Generational Grafting Point

As Reinvented slowly becomes a tenant and officemate of silverorange, the “you guys are so young” and “you guys are so old” comparisons are in danger of getting tired (who wants to feel young or old enough to have it be worthy of special mention every day anyway?). To the extent that we might have to ban all such discussion shortly.

However please beg my indulgence on a related matter, and that is that I have found the pop cultural grafting point that separates my world from theirs, and it is Remington Steele.

This program aired on ABC from 1982 to 1987. Which were my prime teenage television watching years. My new colleagues were, by my calculations, in early elementary school at the time, presumably well early of the Remingston Steele demographic.

I know all this because at the big blogger orgy on Thursday, I made a sarcastic suggestion that I would simply hang a sign and maintain an office at 84 Fitzroy St., but never actually go there. “Sort of like Remingston Steele,” I said.

The reaction to which was some combination of blank stares and empty looks.

The conceit of Remingston Steele was that Laura Holt, played by Stephanie Zimbalist, was a female detective who found herself in need of a male “front” to attract business. So she hired a British gadabout, played by Pierce Brosnan (revently of James Bond fame) to play the role of her boss, Remington Steele.

Not deep drama, I admit. Somewhere south of Hill St. Blues and north of Wonder Woman. But I was a fan. To the extent that my friend Chris Nicolson and I used to watch episodes again that he had taped on his VCR (he had a rather complete collection).

Two or three years later, the young lads would be 11 or 12, and our demographic would sync up a little more, and after that our pop culture Venn diagrams intersect more fully. Though never completely, as I discovered when I revealed my amazement that all video games in arcades are now killer death games and recalled fondly the days of Tron; that revelation was revealed more with disdain than bewilderment.

Tron… those were the days.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on November 16, 2003 - 05:33 Permalink

My blank stare was that obvious? I thought my phone smile and laugh had me covered.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on November 16, 2003 - 05:34 Permalink

phone = phony


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 16, 2003 - 05:35 Permalink

You had me thinking you had a special phone smile, a notion that I actually found quite delightful. Or creepy, I suppose.

Alan's picture
Alan on November 16, 2003 - 14:54 Permalink

But did they admit they were addicted to an updated Tron game about a year and a half ago? Motorcycles on a grid cutting each other off a high speed 90 degree angles.

What really burns their asses is telling them they don’t really get Coupland as they missed the Cold War and nuclear fear. At least nuclear fear turns out to be good for something.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 16, 2003 - 17:23 Permalink

I missed the Cold War and nuclear fear too — totally passed me by.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on November 16, 2003 - 17:32 Permalink

I’m not sure we don’t get Coupland — we are Microserfs. That book resonated with me so much that it was creepy. His latest, Hey Nostradamus is as pertinent to our generation as any — even those younger than us — as it deals with a mass school shooting (amazing book, btw).

And who needs nuclear fear when we have terrorism.

Oh, and we are all old enough that we all love the CBC — that’s gotta be bridging some kind of gap.

Alan's picture
Alan on November 16, 2003 - 19:19 Permalink

I wasn’t saying so much that you don’t get it is that older farts can hold out you don’t get it. Plausible but utterly empty dismissiveness is one tactic in any generation gap relationship not to be sniffed at.

How could you miss the nuclear fear? Terrorism has nothing on the propect of Leonid unleashing the 17 warheads aimed at your home town and making it a plateau of black glass to the horizon. Folks have been blowing up stuff and civilians since at least Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent 100 years ago. How much is what has happened in the last few years really new? I still fear the rusting hulks of the Soviet nuclear fleet at Murmansk, Vlaidivostok and Kaliningrad far more than the guys play acting the very bad Bond script. [That is what I am starting to worry about quite seriously…how long will it take for the war on terror to be over if there are no more 9/11’s? How does it end?]

Isaac's picture
Isaac on November 17, 2003 - 02:18 Permalink

I must not have been paying attention when you brought up Remington Steele — many a hour was spent watching taped episodes of that show in my early adolescence. Actually, come to think of it — far too many.

Hans's picture
Hans on November 17, 2003 - 15:10 Permalink

Tron, Stargate Defender, Star Castles, Gorf, Tempest, Quix: Now those were video games! I’m still not sure if Laura Croft is a movie or an actress.

Alan's picture
Alan on November 17, 2003 - 15:18 Permalink

Tempest. Sit down version at the Truro Mall video arcade, 1981. I have it on my computer at home but it isn’t the same thing without speakers next to your ears. Features in the Rush video for “Suburbia” as the game the alienated Scarborough teen is playing.

Derek M's picture
Derek M on November 17, 2003 - 15:35 Permalink

Remington Steele is on now, somewhere in the high numbers of the ExpressVu universe. If only kids these days could tear themselves away from their computer monitors long enough to watch some tv…

Christopher O'Toole's picture
Christopher O'Toole on November 18, 2003 - 03:15 Permalink

Hey Peter. Actually, Laura didn’t so much hire Mr. Brosnan as he took on the identity by accident, and then stuck around. Something to do with that Murphy fellow (the first season was the best). Still have them on Beta. Just need a machine that works…

Via “The Walrus” website (much like that Morningside show a few years back), it’s Chris Nicholson (actually Chris O’Toole now — too long a story).

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 18, 2003 - 03:31 Permalink

Hi Chris. Email me with the story of your changing last name; I’m too curious not to ask. Is this iteration #3 or #4?