Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘Culture’ category

You bric it, you brac it

November 14th, 2019

In Victorian times, members of the newly minted bourgeoisie would express their prosperity by decking out their domiciles in the style of a TGI Fridays. Every surface, patch of wall, or cozy corner had to be crammed with a bewildering assortment of knickknacks. What began as a curated clutter of somewhat valuable objets d’art soon […]

No way to go

November 13th, 2019

The Watergate break-in. Nixon’s re-election. Bloody Sunday. The terrorist attack at the Olympics in Munich. Hurricane Agnes. The Christmas bombing on North Vietnam. The year of my birth had no shortage of horrors and tragedies, but one of the most disturbing of the lot took place in countless bathrooms across America. To ask “why?” is […]

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 […]

Punched out

November 6th, 2019

The Spinner Rack is one of the few bright spots in the hellsite known as Twitter. It’s a dedicated gimmick account, with said gimmick being an image-heavy rundown of the comics released x-many-years-ago on a given month and day. The results are always informative and entertaining, with an extra kick of nostalgia when a featured […]

The Seventies were a demon-haunted decade, fraught with nightmares both real and imagined. The energy crisis and socio-economic malaise competed with various paranormal phenomena for space in the anxiety cortex of the collective consciousness. Paranoia triggers lurked around every corner, and the mass media wasn’t above amplifying those fears for increased market share and profit. […]

I’ve recently been scanning eBay’s listings for reasonably priced copies of old Sears Wish Books. While there’s a excellent online depository of these holiday catalogs, it has a few unfortunate gaps which happen to align with areas of particular interest for me. Besides, when it comes to this type of artifact, there’s no substitute for […]

Stuff of legend

August 27th, 2019

My elementary school was actually a pair of schools combined in some ancient merger — the Linscott and the Rumford. The Rumford was the newer of the two buildings, rebuilt in Space Age moderne style after the original was firebombed a couple of years before I was born. It was connected by a glass-paneled walkway […]

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 […]

Belongs in a museum

July 22nd, 2019

As far as masculine role models went, the lads of the early Reagan Era could’ve done worse than Indiana Jones. Rough, rugged, and capable of dealing out (or rolling with) a stiff slug to the jaw, the intrepid archaeologist was also a man of letters whose laconic demeanor masked a sharp wit. Indiana Jones was […]

My sixth grade yearbook is a stack of mimeographed sheets stapled between two pieces of colored construction paper. My entry for the front cover illustration — a row of inelegantly rendered arcade cabinets with “GAME OVER” scrawled above them — didn’t get the top prize but did make it onto the final page. The document […]

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