Only 90s kids will remember the husk
July 19, 2021 10:12 PM   Subscribe

This ode to the husk (Twitter thread) will take you back to a simpler time. The 90s - when young and old alike venerated the husk.
posted by signsofrain (118 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
 
b̢̤ẹ̜̳̥̣͡h͖̬͓̗̲̕ͅo̤̣͔̪̫l̘d͎ ̰̜th͏e̮̘͇̝ ̧̣h̭̫͙ͅu̻̗͓̜̹͈̻͡s͙k͖̲̘̤̻̼
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:17 PM on July 19 [6 favorites]


Ah yeah, church of the huskgenius
posted by migurski at 10:27 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]


Lol so glad someone else remembers this!! The husk was lit
posted by potrzebie at 11:08 PM on July 19 [10 favorites]


Most of the time Twitter is a black hole that I struggle desperately to escape, but then it reminds me of the husk which sometimes appeared on TV as a black hole I struggled feebly to escape.
posted by muddgirl at 11:15 PM on July 19 [15 favorites]


That thread has the same good feel that the 50 Greatest Video Game Characters Of All Time thread around here had.
posted by JHarris at 11:45 PM on July 19 [8 favorites]


Remember when Elastica said "the husk is bollocks" and then they found the bass player wandering around an cornfield in upstate NY three weeks later?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:01 AM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Hüsker dïd
posted by chavenet at 12:58 AM on July 20 [33 favorites]


Here in the UK this was always a mysterious cultural reference until that scene with Joey and Chandler in "The One With The Husk".
posted by greycap at 2:27 AM on July 20 [31 favorites]


Unlike all the other kids at school we didn't have cable, so I only ever got to experience the husk when staying in a hotel. I felt forsaken, and even when the husk's lesser form arrived in broadcast syndication (5pm weekdays on WLVI Channel 56, natch), I refused to accept it's all-encompassing embrace because I was still so bitter.

Years later I came to appreciate the husk, but by then its moment had passed.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:02 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Can someone explain this husk thing? I have no idea what it is.
posted by Jubey at 4:04 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


You have to be a 90s kid, I’m afraid.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:09 AM on July 20 [33 favorites]


I'm an 80's kid, so I always found the husk thing kind of corny
posted by phooky at 4:14 AM on July 20 [49 favorites]


I distinctly remember coming home from a friend’s house, turning on TRL and Carson Daly was doing his husk episode. Seeing the husk always signaled that summer was ebbing back towards school
posted by glaucon at 4:17 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Oh all you fancy lads and lasses on the coasts with your husks. Our thing in Illinois was the annual Raising of Lincoln, and of course the internet spoiled that; near the end, he spurned the offering of Flesh and Corn and just wanted memes and more memes. You abandoned the husk, but Lincoln abandoned us. We put in a T1 line to his crypt, and it's said that on a still night you can hear his sepulchral giggling.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:38 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I remember the Seinfeld episode where the Husk engulfed and consumed Newman. Complete shock. And that ending...no music, no standup...just eerie silence.

I get why they never showed it again.
posted by PlusDistance at 4:39 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


yes, especially after what happened to Mr Rogers ...
posted by mbo at 4:40 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


AOL wouldn’t let you create any chat rooms with husk in the name so we had to get clever and use stuff like h0sk.
posted by jquinby at 4:42 AM on July 20 [24 favorites]


I grew up in the 80s so I missed most of the fun but I do remember that summer where we all volunteered to search the woods to see where the kids went.
posted by mittens at 5:13 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


Growing up in the Boston area, there was the entire thing about how New York shouldn't be that great. So people pretended the husk wasn't that big a deal and that the nameless thing from beyond the void in the harbor was better just because it manifested itself a week before the husk did. (Also, it had a name that caused your eyes to bleed when read and ears to bleed when heard and it was from the void, just like the others, but it was in Boston, so we pretended it was really special.)
posted by Hactar at 5:16 AM on July 20 [15 favorites]


As a kid in Canada I dreamed of worshipping the husk in person but had to settle for humming along to MIDI files of its resonances (this was before mp3s). Then my friend found a WAV file and it was SO MUCH MORE PHANTASMAGORICAL. We used to gibber together, one earbud each. I miss the husk
posted by oulipian at 5:23 AM on July 20 [26 favorites]


I think I remember the nameless thing from beyond the void in the harbor more for associated Necco Wafer advertising campaign.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:26 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: we used to gibber together
posted by hearthpig at 5:26 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


The Husk was just cheap copy of the semi-annual milagro de la cáscara at the Torre Latinoamericana. Except the husk started twenty years later, was less colorful, and was probably a fake constructed by the tourism industry to take advantage of the global husk pilgrimages. Americans always assume they discovered everything.
posted by eotvos at 5:27 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


also, this thread makes me giggle anxiously the way Mornington Crescent threads do. Never could sort out the rules to that game. My issue here may be that the husk was never really big in Canada.
posted by hearthpig at 5:27 AM on July 20 [8 favorites]


I heard the reboot is really disappointing.
posted by aesop at 5:36 AM on July 20


I spent the late 90s backpacking in Europe, and I sort of missed the whole thing. Now, backpackers tend to hang out with other backpackers. The thing was, for visa reasons, your Aussies and Kiwis were normally there for a few months (up to two years, if the wanted), while the Americans were normally over there for a few days, maybe weeks. There was definitely a discussion about the pre- and post-husk Americans. It was something in the eyes, I reckon.
posted by pompomtom at 5:46 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Say what you will about the husk (preferably in hushed tones) but it inspired some great television.
posted by ejs at 5:52 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


One of the popular kids at school had been offered to the husk as an infant. They were always cagey when asked if they had been accepted by the husk or if they were one of the discarded.

I always thought they were one of the discarded, but that might have been sour grapes because they were so popular.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:58 AM on July 20 [13 favorites]


My church had this youth pastor who, in an attempt to be relevant, gave a whole sermon where he suggested Christ was essentially a nameless entity from beyond the void. He even had fake blood come out of his mouth during a prayer but nobody bought it and we all kept building stacks of hymnals in the shape of the Husk.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 6:00 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


I'm a kid of the '70s so we didn't have TVs or New Yorks. My home village's version of this was built by us children every year and the big celebration was held on the Seventh Decimation of Winter. When the First Winter's daylight full moon appeared high in the morning the sky, us kids would gather and hum John Cage's 4' 33", louder and louder until it was deafening. Some kids would always forget how the song goes and we would have to start over until we all got it right. Once our "husk" was created, it was time for the village elders of a certain age to commit ritual senicide. We had a 350' tall cliff outside of the village that would surely lead to a quick death for those who would fall off of it, but since this occurred so late in Winter, the snow was built up high enough that the fall was only about 2 and a half feet. /shrug
posted by NoMich at 6:10 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


[NOT HUSK-IST]
posted by pompomtom at 6:12 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


In the 90s, Minneapolis had That Shape in the Sky, but no one on the Coasts ever paid any attention. Other than the time that It partially manifested inside that store Prince had in Uptown, almost everyone was too polite to mention the Shape in the Sky, so that might have been part of it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:45 AM on July 20 [13 favorites]


The other day I was desperately trying to remember the word "husk" and I couldn't.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:54 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


As a kid growing up in South Carolina suburbs, I dreamed of going to the city to see the husk. Eventually, I did but it seemed so much smaller than I remembered from pictures. I walked back to my hotel but every street seemed to lead back to the husk. Actually, now that I come to think of it, I'm not sure how I got back to the hotel.
posted by Kitteh at 7:11 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


I used to take the train through NYC between school and home, and the husk was usually in the droopy phase when I'd go back at the end of summer. It always felt like a proper transition time. The year the husk stopped I only really felt it when I didn't see it on the MetroNorth. That was when I knew an era was over.
posted by cobaltnine at 7:12 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Wow this whole time I thought I was the only one perceiving the Husk, I mean that's what it whispered to me in the dark anyway. This thread really takes me back.
posted by bleep at 7:19 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


The other day I was desperately trying to remember the word "husk" and I couldn't.

If this happens again, try the Ritual Hand Gesture; this always reminds me of how to write it and maybe get my mouth to form the syllables.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:23 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


Back in my day we couldn't see the husk on TV so we'd have to wrap our heads tightly in plastic bags full of wasabi and propane and breathe deeply. It didn't give us a husk experience but there wasn't much else to do so
posted by The otter lady at 7:29 AM on July 20 [18 favorites]


I retain the implanted memory of the time the husk guest-starred on that awful sitcom and it got a paint roller to the face.
posted by xedrik at 7:31 AM on July 20 [22 favorites]


Get a job, 90s kids!
posted by amanda at 7:38 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


The peak was when the Husk was on Letterman. There are still people who think it was Andy Kaufman.
posted by dobbs at 7:38 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


> I'm an 80's kid, so I always found the husk thing kind of corny

In the 80s we had Hüsker Dü.
posted by ardgedee at 7:42 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


In the 80s we had Hüsker Dü.

Bob Mould no longer remembers his true origins. His last name is a clue.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:54 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I remember that commercial where a bunch of people are in a muddy field. Someone yells "HUUUUUUUUUSK" and they all go running to be the first to sacrifice themselves to it, but it's really a knockoff, not the real husk.
posted by ScrubsKip at 8:02 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


The husk was a BIG DEAL in rural Nebraska, even though it never came here. Did you know that before the husk our football team was named the Bugeaters? After one of the nicknames of the nighthawk, interesting stuff.

Anyway, go Huskers!
posted by Horkus at 8:08 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


I once looked out of the window of a transatlantic flight and the sun caught the furiously spinning column of locusts that rose from the husk to the stratopause - an immensely tall cone made up of flickering points of darkness.
A beautiful but chilling sight
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:09 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


Get a job, 90s kids!

Venerate the Husk, Boomer.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:15 AM on July 20 [13 favorites]


Growing up in the 1980s in the Midwest, there was so much...I guess "romance" to life on the two coasts. All the TV shows and movies were made in California, and the nightly news came from studios in New York, and of course David Letterman (from Indiana! One of us!) did his show from New York. So lots of kids went away to college in California or New England and just never came back.

Some of those Midwesterners married people after graduation and stayed (which I what I did), while others became acolytes or helped to build the Great Plinth (and were, of course, entombed inside).
posted by wenestvedt at 8:21 AM on July 20 [8 favorites]


The real husk was the fiends we made along the way.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:32 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


I grew up in South Florida, where the TV news had endless coverage about the husk for the benefit of the retirees with roots in the New York area. Well, whenever there wasn't an impending hurricane to steal the limelight.
posted by May Kasahara at 8:47 AM on July 20


It's wild how many of us actually remember The Husk. The government decreed it Unknowable after 9/11, and I'd thought they'd wiped it from all of our subconscious memories, but everyone talking about it brings it all flooding back. Thousands of us swaying in unison in our robes, pupils dilated, and the chanting, oh the chanting!
posted by mikesch at 8:47 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Whoops- now my nose is bleeding!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:48 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Husk! Just tell me that you want me!
posted by The otter lady at 8:50 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Ctrl-F "grip it" - Phrase not found

I am disappoint.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:12 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


There must be some meaning in the topic suddenly resurfacing today in such earnest. I was born in 85 and I remember it so vividly from my preteen years but it's been at least 15 years since I really gave it any thought at all. Of course it's not documented anywhere for obvious reasons, but now all of a sudden one tweet and the floodgates of shared memory are open. The very fact that we are having this conversation at this moment has huge significance, but it remains to be seen what it means. Part of me wants to hope that perhaps we'll see it return...? But then another part of me finds it impossible to think otherwise.
posted by StruggleBus at 9:14 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


I was in high school/college in the '90s, so I was just a bit too old to fully appreciate the husk. My kid sister though, christ... she's 40 now and only beginning to piece her life back together. She went in deep.

I was living in Montana during what would have been my husk-sensitive years. Too far from the coast to be affected anyway. And blissfully unaware of what the unspeakable horror in the Berkeley pit was doing to my psyche. That didn't surface until much, much later. I got help, and I am doing better. But I'm so glad they switched to zinc for pennies though. The touch of copper still triggers ... a strong reaction. I'm so, so tired of washing the blood out after.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:20 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


What do you call the phenomena of pretending to be in on an inside-joke you just heard? It feels like the core of any meme, but this takes it further in that it not only separates participants into the "in" and "out" groups but also relies on the "in" group to make fun of the "out" group by gaslighting them. Really interesting stuff... makes "bullies" out of normal people.
posted by pleem at 9:22 AM on July 20 [13 favorites]


Don't worry, once your repressed memories of the husk resurface, you'll be part of the in-group again!
posted by starfishprime at 9:28 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


... makes "bullies" out of normal people.

Forgive us. The void left by the husk's abandonment of us aches and leaves us scarred with beautiful, incandescent scars.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:32 AM on July 20 [15 favorites]


The husk was lit

...from within, by an unearthly glow that gave observers strangely vivid dreams for weeks afterwards.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:14 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


I just… I’ve never understood the people who say the husk left.

If you can’t see it, maybe ask yourself what you did wrong, for it to hide itself from you.
posted by curious nu at 10:20 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


pleem: What do you call the phenomena of pretending to be in on an inside-joke you just heard?

I was hardly surprised while watching the coverage of Bezos's launch this morning.

Of course the husk denied him the physical ascension he had craved so deeply, back in the 90s. Of course they had to pretend "it was the plan all along" to do only a ten-minute jaunt. Of course the woman and child were "guests" and not sacrificial offerings. Of course Bezos "stepped down" less than two weeks ago in favor of Andy Jassy, whose purely online experience reveals him to be outside the circle of those initiated into the knowledge of Byways and Porches.

The reveal -- and immediate cover-up (yeah, "practical joke," right) -- of AWS Infinidash a week or two ago was an enormous gaffe. Until the acolytes of the Elder Ones are prepared to mulch the empty physical vessels of the Illuminated, there will be no need for Infinidash.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:23 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


makes "bullies" out of normal people.
My knee-jerk response is that making people do a few minutes of research to confirm that the husk was real is a harmless and possibly useful lesson in media literacy. But, I'm genuinely concerned by the idea that this may make people feel bad. (I've heard childhood exposure to husk spores can make people aggressive and less able to understand human emotions; so, I'm probably a poor judge.)
posted by eotvos at 10:32 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


I'm just impressed to see that Ben Mekler has moved on to fresh vistas of benevolent social media trolling, now that he's successfully broken film journalism.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:54 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


What do you call the phenomena of pretending to be in on an inside-joke you just heard?

See, back in the day, that would have been a perfect question to ask of the husk. Just, by all that is holy and much that is not, be sure not to approach the husk without bringing the Price. Woe unto them who forgot!
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:05 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I'm Gen X. The husk never gave a shit about us. Fuck the husk. All we had were empty horizons, in every direction, no point of reference whatsoever, no husk to orient ourselves. We got by and created some pretty aggressive music in minor keys with lots of shouting, so there was that. You husk kids have no idea how good you had it
posted by treepour at 11:06 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


Don your special protective goggles before beholding the official portrait of the husk
posted by theatro at 11:09 AM on July 20 [8 favorites]


What do you call the phenomena of pretending to be in on an inside-joke you just heard? [...] makes "bullies" out of normal people.

Putting on my serious hat for a moment... oof, sorry if this thread is making you or anyone feel bullied. I think the lack of any real center is what attracts people to it. For me, this sort of thing acts as a writing prompt. I can imagine a weird, absurd world in which a "husk" is a huge cultural touch point and I can put myself there for a moment, and that feels creatively energizing. I do think there is a "either you get the joke or you don't" dynamic to this sort of thing, and I do wish folks (including me) could find a way of being more gentle about it.
posted by treepour at 11:16 AM on July 20 [17 favorites]


I keep trying to write about the hask but it autocorrects, at least I think it does, and now I'm not sure whether I really remember the høsk at all.
posted by fedward at 11:25 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


The husk was honestly pretty lame after the first couple years, like by the time it was on SNL, but it's not like we had anything better to do.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:26 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Hêsk. Hïsk. Hœsk. Nope. Why am I cold all of a sudden?
posted by fedward at 11:28 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Occasionally you would get a phantom collect call in the middle of the night... and a disembodied voice would come.. "weoddababyeetsahusk"
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:34 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


The husk was honestly pretty lame after the first couple years, like by the time it was on SNL, but it's not like we had anything better to do.

So lame. They did that thing where a cast member was in a sketch as the husk, and then the real husk came out and stood behind them and the crowd started cheering and then there was all the screaming and the blood and the melting of flesh. Sad, really, because it was one of Melanie Hutsell's better performances.
posted by PlusDistance at 11:39 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


Oh no not ag
posted by fedward at 11:40 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I'm Gen X

Me too, but between being late enough in the timeframe and having a yet younger sibling, it's legitimately hit or miss when I see these "90s kids" memes whether I'll have any clue what they were talking about. I was curious what side this one would land on, but it turns out this is one of those cases where the reason it doesn't really move me is geographical. You know nothing like the husk ever showed up in the South. Sure, there were those kids that tried to make a husk in the football field every summer, but we all knew it was bullshit - maybe they'd try to move up to New York City after graduation, maybe they'd even see the husk for real once, but before the end of the year they'd be back again and stuck in our little town just like the rest of us.
posted by solotoro at 11:46 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


I probably still have some huskcolor t-shirts somewhere.

Of course they don't spontaneously bleed, combust or change phase anymore.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:47 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


(Also, do you enjoy making things up like this based off a random Twitter joke and then immediately start thinking about fanart and the greater lore? Come join blaseball.)
posted by curious nu at 11:50 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


When a thing like this comes up and someone asks “is this real?”, will it spoil the fun for everyone riffing on it if someone else replies with a straightforward “no, it’s just a gag” instead of giving a coy non-answer? Mornington Crescent was a good enough joke, but the way people insisted on never being candid with inquirers always rubbed me the wrong way.
posted by Epixonti at 11:53 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


No one was ever willing to teach me how to play Mao. To this day I’m not sure if it’s an actual card game or just an in joke.

Don’t tell me, I like it this way.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:54 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Sad, really, because it was one of Melanie Hutsell's better performances.
I don't disagree. But, Eddie Murphy's Buckwheat vs den Husk court drama skits are also classic, even if they didn't make it to syndication and may not hold up so well today.
posted by eotvos at 12:02 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I turned 30 at the beginning of the 90s, and thus was unable to perceive the husk. Which is why this conversation confused the absolute hell out of me at first.

that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:02 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


It was said in the lore that if you got a tootsie pop with the husk on the wrapper, you could get ten free ones.
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:18 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


P̶̧̡̛̛̻̗̦̗͉̘̥͕͂̇̋̌́͛̾̃̒̇̇̌̾́̉͘ͅȩ̸̠͉̞̺͇̞̙͉͕̙͇̯̫̲͓͔̥͙͈̅̆̃͆̍͝͠͝p̴̨̢̭̘͍̩̦̗͇͕̘̻̝͕͔̿̂̊̏͐̎́̇̌̆̏̾̆͛̈́̿͂̒͜͜͠͝ͅp̴͇͖͓͎̗̖̬̲͍̳̆̒̋̌̉͒̇́͛̒͂̃͐̒́̏̓̾̔̊͝e̸̠͕͑̀̓̂̅̇͌͛́͋̀͛͠͠͝ȑ̵̼̥͇̓͗͌̀͊̎́̑̐̑͑̑́̃͐̈́͝į̸̧̛͎̩̲͈̯̩̳̺͙̜̩̖̯̈́̅̃͐̂̀͊̀͘͜͜͠ḋ̵͖̞̥̤͔̼̱͓̺̱̞̯̖̺̙̖̺̣̤͓̯̻̖͒͗̏̄̋͗̋͠͝͠g̷͎̦͕̩͆͐͒̉͐̋è̴̢̛̛̼͕͈̺̙̱́̆̃̾̅̉͋̆̋͗͆̄̔͛̀̑̚͝ ̷̢̥̼̤̟̱̬̳̩̩̠̭̠͚͈̣͕̌͗̈́̋̂͑̿̐̂͛̐̎̂̒̾̈́̆͝͝f̶̘̘͕͚̥̮̣͖͔͚̤̹̉̓̽͐̀̒͌̓͌͛̊͆̀̐͜ǎ̶̞̟̦̯̙̝̦̯͕͛́͘͜ŗ̵̨̢͓͎͕̙̀͒̀̋̍̏̂̉͐͆̇͂͋̿̽͒̌̅̕͝͝m̸̡̡͔̘͎͙͈͚͓̦͍̘͇͙̦̙̯̹̪̹͗́̾͊̏̆̌̾̃̑͒̒̍͊̉̏̕̚͝͝ͅ ̶̢̡̧͙̳͔̮̝͇̜̝̭͇̲̏͐̿͊͂̀́̿͐̓̈́ŗ̶̧̗̟̬͚̦̝̝̼͎̭̤̘͍͚͒̇̌̌͛́̽̏̔̀͂̒̕ͅe̵̡̨̡̹͓͚̥̮̘̹͈̳̬̳͙̪̘̰͍̫̟͒̈́̏͑̏̆͑̂͛̾̑̑͠͠͝m̵̡͖͍̼̫̹͖̺̹̖̠̔̊̄͂̐̿̊͌̅̑͘͜͠ȅ̵̡̮͍̩͇͓̫̼̬̳͚̰͎̠̭͉̫̫̫̳̟͈͌̉̌m̵̛̬̮̤͈̫̰̭̲̍̅̑͛͗̋͋͛̈́̈̂͌̊̾̋͘͜͝ͅb̵̢̢̨͖̣̪͔̣͈̪̹̖̘̖̘̑̿͘ͅȩ̶̢̙͉̦̰̥́̑̎̾͂́̓͊͐͊̇͋̓͘͜͝r̶̡̞̹̠̬̬͈̦̫͚͎̦͈̖̱̜̭͎̲̼̽͑̊̀̂̈́̂͊̇́̈́̕ͅs̷̢̛̛̖̯͓̱̤̻̖̪͈̰͇̦̺̯̞̟͈̏͗͂̅́̈́̀͑͘ͅ
posted by loquacious at 1:24 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Eddie Murphy's Buckwheat vs den Husk court drama skits are also classic, even if they didn't make it to syndication

John David Stutts was a patsy.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:38 PM on July 20


Aw man, this brought back memories of my high school class trip to NYC. Coming from Philly, we all had more or less explicit New York envy, even though our history teachers always made a point of telling us that Philadelphia had been the site of the Headhouse Square husk from 1790 to 1800. We weren't stupid.

I think most of us had already seen the husk on family visits to New York, but there was something really special about seeing it with classmates -- it didn't matter if you were one of the cool kids or one of the Mathletes; that thing just commanded your fixed, unblinking gaze, and it was pretty funny how the teachers wept silently and the bus driver kept trying to turn onto streets that weren't there. Jason Brown climbed through the window of the bus while we were stuck in traffic, and when he came back he was wearing a shirt that said "I ATTEMPTED TO COMPREHEND THE HUSK AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS STUPID T-SHIRT" and he wasn't Jason anymore, not really. Happier times.
posted by bokane at 1:42 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


Is this something you would need a husk to understand
posted by twelve cent archie at 1:46 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


In England we had, high on a fell in Cumbria, Volt-Henge.
Many evenings I would stand in the garden watching the clouds of sparks rising on the northern horizon.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:47 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


So many sexual assaults at Huskapalooza was what convinced me it was more about the money and the power than the husk.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:58 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Growing up in the suburbs, I was jealous of the NYC kids who bragged about their husk interactions all the time. Like how cool was it that you could just go out and see the husk whenever you wanted!

But you know, now that I've had some years to reflect, I see that our mandatory pep rallies (yes, even in the summer) were not a bad way to support the husk. They tried to make it fun, with the band and popcorn, but you know when you're 16, nothing your suburban town does is right. But I remember in '96, the PTA wanted to change it up a bit and decided to go all in to reach out to the husk, to see if we could get its attention. What a boon for tourism went the argument. Since the Husk never left NYC, you can see how successful it was. The pep rallies afterwards were less enthusiastic and more fearful so I guess the PTA did change it up.
posted by later, paladudes at 2:06 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


The otter lady: "plastic bags full of wasabi and propane "

if I ever need a sockpuppet ...
posted by chavenet at 2:15 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


AV Club tried to do an oral history of the Husk a couple years ago, but they had the usual problems with recording devices. Their oral history of the attempt will be out later this month.
posted by gurple at 2:27 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


People keep saying saying it was a 90s phenomenon, and, sure - it didn't manifest until the late 80s and early 90s*, but things like "It's The Husk, Charlie Brown" got a lot of airplay in the late 60s, so I don't think people in the years of The Ushering should be treated as if it's not really their thing.

*depending on your sensitivity
posted by Jon Mitchell at 3:42 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Besides, there are ways. I was born to early to naturally perceive the husk, but, with certain rites, I was able to borrow a range of appropriately-aged perception organs and experience the Glory. It’s probably for the best that my Dark Allegiances provided a buffer against the heresy, but “never say can’t” and all….
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:14 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


WTF is a Husk? I was in my 20s in Manhattan all through 1990s and I still don't know what the hell this thread is about.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:15 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


People keep saying saying it was a 90s phenomenon, and, sure - it didn't manifest until the late 80s and early 90s*, but things like "It's The Husk, Charlie Brown" got a lot of airplay in the late 60s, so I don't think people in the years of The Ushering should be treated as if it's not really their thing.

Oh please -- the Boomers are always trying to take credit for our things. We Gen Xers would talk about the husk's great and terrible majesty and our parents called us slackers and wanted us to get real jobs, when the reality was that they had destroyed the economy in the 80s through Reagan's deregulation and necromancy and so we had nothing but grunge music and the husk to distract us from the gaping emptiness that was our future. Man the 90s were great.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 4:27 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


Oh please -- the Boomers are always trying to take credit for our things.

Let’s try not to make this about generational differences. Each age gets the Eldritch Horror it needs, after all.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:30 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


It's a joke, Liquidwolf - people sharing made-up memories of an equally made-up 90s phenomenon.
posted by Epixonti at 4:32 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


... I still don't know what the hell this thread is about.

On the long awaited day the husk returns you will know.
No matter where you are you will sense the husk, feel the crawling corrugations of it's surface brush against your mind, see the crevices that lead deep inside to the actinic flaring of its core.
It will touch your deepest hidden memories and they will open like some awful flower to remind you of the nineties you so willingly forgot.
You will know the husk again then and you will joyfully resume your interrupted service. As will we all.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 4:41 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


I remember where I was I when I first learned about the husk, as I suspect we all do.
posted by mollweide at 5:00 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Remember when Elastica said "the husk is bollocks" and then they found the bass player wandering around an cornfield in upstate NY three weeks later?

It was good. It was good that the husk put him in the cornfield. It was real good.
posted by Naberius at 5:16 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Wasn't the husk once a guest star on Candle Cove?
posted by ymgve at 5:24 PM on July 20


It's a joke, Liquidwolf - people sharing made-up memories of an equally made-up 90s phenomenon.

Ah ok, I was starting to wonder if that was the deal.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:44 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


so is this a fun version of Q for aging hipsters?
posted by ovvl at 5:44 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Mornington Crescent was a good enough joke, but the way people insisted on never being candid with inquirers always rubbed me the wrong way.

Fair, but in its defense, MC is a real game. Just not the one it's disguised as.
posted by rifflesby at 5:46 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the husks
that were over
your head

and which
you were probably
dreaming about

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so fibrous.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:41 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Can someone explain this husk thing? I have no idea what it is.

I'm just going to assume that it's a synonym for punkin chunkin.
posted by bendy at 6:56 PM on July 20


Fair, but in its defense, MC is a real game. Just not the one it's disguised as.

Now that you mention it, there were suddenly a lot less rats on the rails during the husk years.
posted by loquacious at 7:09 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


I was going to NYU at the time of the Husk. I didn’t realize when I applied to NYU what it was going to be like to be a person there with not a lot of money, but the Husk experience was the rare exception to that. Most people thought viewing was best after dark, of course, given the flames, but getting close enough for a good view then was like the fucking Christmas tree lighting *every night*. I was at the Circle in the Square studio at 50th and Broadway three days a week, and I walked every morning from 3rd Avenue and 11th Street because I didn’t have the money for the subway. But that meant I could choose a different route to enjoy it from in the early morning light about as often as I wanted, and after a while I started to discern the secret dispersal patterns the votaries were directed to at dawn. It was always a thrill to glimpse a hastily-concealed Robe of Vanquishing as someone passed in the crowd.
posted by jocelmeow at 7:34 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


I can explain it: Husk means “remember” in Danish.

Actually that just has me very confused reading this thread.. “do you remember “remember””? No, no I do not.

Separately I am now also confused that the band Hüsker Dü evidently was not active in the 90s at all. Missed opportunity.
posted by nat at 7:48 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


You know, the funny thing is, everyone talks about the husk, but no one really talks about the Statue. No one talks about how it's been out in the harbor for well over a century now, guarding--or detaining? there are rumors that the French sent it to protect the world from NYC--the city, and not always standing, often crouching and sometimes squatting on its plinth that's constructed out of not-quite-Euclidean angles. The book that it bears is based on one that is known to have only one authentic copy at an obscure New England college, and the torch glows with something that is not quite light; you can see it even with your eyes shut. And then there's the "poem" inscribed on its base:
Give me your glabrous, your rugose,
Your shambling masses yearning to consume sanity,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore;
I have no choice but to take them within me,
I can feel them churning within me, like spiders
Laying their eggs, and one day they shall--
The rest of the inscription is corroded; it may be possible to do a charcoal rubbing to reveal the rest, but it's not recommended.

There are innumerable legends surrounding the Statue, and not all of them sinister, at least to us; the fate of the U-Boat Armada that was poised to invade NYC in WWII worked out well for America. One of the more curious and recent was centered around the original script for Ghostbusters, much more lengthy and elaborate than what reached the screen, and apparently written by Dan Aykroyd as a magical working; the sequel originally had the Statue walking away from the city. When asked about it, Aykroyd, speaking from behind a semi-closed door to the small windowless room where he spends his days, said, "I'm out of that game now. Ask Alan Moore about it."
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:29 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


This was all prompted by that dumb Husk joke in the new Black Widow movie, right? I was annoyed that it just seemed to be a random "I get that reference" kind of thing rather than something she would actually joke about.
posted by straight at 10:32 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


And then there's the "poem" inscribed on its base

I mean...obviously the similarity to a poem by Emma Lazarus is no coincidence at all. The biblical Lazarus famously had trouble dying, just like the residents of R'lyeh.
posted by juv3nal at 11:56 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


It was around long before the 90s. I still remember The song Fleetwood Mac wrote about it.
posted by mmoncur at 4:41 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I heard you're all talking about me in the post.

Stop it or I will return.
posted by charred husk at 6:29 AM on July 21 [18 favorites]


Now that the screaming in my eyeballs has calmed down, I can say that we antipodeans were always a little jealous of you Northern Hemisphere types with your sensory manifesting entities.

We do have our own small pride though of that darkly glorious summer when She visited the Outback. We didn't get any fancy humming or anything, but whenever you got close to a tree you could almost feel Her pressing against the mathematics.

Nobody's sure what year that was — or if it was even a year — but She'll be right, mate.
posted by Marticus at 4:22 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Oh wow, this brings back some crazy memories. I remember reading about the husk on some terrible Geocities page back in the dial-up days. Most of the page was total BS (anyone remember that stupid urban legend about the husk adding sequences to people’s DNA? As if they even had a complete human genome yet, how would they even have known…). But they did have a text file of that guide to listening to the husk’s resonance over shortwave radio, which was about the only way I could experience it, being a good eight hours away. My parents totally didn’t get why I was so obsessed with shortwave all of a sudden, and why I would disappear into my room and sit there with headphones for hours. I think they thought I was on drugs because they kept opening the door to check on me lmao. I ended up telling them I was just really into numbers stations as a cover and they bought it, I guess because I was a pretty weird kid to begin with. I made some recordings on cassette, that were obviously like 90% tape hiss and noise because I was using a cheap boombox — they’re probably still somewhere at my parents’ house, if they haven’t thrown them out, but ultimately idk, it’s just not the same as hearing it live.

But probably my finest achievement was when I finally managed to sneak out and visit the husk in person during a drama club trip to NYC right at the end of the 90s. Looking back it seems totally unbelievable that nobody noticed me leaving or rejoining the group, especially because I literally got on the subway by myself (I don’t even really remember how I got there, just how fast my heart was going when I decided to hang back from the group, and when I finally watched them turn a corner without me and knew I could either wimp out or make a break for it). I feel like today’s kids are so helicoptered-over they could never get away with something like that, especially in a big city. I just wish I’d gotten to spend longer than a few hours there before it was gone… listening is one thing but to actually feel it in your body, oof. TikTok could never.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:25 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Wait does anyone remember that super old Boards of Canada track where they sampled a little bit of the husk? Am I making that up? I only found it on LimeWire so it could totally have been mislabeled. Kind of strange how for such a big cultural phenomenon with such a distinctive audio experience, it left such a small footprint in music of that time.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:35 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


Down here in Australia, I only learned about the husk at the end of the 90s, when I was downloading Metallica songs on Napster via 33.6k dialup.

After a full week spent painstakingly getting my digital fingers on ReLoad I found that every single track resolved itself in WinAmp as some variation of "the ablating susurrations of the NYC husk". I was like, hey, I knew Marianne Faithfull was in the studio with you guys, but this is a bit much.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:47 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


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