Thirty years ago, Douglas Coupland published Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, a novel that would name the generation that came of age in the 1980s and early 1990s. It told of disaffected, misanthropic, self-absorbed twentysomethings who didn’t seem to care about anything that was going on in the world. But was that really the case?
In this episode, I take a look at Coupland’s novel as well as Richard Linklater’s film Slacker; plus, I examine articles and books that attempted to define and explain Generation X and make some attempt to come to a conclusion about this group of people who are now middle aged.
It’s time for another trip down the rabbit hole that is the music of my formative years! This time around, I’m taking a look at B-sides and rarities that are some of my favorites or marked an important moment in my time as a music fan or collector. You’ll hear me talk about scrounging record stores for “import” CDs, years of random rarities put on mix tapes, and why songs by Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Bruce Springsteen, and even Ben Folds Five are important to my musical tastes.
Spend this holiday season with some of your favorite families in TV Land! This time around, I take a look at seven sitcom episodes from the 1980s to 2010s that center around or take place around the holidays: Cheers, Married … With Children, Saved by the Bell, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Friends, and Schitt’s Creek. I take a look at one holiday-themed episode from each that I find memorable and give each a quick review. It’s all a bit of cheer to close out 2020!
And as it is the week of Christmas, I wanted to take an opportunity to thank everyone who reads this blog and listens to this podcast for your support, especially during this very tough year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
In 1990, David Fincher directed one of the most iconic videos of all time, “Freedom ’90” by George Michael. The video featured five supermodels lip synching the song and was a literally explosive deconstruction of the image he had created in his 1987 solo debut, “Faith.” So, on the video’s thirtieth anniversary, Amanda and I sit down to talk about George Michael and his music, do a video commentary, and then segue into a discussion about fashion in the early Nineties.
It’s the fifth chapter in a podcast miniseries that looks at the fall of the Iron Curtain and the popular culture of the Cold War. To start us off, I look at what happened in Eastern Europe from September to November 1990 with a special focus on the roles that corporate America and pop music played in the end of the Cold War. Then, the discussion turns to sports; specifically, the Olympics with a spotlight on the controversial 1972 men’s basketball final, The Miracle on Ice, and the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
It’s Halloween and that means it’s time for me to actually get seasonal … for once. I’m here and talking about some oddities of entertainment from the late 1980s and early 1990s. First up is Time-Life Books’ best-selling series Mysteries of the Unknown, whose commercials were some of the creepies of the time. Then, I move into the area of true crime (among other subjects) by looking at a classic Robert Stack-era episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Plus: listener feedback!
This time around, I’m back to looking at my history with music by going deep into the early 1990s and my early teens, recollecting those nights I spent in my room listening to the radio and rushing to hit record so that I wouldn’t have to wait for the station to play that Brian May song. I talk about the stations I grew up listening to, the tapes I made, my unfortunate music choices, and how I learned about what was popular (and what wasn’t) before I finally got my own CD player.
So the picture above isn’t of my exact radio, but it is the radio I owned and used to tape all of those songs. It’s the Sony CFS-230 cassette-corder boombox. I got this for either my birthday or Christmas sometime in the late 1980s and it was eventually replaced with a cassette/CD player that I received for my fifteenth birthday.
And here is the Spotify playlist that includes the songs I featured in the episode. Enjoy!
Space. The final frontier. This episode is a conversation between me and special guest star Gene Hendricks. Our mission? To talk about the original crew Star Trek films and explore our own origins as fans of the classic science fiction franchise. But it’s not just movie talk. We have also read all six of the film novelizations and discuss how much they add to the experience. It’s a classic fan conversation with two guys who are boldly going where many have gone before!
And a quick note on the audio quality of the episode. At one point, early on in recording, my USB microphone died and I had to switch to my in-computer mic. I have done my best to remedy the poor quality through rerecording a few pieces of what I had, and using various noise cancellation and volume balancing tricks. So my apologies for the bad quality of sound on my end. I just didn’t want to let such a great conversation go unheard.
Get on your bike and grab your sack of morning editions! This time around, we’re back to looking at comics as Stella and I take a look at the Eisner-winning series “Paper Girls” by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang. We give a summary of the book–with and without spoilers–and then talk about why we both think it’s required reading (even if that’s usually on our other podcast).
With 1.5 million copies in print, Raina Telgemeier’s Smile is one of the most successful graphic novels of all time. So, in this episode, I take a look at it and not only give it a good review, but also talk about how a graphic novel that’s meant for middle school girls could possibly relate to me, a 43-year-old guy.