Would you like to be a cartoonist like me?
You can’t. Sorry. Not even if you paid me to train you. It won’t happen.
No reboot of Mortal Kombat has come close to the cultural coup-de-grace of the original series from the 1990s. It doesn’t matter how many new “Fatalities” there are, or how much blood, or how realistic the fighters look. There’s still a crucial ingredient missing.
From 1992 to 1995, I worked in the music store on the upper level of the Savannah Mall. Disc Jockey was the other music store, on the lower level and the opposite end. Our respective locations affected our clientele; we were next to the upscale department store, and they were next to the parking lot.
Of course there was a rivalry.
Despite what you might think, it was friendly. We all ate in the same food court, and used the same deposit chute. If a customer stumped our staff, we’d begrudgingly call downstairs and ask their staff. Sometimes one store knew something the other didn’t. Upcoming trends in music, promotions, closings, and firings within the busy mall.
When you listen to a professional newscaster, you are hearing an “all-purpose” American accent, very similar to how black comedians make fun of white guys. It’s a mode of speaking designed to be understood by a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. It’s also totally alien sounding, especially when they lapse into a Spanish voice for words like “Nicaragua”.
In 1990, I relocated from New Jersey to Georgia. Originally, I had a curt New Jersey accent, like Jim Norton. My first year, I roomed with a guy from Rhode Island, and when I went back to Jersey for vacation, my friends couldn’t believe what a horror show my speaking voice had become. I was the caricature of the braying Yankee.
Gather ’round, children. Don’t you wonder why we live in the cold and poisoned world that we do? Looking back, around a decade ago, everything got too salty.
We used to come home from work and watch TV, enjoying longtime creature comforts. Television shows were devoted to entertaining us, with characters we could identify with. That’s how it was in the 1990s.
The troubles began with Friends.
Threading the needle. That was Seattle music in 1994. A desperate, futile gambit to save what few musicians remained from Lady Heroin’s clutches. Cobain was dead. A hideous monster was uncovered, in that bands came to realize that their labels would capitalize upon their deaths just as they would their lives. It’s one of the sickest, most repugnant eras in recording history.
Mike McCready, guitarist for none other than Pearl Jam, entered rehab for drugs and alcohol during the production of Vitalogy, in Minneapolis. Just imagine the options for debauchery that McCready was presented with; you can’t. I can’t. Pearl Jam has sold around 60 million albums worldwide. When that happens, secret people offer you more of something you like than you’ve ever seen, or knew existed. Anyone would give anything (or say anything) to be with you. Continue reading