Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1.21 gigawatts

by Josh

Yes, it's true. I would go back to the 1980s.

I know, I know. I must be insane. I have at my disposal (for this week only) the ability to travel back to 1880s London or 1660s Paris and I choose the decade of "Rock Me Amadeus." Jesus at Gethsemane, you say? Give me Dukakis in an Abrams tank. The building of the Great Wall of China would be nice to witness, I agree, but I think I'd rather witness Witness.

Because I like indoor plumbing. I really do. I don't think I could survive long in a chamberpot society. I like having access to a faucet and I like knowing that the water which will come out of the faucet will have all pollutants artificially removed. I like hot showers. I like ice makers.

But my cell phone is too small. It's a phone. It should have weight to it, because Lord knows I won't be contributing any with my conversation. And it should have an antenna. I can trust an appliance with an antenna. An antenna offers the illusion of control. Better yet: two antennae. Rabbit ears. Why can't my plasma TV have rabbit ears? This is why I want to go back to the 1980s.

And don't even get me started on the internet. Did we really need to build another Tower of Babel? I got along just peachy at my local library. Literature, like a cell phone, should have weight to it. War & Peace should not weigh as much as The Cat in the Hat. That's simple physics, isn't it? Kindle schmindle. I want to be burdened by my books. I want my books to form a Tower of Babel in my arms. Will it topple before I get to the car? Will it? This is the stuff that adventures are made of.

If, in 1989, I really, really yen for a previous age, I can always watch MTV. Thank you for the 1950s, Paula Abdul. Oh, is that the early 18th century? So sweet of you, REM.

I miss you, pastel bandana. I miss you, Savings & Loan Crisis. I miss you, cassette player with AM/FM tuner. I miss you, Mrs. Garrett. I miss you, Intifada. I miss you, Margaret Thatcher. I miss you, Challenger.

I so miss you.

And in other, more contemporary news:

Today marks the street date for our own Kelli Stanley's City of Dragons! Normally I would provide an Amazon link for you to buy it, but when last I checked, Jeff Bezos still hadn't finished his temper tantrum and all of Macmillan's books remained blacklisted. So instead, buy it from Books, Inc., a terrific independent bookstore located in the novel's hometown of San Francisco - so how neat is that?

Today, also, it is my privilege to raise a glass (of Sprite) to another of our Criminal Minds, Ms. Rebecca Cantrell, whose debut novel A Trace of Smoke has just been nominated by Left Coast Crime for The Bruce Alexander Award for Historical Mystery. What novel won last year, you ask? Kelli Stanley's Nox Dormienda.

Don't you just love it when two seemingly disparate plot threads suddenly intertwine like that?


Unknown said...

Oh, to live in the past! Readers and writers can always choose to travel the corridors of time in their minds. Now, if we could only go back in the 1980s and invest in Microsoft and Apple.

Kelli Stanley said...

Ah, Josh--a man after my own heart. :)

Thank you for the stroll down memory lane (I miss the Go-Gos and proper leg warmers, too)!! :)

And thanks, my friend, for the City of Dragons shout-out! :) Tonight is launch party time at my home away from home, M is for Mystery!! :)

And THREE CHEERS for the fabulous and brilliant Rebecca (also known as Becky) ... BRUCE ALEXANDER AWARD FINALIST!!! :) Go, Becks, go!!! Can't wait to see you at LCC!!


Rebecca Cantrell said...

Ah, the 80s! I was in Berlin, the Wall was up, and "Rock Me Amadeus" was quite popular (in German). I do tend to agree wrt indoor plumbing. After a childhood spent largely without, one of my adult goals has been to always have access to a flush toilet. In fact, I might just go run some water in my sink just to look at it.

Thanks for mentioning the Bruce Alexander. And, yes, Kelli, I'll see you at LCC.

But today is the day that the Dragon is let loose! The City of Dragons will finally see the light of day. I'm saying it here: I predict great things for that book!

(BTW, my verification word is poplat, which is kinda cool)

Terry Stonecrop said...

Ah yes, the 1980's. What's not to like? Well, maybe the humungous shoulder pads.

The beauty of writing is you can travel to any time you'd like, even long before you were born, and hang out there for a while.

Fun post!

Graham Brown said...

I too miss the 80's mostly because it was great to be totally clueless, confident and ready for anything. Maybe teenagers are the same way today but I think they have to deal with a lot more than I/we ever did.

Mike Dennis said...

Ah yes, the 80s. Were they exciting times or what? Stylish narrow ties, the Talking Heads, the John Anderson candidacy...and let's not forget the rise of Larry Holmes, "Charles In Charge", the Nashville Network, "Police Academy 5". Oh, the memories! I could go on and on!

Meredith Cole said...

I'm with you on the indoor plumbing, Josh.

And the 80's are back (fashion-wise) at least. So you got part of your wish...