Thursday, May 19, 2016

Remembering Together - Imaginary Conversations

          Alright so this is a very long and VERY "me" piece of writing.  I should preface this by saying this is not an actual conversation I have had, but it does reflect conversations I have had in the past and things that I have been thinking about of late.  Enjoy.

Remembering Together

“Remember the episode of the Simpsons where they go to Itchy and Scratchy Land?”

“I remember. My son is also named Bort”
“And remember when the robots went all crazy?”

“I do

“I saw this old movie called Westworld.  That’s what it was referencing.  I didn’t get it when I was a kid”

“Yeah I saw that movie on cable a long time ago.  It had that guy from King and I in it.”

“Yul Brynner, yeah.  I think Yul Brynner was a gypsy or whatever"


“I think I read somewhere that Yul Brynner was a gypsy.”

“You mean Romani.”

“Yeah ok Romani.  I think I read Yul Brynner is Romani.”

“I thought he was like Mongolian or something.”

“Maybe he has a grandma.”

“That makes me feel weird about King and I now. I didn't realize that part was whitewashed.”

“Are Romani totally white?”

“I don’t know, that’s a good question.  Maybe they aren’t actually technically white.”

“Well it’s possible that he wasn’t like 100% white.  In either case I mean he isn’t Thai so him playing this king of Siam is still a little weird.”


“Maybe not as bad as Charlton Heston playing a Mexican.”

“When did Charlton Heston play a Mexican?”

“That movie Touch of Evil with Orson Wells.”

“I haven’t seen it.”

“Neither have I.  I just remember he plays a Mexican in it.  I think they refer to it in some Tarantino movie.”


“Remember when that kid Matt in high school used to tell us he had a girlfriend in Mexico and he would show us pictures of her but it was really just an ad for jeans that he cropped and put into his wallet?”

“I remember.  That was like a full on George Glass situation.”

The Brady Bunch Movie is seriously underrated.  It was surprisingly self aware.”

“The Charlie’s Angels movie was also not completely awful.”

“Yeah I would watch that movie if it was on TNT and I was bored.  Or like at the dentist.”

“I wouldn’t turn it off.”

“No, totally.  There are a lot of movies like that where I wouldn’t really say they were good but like if they happen to be on I would watch them even with commercials or flip back and forth.”

“Yeah which is totally weird because I would never actually say, ‘Hey let’s sit down and watch Starship Troopers’ but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that movie at least 3 times on cable.”

“Ever since I dropped cable I watch fewer shitty movies.”

“That’s what I mean.  Like when you have to actually select and watch an entire movie you don’t do it, but if you were scrolling through and it was there then you would.  Convenience.”

“It is also a little embarrassing.”

“Watching shitty movies?”

“Yeah it’s like always there looking at you.”


“Netflix remembers your viewing history.”


“I mean it is one thing watching Tomb Raider when it is on Syfy, but it is crappy to be reminded that you watched Tomb Raider every time you turn on Netflix.  Plus it screws with your viewing algorithm and recommends a bunch of other shit you don’t want to watch.”

“I just created another profile.”


“I just created another profile for shitty movies.  If I want to watch a shitty movie I open up the profile called ‘Bob’ and then it doesn’t mess with my queue.”

“You actually have a whole profile to watch shitty movies?”

“I mean I don’t do it that often. But yeah…”

“Remember MST3K?”

“I freaking loved the shit out of that show.”

“I went back and watched an episode online and it wasn’t as funny as I remember it being.”

“Maybe it was an off one.  There were off ones.  Was it Mike or Joel?”

“It was Joel.”


“It was an ep I remember being really funny. Teenagers From Outer Space.

“Yeah that was a good one.”

“It wasn’t that funny.”


“I mean it had funny moments but I found myself looking at my phone half the time.”


“This thing online rated it as one of the top episodes of the show.”

“Maybe it’s just funnier the first time.”

“Maybe.  I think I was like 10 when I saw it.”

“I remember a lot of things were funny when I was 10”

“Is that why there are 3 fucking Chipmunks movies?”

“Yeah I mean my cousin laughed hysterically when we watched the Yogi Bear on DVD over Thanksgiving so I think so.”

“How can you know if something is actually funny, or if you are just young and think everything is funny?”

“I dunno, I mean there are grown adults who watch Adam Sandler movies.”

“I like The Wedding Singer. I remember liking Billy Madison when I was in high school but I haven’t seen it in a while.”

“No I mean like recent Adam Sandler movies.”


“Yeah.  I mean grown ass adults watched and enjoyed Pixels. I don’t even know how to explain that.”

“I haven’t seen it.”

“I mean I haven’t seen it either. Why the fuck would I sit through Pixels?  I don’t need to sit through Pixels to tell you Pixels is terrible.”

“Would you watch it on TNT or an airplane?”

“No.  No, I’m pretty sure that I would rather look at the Sky Mall catalog and made fun of the wacky shit in there than watch Pixels even if I was on a 5 hour flight and I didn’t have a book to read.”

 “I remember hearing they don’t have Sky Mall anymore. I haven’t flown anywhere in a while.”

“No I think it came back.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

“I remember one time I saw this thing in there that was like a dog dressed as a butler but it was a table.” 

“Do people actually buy that shit?”

“I don’t know.  I mean I feel like if I became a billionaire I would buy like everything from the Sky Mall catalog just because it would be totally hilarious.”

“I’ve always wanted one of those bars that looks like a globe.  I nearly bought one with my tax refund.”

“If you actually did that, you would be my hero.”

“I would need to get a smoking jacket and a leather chair.”

“This is like a If You Give a Mouse a Cookie deal.”

“Oh man I remember that book.”

“That mouse was a dick.”

“That mouse was such a dick!  And the little boy kept capitulating to his every whim.  Like no fucking mouse I will not get you some goddamn tape, why don’t you appreciate what you fucking have.  You are a mouse that wears goddamn overalls, which is a step up from the other mice already.”

 “I read some weird books as a kid.”

“There are some weird fucking kid’s books that is for sure.”

Rainbow Fish was another shitty book.”

“YES!  Oh my god thank you.  Rainbow Fish is the worst fucking book.”

“Worse than The Giving Tree?

“Aw I remember loving Shel Silverstein.”

“Yeah I mean I love Shel Silverstein too like his poems and stuff.  Did you know he wrote that Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue”?  Dude was really cool.  But that doesn’t stop The Giving Tree from being objectively terrible.”

“How so?”

“I mean it’s like the mouse all over again.  Kid keeps taking and taking and the tree keeps giving and giving until it has nothing left and is a fucking stump for the old man to sit on.  That fucking blows.  That is like the definition of a toxic relationship.” 

“Do you remember the book I Love You Forever?”

“Yeah, vaguely.”

“So I’m looking for a book to buy my friend who is pregnant and I go into the store and I remember my mom reading that book to my brother so I pick it up and read it, right.”


“So the mom in the book rocks the baby and sings that’s all normal.  But then the mom like crawls into his house when he is an adult and picks up this grown man.  It was fucking creepy as hell.”


“I’m pretty sure the boy grew up to be Norman Bates. Do you watch the Psycho TV show?”

“Psycho TV show?”

“Yeah um.. Bates Motel I think.”

“Never heard of it.  What channel is it on?”

“You know I don’t even know.  I want to say AMC?”

“I guess that’s the other thing with not having cable I don’t even know about all these shows.  How many seasons has it been on?”

“I don’t even know if it is still on I just remember that it was a thing.”

“Gotcha.  There are just so many shows”

“Yeah, agreed.”

“Like I feel like I am a pretty with it sort of pop culturally savvy person and there are legit so many shows that everybody watches that I have never seen a single episode of.”

“Grey’s Anatomy”

“YES!  Ok, like I watched an episode of E.R. back in the day, but I have never seen a single fucking episode of Grey’s Anatomy and it has been on like well over a decade.”

“There are so many hospital and cop and firefighter shows.”

“I can’t even remember all of them.  Why do they keep making the same shows?”


“I guess.  Other people’s lives aren’t interesting?”

“Well that’s where you get reality TV.”

“Fuck don’t even get me started on reality TV.”

“You know I watched the first season of the Bachelor?  Like I was actually all into it and everything.”


“Yeah I mean my mom was watching and then I kind of just started watching when I was over there one day and then I kind of got into it and wanted to know what happened.”

“I get that.  The ones that are competitions I kind of get.  You want to know who wins.  I remember I watched the first 3 seasons of American Idol.”


“Yeah I mean you know you can have opinions about who you think is better and all that.  The romance ones are no different from the Dating Game or any of those old shows.”

“Oh man I remember watching old episodes of The Dating Game and Hollywood Squares on TV Land.”

“Remember when they tried to bring back Hollywood Squares?”

“With Whoopie Goldberg, right?  Yeah I vaguely remember that.  I used to watch old game shows all the time when I was in high school, isn’t that random?”

“I heard they are bringing back The Match Game.”


“Yeah. With Alec Baldwin”

“Oh yeah I think I remember hearing that too. They keep bringing back all these old shows.”

“Fuller House.”

“Ok seriously can we talk about this?  Are there people that are really excited about Fuller House?”

“I guess?”

“Did you see The Aristocrats?”

“I remember Bob Saget being all dirty is that what you are talking about?”  

“Yeah that was a pretty funny movie.”

“Yeah but it’s like that kind of funny where you just say outrageous things and it isn’t actually that funny.”

“Really, you don’t think that movie was funny?

“I mean not really, it isn’t really my thing.  I’m not saying that I need comedians to be clean.  Louis CK is dirty and he is funny but he’s funny because he’s funny not because he says something like “the dog ate the man’s cum” or something gross and that’s supposed to be the entire joke” 

“I remember hearing he is kind of sleaze.”

“Yeah I heard that too.  Which is kind of shitty.  But nobody’s accused him of actually raping anybody right?”

“No I think he just like whipped his dick out or something”



“That’s fucking gross.”


“Real question are there any male celebrities that aren’t completely gross?  I feel like I remember hearing something kind of awful about everybody”

“Your fave is problematic”


“It’s an internet thing.  Like your favorite celebrity always has something wrong with them. Like they said something about trans people or they hit their wives back in the 80s or they wore a Native American headdress or said gypsy instead of Romani”

“Am I problematic?”

“I think you are kind of marginally problematic, but you aren’t a celebrity so I don’t think it is really that bad.” 

“Can you still enjoy the work of problematic people?”

“Except for Bill Cosby and Woody Allen, yeah I mean I’m pretty sure that literally everyone is problematic.”

“Except for Mark Ruffalo and Oscar Isaac.”

“Yeah I’m pretty sure that Mark Ruffalo and Oscar Isaac are pretty perfect.”

“I want Mark Ruffalo to be my dad.” 

“I remember seeing pictures of him with his kids and yeah Mark Ruffalo would be an awesome dad but it would be kind of awkward because I want to bone him.”

“Really? He is like 50.”

“Yeah that’s not old enough to be my dad.”

“If Mark Ruffalo had a kid in high school, his kid would be our age.”

“That’s weird”

“If I had a kid in high school my kid would be in high school right now and could be having kids.  I could be a grandma.”

“Are you fucking high right now?”


“You are sounding kind of high right now”

“No, I’m just saying that if I had a kid at 17 then my kid would be 16 right now”

“Jesus fucking Christ”


“Ok yeah I’m sorry I hadn’t even thought about that before”

“Yeah it’s ok.  I only thought of it the other day because when I went to buy gum at the gas station there was that thing at the counter that said in order to buy cigarettes you had to have been born in 1998”

“People born in 1998 can buy cigarettes?!”



“Man, I remember 1998”

“The Wedding Singer came out in ‘98.  If Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore had a kid in the Wedding Singer the kid could buy cigarettes” 

“That movie was set in the 80s. Their kid would be like our age.”

“Ok fine if Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler had a baby in Armageddon their baby could buy cigarettes now if there wasn't another asteroid that destroyed earth in between”

“It would be kind of shitty if Armageddon and Deep Impact took place in the same universe.  Like asteroids just keep hitting Earth again and again."

"Damn you asteroids!!!"

"Mulder and Scully’s kid could buy cigarettes”

“I think she got pregnant in a later season”

“I don’t remember”

“Did you watch the new ones?”

“Eh I watched a few of them but not all”

“There were only like 6”

“It just wasn’t as good as I remembered.”

“It’s never as good as you remember is it?”

“I don’t think it is”

“It is weird what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget”

“I mean I feel like the newer X-Files episodes were just not as good”

“No I mean just in general, we remember some things but don’t remember other things”

“Yeah ok I get what you are saying”

“And it isn’t even the important things that you remember all the time like I can remember that Armageddon came out in 1998 but I can’t remember the name of all my teachers I had that year”

“Michael Bay was your real teacher”

“I’m serious”

“So am I.  I learned a lot about life from Michael Bay”

“Shut the fuck up”

“Sorry. Jesus”

“Ok but seriously why do I remember Armageddon but I can’t remember a single book I read in 1998.  I mean ok Armageddon, going back to what we were talking about before, is like the PERFECT example of a TNT movie that I would watch the shit out of, but like I would never say that Armageddon is an actually good movie.  But I’m pretty sure I read books in 1998 and I can’t remember for the life of me a single fucking book I read.  And I know they were probably better than Armageddon

“How do you know?”

“What do you mean how do I know?  I know.  I mean I am sure that there were books I read in English class that were better than Armageddon.  Oh wait, I remember one.  Ok I read Of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men is objectively better than Armageddon.

Of Mice and Men is, in fact, better than Armageddon but… IS it though?”

“Are you sure you aren’t high?  Of course it is fucking better than Armageddon.  This is a stupid question.”

“Why do you think Of Mice and Men is better than Armageddon?”

“I don’t even know how to answer this question.  It is a classic work of literature.”



“Why is it a classic work of literature?”

“It was written by fucking John Steinbeck it is a classic work of literature.  Jesus, what is this conversation even.”

“Ok but if you didn’t know who John Steinbeck was and you just picked up this book with no cover at all and you read it, why would you think that Of Mice and Men is better than Armageddon.

“I don’t know.  I don’t even remember that much about it except Lennie strangles those rabbits or whatever”

“Lennie killed a puppy.  And the boss’ wife.”


“Yeah.  He is talking about tending the rabbits when George shoots him in the back of the head.”

“Shit, I don’t remember.”

“I always thought it was kind of shitty because Lennie was obviously mentally disabled and probably should have gotten help or something.  I don’t know why George didn’t have him taken to a mental institution.”


“So anyway, I mean yes it is a well written book and it is an ‘important’ book but I wouldn’t call it good.  I would watch Armageddon 5 times on TNT before I read Of Mice And Men again.”

“Ok I kind of see your point.”

“The problem is with memory.  You remember the book being good and so you just say ‘it was good’ as if it was a fact.  But was it really good or do you just remember it being good, maybe somebody told you it was good and so you believed it?”

“Ok but are you really saying that Armageddon is better than Of Mice and Men?”

“Better than what?  What does better mean?  You have a Netflix profile for movies that are bad, but is your decision to watch those movies bad?  Could you have made a choice that was better?”   
“I mean yeah, probably.”

“See I don’t know about that.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot ever since I saw that MST3K episode.  Was the episode just not as good as I remember it being? Have I changed to make it not as funny anymore?  Is my attention span shorter?  If it is on this list of best episodes and I don’t find it funny is there something wrong with me?”

“Maybe you just don’t find it funny.”

“Exactly.  So it isn’t the best for me.  It isn’t any better than any other show all because people say that it is.”

“I kind of get your point.  The other month I went to an art museum with a friend of mine and I noticed that there were certain works of art that I thought were only so so but then when I looked at the little placard and it said they were by like Rembrandt or something I thought that maybe I just wasn’t… I dunno that I just didn’t understand what made them good.”

“Yeah and that’s the thing.  Maybe they weren’t good.  If you didn’t remember who Rembrandt was then maybe you would be able to just view the art objectively and say, ‘meh.’ But because you do remember who Rembrandt is, you automatically assume that Rembrandt equals good and your opinions aren’t valid.  That is bullshit.” 

“Ok but I feel like there are certain things that are objectively terrible.  You aren’t going to talk me into watching Pixels

“Nobody would ever force anybody to watch fucking Pixels.  No, actually I do agree that there are some things that are objectively terrible, I just don’t know that there are things that are objectively good.  I think finding things that everyone agrees are good without any bias are harder to find than things that are objectively terrible.” 

“Hashtag Oscars so white”

“EXACTLY.  The whole awards process is subjectivity if I’ve ever seen it.”

“Did you watch the Oscars this year?”

“No I don’t have TV, remember? I only have Netflix and Hulu”

“Right.  Yeah you didn’t miss all that much.”

“I didn’t think so either.  I mean I can see the highlights online.”

“The Mad Max costume design lady was kind of badass”

“Yeah I saw that.  She wore like a biker jacket or something.”

“Yeah that chick is freaking life goals”

“Do you remember when Bjork wore that swan?”

“Was that 98 again?”

“No that was 2001”

“Really, 2001?”

“Yeah. March. It was a simpler time.” 

“You know we are going to have another Clinton presidency, right?”

“The 90s are alive.” 

“25 things only teens in the 90s remember.  Number 5 will surprise you.”

“Is number 5 the new fucking Independence Day movie?”

“Ugh god why is that a thing?”

“Because we like remembering”

“We do, don’t we”

“Yeah I mean I feel like the whole thing with our generation… and no I will never call us millennials because millennials are these kids who were born in 98 and can just buy cigarettes now… The thing with our generation is that we are kind of obsessed with remembering.”

“Remember Alf?  He’s back!  In Pog form!”

“Even that is a memory.  We spend a lot of time remembering”

“We do.”

“Do you think when we are in our 80s in a retirement home they will have Simpsons TV nights like how old people today watch Matlock?” 

“Well, now I do.”

“I can’t remember the last time I watched a new episode of the Simpsons”

“The Simpsons is 27 years old.  If Lisa Simpson started the show at 8 years old and had a kid when she was 18, Lisa Simpson’s kid would be 17.  Lisa could be a grandma now.  Lisa would be 35.”

“Now who’s high?” 

“I like remembering with you.”

“I like remembering with you too”

“It’s fun to remember together”

“It is”

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