Top Ten Things I Used to Like, But Now Realize Suck
Recently my special lady and I have started playing through Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo (possibly the best platformer of all time). Neither one of us had attempted to thwart Bowser since our salad days, and it’s absolutely amazing how well this game has aged. It would be very easy to get caught up in the nostalgia of it and think that surely all the things that I prized so much as a child still carry as much weight as Super Mario World does. Surely. But you’d be wrong. And I’ll prove it.
Here it is, the top ten things that I used to like, that I now realize suck:
10. Independence Day (Movie)
The recent holiday got me thinking about this one. Riding high on the wave of Stargate and Universal Soldier (however high you can ride on that wave), the German-born Roland Emmerich decided to give us the second most jingoistic action film of all time (the first being Rocky IV), Independence Day (sometimes called ID4, though by whom I don’t know). I remember going to watch this in the theater with my old man (on Independence Day, no less!) when I was ten years old and being absolutely enthralled. Sue me, I loved watching shit blow up.
9. The Pittsburgh Pirates (Baseball Team)
Okay, this may be a little unfair, I’m basically condemning a pretty good team at the time for their latter day bumbles. As I write this, the Pirates are 39-48 and 10 games back in the NL Central and haven’t had a winning season this millenium. But, I was a big Pirates fan when I was a kid. Mostly because of the logo, but also because of Barry Bonds, Doug Drabeck, Bobby Bonilla, Jay Bell, Andy Van Slyke, and Sid Bream, the Jimmy Leyland-era Pirates.. From 1990-1992, they won three division titles and Drabeck won a Cy Young in 1990. If only they had that team again
8. Candlebox (Band)
Candlebox was a “post-grunge” band. Basically that means they came in late on the Seattle grunge explosion and attempted to cop the basic style of some of the bands that had already gained popularity (most notably Pearl Jam - so much so that in 1997 the band recruited Dave Krusen, former Pearl Jam drummer). Don’t get me wrong, I still dig listening to Far Behind and Cover Me from time to time, but their first record went 4X platinum and somehow they have a greatest hits album out. That’s a little much for a less than mediocre band like this.
7. Food Fighters (Toy Line)
The more I think about it, the worse these toys actually were. Believe you me there were tons of bad toys in the eighties, but the Food Fighters I actually liked at the time. They were just crummy figures, with no articulation, shaped like various food items that fought each other. They were broken up into two teams (Kitchen Commandos and Refrigerator Rejects) that evidently didn’t get along. I remember being so happy when I saw these stupid things at Toys ‘R Us for the first time. Ooo! Look toys shaped like my favorites foods...with guns!
6. The Nixons: Foma (Album)
Being from East Texas, I had to listen to The Nixons. It was required for a short stint of time. So in 1995 I bought their album Foma, and, of course, was really into it. I would jam it out on my walkman (that skipped like a bastard) while roller blading down the block. Seriously. Look, I can still listen to Sister, but that’s it. That’s the only song that holds up at all. I’ll tell you how dated this record is: in the linear notes there is a picture of the group all wearing Stussy hats and Redsand and No Fear shirts. Yeah. Cool. I never got any of their other records, so I can’t tell you how bad they are, just stay away from Foma.
5. Korn (Band)
I liked Korn. I’ll admit it.I was in middle school and it made me feel like a little rebel to listen to a CD with EXPLICIT LYRICS! Hey, at least I never felt like Jonathan Davis was “speaking to me” with his angst-ridden lyrics about getting beat up in high school or whatever. I just liked that he said “fuck” sometimes and it was pretty loud. Luckily I got out of them by the time they had pressed their third record. Yikes. Watch them here "performing" with Amy Lee!
4. Friday the 13th (NES Game)
While an argument could be made that the movie could make this list, I ain’t buying that. It’s too much fun for that. And that’s the biggest difference between the film and the game. The 1988 NES game is just no fun. When I was a kid though, I loved anything and everything that had an image of Jason or Freddy on it (still do, actually) because they were from movies I wasn’t allowed to watch. I was, however, able to rent the video game countless times (thanks to there being no ESRB!) and I would sit there playing it without having a damn clue what I was supposed to be doing. And when I play it now, I still have no damn clue what I’m doing.
3. Masters of the Universe (Cartoon Series)
Another one of those cartoons that began life as a toy. Of course, the MOTU line does have the interesting distinction of being a toy line that came about by accident. Of course, when I was a kid I was really into the MOTU cartoon series because of how awesome the action figures were. I mean, Castle Grayskull was the lone king of toy bases until the Technodrome came out years later. Going back and watching it now, it’s such a trite and stagnant show that you wonder if they actually paid writers to hammer out this dreck. I think the idea was that the toys would keep the kiddies watching.
2. Barry Bonds (Baseball Player)
I don’t know how much explanation this one really needs, but I’ll give you the set up. Before he was playing his game of shadows, Bonds was one of my favorite players (I’ve already told you about my love for the Pirates). I remember buying his posters at the book fair that we’d have at school and everything! And he was good. He was especially good in 1993 - hitting .336 with 46 four baggers and 29 stolen bases. Of course his best stint was 2001-2004. But I already didn’t like him by then.
1. POGS (Game)
Call them milkcaps or Pogs or wastes of money, it all amounts to the same thing: little round pieces of cardboard. Everyone I knew was playing pogs for a good fourth month period there in the mid 1990's. And I had the really cool ones, the poison ones with the skull and crossbones on them! the ones that had eightballs (apparently encouraging drug use)! the ones with my favorite football star Drew Bledsoe! Wowie! And then I’d lose them all to some kid who had a 12 lb solid oak slammer. Lousy kid, taking all my sweet Pogs. The fad died off so quickly and I’m sure that there were tons of kids who were pissed off cause they had just gotten into it and spent all their allowance buying some awesome set of Pogs that they never got to used cause Johnny down the street was getting into yo-yos now, cause Pogs are so last summer.
That's it for this weekend.
- Jordan M.