and now it completely kicks ass in comparison.
For instance: geopolitical affairs. Yes, we got wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Paul Kony going all crazy witch doctor and giving a bunch of kids guns that they don’t know which end the bullet comes out. Well, when I was a kid, there was a place called the fucking USSR that had thousands upon thousands of multimegaton nuclear warheads pointed at your house and the entire world lived under the threat of total annihilation via thermonuclear war. It wasn’t gonna be a clean death, either. You would get directly incinerated by a nuclear blast if you were lucky, otherwise you would just have half your face blistered off and then suffer from accelerated cancer that turned you into a bubonic mutant. And your very genes would be mangled, so that you had no hope of repopulating the earth. Your children and your children’s children would be hideous flipper-limbed sentient tumors, and the water would be poisoned for ten thousand years and the sky would be full of lethal clouds fifteen miles thick and every food crop would wither and die and if they didn’t you wouldn’t want to eat them anyway because they would be full of cancerous poison. And you would have dreams about it, as a kid– about once a week you would dream that there was global thermonuclear holocaust and you survived somehow but your parents were dead and the water was poisoned. Because you’d turn on the TV and Ronald Reagan would be talking some hardass smack about how dangerous Russia was and we were gonna fight ’em and not roll over and that would sink into your head and all your dreams were about the end of the world, when you were eight years old. What do kids have nightmares about now, 9/11? Maybe kids in New York can get away with that shit, but we all know nothing is going to happen to you in Indiana. 9/11 isn’t shit. Your real nightmare should be that no one even cares enough about you to bomb you. What are we afraid of now– Israel vs. Iran? Who cares.
And when I was a kid we had AIDS. I mean, they still have AIDS now, but when I was a kid it was new and in your face; there was a billboard up everywhere where that hollow cheeked Jesus looking AIDS dude was finally getting acceptance from his father at the moment of death; there was that stupid U2 song where a black and white Buffalo running towards nothing somehow symbolized AIDS; every public conversation everywhere, every other word was “AIDS.” And there was a whole health education agenda about AIDS designed to disabuse kids of the idea that it was a homosexual and needle drug abusers’ disease; a giant campaign to come to your school and personally tell YOU that YOU are going to get AIDS if you ever have sex. So when I was in my prime boning years, every girl was absolutely convinced that she was going to get AIDS if she even looked at you without a condom over her eyeballs. Getting laid even once was as much work as building the god damn pyramids.
But now you kids are porking so much that you brought back SYPHILIS. Syphilis! Did you make a time machine and rawdog a cave bear? Did you go back and buttfuck Henry the 8th in 1532? Whatever, though, that’s good. You hear about an STD outbreak, at least someone is getting laid.
When I was a kid Nintendo was the bleeding edge of technology– and all the games were the same. Run from the left side of the screen to the right while things try to hit you. Usually they can kill you with one hit, and there are no saves, and no continues. Or there are continues but the process is you enter an alphanumeric password that is like 200 characters long and does not do a thorough job of differentiating I from 1 and o from 0 or even Q and if you mess up just once you have to painstakingly enter the entire paragraph of gibberish again, and the only tool you have to maneuver through this vast palette of jumbled bullshit is your puny little Nintendo controller. And that was GOOD games.* If you didn’t have that, when you fucked up ONCE, you would constantly be re-playing fifteen boards that you already knew by rote; an obsessive pleasureless chore just to get back to that one moment-of-truth point where odds are you would just fuck it all up again.
And you had to connect it to your bowed-out shitty fishbowl looking old timey television with a coaxial cable that you had to unscrew and rescrew every time you wanted to go from watching TV to playing Nintendo. Only a few rich kids had the treasured toggle switch that you buy at radio shack that screws on to the back of the TV– otherwise you are just forever screwing that cable in, awkwardly fishhooking your arms to reach around the back of your giant bulky set and blindly trying to engage the little steel ringlet on the cable onto the little prong on the TV, which– both things were both a male and female part at the same time; so not only did you have to screw the cable on, you had to make sure the lethally pointy little wire in the cable went into the tiny urethral hole in the center of the prong, which it never did on the first try; it was always bent, and your continued efforts only bent it further– and then the little ringlet always FELT like it was perfectly catching the thread of the little prong and it was going to easily screw in and engage, except it NEVER did, it ALWAYS caught it at a weird angle where it was sort of half-hooked on but a bit cockeyed and would just spin and spin and spin forever. You ALWAYS had to unscrew it and rescrew it like fifteen fucking times.
And the cartridges fucking sucked– if you didn’t store them in a god damn CDC saferoom, if one subatomic mote of dust got on those things, you would have to do this whole excruciating routine where you would blow on it, harmonica style, and kind of push it mostly but NOT QUITE ALL THE WAY back into the loading bay and ever-so-gently press it down, and nine times out of ten it STILL wouldn’t fucking work and you’d get just flashing screens of lavender, brown, and lime green. Fucking Nintendo sucked.
Now you got Skyrim. A whole huge game with a map the size of Canada where you can walk anywhere you want, and everything is so much fun that you could conceivably enjoy just making your character chop wood.
Anyway, there are a million examples like this. The porn alone makes life worth living nowadays. Whoever invented pre-washed salad should be given the god damn medal of freedom– you used to have to hack apart a giant unwieldy head of lettuce with sand and worms in it and scrub each leaf like fucking Lady MacBeth because some migrant worker had probably taken a shit on it. It would take you three hours to make a fucking salad. And on and on and on. Don’t get me wrong: life is still a miserable hellscape of debasement and defeat. But the little shit, you know– it keeps marching forward and making things almost bearable. Excelsior.
*I’m convinced that’s why Legend of Zelda was so popular. Not because it’s a great game– it sucked. It’s a confusing actionless mess with absurd puzzles that NO ONE solved on their own– every single person either cheated by reading Nintendo Power or hearing about the solution from someone who had read Nintendo Power. Zelda was popular because it was the first game that had an easy save system.