10 Pop Culture Staples of my Childhood: A Shameful Look Back
If you’re like me, when you think back on your childhood under the stairs, it was a lot of frantic prayers and candle wax burns. But also, there was a lot of awesomeness. Most kids are pretty convinced that the things they like are, by default, awesome. Why else would they like them? It’s only later in life you can look back and wonder if maybe your parents smothered you with a pillow at night, just enough to lower your IQ a few points below the national average. I’m forced to assume that’s what was going on when I was about 10 or so, how else can I explain any of this?
RobotsEveryone knows robots are awesome and will one day destroy us all in a well-deserved orgy of robo-destruction. Four Terminator movies have predicted it and I refuse to believe Arnold Schwarzenegger would put his support behind a piece of fiction that wasn’t at least 50 percent prophetic. It’s not surprising then that, as a child, I was pretty much all about robots. I think I may have planned to be a robot at some point in my life but of course that’s silly. As a Canadian, I had limited access to any decent robo-schools as our government focused more on beaver hunting and innuendo. Anyway, just because robots are cool doesn’t mean all robots are cool. Muffit II from Battlestar Galactica Back then Ian – This thing is wicked awesome. It’s a robot but it’s also some kind of panda dog thing and it will attack Cylons. Fucking Cylons! (I swore a lot as a child--bad parenting.) One time it saved them from a fire and I don’t even care if every single episode that featured a space dog fight used the same footage because this awesome robo-dog-panda is in the show! Apollo rules!
First we mastered space travel. Then we mastered this bullshit.Today’s Jaded Ian - I don’t know how this thing got axed from the new Battlestar Galactica because clearly it was important as shit. As shit. I’m almost positive the special effects guys melded some tin cans and duct tape with a musty old bath mat to make this asinine thing and then jammed a midget with scoliosis inside to make it seem alive. On the show, the original Muffit was an actual dog and somehow, in the future where there’s a race of sentient androids and intergalactic space travel, the best they could do in terms of a robotic replacement was Teddy Ruxpin’s mongoloid cousin. Twiki from Buck Rogers Back then Ian – This dude got to hang out with Gary Coleman and he sounded like Yosemite Sam. So honestly, even if his head looks like a delicately polished penis and he seems to be wearing a mini skirt, that’s OK. Today’s Jaded Ian – This is a robot with a page boy haircut who carried Dr. Theopolis around his neck like a futuristic Flava Flav. The more I think about it, the more I’m positive Flav actually stole this gimmick from Twiki, settling on a clock when he couldn’t make a similarly sized artificially intelligent computer that could hang around his neck.
Autobots - Inferior. Mixed tape featuring Bel Biv Devoe - Superior!
SongsSomeone once said music is the gravy that slathers your soul, I bet. If that’s true then I’m one greasy son of a bitch, because I love music. Sometimes I sing in public restrooms. Sometimes I poo. Public restrooms are a mixed bag for me. Anyway, point is, over time my taste in music has changed, as anyone’s will. And with that change comes the realization that some songs just don’t live up to my pre-pubescent hype in retrospect. Which is disappointing because I was an awesome hype machine back in the day.
Not sure how the movie got switched from Double Dragon to Double Dildo.Today’s Jaded Ian – Well I’ve seen sex on the Internet so I’m pretty sure I know what it is now and I’ll be damned if I can figure out why sugar needs to be involved. And wouldn’t the use of it devolve into some kind of syrupy, abrasive disaster? Also, I don’t think this means anything;
My guitar solo will be all Weeer! Fricka fricka weeer! and it'll be awesome!Today’s Jaded Ian – I don’t want to talk bad about Bret Michaels but man, he actually ruined an entire genre of music with this song, I think. If Rock 'n' Roll was a person, power ballads were, without a doubt, that person’s labia. And nowadays people are happy to go to a party and be kitschy by playing 80s music because it’s fun to play pretend, but no one really likes this stuff. I tried to sit down once and listen to Whitesnake and a half hour later I woke up eating low fat yogurt and ironing my underwear.
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TV ShowsThanks to television, inattentive parents don’t need to even hire babysitters anymore, it’s like a miracle box that occasionally commits horrid sins like
Yep.The bizarre thing is that the Golden Girls is actually hilarious and don’t let anyone tell you different. If you have to choose between watching
Pictured: My first boner.Today’s Jaded Ian – During the opening credits of this show, cartoon Bo Jackson picks up an entire tree and then uses it to murder some poor schlub who’s just cutting down trees. Logging is a legitimate profession, people do it all over the world and they do not need to be beaten to death by professional athletes.
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MoviesYou know everything I said about TV? Read that again, but imagine you’re enjoying some greasy, Becel-slathered popcorn at the same time and a vastly over priced box of Milk Duds.
Wolfman's got nards! Ha ha ha! Gold!Today’s Jaded Ian – You know what, this movie is still fucking awesome.
ToysI had far too many toys I can’t quite remember as a child, but all of them were awesome for at least a half an hour at some point.
Definitely. Definitely a lame ass toy.I used to have this thing under my bed for literally five years. Every year I’d drag it out, put all the pieces together and get it powered up, and then sit in stunned disappointment as it buzzed along in its tiny circle, occasionally knocking down the cheap, molded plastic pretend transformers that I would put in its way. It was like following your dad to work one day only to find that he dumps his suit and briefcase in an alley and spends the rest of the afternoon dressed as an adult baby serving drinks at a nameless restaurant full of European perverts. God, that was a bad day for me.
GirlsI don’t know at what age I’d decided that boobs and I were meant to be friends for life, but I do know that as a child, my taste in women was poor at best. This was likely due to my body’s complete lack of testosterone and the fact I owned about 100 different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures and wanted to join Voltron when I grew up. My plan was to brazenly show up Keith by thoroughly mocking his ability to pilot a giant, robot cat, thus humiliating him into giving me the job as leader.
Nothing that turned up when I Googled "lesbians" was usable here.Today’s Jaded Ian – I’m terribly sorry, Mrs. Sharpe, but it has come to my attention in the ensuing years since I left your class that you were absolutely 100 percent as gay as a parade down main street. I’ll concede that the shortish boy hair wasn’t a dead giveaway, nor was your penchant for pant suits and overalls or your coaching of the softball team. But looking back, I probably should have pieced it together every time your wife picked you up after school, gave you a hug and a kiss, and drove you home. It was the first time I’d mistakenly fall for a lesbian, but not the last.