Thursday, March 31, 2011

Onto the Middle School Fads: The GOTH. [watch out for the chains]

The Goth.  The most blatant oxymoron of a fad.  The sheer irony of these kids always will amaze me.  Think about it.  The Goth kids are the anti-society, colored-haired rebels who don't give a shit and have an attitude that screams, "screw-the-world!"  Right? Riiiiight.  This is what they think.  

Well, Goth kids listen to my perspective on things.  You wake up at least an hour earlier than everyone else in the morning just to show how much you hate the world.  You buy pants with chains on them, which has to take an extra few minutes to:

1. Assemble in the morning and 
2. Walk down the hallway

     I mean come on those pants are a walking disaster.  Take a wrong turn and your shoe winds up in the awkward criss-cross straps that are your pants (link or pic).  You take at least fifteen minutes every morning drawing on layers of black eye-liner and caking on that black eye shadow. I mean dayummm those Goth kids in my middle school wore more make-up on a day-to-day basis than Krusy the Clown does. (the goth makeup... OR a much better look...)

My personal favorite part of the Goth fad was the other classifications that branched off, but were “completely different” from gothic.  Though the Goth kids are still around today, most of the Goth kids at my middle school went through a full-scale evolutionary cycle that started with Goth and has transformed into hipster. Apparently when being Goth loses its appeal there are many other options to choose from including: punk, scene, emo and hipster.  Let me help breakdown the differences:
Evolution of the pants of the goth to the hipster… 

Another one of my favorite memories of the Goth kids was their transition from middle school to high school.  A significant portion of the Goth middle schoolers gave up their chained pants, colored hair, black eyeliner and combat boots as they entered high school.  I guess they, too, realized that it was just becoming a hassle to wake up so early to hate the world as they decided to shift from anti-conformists to average teenage students.  The shift was shocking, however, for those of us who spent the last three years knowing a student as a Goth, equipped in their Goth attire.  It was kind of like a, “Holy $hi%! You have blonde hair??!!” type of revelation.  Now if I was surprised to see this immense transformation I can only imagine the parents of these kids.  I mean it had to be a giant sigh of relief when your daughter goes from wearing this to school to this.  

For some reason or another being Goth peaks throughout ones middle school years.  Perhaps it’s the awkward transition into puberty that drives kids to adopt this lifestyle.  Perhaps it’s a blatant opposition to one’s parents throughout these tough years.  Whatever the reason may be, I have one suggestion for all the future Goths of the world:

Drop the act by high school.  If you are still dressing up in all black to put your middle finger up at society in high school, you need to check yourself.  It was funny and entertaining for three years, but by high school join a club or organization that professes these ideals you hold cuz let me be quite frank, unless you are a member of Kiss, people will not consider your ideals [whether or not they are valid] in your freaky Gothic attire.

And in case your into huntin' hipsters, check this out:

Just a note to the Goths of the world: this is all in good humor, please do not take anything I write personally.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pokémon Cards

The epic, the Charizard card.

Image from this website.

1. Unlike Beanie Babies, Pokémon cards actually ended up being worth a significant amount of dough (The Charizard Pokemon card still goes for 36 bucks).

2.  Girls certainly enjoyed collecting Pokémon cards.  Though I was not one of them, many girls have assured me they too enjoyed the feeling of ripping open a fresh pack of Pokemon cards.

3. How about those holograms? "Open up a fresh pack and you see was the best moment of my life" [That was a direct quote from 20 year old Ryan Haughey I have no idea who Charizard is, probably some really large Japanese lizard if I had to guess]

4. It was addicting.  Those cards just took over the schools.  People would get those binders just like the Pog binders and have them stacked to the brim with the evolutionary cycle of each of the Pokémon.

5. Energy cards. "Worthless piece of $^&T energy cards" [Another direct quote from Ryan Haughey]. These cards were used to be able to make your Pokémon attack when you played the actual Pokémon game, but who played the actual game?  I have learned through research in the game respect Pokémon cards were pretty much like Pogs.  Not many people really played the game it was more about collecting the cards that were the rarest.  

6. Lunch time was prime time for Pokémon trading.  Pokémon trading was an innocent hobby that set the future businessmen from the future social workers.

7. On the bottom right corner of every Pokémon card there was a symbol.  You either got a circle, a diamond or a star.  Getting a circle meant you got coal for Christmas.  Diamonds were neutral and when you got a star you hit the jackpot.  The stars were the cards you really got pumped about.  Victory dances that looked like this.

8. Pikachu!  Though I initially thought this little yellow creature suffered from chronic allergies I learned that this was his actual voice.  Pikachu is a central character in the Pokémon anime series, making him one of, if not the most recognizable Pokémon.  

9. Here's another funny question that I stumbled upon while on my quest for research about Pokémon cards.  Ever wonder how they came up for the names of Pokemon cards?

10. The Japanese obviously had some secret chemical that they were putting into their toys to make them especially addicting.  Tamagotchis, Pokémon cards....both were not that fun, but for some reason were that addicting.

Anymore Pokemon memories, anyone?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beanie Babies (You knew it was comin')

So here's something everyone should remember from the 90s: beanie babies.  These small furry animals stuffed with beads blew up like Hiroshima in the early 90s. And it wasn't about having a few lovable playmates, it was about having as many of these bean-filled buddies as you could possibly have.

One of my most notable memories is the controversy surrounding the TY tag on the beanie babies.  I personally found the tag to be somewhat of an annoyance so naturally I ripped off the tags of my beanie babies the minute I got them.  However, it soon became quite a big deal to keep the TY tag on your beanie babies.  People said this was because the tag meant the beanie baby had value.  Looking back I'd like to ask these people, WHAT VALUE?!  I mean the originals were what $5?  And it's not like the toys were some rare specimen.  Every kid had at least ten.  Did people really believe that if they preserved the beanie babies tag they would be able to sell it back years later for a huge profit? Come on.

Though I was strongly opposed to keeping the TY tags on, I was challenged at school by some fourth grade brat: "That's not a REAL beanie baby! It doesn't have a TY tag." "Yes it is, I just took it off," I retorted. "Yeah, right!  Everyone knows to keep the tag on. That's totally fake!"

That was it.  From this point on I found it essential to keep the TY tags on.  The tag was essentially a status symbol.  If your TY tag was on you were flying first class.  If your TY tag was ripped off--you were   in coach, and your parents cheap-ed out of getting you the good one.

So basically having beanie babies was a huge competition to separate the spoiled brats from the kind-of-spoiled kids from the kids whose parents just flat out didn't love them.  The spoiled brat beanie baby conversation would sound something like this:

"I just got the just released, limited edition, brand-new, beanie baby Princess Diana bear.  So now I have 862 beanie babies! Ha!!"

"Oh yeah?! Well, I have 904 beanie babies and my Mom said she ordered the Diana bear plus the new Quacker the Duck without the wings and they only made like 15 Quacker the Ducks in the world!"

Yeah, I couldn't hang with this crowd of one-uppers.  I was in the semi-spoiled group and had my fair share of fuzzy friends, but 904?! Jeez, that's just excessive and spoiling a child at this age will surely backfire on his/her parents; it's just a matter of time...

The biggest problem I faced when the beanie baby storm finally subsided was where the hell to put them.  I had about 110 beanie babies, which was taking up some serious closet space.  And you couldn't throw them away because as rumor had it, they were surely "going to be valuable."  Well to everyone who insisted beanie babies would become valuable one day:

Thanks to YOU I kept 110 beanie babies stored in my closet until I graduated high school. Jerks.