"Oh hi, just looking for the real killers."
You might not believe this, but there was a time when the world at large actually liked O.J. Simpson. He could run the shit out of a football, he was competent as an NBC sideline reporter, he could sell the shit out of some Dingo Boots and Hertz Rent-a-Cars, and it was really funny to watch him be repeatedly crushed and destroyed as Nordberg 2.0 in the Naked Gun movies. He was such a genuinely likeable guy that it came as somewhat of a shock when they started telling us that he had (allegedly) butchered his ex-wife and some dude that she was (allegedly) totally not boning down with on the regular. In our lifetimes, we had all seen a few high-profile murders and had definitely seen the shit out of some celebrity scandals. This was, after all, at a time when the dust still hadn’t settled from the Menendez brothers trial or various and sundry scandals involving just about anyone who regularly spoke about Jesus on the TV, and after all, Bill Clinton was still the president. But a high-profile scandal involving a murder where a celebrity had (allegedly) done the murdering? Whole new ballgame. No one gave a shit about Lyle Menendez or Ted Kaczynski before they started shotgunning and exploding people, and the things Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, President Clinton, and Rob Lowe were sticking inside women were decidedly less unpleasant than butcher knives. Things were about to get crazy-go-nuts, and from the initial questioning and low-speed white Bronco chase to the ill-fitting glove and the civil trial that followed all this mess, the O.J. trial was inescapable. It was everywhere, on every television channel, radio station, and printed page, until the whole thing finally came to a roundabout finale when Simpson finally went to jail for trying to rob a dude just a couple years ago. And really, at this point, no one but O.J. himself seems to think he didn’t do it, and hell, he even basically wrote a whole book (allegedly) fictionally confessing to the crime. So there’s no point in arguing whether or not O.J. killed his wife and that other guy. The point I’m trying to make is that in the act of getting all stabby, he accidentally turned us all into a nation of monsters. How, might you ask?
Ladies and gentlemen, the 1990s.
First of all, just let me say this: There is too much goddamn 1980s nostalgia out there. Oh yeah, it was a pretty big decade, ten years long in fact, and a lot of memorable stuff happened. But there were other decades too, you know? So I’m going to make a few posts now and in the future here about the decade that everyone seems to not remember: The 1990s. Aside from a couple things here and there, like Monica Lewinsky or the golden age of gangsta rap, the whole decade seems to have either been forgotten or mixed up with the two surrounding ten-year periods. People always seem to forget that the pastel-colored, pre-grunge period of Vanilla Ice and slap bracelets wasn’t part of the 1980s, that the Internet was a thing that people started to actually have somewhere around 1995, and that the pseudo-goth nu-metal phase everyone went through started a lot closer to 1997 than to 2003.
Believe it or not, also the 1990s.
And really, when people somewhere around my age throw around how they were “a child of the 80s,” they don’t realize what that means: You were a CHILD of the 80s, meaning you probably barely remember anything that actually happened as it actually happened, aside from what DVDs you bought and websites you read when you were 25 or older told you about the time. We were children of the 80s, but we grew up in the 90s. Big difference. You knew and loved G.I. Joe, but you weren’t quoting episodes or keeping track of the variants in Bazooka’s lower leg plastic or whatever until you became a 20-something dork. Your brain comes online somewhere around the age of five or so, yeah, but there’s another good four or five years before it really kicks in and your memories start to have any real substance beyond “oh man, what were those toys where the truck turned into this thing with missiles? Those were awesome.” I think what I’m saying here is that us 20-30 somethings are way too enamored with being part of the 1980s to admit that the 1990s were really what made us into the terrible people that we are. And I may be a terrible person, but I know where I came from, and these are a few of my memories. Let me show you them.
Part One: I REMEMBER THE COMEDY CHANNEL
A world of Comedy Under One Roof.