I have never bothered to hide my utter contempt* for the Radical Era, decease the socio-cultural epoch of glossy excess which ran from roughly 1987 to 1992. It was a time when the measure of a man was marked in units of baditude, prostate hairstyles by cubic tons of ozone destroyed, and the visible spectrum in clashing shades of eye-searing neon.
This relentless drive to go bigger, brighter, and wider eventually outstripped the popcult Chandrasekhar limit and subsequently collapsed into a black hole sun…but not before unleashing this telling avatar of the times:
Fish Dude (or F’Dude, for short) hovered over the era like some scaly-visaged spectre, using his indious powers of marketing-synthesized radness to insinuate himself into the currents of history for some dark purpose known only to his creators (and possibly his cool pal Octo Dude).
When Wall Street took a steep plunge on Black Monday, Fish Dude was there. When Coalition forces rolled into Kuwait, Fish Dude was riding shotgun. When Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of the Pope on live television, Fish Dude was lurking in the eaves and chuckling quietly into his Zubaz print baseball cap.
Over the years, several individuals have tried to solve the enigma that is Fish Dude. All — from Vince Foster (found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while supposedly meeting a high level “floating feline”) to River Phoenix (overdosed on a hot load of Persian Brown passed to him by an “aquatic homeboy”) — have met with tragic fates.
There are things that shall always remain unknowable, and that’s perhaps that’s for the best. It is far preferable to embrace the illusion of free will than to face the reality that all things have been preordained by the powers of calculated baditude and their piscine minion.
Recommended listening: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
*except for Carter USM, Lush, and the Lightning Seeds