“I don’t want the right to be rude, I just want the right to be cool –
However I chose to do it, I do whatever I chose to be or whom.
Hey I don’t need your money, I can grow my own food.
I don’t need your beauty standard, I can be my own dude.
And I don’t pay tuition, I can be my own school.
I don’t need your prescriptions, I can change my own mood.”
I was alive in the early eighties but didn’t become cognizant of its peculiar pop-cultural flavors until years later when I’d embark on mid-day marathons of tee-vee re-runs. I enjoyed playing outside sure, but there’s something about being locked into a screen that I’ve always found cathartic. I felt guilty about it then but I’m not sure why; whenever I’d try to tune out some inner voice would chime in, reminding me that I was wasting precious time. In all honesty, I figured it was God trying to communicate that I was sinning but – considering I’ve ruled that line of reasoning out – I’m returning to these old shame-markers in an attempt to unpack them.
Almost immediately after I began watching the attached, random memories surfaced of couch-locked sunny Summer afternoons where I allowed my brain to spool itself down to catharsis via hours-long binges on such shows as Airwolf, Knight Rider, A-Team and Mission Impossible. I don’t know when the compulsion to cram my head with media started but, as far as I can tell, the fixation has always been with me; it’s what I love to do.
I know now that, in this regard, television was an aperitif, a mere warm-up to the full-on high that would deliver itself in stunning revelatory clarity when I first found the internet. I still hold affection for the older form, one in which it was someone’s else’s job to decide what I’d see next. There’s a sentimental comfort in watching simple characters act out uncomplicated plots (whose resolution you could reliably guess by paying close attention to the first few scenes) over a grainy analog signal.
In that regard, this music video for Brooklyn-based Friends – directed by Hiro Murai – delivers handily, leveraging a heavy nostalgia vector without getting too mired in it; there’s a modernity to the execution that keeps it fresh. I’m down. Plus: kaleidoscopes. Fuck yeah.