Thursday, 25 November 2021

i killed that fat barkeep!

First airing as a Turkey Day—Thanksgiving special on this day in 1992, preceded by a classic episode of the soap opera General Hospital, Mystery Science Theater 3000 assayed the 1960 teensploitation crime film by Paul Frees (see previously, his first and only directorial credit) The Beatniks, shot in 1958 under the working-title Sideburns and Sympathy. A petty thug is discovered—during a stick-up of a small diner for beer money—for his vocal talents, but his success, appearing on television and an over-night sensation, earns the jealousy of his former partners in crime and try to drag him back down to their level and reconstitute the old gang, ruining our protagonist’s chances for a career. Shut up, Iris.

Friday, 9 July 2021


Before the internet came along to satisfy one’s past-life regression curiosities and fulfil other needs of course, there were toll hotlines such as the one featured from 1992 which, by answering a few basic questions on one’s telephone keypad, promised to reveal what historical personage one’s pet was the reincarnation of. What a delightful theological view on the transmigration of souls. More bizarre 900 number advertising spots to be found at the sub-reddit Obscure Media at the link above.

Monday, 10 May 2021

grunge speak

Courtesy of a fascinating conversation about the role that jazz lingo contributed to the English language and the possibly too poetic to be in common parlance quality (see also) of some of the phrases—like “half-past bad luck” referring to just after midnight and aligned with the improvisational nature of the genre however broadly or granularly one defines it—we are reminded of the hoax perpetuated as how the cool kids talked when a receptionist for the record label that championed Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Nirvana was called upon by a New York Times reporter to expound on a derivative lexicon in 1992. The interview yielded the fictitious definitions including bound-and-hagged for staying in on the weekend, cob nobbler and lamestain as a loser and rock on for a parting salutation. At least one of the terms took on an independent existence with the way to describe a bummer of a situation, harsh realm, referenced in other works.

Sunday, 7 June 2020


hello, little friends: Ryoji Akiyama transversed China in 1981 and 1982 capturing images of young people in a rapidly changing country

a class divided: a powerful, pivotal lesson in discrimination revisited

the plot to overthrow america: a round-up of fear-mongering ploys baited by Trump’s declaring an acronym a terrorist group, plus a case of deicide

simrefinery: Chevron commissioned the makers of SimCity to make a training programme for workers at their petroleum plants back in 1992

little green men: investigating the anonymous, unaccountable army policing Washington, DC—via Pluralistic

subjective cityscapes: Natalie Christensen focuses her lens on the intersection of architecture and automobiles in the US Southwest—via Plain Magazine

heavenly palace: more details surface regarding China’s space station, with construction beginning next year

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

racing stripes

A clever artist at a forum dedicated to the aesthetics of Vaporwave (previously) has made the Cybertruck a bit friendlier and less severe with a splash of Solo Jazz, a 1992 teal and purple design pattern created by Gina Ekiss, having since achieved cult status, for paper cups and plates.

Monday, 20 August 2018

canonical consent

Though possibly polyandrous on the actress’ part in light of her earlier, coerced nuptials with Betelgeuse, we learn that the co-stars of the 1992 Francis Ford Coppula adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula—Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder—might have actually been married during the movie’s production.  Shot in Romania, the ceremony was reportedly presided over by an authentic priest who may or may not have understood his role on set. While the likelihood of a marriage considered legal and binding without the backing of substantiating documents strikes one as the stuff of sitcom tropes, it’s nonetheless a fun bit of trivia to consider and speculate if there are instances of fictional matrimony having legal consequence.

Friday, 25 August 2017

pogrom und pulverkessel

Twenty-five years ago this week and just separated by double the amount from World War II in 1992—a couple of years into the reunification, the Lichtenhagen district of Rostock experienced horrendous xenophobic riots. Despite thousands of by-standers applauding the attack of a hi-rise complex sheltering asylum-seekers with Molotov-cocktails and stones, no one was killed but the onslaught that lasted several days and tragically inspired parallel attacks was nonetheless a very dark moment in recent German history and seemingly one whose lessons were squandered.  Ignoring early rumblings that indicated the tensions in the city between residents and refugees were growing, government and law-enforcement authorities carry much of the blame for their inaction.  The focus of the pogrom, the first act of its kind since the war, was the so called Sonnenblumenhaus, which the state government had designated for the sheltering of some three hundred asylum-seekers per month while their applications were vetted.  As the world came to terms, however, with the new realities of a collapsed Soviet Union, the system soon became overwhelmed with over eleven-thousand individuals, mostly Roma from Romania, living in the building and camped out on the surrounding grounds.  Instead of increasing support, services were cut and living conditions soon became intolerable.  Police were inattentive to maintaining the peace and provocateurs grew emboldened, going so far to recruit outsiders that also haboured such feelings of hatred.  Unfortunately these episodes have become frequent occurrences and the culpability falls on all of us. 

Friday, 13 January 2017

chariots of the gods?

I enjoyed reading this brief travelogue from Atlas Obscura about the Gothic “new” cathedral of Salamanca, the old city declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its rather anachronistic astronaut adorning its faรงade, which was added during a 1992 renovation that will surely present a puzzle for visitors of the distant future but is by no means a hoax—rather a contemporary signature of the masons doing the restoration work. This detail to discover and wonder about made me think of the Darth Vader grotesque that’s lurking high in the eaves of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

east-enders or construction-spree

Although this sounds like a perennial face-off, since the city council has supported the building project since 1992, and more contemporary architectural initiative—like the unfinished money-pit of the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport or the reconstruction of the City Castle (Stadtschloss) lost during DDR times. make the government’s excuses and poor-mouthing seem less than genuine—one does not need any additional details or background to be shocked and livid at the on-going efforts of planners to raze one of the last remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall (disassemble and relocate, rather) to make room for a block of luxury flats.

Throughout the division of Germany the Wall was a pallette for graffiti and protest, and after Reunification international artists were invited to turn the remaining Wall into a canvas for free expression and personal liberties, here in particular on a section called the East Side Gallery running parallel to the Spree river, and it would be a tragic loss of culture and memory should it be made to tumble, especially for sake of real estate speculation. Protests continue as well but are now mobilized in the street and on-line, fixing solidarity, and hopefully will prevail.