I already said that I did not miss television in general, and the list reads better without an uncontrolled series of specific examples since the list already IS one. I am sure this information will be very important to [me].

  7. 7
    1:49 pm, June 13, 2015

    Prescription Pudding Pinged With:

    […] the creations and participations of people who appeal to you, but to quote somebody I hated during My Childhood, take a chill pill, get a […]

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