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Saturday June 24, 2006
Yesterday I consumed a couple of pieces of entertainment which were produced and/or published in 1985.
For the record, that's the year I graduated High School (Riverview High, Sarasota, Florida) and the year I started college (Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah). It was, as they say, a banner year for me.
We'll start with Weird Science, a fringe brat-pack film featuring a very young Kelly LeBrock trying to look like an "older woman" (she was 25 at the time), and pulling it off thanks to the fact that the leading "men," Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith were respectively 17 and 16 years old.
What can I say? I've only seen this movie twice now... once in 1985, and once 21 years later. I don't remember it being nearly this corny, and I certainly don't remember 80's fashion that way. Pretty much all the main characters looked like they were wearing clown suits... except for Vernon Wells, who looked great in his biker bondage outfit. I was excited about recognizing having seen him in other things, until we realized the "other things" were Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
The best thing to come out of Weird Science was the title track by Oingo Boingo. I love that song... and the music video is a lot more watchable than the movie.
My other consumable from 1985 has reached a rather wider audience. As far as twenty-one years can prove, it has proven to be timeless. I fully expect it to graduate from "timeless entertainment" to "part of human mythology" sometime in the next 300 years.
I'm speaking, of course, of Calvin and Hobbes. My copy of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes arrived yesterday, and I read the first 50 or so pages, whose comics first appeared in fall and winter of 1985. This book is a masterwork... a true treasury -- especially for someone working full-time as a cartoonist.
In reading the introduction by Bill Watterson, I learned that he appears to accept a few things as universal, self-evident truths of cartooning, but which are neither universal nor self-evident. I'll go into more detail on these musings in another column sometime, but mostly they center around "audience feedback" and "work environment." Bill was and is reclusive. I'm merely introverted, and I've learned to work around that. In fact, I've learned that I HAVE to work around that. But, as I said, now is not the time for that extended ramble.
Time... Twenty-one years is a long time. For Weird Science it's too long. For Calvin and Hobbes it's barely time to rotate the bottle.