Many many moons ago, there was no internet. Well there was, but it was this weird text-only thing where you had to sit a phone (which was not yet mobile) on a little cradle, and it was all balding dudes with ponytails bitching about Star Trek. At least that’s how it looks in my mind; hell, I only was around computers, internet-ready or otherwise, starting in the late ’90s like most of y’all. But either way, there were no websites, there was no YouTube, and getting information about anything that wasn’t covered in newspapers or just happened to be on TV at the same time you were in front of a TV was not a thing you could just casually stumble ass-backwards into. So we had magazines; these big papery things with words and pictures in them, and they came out once a month usually, and they were real big with musically minded people, especially if their musical minds were on things that FM radio wasn’t going to touch or MTV was going to stick after midnight. So in the 80s and 90s, the world became absolutely flooded with various and sundry heavy metal magazines, and at some point, people started saying, “hey, why not just do something like this in video form?” and video magazines happened, which were basically like a music-based TV show, but with no commercials and some cussing. And people loves them some cussing. One of these was called Hard N Heavy, and as looking back at regular paper metal magazines has kinda become a thing I’m all about lately, I was pretty pumped that 20 of these Hard N Heavy tapes popped up on Hulu Plus at some point. (I dunno if they’re on regular non-paid Hulu, but you might check, I guess. And if they’re not, someone’s probably got them on YouTube or BitTorrent by now. Information finds a way, and that way is usually piracy.) This isn’t the full run of these tapes, as what’s on Hulu starts with stuff from 1993, and I’m pretty sure this thing started in 1989. But anyway, what’s called Episode One is from ’93, and it’s entitled Raw. Let me tell you about it.
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.
INTRODUCTION: This is a thing I probably would have started a year ago on the old site if I had any sort of motivation at the time. You see, back in the day, when I was about two feet shorter and a couple hundred pounds lighter, the Transformers were my thing. I had Transformers toys, I had Transformers stickers, I had Transformers trading cards, I had Transformers comic books, and if such a thing had existed, I would have had the goddamn Transformers mouthwash. And needless to say, the highlight of every weekday of my early life was getting home from school by 3:30 in the P.M. to see the cartoon on Channel 15, or to watch the VHS version, in times when they had flip-flopped it with G.I. Joe, and it would be over by the time I got home. And even after the show’s run ended and I was much too old to do such a thing, every so often, I would bust out the couple tapes with the couple episodes we hadn’t taped over, watching them over and over, remembering other episodes I had seen, and wishing I had those too.
And after a couple years of wondering how I could scrape up the hundred bucks or so to buy someone’s collection of the tapes off Ebay, the DVDs finally hit. But at like 40 bucks a season, I couldn’t afford those any more than I could the bootleg VHS version, so I had to pass, until the damn things seemed to always go out of print five minutes after they were released. But finally in 2009, someone who knew what they were doing re-re-released them all at a time when I had way more disposable cash and a full season of something cost about half of what it used to, so in the words of Abraham Lincoln, that shit was ON. And now, at long last, the time has come to finally do a thing that I’m sure at least seventy people on the World Wide Web haven’t already done: I’m going to watch it all and tell you about it. (more…)