Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘History’ category

Then playing

November 7th, 2019

Maura and I spent a good part of the summer of 2018 clearing out my grandmother’s attic of anything I possibly wanted to keep. There were fewer items on that front than I’d anticipated, though the prospect of shifting heavy crates in the sweltering heat tended to override most feelings of materialistic sentimentality. The most […]

The doi of X

July 25th, 2019

The April 1993 issue of SPIN included the “A to Z of Alternative Culture.” It’s about what you’d expect for the time and venue, only even more so. A proto-listicle laid out as an encyclopedic directory, it’s purported goal was to codify the semiotics of the so-called “alternative” cultural scene. Or to grab the lowest […]

Front and center

May 9th, 2019

Pal Keith was ruminating the other day about his recent trip to Berlin, and how much its high-density, pedestrian-friendly model contrasts with the auto-happy sprawl on this side of the pond. Some of that can be chalked up to the encirclement the west sector of that city experienced during the Cold War, along with Europe’s […]

Last dance, last chance

March 22nd, 2019

Given the amount of mental real estate I have dedicated to 1979 as a weird, wild watershed of a year, the realization that we’ve hit its four-decade, round number anniversary only occurred to me this morning. The simple math was there, but my brain never made the connection. To commemorate this milestone, let’s take a […]

You say decade, I say decayed

February 4th, 2019

Too much of popcult history involves counting the hits and ignoring the misses, unless the miss is catastrophic or bizarre enough to accrue its own mythology. Yet the vast majority of shared cultural experiences and artifacts does not fall into either of these camps. They’re not enduring landmarks, but rather incidental bits of scenery viewed […]

Recommended listening:

The above excerpt from the August 19, 1957 issue of Billboard covers what was probably the single most important trigger for the “monstermania” of the late Fifties and early Sixties. Running cinematic releases over the airwaves was a contentious subject during the early years of television. Movie studios, already feeling squeezed on multiple fronts, were […]

That’s right, kiddies. We used to get our monster movie fixes on magnetic tape spooled inside a hard plastic shell. And those suckers weren’t cheap, either. Even the discount bins at dead retail chains like the dreaded Suncoast Video or the terrible Tower Records ran as much if not more than the day-one DVD release […]

The Seventies were a time of terror, and I’m not just talking about the fashion styles. The upheavals of the late Sixties ushered in a Strange New Decade of heightened anxiety and an loosening of cultural mores. The face of the looming unknown took a multitude of shapes, with a significant number reflecting those subcurrents […]

A photo-essay for Friday

September 14th, 2018
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