S Pink Premium Pointer Anyway, moving on ...: Teenage Flashback
People used to remind me that "not everything's either black or white", but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
Because, where is all that grey coming from?

Dienstag, 9. Dezember 2014

Teenage Flashback

Games, movies, and eventually music ... couldn't say that I ever found myself.

... it's more like there're bits and pieces of me lying around everywhere.

I just finished reading this blog entry in which that twenty-something girl (;)) from cultus.illusion.anima has written about some of her memories regarding the music and technology back when she was a teenager, and how things have changed since then. I also lived through some of that stuff, and it reminded me on even more when I thought about my once dearest hobby, gaming.

I remember how comparably circumstancial sharing your music with friends was.
You didn't have a ?GB library with thousands of songs in your pocket, you only had a hand full of songs on cassettes (mostly recorded from the radio; DAMN YOU, DJs  who cut of the end of the song and/or talked during the song!!! >:-[) which, over time, could take up a lot of space in your shelf, depending on how much of a fan you were. And if a friend liked a particular song, you had to transfer it in realtime from your cassette to one of his. Of course that applied to all the songs. When you wanted to copy an hour of your friends collection, you had to sit through the whole hour while the tape recorded.
Today, all you do is drag & drop a file - it's only a matter of seconds, maybe a few minutes to exchange hundreds of songs between devices all over the world and not just the kid from your neighborhood which you grew up with. Back then, not only had your tapes to be in the same room, but also in the same audio device, assuming  you had a double tape deck. Later, after tapes became obsolete because of the CD, and cassette players were no more to be found, there was a certain time period in which there was no real method to share your music nor to make a specific playlist anymore. Yes, you could always copy your library to the hard drive of a computer, but its capacity was very limited at the time, and not every computer had a disc drive that could burn a CD. iPods, or any other kind of MP3 player for that matter, weren't invented yet. You still had to carry a selection of your CDs around when you wanted to take your music with you.
Aaaaaand there were NO TIMELINES. No way you could go to a certain part of a song with just as much as a tap of your finger on a screen. There were those things called forward and rewind buttons. They enabled you to wind the tape/search the CD back and forth ... no, too far, back again ... nah, almost ... shit, too far AGAIN, forward once more ... just ... a little further ... until you could finally hear those few seconds of that awesome guitar solo you liked so much.
Same goes for BlueRay's grandpa, DVD's father, the VCR. Additionally, audio/video quality kept decreasing over time, no matter if you actually used the tapes or not. If anything, then using them only made it worse even faster. Just magnets were more efficient in destroying your recorded treasures. Either that, or the cassette player itself decided one day that he didn't feel like playing the tape, but wanted to EAT parts of it instead. I guess those must have been these so-called "good old times" some people always talk about.

When I was little, about 5 or 6 years old, I laid hands on my first videogames. The Commodore Amiga 500 was my first "console" (I still call it that way because of its plug-and-play functionality.), and after several playthroughs of some of the most fun-to-play games in history like "Rick Dangerous", "Test Drive II: The Duel", "Street Rod", "Speedball II - Brutal Deluxe", "Zak McCracken", "Maniac Mansion", "Lemmings", "Shadow of the Beast", "Turrican II", "Dogs of War" and "Marble Madness" it was only a matter of time until I needed an upgrade.
The following years were just Zelda, Metroid, Super Mario, "Secret of Mana", "Killer Instinct", "Terranigma", "Super Star Wars" and "Donkey Kong Country". Shortly thereafter I bought the PlayStation from a colleague in school, so I spent a lot of time with "Soul Reaver", "Resident Evil", "Silent Hill", "Metal Gear Solid", "Gran Turismo" and "Oddworld" before I got my Nintendo 64 that had awesome stuff like "GoldenEye 007", "Blast Corps" and, again, Super Mario and Zelda games. (I still hold a tiny grudge against "Ocarina of Time", because one afternoon it made me miss an episode of "Sailor Moon". X'D) Looking back, it often seems as if you could've grabbed blindly into a random videogame shelf at any store and 90% of the games you pulled out were pure gold. Nowadays you look at the store shelves and 75% of the games you see are utter crap on the brink of unplayableness, even some of the franchises that used to be top titles back in the day.
Now that I think about it, when I try to remember what was fun during my youth, videogames are pretty much all I can recall. There wasn't anything else that would've managed to keep me entertained and/or distracted for a longer period of time. Well, besides movies.
Some of the works that kicked off and maintained my interest for motion pictures were "Ghost in the Shell", "The 5th Element", "Dead Poets Society", "The Crow", "Terminator 2: Judgement Day", "Mission: Impossible", "Jurassic Park", "Dragonheart", "Aliens", the Tim Burton "Batman" movies, "Leon - The Professional", "Das Boot" and "Blade Runner". TV shows that I considered worth watching were quite rare, and some of them weren't even broadcasted by German TV stations (e.g. "Neon Genesis Evangelion", "El Hazard", "Tenchi Muyo!", "Record of Lodoss War", "Gun Smith Cats", "Dexter's Laboratory", "Johnny Bravo" and "Cow & Chicken"). So, small wonder that a good movie was the shit, and I couldn't have been happier than when I came home with a new game and/or a VCR tape. What still leaves a bitter taste behind is the fact that I grew up in a dump of an 5k-people town on the countryside, and we didn't have this internet thing going on back then, i.e. I was pretty much all by myself with the little joy I had. Luckily that changed a bit in my later teens when the first real gaming store opened near my hometown.

Music-wise ... sometimes I can't believe it myself how long it took me to actually open up my heart and listen to all this beautiful stuff that's out there.
My room and those of my two 6 years older brothers were next to each other. I had the room in the middle, which basically meant that I lived at the center of the universe of sound, between two walls: the right one played Motörhead, Meat Loaf, Genesis, Pantera, Sepultura, Iron Maiden and Cypress Hill, and the left one gave me Jon Bon Jovi, Die Ärzte, Rage Against the Machine, Roxette, heart rock and Thunderdome hardcore techno compilations, with the occasional Metallica from both sides. One could say that I was bred for diversity, chaos. On the other hand, I never had to buy my own music until my brothers moved out. I wasn't even really interested in music, because I had been surrounded by it for years and had learned to pay no particular mind to it, except for maybe a hand full of songs.
After that I was kind of forced to find my own sound. Thankfully, the sound came to me.

I had never heard anything like it before, nor had I seen such an amazing video (which still kicks ass fifteen years later). That was, you know, back when there was actual music television that played actual music videos and not just ringtone commercials, cartoons and "reality TV". I feel kind of sorry for today's kids. It's like they're missing out on the excitement of sitting in front of the TV set, waiting for a certain video to run, and hoping to be quick enough with pressing the record button of the VCR remote, so the beginning won't get cut off, after checking and double checking if it's the right tape you put in and if it's still forwarded to the exact point from where you can make a clean cut from one video to another. It wasn't just taping something, it was fucking science, and there were unbreakable rules to live by. And o the pain when it didn't work (not to mention the quest you had to go through when you wanted to watch a particular video again after a while).
Know what? Scratch that. It was a pain in the ass. XD
But it was all we had at the time, and we were happy to have it. Now it's no big deal when you want to watch a video - just look it up on the web. Yeah, sure, that's cool and fast and all, but still ... so disgustingly uncomplicated. ^^ I don't know, nostalgia makes you miss the craziest things, even VCR. m)
Anyway, apart from KoЯn, music television also brought me things like Limp Bizkit and Eminem which became the soundtrack to my life from there on out for quite some time. Most of the rest was movie soundtracks and the stuff I grew up with, until "Guitar Hero" and, a few years later, Claudia happened ...

Great, the upper half of this makes me I feel ridiculously old, and the lower half unexperienced, with a side of that constant pressure of knowing that there's still much, much more to discover, even though I'm already catching up pretty fast on a lot of different bands/groups/projects.

How about you?
What was your poison during your teenage years?

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