Earlier this week Steve Nelson posted 90-minutes of radio from REV-105 on Soundcloud. First of all, I’ve listened to this about three times through now and I smile the entire 90 minutes — like a full-on, teeth showing, eyes crinkling smile.
Today is, apparently, the 20th anniversary of the station going off the air. In my head, the death of REV-105 happened in the summer on a sultry day in August or something like that. In my memory I walked over to the gas station I worked at in short-sleeves and no jacket, escaping into cool air-conditioning, settled into the office with a Camel Light and the radio set to REV-105 like I always did. REV-105 was my only friend in that time between college and real life, when I felt like I was wasting away at a job that allowed me to smoke cigarettes and read books while occasionally taking money from people for gas and OK Sodas (just kidding, I think Sister #4 was the only person who consistently consumed OK Soda, she loved that shit).
It took me awhile to figure out something was up. I mean it was REV and they played whatever they wanted, but an hour of shitty heavy metal? When I realized something was wrong, I busted out the yellow pages and tried to find someone to call for some answers.
The yellow pages.
Someone I could call.
God, 1997 was like the Stone Ages.
Anyway, listening to the music and the DJs is like a happy field trip to nostalgialand, but it was a spoken word poem called “Indictment” by Nicole Blackman (it starts at about 56 minutes into the Soundcloud thing) that zoomed me back into my 20something GenX slacker days. I’m a forty-four-year-old spinster sitting here on a couch growing out my grey hair and nearly every line of this poem made me think, Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Yep. Mmmhmmm.
Here, let me post a bit of it that I transcribed and see if it doesn’t stir up a few things for my fellow GenX slackers:
We don’t live, we just scratch on day to day with nothing but matchbooks and sarcasm in our pockets. And all we’re waiting for is for something somewhere worth waiting for.
We shrug off labels and dismiss all the consultants who sell our rap sheets and buying patterns to Madison avenue all the better to sell us another chair at IKEA.
And we need something to kill the pain of all that nothing inside so we take an Advil because it goes down like an M&M and we understand that.
We asked for a real future and what did we get? Clear beer. But we fear that no one will ever understand us. We fear that all we are right now is all we’ll ever be. We fear that we don’t know who the middle class is anymore. We fear that pop culture is the only kind of culture we’re gonna have. We open a Victoria’s Secret catalog and think oh yeah, I’m always lounging around on the porch wearing a garter belt.
We fear hope because hope means doing something new. Our lifestyles have no life and no style. We want to stop reading magazines. Stop watching TV. Stop caring about Winona Ryder movies. But we’re addicted to the things we hate. We can’t stop going to brunch, start a band, defending Hillary. We never finish reading books.
That part about defending Hillary . . . really slayed me in light of the recent fascist takeover. And the whole thing makes me feel like a disaffected 20something all over again. I’m glad I’m not, that’s for damn sure, but it’s been really fun visiting again.