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1998 Library Additions

On 07/15/2020 at 05:02 PM by KnightDriver

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More gets slowly added to the library as the year progresses. This is 1998 where I was in a band called Jack Diesel and suffering from a hypothyroid condition, which has since healed. I went from 160 lbs to 260 lbs over night. It was possible that my 16 hour work days got the better of me. I switched jobs, but not occupation, and chilled a bit. I met a guy who had a music studio and we shared it for a while. Nothing like trying to record stuff after midnight during the week. It's very quiet, maybe too quiet. I think I liked jam sessions better. Anyway, here are five media selections for your perusal. 

Celebrity Deathmatch

What was with claymation in the 90s: Clayfighters, Wallace & Gromit, Celebrity Deathmatch, California Raisins and Primal Rage? Was it just easier than doing CG in those early days of computer graphics? In any case, I was a big fan of Celebrity Deathmatch because I love animation and I love comedy. That it was a blood sport too was just an added bonus. I think the show is very smartly written and interesting. They introduced a time machine at one point to bring historical celebrities into it. Lovely. 


This film was directed by Jim Abrahams who was part of the writing team including the Zucker brothers that made Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies. This was also the last film Lloyd Bridges was in that came out during his lifetime. He passed away later in the year. I have a happy memory of nearly choking to death laughing with a friend watching this movie at probably 2am. Ah, to die laughing. What a way to go. Luckily, I got my breath back in time. In any case, this is a very silly movie with lots of sight gags and rediculous parodies of famous mob movies. I love it for how it's so chock full of jokes and the memory of watching it with a friend. . . and nearly dying. . . happily. 

Wargames Defcon 1

A strange choice I'm sure your saying with the likes of Ocarina of Time and Suikoden out that year, but, by chance, I had a memorable experience playing this action strategy game co-op with a friend. We beat the whole game over several long sessions, and during the final levels, I was making an ice cream soda with Dr. Pepper and Ben & Jerrey's, giving me a vivid taste memory as well. Co-op is handled with split/screen, but at the time, good co-op experiences were hard to find, so we were ok with it. 

Brian Setzer Orchestra - Dirty Boogie

There seemed to be a lot of revivals in the 90s. Jamiroquai brought back disco, there was That 70s Show on TV and Swing music was back with bands like Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Squirrel Nut Zippers. Add to that Brian Setzer who became famous with the rockabilly outfit Stray Cats in the 80s. I picked up his Swing album on a whim and was blown away by his guitar playing. I always liked the sound of a hollow body electric like that which Bill Haley played on "Rock Around the Clock" in the 50s. But Setzer can shred! I was hugely impressed and started collecting his albums. My favorite off this album is "Switchblade 327", but this video showcases some of his guitar playing well on a song coming from the same album. 

Seamus Heaney - Beowulf

I read Beowulf in high school. It was maybe the first thing I read in English class after I was transfered to a private school (public for you Brits out there). It's a classic swords and monster tale and it captured my imagination. I picked this up with some nostalgia therefore and enjoyed how readable it was because I had read it in old english in class - not an easy read.  Ever since then I've been wanting to read Seamus Heaney's poetry, but I still haven't. My reluctance to read poetry now is strange to me because I read so much of it in college. I even fancied myself a romantic poet back then, seeking to express melancholia in rich dramatic ways. We call melancholia "depression" now, but how much better does it sound in the mouth of Keats or Shelley. 



Super Step Contributing Writer

07/15/2020 at 11:00 PM

I can't imagine claymation being "easier" to do than any other medium, but they did use computers to help with certain animations like the morph head early on in this video:

You might be onto something about the limits of computers at the time though. These days you could probably just build believable claymation models as CG graphics, but I imagine you need some pretty talented artists to make that look believable still. I wonder if it was more about tech limits at the time or more because the 90s had a decent amount of "indie" minded creators who might have just liked doing claymation cause they did it in film school or something. Probably some mix of both. 

Other than that, I have ... no reference for any of these things, and 1998 was a big year for 8-year-old me cause I bought my first CDs this year (Hanson's first CD and Garbage version 2.0 cause "When I Grow Up" was in the Big Daddy soundtrack).

Man, 1998/1999 was when EVERYTHING started going pop. Boy bands were becoming big, Blink 182 was about to make punk even more pop-sounding than Green Day ever had, Semisonic's "Closing Time" was a big "alternative" hit that sounded very little like the harder rock sound of that genre from the early 90s, etc. 

Mafia! sounds up my alley though. I love Airplane! and Naked Gun. 

Wargames is not my thing, but add that Brian Seltzer song to the list of "things I thought were way older than they actually are." I heard that song on some ads in the 90s or maybe some movies/TV shows, I forget. But man, that is not a sound I associate with 90s. I do like it though. 

Funny you mention private school and Beowulf together cause I remember reading part of it in my 8th grade Catholic school English class and the teacher censoring bits and pieces (well, not really; just did not assign parts of it because of content; same thing happened when we read A Day No Pigs Would Die and there was a certain scene involving a bull we were told we shouldn't read). 


07/17/2020 at 10:21 PM

It seems like 20 years is the time to revive things from that time, which would explain 70s stuff like disco in the 90s. But swing is from the 30s and 40s. I don't get where that came from. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/16/2020 at 12:47 PM

Yeah when I went on medication in 2007 I soon ballooned up too. I think my highest was 267. I'm down to 189 now, but before 2007 I was 120. I'm only 5' 7'' too, so that's a lot of weight. Losing weight is hard. Gaining it is pretty easy. 


07/17/2020 at 10:24 PM

Tell me about it. I've still got much of the weight 20 years later. I'm hoping I'm on to something recently with diet and attitude changes. I can't wait to drop the weight. 


07/16/2020 at 05:59 PM

1998 was when I got my first full time job at Wendy's, and I bought a PlayStation with my first check. My first game on it was Final Fantasy VII, then I bought Resident Evil and Tekken 3. I bought so many games that year. Besides Ocarina of Time, my favorites were Xenogears, Resident Evil 2, and Parasite Eve. 

I also remember taking the girl I was dating at the time to see Rush Hour. 


07/17/2020 at 10:27 PM

I've played a little bit of Parasite Eve on PS3. I think I downloaded it and still have it along with Suikoden I and II digitally. 

Cary Woodham

07/17/2020 at 12:51 AM

So yeah, 1998 was a big year because of Zelda: Orcarina of Time.  But it was also a turning point for me at The Dallas Morning News.  At E3 1998, Nintendo was showing off a new game and the catch slogan for it was "Catch 'em if you can!" but it later got changed to "Gotta Catch 'Em All!"  Yup, Pokemon was released in the US that year.  At E3 I saw how they were going to market it in the US and I knew it would be big.  So when I got home I told my editor I wanted to cover everything Pokemon when it came out.  He was like, "Yeah sure, whatever."  But he kept his word and for a couple of years after that, I was writng all sorts of Pokemon articles and game reviews when it first got super popular.  I like to say that Pokemon helped pay my way through college!  I was certainly writing a whole lot more articles for the newspaper after that.


07/17/2020 at 10:34 PM

That's great and very smart of you to make sure you would get to cover Pokemon. 

I used to follow a lot of journalists who were about my age and who were cutting their teeth on magazines like GamePro and EGM in the 90s. I often think that I could've done that too if I'd thought of it then, but i was kind of obessed with music at the time. I really have more writting experience though, so, yeah, another missed oportunity. 

Cary Woodham

07/18/2020 at 07:57 AM

You know, a lot of it depends on luck, too.  And it's not always about what you know, but who you know.  That's why college is pretty useless nowadays.  Sometimes I get people asking me things like, "If you've been writing game reviews for so long, why aren't you more successful at it?"  Which royally pisses me off when people ask that, by the way.  But sometimes things just don't work out the way you want them to.  But I still write game reviews, if anything just to keep my foot in the door.  And I'm not the kind of person to give up on something and quit, even if I should.


07/18/2020 at 09:11 PM

You're right about that. I've been working on social skills at work partly 'cause I want to and partly because I hope something will come up: someone tells you about a position opening up, or you make friends with people who can help you with your career. It's all the stuff I should've been taught in college. I didn't want to go to college, or, at least I wasn't sure, but I was pretty much forced into it. Some people figure out what they want to do early on and just get to it. You don't need school for that, really. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. 


07/18/2020 at 07:59 AM

I got into Pokémon Red when my sister got it for me for my birthday. I have one of the gold plated Pokémon Cards Burger King was offering somewhere. My then two year old nephew and I would watch the anime show when I babysat. I also remember reading the esrly previews in Nintendo Power, when it was still simply called Pocket Monsters and was just another curiosity from Japan where who knew if Nintendo would release it over here. 

Cary Woodham

07/18/2020 at 08:02 AM

I remember that Pocket Monsters article in Nintendo Power as well. That helped me know that Pokemon would be a big hit here once I saw how they were marketing it.  

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