Armagideon Time

Posts tagged ‘technology’

The whole world in my hands

September 12th, 2019

For all the predicted sacrifices I’d been told parenting would bring, the only major casualty has been my relationship with the PlayStation 4 in the living room. Prior to move-in day, the console was a near-constant free time companion. We get home from work, feed the animals and ourselves, then Maura would decamp upstairs to […]

Reel, too real

April 23rd, 2019

Some folks will tell you that the Apollo 11 mission was 1969’s biggest scientific achievement. They are wrong. Transporting a pair of human to the surface of another world is pretty impressive, I’ll admit… …but it pales in comparison to the advent of a portable cassette player with a protective enclosure for its media. Portable […]

Courtesy of the “Horror and Sci-Fi” insert in the October 4, 1986 issue of Billboard comes the “HORROR/SCI-FI VID RENTAL REVIEW” chart for the preceding year. It’s an interesting period of time, personally speaking, because it reflects the brief window where my family had a functioning VCR and a rental membership at the Video Station […]

That’s right, kiddies. We used to get our monster movie fixes on magnetic tape spooled inside a hard plastic shell. And those suckers weren’t cheap, either. Even the discount bins at dead retail chains like the dreaded Suncoast Video or the terrible Tower Records ran as much if not more than the day-one DVD release […]

Wanna hear something really scary? I had a mysterious black box in my bedroom known as a desktop computer. It contained some ancient and arcane technology dating all the way back to 2011. I used to use to commune with people around the globe, resurrect long-dead videogames, and write macabre treatises on such horrible things […]

Signed sealed discarded

May 31st, 2016

Now there’s something that will be unfamiliar to anyone under the age of thirty. Hell, I’m 44 and I’d completely forgotten about its existence until this 1982 Billboard item rekindled those old, mostly unpleasant memories. The portability cassettes brought to the music realm was a double-edged sword for retailers, who had to adopt either a […]

Stop and spin

May 25th, 2016

The fuzzy transition zones between popcultural epochs tend to be rich in bizarre experimental oddities. The “old” isn’t quite ready to give up the ghost, while the “new” is still too amorphous and unproven to qualify as a true status quo. Popcult trends are essentially consumer trends, with their temporal arcs pinned to some affiliated […]

Mall wall fall

May 11th, 2016

Like many people,I’d always assumed that mall record store prices were based on a randomized process dictated by arcane franchise agreements and the need to pay a monthly lease. Little did I know that the process was actually handled by some of them new-fangled com-pew-tors, running some variant of this sophisticated string of code: 160 […]

The way of all new flesh

September 2nd, 2015

The nature of consumer capitalism requires that all innovative technologies must eventually descend from the heights of luxuriant loftiness to the gutters of vulgar ubiquity. The glamorization of “early adopters” and other obsessive-compulsive enthusiasts stokes the fires of wider demand. They are not simply paying for the privilege of being first, but to serve as […]

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