Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘Culture’ category

Staring in the early Nineties — on the heels of the “Superstar Artist” boom — department store began offering bundles of funnybooks in their holiday catalogs. The stuff was never foregrounded among the most kid-coveted items of the year, but relegated to the back pages jumble of coin and stamp collector kits and magic sets. […]

A consensual hallucination

September 21st, 2017

“Cliches became cliches for a reason; that they usually hold at least a modicum of truth, and the following cliche is truer than most: You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” During the second week of my vacation last month, I got drawn into a discussion among friends about […]

Through the rest of the spring and early summer of 1989, I got into the habit of picking up stray issues of White Dwarf from Excalibur’s large inventory of cover-priced back issues. I tended to stick to the ones that included relevant material for Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, but ended up spending more time checking […]

Treasures buried

September 19th, 2017

My grandma celebrated her 90th birthday last weekend, so I stopped by her place with a card and some candy. In previous years, I tried to keep these visits as brief as possible — “hi/how are you doing/that’s great/gotta run.” My family isn’t really known for its sense of closeness in a physical sense. We […]

Kitsch-in

August 31st, 2017

The “internet of things” bullshit is hardly a new phenomenon, but the current incarnation of something that dates back to the dawn of the industrial revolution. Mass production requires mass consumption, yet the mechanics of economies of scale mean that supply will eventually outstrip consumer demand. There are only so many stoves, toasters, or automobiles […]

Despite the upheaval caused my my mother’s death, it didn’t take long for me to adjust to the new abnormal. My grandmother had the spare room done over into a proper bedroom, which I shared with Lil Bro and the one family cat we were allowed to keep. The situation felt unreal and unsettling but […]

The best of the mess

August 29th, 2017

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires fingerprinting as part of the adoption process, so Maura and I rode out to Waltham a couple of Tuesdays back to have our hands run through a digital scanner. The office was located on Moody Street, a vibrantly seedy thoroughfare that’s one of the last relatively intact vestiges of my […]

I first come across 1982′s Hit Express while sifting through the Discog’s exhaustive (and exhausting) listings for K-Tel offerings. While it contained a few crucial cuts from that magically apocalyptic era, it lacked that certain something which would inspire an immediate purchase. I made a note of it — complete with a question mark — […]

Ho ho oh no

August 24th, 2017

Discovered while researching the slot car post a couple of weeks back: A 1988 holiday insert buried in the middle of an issue of Boys Life. Who could’ve guessed “You’ll never outgrow us” was a sinister generational curse? For some reason, my sense of history gets unstuck in a few places where video games are […]

The two months following my mother’s death felt longer than the sixteen years before it and the twenty-nine years since. The psychic wound was so raw, the trauma so unprecedented, that even the the most minute details permanently imprinted themselves into my memory. I spent the night of her death at a paternal aunt’s house, […]

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