My life-long distrust of neatly organized narratives and an attending lack of interest in — and complete inability to construct — a “traditional” story, it seems to me on this beautiful October morning here in the Pacific Northwest, stems (I believe) from my own personal slipshod and haphazard manner of ingesting the relentless deluge of Pop Media that came at me from all sides during the entirety of my Nineteen-Eighties childhood.
To put it simply, the other day I realized that for a disproportionate number of the Eighties films I thought I knew through and through (Weird Science, Trading Places, Airplane, off the top of my head) I would discover upon re-watching them as an adult, that there were huge chunks of said films that I actually had not seen. There are a number of suspect factors, and most are due to the impositions of a world outside the control of a child and the conditional format of real-time televised broadcasting. Heavy editing for network television is high on the list, but mostly I believe it’s the jump in and out nature of Childhood Television Viewing in a world controlled for the most part by adults and peers in an era of unmediated media. School is out, you get home, you do some chores (probably just feed the cat or let out the dog), you turn on the TV, the Karate Kid is on. You’re not pressing play, there’s no download: whatever is happening in the film now is what you are seeing right now. Anything can prevent you from watching the films penultimate showdown and ultimate conclusion: homework, a phonecall, a friend knocking at the door, dinner. When you return to the television set, the film has long been over. A complete childhood of this kind of fragmented viewing has molded and informed my own fractured sense of narrative, as well as the sense of overlapping and conflicting narratives arising from self-imposed interruptions in the form of playing a Gameboy game while the television is on, flipping channels from Thundercats to G.I. Joe, or reading a comic featuring “Cap’n’Crunch” on a cereal box while eating cereal and paging through an X-Men comic and an issue of Nintendo Power while Scooby-Doo solves mysteries on the television set other room while a parent packs a lunch nearby whilst jamming out to WMMR’s “The Morning Zoo.”
In true to the essence of Post-Narrative and the discussion thereof, this essay has no proper conclusion.