Wednesday, October 23, 2013

COLUMN: Miss Pt. 1

It's been a bummer of a week in Shane-land.

When it comes to TV shows, everyone has their own personal favorites. I have friends who would risk their lives rather than miss a minute of "Breaking Bad." I know people who can tell you the extended biographies of every character on "Game of Thrones." So many teenagers are into "Pretty Little Liars" that discussion of this year's season finale nearly broke Twitter.

As for me, there's only been one show lately that's consistently rocked my socks off on a weekly basis: AMC's "The Killing." I don't know what it is, but something about this unapologetically dark crime drama just clicked with me. For the past three seasons, I've relished its world of rainy Seattle days and tortured nights. To date, it is the only television show I've ever set a reminder on my smartphone to watch.

Which, naturally, means that it was just cancelled today. Apparantly compelling plotlines and critical acclaim don't mean diddly when no one watches, so yet again, one of my favorite thing disappears into the mist. That's why I've spent the past few hours watching old episodes, wondering what the future of the show would have held, and wishing that I ran the world (or at least the entertainment industry.)

This, like my many other pipe dreams of world domination, got me thinking. Evolution is unavoidable. Into life, things come and things go. And sometimes, all I want to do is stick out my bottom lip and whine about the things I miss. So tonight, I present to you a shortlist of the Things I Really Miss and Wish Still Existed:

- "Twin Peaks." I'm pretty sure the reason I like "The Killing" so much is that it brings back memories of David Lynch's magnum opus, my favorite TV show of all time. The murder of Laura Palmer was only the introduction to a wonderfully deranged world of sawmills, spirit possession, and the place where pies go when they die.

- Stage 2. Bettendorf's late great under-21 teen dance club was the single most important catalyst of my future music nerd-dom. Life-long friendships were formed in dark corners and circular dance floors. Of course, if it still existed today, I'd be 20+ years too old to get through the door, but I'm pretty sure that if you sit in the parking lot that now inhabits its hallowed space, you can still hear the strains of Depeche Mode's "Somebody" and the sobs of overly-dramatic teen girls running to the bathroom to lament some lost love.

- Mixtapes. Today's generation will never know the fine art of carefully hand-assembling a 90-minute montage of the perfect songs in the perfect order, let alone the divine wait to see if the girl you handed it to appreciated your carefully executed musical spell. My recipe? A delicate sonic entree that's 60% "I'm the most evolved music fan of all time," 10% "the Debbie Gibson song on here proves how ironic and whimsical I am," and 30% "PLEASE DATE ME. LIFE IS MEANINGLESS WITHOUT YOU." And it worked almost every time.

- Chess King. Life just isn't the same without rayon and bolo ties. Some might argue that's a GOOD thing, but not me. I shopped at Chess King so much I used to get Christmas cards from their corporate office. The 80s were a magical time, and I've still got the silver suit hanging in my closet to prove it.

- The Me That Was Once Small Enough To Fit Into The Silver Suit Hanging In My Closet.

- "Yo! Noid." I thought it'd be fun to have a Super Nintendo in my dorm room, but college budgets being what they were, the only game I owned for it was this lame Mario knock-off featuring the short-lived mascot for Domino's Pizza. As a result, a measurable percentage of my college life was spent in its throes, mostly with a quizzical expression as to why a pizza mascot armed with a yo-yo was being constantly chased by spear-wielding bad guys that all resembled Jimmy Durante.

- "Lost." If it was up to me, the passengers of Oceanic 815 would still be on that island, rocking out to Driveshaft and Geronimo Jackson with the Dharma Iniative and polar bears and smoke monsters aplenty. In fact, in my mind, they still ARE -- the ending of "Lost" was SO lame that I prefer pretending the final season never happened.

- Being Lost. Few things bring me joy quite like a loaded iPod, a car full of friends, and a voyage down country roads into the unknown. The problem now, though, is that we've done it SO many times that it takes a roadtrip of at least 100 miles to get good and properly lost these days.

- A Car I Could Trust To Go 100 Miles Into The Country Without Breaking Down. Sadly, company policy prevents me from accepting gifts of any value from readers or advertisers. That said, if I were to wake up one morning to find a hybrid in my driveway and a set of keys in my mailbox, I guess I'd just have to chalk it up to fortuitous luck, no? [Editor's Note: NO.] [Shane's Note: Dang.]

- Raves. Because everything's better with lasers, I always say -- especially dimly lit warehouses with throbbing house music played at horribly unhealthy volumes.

- Tommy McGivern. If you barhopped the Quad Cities anytime in the last quarter century, there's a good chance you had a cool one served with a smile by the legendary Thomas McGivern. Tom's bartending skills were rivalled only by his epic storytelling. I never got to go with him on one of his legendary Canadian fishing trips, but if you were fortunate enough to hear him recount it, you'd swear you were right there in the boat by his side. Two weeks ago, we lost the greatest joke-teller I've ever known, and I can only hope that as we speak, St. Peter is waiting patiently to hear the punchline.

How about you? What fads, trends, tunes, or tales of yesteryear do YOU miss the most? Send in your pop culture eulogies to I'll round them up in my next column and try to give them the memorial service they deserve.


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