Getting Dirty & Finding Yourself

The primal side to everyone is somewhat intoxicating. Not only do we enjoy having our subconscious desires fulfilled, but we also fear them as well.

Both states produce massive amounts of chemicals in our brains that propel us either farther away or closer to our dreams. Flight or fight, we struggle to maintain our balance. We revel in the fantasy, thriving on the euphoric rush of the hedonistic actions and visualizing ourselves in a perfect state.

At the same time we fear what we want most for it may not be as fulfilling as we hope it is. The tiny voice in our heads warning us that our actions may indeed have some ramifications on the future. Surely the act will be fun, and the danger is more exciting with every step, but it is still danger nonetheless. This is of course what separates us from the lunatic fringe for… Continue reading

The key to Youth

There are moments of significant clarity that appear to be coming more frequently now-a-days. It started with the keys. I’ve always had this image that being a grownup meant that you had lots of keys. My Mom has a bunch. My Dad has a bunch, and my grandfathers had even more. So this image is what I base maturity on. It’s not fool proof, but then neither is life.

So there I was suddenly staring at my key chain wondering where my youth had gone. I was 16 just a second ago. Driving the car, listening to a favorite song, smoking that cigarette, feeling the cool air whip by with the windows down. Every time I got in the car and there was a cool breeze across my arm as it rested on the window I flashed back to those care free winter days when I first had that feeling.… Continue reading

Chasing Cloe by Zac Elston

I knew, going into marriage, that there was a baby involved. A four foot green iguana named Cloe. Now I like all kinds of pets and reptiles are no exception, but little did I realize what a significant part of my relationship this pea-brained impulse driven creature would be. For it’s not what she does, but what she causes me to do.

When we started dating, Cloe was just something in the other room. Sure I saw her often and we even played a little bit, but it wasn’t that serious. But as the relationship grew, so did my protectiveness of Cloe. One month into it and I was making her a custom leather harness because the store versions didn’t work very well and cut into her scales. A couple of hours were spent considering what would be most comfortable on her and still allow us to keep her from… Continue reading

The Moon Over The Hills

by Mike Beucler

Back in the country we like our privacy. In fact, we like it so much we find it offensive to see a plane go over head. But what is a country guy supposed to do about it? Simply moon them.

But what if you are a proper lady? You know you can’t go around mooning airplanes. There is only one thing you can do: show them your tits.

I guess it really didn’t start with a privacy thing. I suspect this reaction to airplanes and helicopters started when they outfitted the police planes with heat sensors and started flying over the area looking for pot. I am almost sure that is when the mooning started.

It doesn’t take long for a simple thing like that to get out of hand. It wasn’t long before – as soon as a plane was heard, and it was located in… Continue reading

Get me to the Church

by Mike Beucler

In a few days I will be married. And the best part is, it’s not to anyone in the family. I will be getting married to my long time sweetheart: Lori. Okay, three years really isn’t that  long, but when you are about to get married, you have to say that kind of thing or you’ll pay for it when the wedding is over.

Shortly after we started dating, we started living together. Seems she had some kind a fight with her Pa and he kicked her out of the house. He didn’t like her dating so soon after the divorce. If she would have just stayed home and taken care of her kids and cooked, everything would have all been OK.

When we started dating, I had just gotten back from Florida, where I left a job where I changed light-bulbs at night. My new… Continue reading

The Brady Bunch

Flat vintage sitcom (1969-1974) which came to life as an after-school hit in late-’70s syndication. With its premise of two broken families made whole, the show resonated with a generation experiencing the effects of a fifty percent divorce rate; the six Brady children of varying ages had a broad demographic appeal.

The show’s underground-totem status was tapped in June 1990 by an independent Chicago theater group which began performing Brady Bunch scripts; The Real Live Brady Bunch became a cult hit, and concert promoter Ron Delsener put together a touring version (with Conan O’Brien sidekick Andy Richter debuting as Mike Brady) that received extensive media coverage.

Brady interest was heightened by 1992’s salacious, incest-hinting literary hit Growing Up Brady by son Greg (actor Barry Williams; co-written by Beavis and Butt-head scribe Chris Kreski).

In February 1995, the aging ’70s fashion revival proved combustible at the multiplex when The Brady Bunch… Continue reading

Anarchic Adjustment

San Jose-based purveyors of “digital workwear.” Founded in 1988 by a trio of English expatriates, Anarchic Adjustment took as its trademark a cleaned-up version of the punk A-in-circle anarchy symbol.

The Anarchic sensibility, though, was logocentric, baggy skate-wear that evolved into a range of clothes in hi-tech-looking fabrics. These are sometimes decorated with anime characters and pseudo-political slogans like “Mankind could make this world a heaven, or he could make it hell.”

Anarchic Adjustment has benefited from the patronage of entertainers like Timothy Leary and Deee-Lite; and the company became successful in Japan after a well-known DJ wore an A.A. T-shirt in a magazine.

Europe and the U.S. are now voracious markets (annual turnover is more than $2 million), but Japan remains an Anarchic stronghold-the company opened its own store there in 1994, and it designed a T-shirt for Sega Japan’s Pulseman videogame.

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Nineties term for counterculture – “alternative”

Current use of “alternative” in the music and youth-culture world originated in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when it described the strain of post-punk music cultivated by a growing, informal network of college radio stations.


The word “alternative” already had a meaning related to culture: commonly associated with the independent, oppositional press of the late hippie era, this counterculture label also came to denote any lifestyle outside the mainstream.

As college-rock favorites like R.E.M. and U2 became chart and stadium fixtures in the second half of the ’80s, successive waves of newer, rawer bands inherited the “alternative” mantle.

However, Nirvana’s meteoric rise to the top of the charts in 1991-92 disrupted the ecosystem: suddenly alternative was a musical category as lucrative as hip-hop or metal, as were its country-associated fashions.

Record companies, radio, and MTV embraced the “new” form, the Lollapalooza tours enshrined it, and marketers used it… Continue reading

1980s skin-care ‘miracle product’

Alpha-hydroxy acids

As the key ingredient in a new generation of anti-aging skin care products launched in 1992, AHAs have a fervent following among women both old and young.

These acids, derived from fruits (and sometimes augmented by lactic acid from milk), work by removing the skin’s damaged upper layer, usually after an overnight application.

This is basically a lighter version of a face peel. AHAs have the combined effects of revealing younger-looking skin underneath and hastening cell renewal; unlike the sometimes troublesome ’80s skin-care “miracle product” retin-A, the only known side effect of AHAs is mild skin irritation in some users; reportedly they can be used indefinitely without harm, or stopped without deterioration of skin condition–leading to the moniker “Prozac for the exterior.”

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America’s acid jazz

Music genre nurtured by London’s Talkin’ Loud label in the late ’80s (and named as an oblique reference to the dominant dance-floor form of the time, acid house). Original British proponents like Galliano and the Young Disciples married vintage jazz samples and live instrumentation with DJ-friendly hip-hop break beats.

America’s acid jazz wellspring was New York’s peripatetic Giant Step club (founded 1990), where live pairings of rappers and jazz musicians inspired several hip-hop projects (notably the Brand New Heavies’ 1992 multi-rapper Heavy Rhyme Experience: Vol. 1 and 1993’s Jazzamatazz collaboration between Gang Starr leader Guru and jazz great Donald Byrd).

The club’s unusually multicultural clientele were fashion leaders, with Stüssy the dominant label and “old skool” Adidas and Puma sneakers de rigueur.

The next wave of acid jazz-influenced acts-including the Digable Planets and US3-achieved success in America with hits that became the perfect soundtrack for TV fashion shows, stylish bars,… Continue reading