The five greatest pop culture crimes committed against me, AJ Valliant

October 12, 2006

I am man deeply attuned with pop culture memes of my generation; perhaps too deeply. You see my judgement and ability to objective distance from subjective experience are poorly formed, stunted even. This has resulted in a great many harms and slights absorbed from an otherwise impersonal medium. Crimes even, committed against me, AJ Valliant, by pop culture. In order of harm caused I give you the top 5.


The Offender: He-Man/Prince Adam and the entire Eternian Monarchy.

The Crime: Maintaining a implausibly poor secret identity [1]

Breakdown:While I have not studied the Eternian sucession process in detail, I can only assume due to immense risk the position entails, that the nation rounds up the most the gullible bastard around and slaps a King hat on him. How else can you explain that the Princes secret identity to fool his family(who knew Prince Adam and He-man intimately) consisted of him getting a tan, some brown highlights, and stripping down to furkinni briefs.

Is there so little sun in Eternia that it’s effect could baffle them that much?

Queen Marlena: “Darling, have you ever noticed how much Adam looks like that He-man fellow”

King Randor : “Don’t be ridiculous, Adams complexion is at least three shades lighter that He-mans. Besides, despite his freakish muscularity and inexplicable desire to carry around He-Mans sword all day, we all know he is much too shy and retiring for hi jinx”.

The dichotomy fucked with my head so much as young man I refused to go to the beach with my parents. I was terrified I would fall asleep in the sun and they would forsake me, totally unable to recognize their son beneath my newly tawny skin.

Sentance: Forced to move out of his parent’s house and form an intimate relationship with someone other than a talking green cat. (People are talking Adam, lots of people.)


The Offender: Risk

The Crime: Filling my heart with hate

Breakdown:Never has a game brought me so high, for so long, only to drag me down to depths of suffering I never imagined existed. I spent the worst week of my life in a five sided blood feud against poison souled dictators.

 You have to understand, I never cared about the power and conquest like they did: I just wanted my people to live safe and prosperous lives. But those brutal, grasping, manifest destined monsters couldn’t stomach that. Our quiet decency was no match for there shame fuelled war machine.

I had to sit there while Red burned and raped his way through the countryside, my coward soldiers rolling 1 after 1… the children of Kamchatka pleading with me “Poppa AJ, you swore you would keep us safe. Where are the mighty armies, where is my brother Dimitri?”

 Dimitri is dead little Petrov, crushed beneath a mountain of 6’s thrown from the greasy cheating hands of a once trusted friend; I hated him so bad I wanted to stab his eye out with a pencil.

That game (Risk) put the fate of a nation in my hands knowing my ill luck and suspect logical processes would doom them to slaughter.

Sentance: Restore the people of Kamchatka to their rightful place of prominence in the world, and give them two units a turn that they may defend their distinct society from small minded agressors.


The offenders: G.I. Joe/ COBRA / Possibly the Dreadnoks should they not actually be affiliated with COBRA, I don’t remember for sure.

The Crime: Possession of fire arms in excess of the thumbs load capacity


I don’t what sick bastard ran the Armoury at GI Joe headquarters [2] but his obsession with inventory control had some dark consequences. As long as each Joe retained his original weapon all was good.  God forbid in heat of battle they should drop their weapon and pick up a fallen comrades: the razor sharp stock would shear their thumbs off at the bone. That is some heavy shit to lay on kid trying to put down a toy box insurrection.

It got so bad I wouldn’t let any of them use their weapons. The Joes were left defenceless against the depredations of my M.A.S.K. figurines. The last two standing were the dude with the Boxing gloves and the Reptile trainer; even his thumbs snapped off, when in desperate gambit he tried to wield his alligator to drive the M.A.S.K.ed militia away. I can still hear Duke screaming when I close my eyes.

“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Jooooooooooooeeeeeeeeee!”

 I was so traumatized it was months before I could bring myself to close my grip around anything… for fear of digit loss. Just riding my bike to the store became a death defying exercise in perfect balance and traffic navigation.

Sentance:Alternating daily doses of war amps infomercials and diversity awareness training vidoes, until they learn to support the troops.Our boys are entitled to the laser weapons they need to shoot wildly at the enemy, never hitting, yet somehow detering then enough to achive a moral victory.


The offender: Sour Candy

The Crime: Being deliciously harmful and clouding my ability to discern good lovin’ from bad.

Breakdown: (I’m sorry Sour Candy. It hurts me more that you will ever know to put you on this list, but we both know you deserve it.) You tasted so bad it was good, and so good it seemed sure you were concocted by paradoxical angels in a Biazzaro world heaven. The confectionary equivalent of a sand paper hand job: horrible pain giving way to intense pleasure. You stole my heart in manner your sweeter brethen could only dream. I subjected myself to your acid lash until my soft palate dissolved; until I couldn’t taste the difference between peach cobbler and chlorine gas.

The real harm, however, goes far deeper than any short term olfactory malfunction or physical discomfort. Sour Candy, you taught me to love that which harms me. Love until the flesh strips away, the nerves are raw, and I’m inured to rest of the world. Then love all the more to justify what I’ve lost up to that point. This is a bad lesson Sour Candy, and you were wrong to teach it to me

Sentance: Just stay away baby. You know I still love you but we were no good together and never will be.


The Offender: The Macarena

The Crime: (among many others) Making my Mom think she’s cool [3].

Breakdown: In 1993 we lost our way. All of us. What began as a Spanish rumba novelty metastasized into a pop cancer that destroyed the musical integrity of a generation. This sickness, this spiritual malaise invaded every aspect of my waking life (and most of my dreams).

This was the darkest moment:I had invited some friends over to do a little drinking and plotting. Foolishly I left them in the company of my mother, while I gathered some booze supplies from the basement. I returned to find she had somehow pressured them in into a round of Macarena dancing “Join us AJ” she bewitched “look how much fun we are having”.

I would like to think it began as an ironic gesture: but god help me I did the Macarena with my mom. It was just so easy; I had never done a dance correctly before. Had I puffy bangs, a fanny pack, and soft full bosoms I would still be more a man than I was in that moment.The next day I moved two towns over and have not seen those friends, or my Mother, since.

Los Del Rios, if I could harm you with my mind know that you would be dead.

Sentence: Give me back my family and make the world clean again.



[1] Superman is also guilty of this crime but I am pretty sure he just fly’s around the earth faster than the speed of light, or something, every time someone figures his secret identity out.

[2] For purposes of clarity I will refer solely to GI Joe, though all parties are equally guilty. I can only assume they shared an armourer to reduce costs.

[3] My mother is a wonderful, intelligent, caring, charming person…but she ain’t cool. Sorry mom, but it’s not really an arguable point.

Cartoons that Confused and Angered Me


13 Responses to “The five greatest pop culture crimes committed against me, AJ Valliant”

  1. Mike Says:

    I have to stop reading your stuff when at work. People are begining to suspect that metadata is slowly turning me into some sort of mad hatter. I burst in fits of laughter and when people inquire as to why, I alt-tab over to the source code and mumber something like: “Nothing, I can’t believe that they used people as a keyword”
    That’s when they smile and slowly walk away.

  2. w()rmwood Says:

    awesome post, love it.

    But I have to disagree about the He-Man thing. I mean Prince Adam has a shirt on, and He-Man, well he doesnt.
    Also, Prince Adam doesnt have a sword, and He-Man (as we well know) always has one.

    Finally, Prince Adam has a cowardly pet cat named Cringor, where as He-Man has a powerful and noble steed named BattleCat!

    So really I think its a pretty solid disguise.

  3. “Also, Prince Adam doesnt have a sword, and He-Man (as we well know) always has one.”

    Then he has remarkably “sword in sheath” like birth mark growing on his back.

  4. “Oh how I have a feeling that XHTML is not going to work ”

    It’s was a hell of swing son, sometimes you just strike out.

  5. rex Says:

    finally, with you out of the picture, sour candy and i can go public with our torrid love affair.

  6. […] Letter 3 – On He-Man and Latent Male Homosexuality Why do you have to bad talk He-Man? […]

  7. Oh my God. Do you know what memory this post brought back to me? Do you know?

    I’ll tell you. It was THIS memory:

    One time, on one of those dinner cruise boats? I got in a FIGHT with the DJ because he was telling people when to start the Macarena and he was OFF THE BEAT. I went up and told him he was wrong, and he and I started yelling at each other over it.

    And then I sat back down and decided it was time to figure out where my life went so wrong that I’d ended up at a corporate office party on a dinner cruise fighting with the DJ over the proper execution of the Macarena.

    All hail Kamchatka!

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  8. “my life went so wrong that I’d ended up at a corporate office party on a dinner cruise fighting with the DJ over the proper execution of the Macarena. ”

    I’m surprised the boat didn’t sink, given the weight of the broken dreams, and crushed spirits, it was surely transporting.

    “All hail Kamchatka!”

    All hail Kamchatka, indeed!

  9. Ben Says:

    Holy crap. Heather and I laughed until we cried. The risk one was awesome!

  10. Pollyanna Says:

    People are begining to suspect that metadata is slowly turning me into some sort of mad hatter. I burst in fits of laughter and when people inquire as to why, I alt-tab over to the source code and mumber something like: “Nothing, I can’t believe that they used people as a keyword”

    Mike I know you wrote that over two years ago, but this librarian thinks that is still damn funny. :D

  11. Mike Says:

    Wow, that job was a lifetime ago.

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