John Cusack celebrates 2012, Kevin Smith takes on religion, and the wall comes tumbling down

Nov. 8-14: Communism starts falling apart by accident, Phil Hartman gets fiber, Fiona Apple is bad at brevity, Milla Jovovich and Kevin Smith get religious, Susan Sarandon is an embarrassing mom, the first lady visits Sesame Street, and “Dad” has more plots than a cemetery. All that and more this week on Thirty Twenty Ten, your weekly look back on the week that was 30, 20, and 10 years ago.


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One thought on “John Cusack celebrates 2012, Kevin Smith takes on religion, and the wall comes tumbling down

  1. Wall Comes Down. I was so barely politically aware in 1989 that I think my biggest memory of the wall coming down in Dana Carvey pretending to be George Bush taking credit for saying, “Tear down this wall.” Also, unifying Berlin’s civic structure (separate subways, power stations, etc) sounds like an awesome premise for a strategy game.
    Bulgaria’s government falls. Just as a kudos to the show: It’s been really really cool watching the Fall of Communism in “real time” on your show. When you started in 1986 pretty much no one in a position of power had the slightest expectation that the Berlin Wall would be torn down less than four years later. And yet “now” we are seeing just that happening and communist governments falling left and right. It’s a very important lesson that unexpected change, by definition, is not expected and that anyone who says they know how the next four years is going to go, well that person might end up as accurate as the folks at the beginning of 1986 were.

    Dad. Honestly, I got far more joy out of hearing Sarah’s description of how many different movies are struggling inside this one movie this is than I ever would from watching the damn thing. Question: What movie has the MOST movies inside of it? Because this one sounds like it might have more movies inside of it than any other movie I’ve ever heard of.
    The Comedy Channel premiers. Not only due to its ties to MST3K but this channel (soon to be Comedy Central), like the Simpson’s, is something that I 100% think of quintessentially 90’s but that nevertheless squeaked in before the 1980’s ended. Now I’m really curious if there is going to be anything else in the next six weeks that ends the 80’s with a bang. No spoilers! 😉 ‘
    When I see You Smile. This is part of the “Love is nice” genre of music that as I’ve been listening to every single year end top 100 song I have discovered is actually a super huge genre that almost no one cares about. Year in, year out, for decade after decade there are always multiple slow soft songs whose theme is “Love is Nice.” Now these songs often chart higher than many of the other songs of the year, songs that often appear in period pieces to scream out what year it is, but they don’t seem to have that big of a lasting impact because there are just so many slow soft popular songs whose theme is “Love is Nice,” than none of them can really stick out from the other.

    “Did anyone ever win a radio contest?” I won a cassette once. I was super excited, I called and I called and I called and then the host said I was the 15th caller and THEN … I was super-awkward talking to him. Because I was ten. He then told me to come pick up the cassette. In down town. And I lived in suburbia. And I was ten. So the cassette sat there for weeks and weeks and I think eventually my mom very resentfully picked it up for me. I can’t even remember the band. And that was the only radio contest I ever won. Anyone else ever win a radio contest?
    Affirmation – Savage Garden. The Song, “I Knew I Loved You” comes from this album and it was one of maybe five songs I can remember from my wedding!

    The Emperor and the Assassin was made in 1999. To give you some idea of how explosive the Chinese economy has been over the last 20 years, and subsequently why China has such a huge influence on what the world watches but why it didn’t in 1999 (when Hollywood was, gasp, making movies in support of Tibet!) in 1999 the average Chinese made $2,6000 per year and this, the most expensive film ever made cost $20 million. And now today in 2019 the average Chinese is making $16,000 per year (a gain of around 600%) and China’s most expensive movie today cost around $105 million ( a gain of around 500%). It’s interesting how closely those two numbers are to each other.
    The Messenger. I agree that Joan of Arc and Don Quixote are both stories that have been told again and again and again and yet you’re right; no version of their story has ever been truly excellent. Are there any other examples of stories famous enough to be easily recognizable to an average person, but that have no truly EXCELLENT versions? My only other recommendation is Around the World in 80 Days which I think has no even good versions of it. Others?
    Dogma. (sucks in teeth). Is this Keven’s Smith best film? Part of me wants to say no but the other part of me thinks about the issues I have with Clerks (I & II), Mallrats, and Chasing Amy and I can see a strong argument that this film, as a film, is better than all of those. What do you think is Kevin Smith’s best film?

    Dogma. Oh, and for the record it’s not hard to interpret parts of the bible as stating that the biblical Jesus had siblings (The Gospel of Mark (6:3) and the Gospel of Matthew (13:55-56) mention James, Joseph/Joses, Judas/Jude and Simon as brothers of Jesus, the son of Mary. The same verses also mention unnamed sisters of Jesus.). You can assume the passages are metaphorical if you like, and go down a long rabbit hole of what the precise modern 2019 English translation of various Aramaic Greek words are, but the simplest explanation is that passages are referring to the siblings he had.

    Pokémon – the First Movie. My fraternity did a white elephant Christmas exchange and I’ll never forget the look on one brother’s face when he opened up wrapper to reveal a Pokémon VHS. After some sputtering his next words were, “There better be pot in here.” There was not.

    Courage the Cowardly Dog. Wow. I have got to look up how this show started because I watched a ton of it. Not in 1999, but a couple years later when I was living in rural Japan. In my area the _only_ TV channel that had an English language option on it was Cartoon Network. As a result, I probably watched _literally_ (not figuratively but literally) every late 90’s / early 2000’s Cartoon Network show at least a dozen times. Yea, I even watched the ones I didn’t care for more than once simply because it was my only easy English language option. Of all of them, Courage the Cowardly Dog was at least in the top five; I just always loved the surreal atmosphere it had. I’ve tried to show Courage to my kids but they weren’t interested and I’ve learned that if they don’t take to something right away there is no hope of them “learning” to like it.

    Three out of four top New York times bestselling books being Harry Potter books. Does anyone else remember a reaction against this? I thought that there was some effort to pull all young adult fiction from the NYT best seller list and put it in a sub-category because of how much it was dominating the list.
    Uncertainty. What are some other “Sliding Doors”-type movies?

    2012. If I ever watch a Roland Emmerich film again, and after Independence Day 2 I may not (seriously that was the biggest waste of a 20 year build up for a sequel I’ve ever seen) I think I’ll probably watch this one because at this point I don’t want to see a film where Roland Emmerich tries to use reason or logic. I’d be up for a serious disaster film with a tightly plotted pace, true to life characters, and realistic outcome, but not such a film from him. Because I don’t trust him to deliver any of those things. But I could see a time in the future when I was up for watching the pure spectacle of an insane ending to the world and it sounds like this film will deliver that.

    So I never really loved Ed Edd and Eddy, and I don’t actually have any real desire to learn how the Ed-verse ends, but I did watch a ton of it because it was on the only English Language channel I had access to when I lived in Japan. The days of being at the mercy of foreign channels is long gone now of course, but I’m curious if anyone else here went through a similar event. Did anyone here live in a foreign country for a while and watch a ton of some show you wouldn’t normally watch a ton of, but as your English language options were limited you gobbled it up? If so, what country were you in and what was the show?

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