Atari Envy

"A bargain struck with a small-time demon will result in your playing a high-stakes game of Skee-Ball this week for possession of your immortal soul."

It would be quite the understatement to observe that I'm predictably "behind the times". This is true for everything from technology to the latest fads. Although it suits my alien presence on this planet perfectly, sometimes I can be a bit self-conscious about it (shocking, I know).


Yesterday, I had kidnapped a dear friend of mine to run a quick errand. After all, said errand would never have been accomplished if I was forced to face the public all by my lonesome. I additionally subjected the poor Beauty to my music. Much to her delight, there were sprinklings of great 80's songs in there. We enthusiastically agreed that 80's music, as a whole, was far more brilliant than most of the shit out these days... This led to further musings about how we now, rather officially, sound just like our parents and I'm sure their parents before them. Suddenly she shot me one of those "Shit, I wish I could kill you with no more than a glance" sort of looks.... "You were just a fucking kid in the 80's!!!!!" Yes, well, add another one to the list, then.



Growing up with two older brothers, 4 years and 8 years older than me, respectively, I was always under the impression I was pretty "hip" on all the coolest trends, catchphrases, technology and current events. The sheer fact that I just uttered the word "hip" when not referring to a body part pretty well qualifies for a "Nuff said" response. I didn't seem to register the notion that the things that were in style for their respective age groups were already on the cusp of archaic and foreign for my own generation. As I swam cluelessly into my teen years, and then into some form of adolescence, I held fast to the dream that all those things I missed the trolley on would someday come circling around again. To date, I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-out-of-57 on those odds. Ah well, I shall celebrate those same two with obnoxious "told ya so" arrogance!

One shining example of all of this was the arrival of an Atari at the house of one our family's friends' (my parents liked convincing us we could never own such a thing, even though I can't put a finger on one single piece of logic that was ever provided). The Atari - What an awesome goddamned creation. I will forever maintain that this hunk of plastic provided more hours of unadulterated entertainment than any other gaming device will ever hope to. Graphics? Who needs them? The more pitiful and pixellated the two-tone images on the screen, the better. It's probable that my lack of quick comprehension only fuels my awe with such a simple design of pure genius. Plus, those game cartridges totally doubled as weapons. I mean seriously. Holy fucking shit. BRILLIANCE.



When my friends would get the latest and greatest toys on the market - that exclusive object of marketing savvy every kid is throwing an unreasonable temper tantrum (and their poor, suckers-for-parents are engaging in riots) in the hopes of finding under the Xmas tree - I would get the unusual.... ummm.... "Hey Mom, what exactly IS this?" From my parents' recent trip to Denmark. Don't get me wrong, I have an extraordinary appreciation for their sense of adventure NOW - but back then, I felt just that much more... well.... odd. When my friends were rocking out to NKOTB, I was accompanying my parents to a Simon & Garfunkel concert held at the local arboretum. Shit, am I really STILL shocked I've never been able to relate? *snicker*

Fast forward a few decades, and little has changed. Strange how the one thing that brought on this train of thought in the first place was a friend's blog referring to Facebook. I was on that once. I farmed, after the rest of the world grew tired of farming. I hunted for treasure, long after the thrill was gone. I posted status updates about things that happened a week ago, which in the age of constantly-streaming-by-the-moment-reports may as well be an era or two back. It seems I am simply determined to remain hopelessly irrelevant and stuck on some alien timeline. That weird kid who no one WANTS to invite to their birthday party, but their parents said they had to because the rest of the class was invited and it would be rude not to.



Ahhh, but there is a silver lining, it seems. You see, I'm not the only one who had malfunctioning landing gear and ended up in the wrong end of the cosmos. Here and there, I encounter individuals, unexpectedly, who "get me". Those who never need any explanation or clarification. Those who accept me, not despite, but BECAUSE of all my faults. Tis a marvelous thing, indeed! It also certainly helps my case that words like "Retro" and "Vintage" are no longer isolated mutterings of some crazy broad who notoriously hoards cats and worships all things polyester.



All this said, I raise my glass in celebration of all us lunatics, out there in the world, who are JUST clever enough to evade the Nurse Ratcheds of the world! Cheers, My Pets!

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Kitty

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Atari Envy

"A bargain struck with a small-time demon will result in your playing a high-stakes game of Skee-Ball this week for possession of your immortal soul."

It would be quite the understatement to observe that I'm predictably "behind the times". This is true for everything from technology to the latest fads. Although it suits my alien presence on this planet perfectly, sometimes I can be a bit self-conscious about it (shocking, I know).


Yesterday, I had kidnapped a dear friend of mine to run a quick errand. After all, said errand would never have been accomplished if I was forced to face the public all by my lonesome. I additionally subjected the poor Beauty to my music. Much to her delight, there were sprinklings of great 80's songs in there. We enthusiastically agreed that 80's music, as a whole, was far more brilliant than most of the shit out these days... This led to further musings about how we now, rather officially, sound just like our parents and I'm sure their parents before them. Suddenly she shot me one of those "Shit, I wish I could kill you with no more than a glance" sort of looks.... "You were just a fucking kid in the 80's!!!!!" Yes, well, add another one to the list, then.



Growing up with two older brothers, 4 years and 8 years older than me, respectively, I was always under the impression I was pretty "hip" on all the coolest trends, catchphrases, technology and current events. The sheer fact that I just uttered the word "hip" when not referring to a body part pretty well qualifies for a "Nuff said" response. I didn't seem to register the notion that the things that were in style for their respective age groups were already on the cusp of archaic and foreign for my own generation. As I swam cluelessly into my teen years, and then into some form of adolescence, I held fast to the dream that all those things I missed the trolley on would someday come circling around again. To date, I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-out-of-57 on those odds. Ah well, I shall celebrate those same two with obnoxious "told ya so" arrogance!

One shining example of all of this was the arrival of an Atari at the house of one our family's friends' (my parents liked convincing us we could never own such a thing, even though I can't put a finger on one single piece of logic that was ever provided). The Atari - What an awesome goddamned creation. I will forever maintain that this hunk of plastic provided more hours of unadulterated entertainment than any other gaming device will ever hope to. Graphics? Who needs them? The more pitiful and pixellated the two-tone images on the screen, the better. It's probable that my lack of quick comprehension only fuels my awe with such a simple design of pure genius. Plus, those game cartridges totally doubled as weapons. I mean seriously. Holy fucking shit. BRILLIANCE.



When my friends would get the latest and greatest toys on the market - that exclusive object of marketing savvy every kid is throwing an unreasonable temper tantrum (and their poor, suckers-for-parents are engaging in riots) in the hopes of finding under the Xmas tree - I would get the unusual.... ummm.... "Hey Mom, what exactly IS this?" From my parents' recent trip to Denmark. Don't get me wrong, I have an extraordinary appreciation for their sense of adventure NOW - but back then, I felt just that much more... well.... odd. When my friends were rocking out to NKOTB, I was accompanying my parents to a Simon & Garfunkel concert held at the local arboretum. Shit, am I really STILL shocked I've never been able to relate? *snicker*

Fast forward a few decades, and little has changed. Strange how the one thing that brought on this train of thought in the first place was a friend's blog referring to Facebook. I was on that once. I farmed, after the rest of the world grew tired of farming. I hunted for treasure, long after the thrill was gone. I posted status updates about things that happened a week ago, which in the age of constantly-streaming-by-the-moment-reports may as well be an era or two back. It seems I am simply determined to remain hopelessly irrelevant and stuck on some alien timeline. That weird kid who no one WANTS to invite to their birthday party, but their parents said they had to because the rest of the class was invited and it would be rude not to.



Ahhh, but there is a silver lining, it seems. You see, I'm not the only one who had malfunctioning landing gear and ended up in the wrong end of the cosmos. Here and there, I encounter individuals, unexpectedly, who "get me". Those who never need any explanation or clarification. Those who accept me, not despite, but BECAUSE of all my faults. Tis a marvelous thing, indeed! It also certainly helps my case that words like "Retro" and "Vintage" are no longer isolated mutterings of some crazy broad who notoriously hoards cats and worships all things polyester.



All this said, I raise my glass in celebration of all us lunatics, out there in the world, who are JUST clever enough to evade the Nurse Ratcheds of the world! Cheers, My Pets!

No comments:

Post a Comment