Armagideon Time

Posts tagged ‘is this any way to run an economy’

Eff your vescence

May 30th, 2019

It’s always bizarre to me when financial analysts act gobsmacked when a faddish commodity experiences a sharp correction. Regardless of one’s opinion about flavored seltzer water, it was pretty clear that its white hot trendiness would eventually experience some form of reversion to the mean. For every one of these darlings which does manage to […]

Hey, kids, do you wanna see something really scary? Then look no further, as I unleash the real-life nightmare of Billboard‘s “Bulk Vending News” from July 2, 1966! I can see your looks of terror from here. Once upon a time, there was a Bulk Merchandise Vendor who decided that Halloween provided a perfect promotional […]

And I never did

March 15th, 2018

The first Toys R Us I ever visited was the one at the North Shore Mall. The mall also housed the only barbershop my grandfather trusted to cut his hair. On the third Saturday of the month, he’d load himself, my grandmother, Lil Bro and me into his oversized tan Chevy and make the long […]


August 31st, 2017

The “internet of things” bullshit is hardly a new phenomenon, but the current incarnation of something that dates back to the dawn of the industrial revolution. Mass production requires mass consumption, yet the mechanics of economies of scale mean that supply will eventually outstrip consumer demand. There are only so many stoves, toasters, or automobiles […]

The great achievements of western capitalism have rebounded primarily to the benefit of the ordinary person. These achievements have made available to the masses conveniences and amenities that were previously the exclusive prerogative of the rich and powerful. ― Milton Friedman

As much flak as geekdom gets for its obsession with dubious “collectable” crap, it still has a little ways to go before it catches up to the true masters of the kitschy craft. I was utterly traumatized by both the book and movie versions of The Amityville Horror as a kid, but that was over […]

Got the world up my class

September 15th, 2016

“Then Harvey said yes Leningrad was wonderful, and how it was called the Venice of the North on account of how wonderful it was. The man at the other end said yes, and how did Mr. Dempsey like it, and I said it was wonderful but I hadn’t ever heard anyone call Venice the Leningrad […]

Copy and delete

May 16th, 2016

Over and over again, we’ve been told that piracy was going to destroy the music industry. Based on the following excerpt from a 1987 Billboard feature on illegal taping… …I find myself wondering if that oft-threatened destruction wouldn’t have been for the best. I don’t care how interesting the Nigerian list of pirated albums is. […]

Foul sorcery for a foul era

April 8th, 2016

I’ve done deep periodical dives into the realms of 1950s Cold War paranoia, the 1970s music industry and 1980s videogame culture, but never has the past felt like another country as much as it did when I delved into a run of Wizard Magazine from the height of the 1990s comics bubble. The “Terrible ’90s” […]

Press eject

December 17th, 2015

My journey through Panorama has reached its abrupt conclusion with the June 1981 issue, but not before TV Guide‘s doomed-from-the-start bid for an upscale audience served up a chilling glimpse into the World That’s Coming… National Video was one of the first major tape rental chains to emerge from the home video gold rush, and […]

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