Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Was, schon Zwanzig Jahre her?!

It is today my wife and I's (me's?) 20th wedding anniversary. This comes as something of a shock. Not that it wasn't there in the diary, plain to see and perfectly predictable but simply that it is already so long ago that we, in our own cash-bereft and idiosyncratic way tied the knot in a sunny, slummy, Haringey registry office.

You won't find any saccharine love poems here, no flowers, no glittery GIFs proclaiming my love. I think that kind of stuff is private and I'm actually suspicious of people make too much of a public spectacle in that way. Suffice to say, I love her and she loves me and the people who matter know that.

No, instead I thought I'd make a little Rock and Roll Years type reminiscence courtesy of YouTube and the interweb in general. So here's what was happening on June 26th 1992:

*rolls back the mists of time*


These are the least naff singles in the chart on the day we wed, proving that even though the single as an art form was already in decline, there was STILL some half-decent music in the charts:

Utah Saints - Something Good

U2 - Even Better then the Real Thing

The B-52's - Good Stuff

The Cure - Friday I'm in Love

The Mission - Like a Child Again

If you'd like to peruse the full top 75 singles and album charts for that day, you can on the splendid http://chartarchive.org/c/1992-06-27


Of course there was a rather important football match that day. We English don't check to see whether our plans clash with major football finals as we're only ever involved as spectators. So all credit to our German family who made it over to England for our wedding, only to have to endure this, viewed on our old wooden tellybox!

Denmark 2 - 0 Germany (Euro 92 final)

The film (movie) charts are harder to track down but the last chart I can find before our big day shows Batman Returns trumping Wayne's World to the no.1 spot in the UK. Lawnmower Man was a fairly big disappointment I seem to recall, nothing like the Stephen King short story at all promising us a Virtual Reality future that STILL hasn't turned up.


More importantly as I'm sure we spent more time playing video games than we did watching films or even listening to music in 1992, here is the only complete games chart I can find for that time. It covers sales in Japan only but if I remember rightly, what with the SNES being out in UK a year earlier and the Nintendo Gameboy a year previously to that, Japanese games were mostly what we were playing anyway. These are the ones we actually owned:

Japan Weekly Games Chart, Week Ending 28th Jun 1992

Game Weekly Total Week #
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (SNES)
Capcom, Fighting
251,195 1,674,683 3
Kirby's Dream Land
Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
Nintendo, Platform
19,687 521,865 9
Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land (GB)
Nintendo, Platform
13,890 3,164,799 167
Super Mario World
Super Mario World (SNES)
Nintendo, Platform
12,145 2,828,427 84
Tetris (GB)
Nintendo, Puzzle
10,019 3,233,679 159
Metroid II: Return of Samus
Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)
Nintendo, Adventure
5,481 360,105 23
Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario (GB)
Nintendo, Puzzle
5,006 1,680,243 92
Yoshi (GB)
Nintendo, Puzzle
4,991 490,330 29
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
Nintendo, Adventure
4,030 1,084,467 32
Tetris 2 + Bombliss
Tetris 2 + Bombliss (NES)
BPS, Puzzle
3,598 237,511 29
F-Zero (SNES)
Nintendo, Racing
3,253 759,444 84

2,662 127,575 17
Super Adventure Island
Super Adventure Island (SNES)
Hudson Soft, Platform
2,011 211,108 25
Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario (NES)
Nintendo, Puzzle
1,922 1,474,118 101
Final Fight
Final Fight (SNES)
Capcom, Action
1,919 626,313 80
31 Contra III: The Alien Wars SNES Konami Shooter 18
35 Super Soccer SNES Human Entertainment Sports 29
Source: VGChartz

Going Out

Lastly, by way of a more general nostalgation, the clubs and pubs we would have frequented in those days include: The Astoria, Charing Cross Road, mostly the Friday night Web club (ROCK!) now gone to make way for the Tottenham Court Road tube station expansion, The Marquee in its last incarnation on Charing Cross Road (now a pub) and of course The Royal George, still there but I think the suits and tourists have taken over. Friday nights and Saturday nights would be the long hair and leather jacket brigade's rush hour. All have their tales to tell but that my friends, is for another time.

Wait, what, no pictures? OK then, just the one!

Happy 20th Anniversary, us!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Stop Asking Stupid Questions!

Originally published  for another blog on 3/2/2011 but hey, nothing's changed so it's still relevant.

Modern life, with all its news headlines, trailers, adverts, tweets and status updates has become so overwhelmingly demanding that I almost envy our caveman ancestors whose information intake was limited to a few grunts and the odd squeal of their prey meeting its demise. What a simple, blissfully ignorant existence that must have been. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, I’m increasingly of the opinion that we all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place.

Worst of all though has to be the rhetorical question disguised as a TV programme title. It’s not enough to simply tell us what the programme is about, now we need to answer back to a documentary which is supposed to be talking to us.

“Do we really need the moon?” the BBC asked this week. Do we? Well I’m assuming so for important science-type reasons but I don’t want to get drawn into the discussion without watching the programme. “Will My Crash Diet Kill Me?” is another, again from Auntie Beeb. I don’t know and to be frank I don’t really care. Admittedly, this is a more compelling title than the perhaps more accurate “My Crash Diet Might Kill Me” but it’s also bloody annoying.

Even newspapers, the last bastion of up-to-date, analogue information get in on the action. The Daily Mail currently asks us “Are aliens here?” Well, we know the answer to that one. Because I bet if the answer was “yes” you’d be milking that headline so much you wouldn’t have room to print all that “Z-list celeb wears same dress for the second time shocker!” rubbish your readers seem to love more than good, hard news.

It also demands of us, "As the Arab world unravels, should the West be worried?" Well again, you’re the experts, you tell us! By using a rhetorical question, you’re simply hiding the fact that you’re going to give us your opinion, and give us  our opinion, washing your hands of all responsibility because we’re the ones who answered the question. All the while whipping us into a frenzy of worry and hatred about things which won’t don’t really matter. Very clever.

But since when has it been the role of the mainstream media to placate us? To put a comforting arm around our shoulders, kiss us on the forehead and whisper “Now, now, shh, it’s OK. I’ll protect you from the harsh realities of modern existence.”

Answer THAT rhetorical question. Manipulative smart arses.