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The Institute of Official Cheer
January 17, 2014 4:08 PM   Subscribe

The Institute of Official Cheer
posted by KokuRyu (40 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
With a section titled "70s - a look back at hell", this is inspired by the gelatin foods post, isn't it?
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on January 17


I was speeding like a mad man to link to this site in that post, Artw, but was beat to it. It is such a sprawling site of nostalgic regurgitation it really deserves its own post. Thanks KokuRyu!
posted by munchingzombie at 4:26 PM on January 17


We discussed The Gobbler a few years ago.
posted by COD at 4:28 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Ministarstvo Veselje?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:31 PM on January 17


This is a nice blast from the past, before the writer became a comedian on right wing cruises and general pants on head crazy person. Does he still have those rants archives where he tried to "explain" Islamic culture? Jealous of our supermarket bread " soft as a sultans pillow" was the one that stuck in my mind.
posted by The Whelk at 4:32 PM on January 17 [10 favorites]


Lileks used to be a member here, but quit because we were too liberal for him. Now he's a contributor to this righty site.
posted by briank at 4:34 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Huh. I'm really surprised this isn't a double!
posted by jason_steakums at 4:42 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Sorry I just paid attention to the content of the site when I posted a link. I did not think to conduct a background check on Lileks.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:52 PM on January 17


I'm not sure that really should be mandatory.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I find the notion of someone mocking the Jello molds but lauding the culinary magic of Wonderbread to be delicious, even if otherwise I don't really care about the background much.
posted by Sequence at 4:56 PM on January 17


He had one of the nicest looking, easy to navigate websites in the late 90s and influenced how I made my very first website in High School.
posted by The Whelk at 4:57 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I'm not complaining even if it has been posted before, it's a really nice little blast from the web past. Sad to hear about Lileks' turn to nutbaggery, though.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:57 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah, haven't thought about this site in years. Doubling all the thoughts on Lileks. He's the David Mamet of the Web.
posted by mykescipark at 5:11 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Oh, so long as you can separate the art/pop-culture Lileks from his political evil twin, I still enjoy him. It's just too bad that the evil twin sucks away time and energy from the good twin.
posted by tyllwin at 5:20 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


No, this can't be right. James Lileks is a wonderful person memory.
Thanks for dragging it out into the light.
posted by hat_eater at 5:25 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


The 1973 Sears catalog stuff is causing me to have an intense sense memory. I probably spent a fair amount of time looking through that exact catalog.

It's funny how making fun of the 70s now seems very passé, even misguided. People certainly did dress weird then (and I have a fifth grade photo in plaid pants to prove it), but it now seems to me to be charmingly eccentric while, in contrast, the 80s looks to me like Hell.

More mocking the 80s, please. That's when I graduated high school and I have peers who think it was the best of times. I won't be happy until the 80s are mocked as mercilessly and universally as the 70s once were.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:27 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Well, there's this idea of the 80s that's considered cool these days that appears to in no way resemble the 80s I grew up in. On the other hand the 90s seems to be a dumping ground for everything considered baffling including several very 80s phenomena.
posted by Artw at 5:32 PM on January 17


More mocking the 80s, please. That's when I graduated high school and I have peers who think it was the best of times.

You know, it's weird, but over the past few years I am getting incredibly nostalgic for the late 80's, usually while watching British television programs produced at that time.

Maybe it's the lighting and the video stock, but there is something about the period (say, 1986-89) that seems so *right*. Hard to explain
posted by KokuRyu at 5:35 PM on January 17


Somehow it feels as if DEVO are involved
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 6:42 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


No, this can't be right. James Lileks is a wonderful person memory.
Thanks for dragging it out into the light.


Official Cheer man is a grump! Lore Sjöberg has hair! I don't want to grow up!
posted by jason_steakums at 7:07 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Major flashback. I spent lots of time at the Lileks site years ago, even bought a few of his books.

Then September 11th happened, and...yeah.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:36 PM on January 17


He was an awesome features wtiter & columnist for a long time, but after 9/11 he swung over to the right pretty hard. He got pretty humorless…oh, maybe a year after that.

I was a big fan of his when I was in high school: I used to take his pizza order every Friday *, and ended up inviting him to speak to my English class (where he was charming :7). I still remember some of his pieces from then and laugh out loud, twenty-odd years later.

But I stopped reading him maybe a half dozen years ago when the wry wit dried up and all that was left was some schtick and some shop talk about the Strib (the newspaper where he worked) and politics, politics, politics. The pieces about his dad were nice, though.

*: Medium deep dish, half pepperoni and half sausage, with extra sauce on the side: Green Mill Box Office, Hamline & Grand!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:36 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Wow, he used to talk about that pizza order, too!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:40 PM on January 17



Official Cheer man is a grump! Lore Sjöberg has hair! I don't want to grow up!

SPINNWEBE WAS A LONG TIME AGO MAN.
posted by The Whelk at 7:42 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


What I REALLY miss is NotMyDesk.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:44 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


but he's like right here.
posted by The Whelk at 7:45 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Just saying Spinnwebe, NotMyDesk, and Brunching Shuttlecocks were the big troika for me.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:50 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Lileks, The Brunching Shuttlecocks, Rob Cockerham, that whole group of internet humorists around the time played a big role in getting me to come out of my shell a bit more, because I didn't have a lot of close friends in my late teens and so I made New Improved Internet Friends with people who were into these same funny websites and that in turn made me more at ease making friends in person. I get a kick out of still seeing Brunchma forum names pop up around here.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:52 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


poop keeps the tent where it is
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 PM on January 17


Everyone loves 60s mod style in 201x.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:19 PM on January 17


everyone loved mod 60s style in 1999 and then again in like 08
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I blame Austin Powers.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:52 PM on January 17


I once wrote to him to let him know an "original" (period) Art Frahm print was on eBay, with celery and dropped undies and all the canonical necessities. He wrote me a polite note back, I think at $80 or something is was a bit rich for his blood (mine, too). This was probably...jeebus. 1996? 1997?

And then he turned into a nut. No more to build on there.
posted by maxwelton at 1:17 AM on January 18


I hate this sort of thing even if it didn't come from the world's smuggest asswipe because it's such easy material to mock. It's a very rightwing sort of humour, just dump down on something that can't defend itself, which everybody agrees is shit and you won't run any risk of offending anybody. Very nice, very safe.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:31 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


But did you notice the celery?
posted by KokuRyu at 5:26 AM on January 18


which everybody agrees is shit

On the contrary! I think a lot of the humor comes from the tension between knowing, socially, we're supposed to hate anything more than a few years old, and yet having a deep and abiding love (or at least respect, or nostalgia) for it. I mean, we see this in every vintage food thread...for every person who reacts with horror, there's another who gets positively Proustian over the idea of a jello mold. And not just the food. The craftmanship--the art!--of vintage ads, seems so much more real, valid and permanent than our own drudging slavery to brand consciousness, the soul of paint versus the hollow shell of Illustrator. The architecture, so intentional, compared to the space-maximizing boxes of today. It's so beautiful and so ugly at the same time, and that clash, I think, makes for a richer humor than just LOLPASTPEOPLE.

(Although my favorite Lileks line may give the lie to the above, when he described one dish as looking like "a core sample from a mass grave.")
posted by mittens at 8:22 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


The other thing that seems to have dropped out of depictions of the 80s is how utterly obsessed everyone was with the 50s.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on January 18


If you stopped reading him after September 11th or thereabouts, you've definitely missed some of his best humor. Love Lileks' writing.
posted by BurntHombre at 10:26 AM on January 18


knowing, socially, we're supposed to hate anything more than a few years old

Geez, what planet are these bad vibes from? Thankfully, I never got that memo.
posted by Rash at 12:18 PM on January 18 [2 favorites]


"Interior Desecrations" is a hilarious book, and I say that as someone whose childhood bedroom had an aimless brown arrow painted on the wall.
posted by acrasis at 2:16 PM on January 18


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