Thirty Years Ago
The Fifth Annual Willa Cather Citation for the classiest title of the movie year goes to Hide in Plain Sight, not a very Catehrian title, certainly, but perfectly suitable for something on the level of a Margaret Millar thriller. The movie itself, it is beside the point to say, fell well below that level.
The Fifth Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Citation for the trashiest title this year is bestowed on Stardust Memories.... Other titles that ought to be put into the same Glad Bag: (a) Heart Beat for its attempt to create a double meaning by splitting one word into two...(b) Gates of Heaven for its easy confustion with Heaven’s Gate, Days of Heaven, and, if anyone remembers, Gate of Hell; and (c) The Big Red One for the impossibility of knowing on which word the stress is supposed to fall.
— “1980 Year in review,” Duncan Shepherd, December 18, 1980
Twenty-Five Years Ago
There’s still a little bit of gray fur clinging to the black iron bars on the windows of the Rancho Santa Fe Pharmacy and Spirit Shoppe. It’s all that’s left of the 15 rabbits impaled on the grates the morning of November 26.
Bob Graul, who bought the pharmacy in July, can’t remember any disgruntled former employees or customers storming out of the store because he refused an unauthorized Valium refill. “No one has sent us a note.... Could have been just some kids having a good time.”
— CITY LIGHTS: “THE COTTONTAIL MURDERS,” Brae Canlen, December 19, 1985
Twenty Years Ago
I love for Kid’s hair (Kid of the rap duo Kid and Play). Six, eight, maybe ten inches high, Kid’s hair rises. Stands straight up, skyward. Hair stylists call Kid’s do a “high-top fade” — no hair around sides and back; on top, hair explodes. Above the hairline, over Kid’s ears, above the back of his neck, scalp’s shaved clean (not a nick in it). The denuded skull displays every lump and bulge, reveals a phrenologists’s bump-reading paradise. Unlike the ’60s Afro, blooming into a vast halo, the “high top” of the “high-top fade” gets clipped back severely into cylindrical form. This restraint renders eloquent the bare forehead, naked neck, pale shaved-away arch over tips of Kid’s ear. Skin talks. The hair is numinous. A burning bush.
— “HAIR’S THE BLOSSOM,” Judith Moore, December 20, 1990
Fifteen Years Ago
Is Michael Jackson the Antichrist?
[P]romos for Jackson’s One Night Only special...were far more religiously propagandistic than anything Pat Robertson has ever dared air on The 700 Club. Larded with select clips from Jackson’s History Video, the One Night Only spots featured lingering glimpses of hordes of children standing; eyes pinwheeling, in slack-jawed awe before their lord and master, Michael Jackson.
— AS SEEN ON TV: “666 TV,” Abe Opincar, December 14, 1995
Ten Years Ago
As Christmas Day inches closer, most women are out shopping for the perfect Christmas wreath or the oh-so-cute ceramic Mr. & Mrs. Claus set. But I’m shopping for rotgut firewater. It’s not to calm my frazzled nerves in this demanding time of year. Rather, it is to be the backbone of my Christmas eggnog.
— BEST BUYS, Eve Kelly, December 15, 2000
Five Years Ago
When I was invited to an “S & M” party in Clairemont, I didn’t know what to expect.... Several people were wearing “S & M Printing” shirts. I met Scott Graham, one of the owners of the company.
Graham tells me they started printing part-time for local breweries. He explained that big breweries sell their used kegs to microbreweries, and S & M would print new labels to stick over the old labels. Their business grew, as did the partying. S & M scores beer cheap.
S & M got a permit for the band that was playing. They were so loud that when I asked someone the band’s name, I thought he said, “Side Kick Lounge.” When I asked a second time, it sounded like he said, “Psychic Hounds.” I didn’t ask a third time.
— CRASHER: “HOP HEADS,” Josh Board, December 15, 2005