One of the things I tried to do with the book was construct a personal mythology, something that pulled together all the elements of my adolescent life and invokes them in such a way as to make them feel real. A lot of the the things you'll see me speak on in these entries may not stand the test of time. But that's not the point. At the time when the memoir takes place, they felt gigantic. Being young in the 80s was a constant assault of ideas and emotions. Obviously that's part of being young. But to be young and black, a that point, only amplified things. Black folks had existed in this tragic way for so long, and now we were shaking ourselves out of our slumber and assuming this new identity.
So speaking of new identities, I present a few scenes from the original Transformers: The Movie. (I know odd segue) Largely regarded as a commercial and critical flop, I thought this flick was one of the greatest things I'd ever seen. I was 12, this was like 86. I was raised agnostic. But there's a biological impulse to theology, you know? And so I constructed my own out of some disparate source material ranging from Malcolm to Jayce and The Wheeled Warriors (we'll get to that eventually). Anyway, when I was 12, the Transformers were like Zeus in my loose cosmology--they ruled.
I loved how they all had different personalities, motivations, and ways of speak. Even though the Autobots were the good guys--Ironhide wasn't Prowl wasn't Beachcomber wasn't Huffer wasn't Brawn. Transformers The Movie took things a step further and did something that no one (save, maybe Robotech) was doing in the 80s--they killed main characters. Let me not be nostalgic--they did it so they could clear out a toyline and make some cash off a new one. But that wasn't how we saw it. To see Ironhide and Prowl and even Prime go down was world-shaking.
I selected a few scenes from the movie which have lived in my head ever since. One of the most impressive to me, was Prime's heroic death-scene ("Megatron must be stopped"). Then too, the transformation of a mortally wounded Megatron to Galvatron and the subsequent murder of Starscream. I'm sure it won't be apparent why this stuff was shocking--these days, the murder of central characters is basically the main way people gin up ratings (as we'll see on Lost this week). But in those days it never happend, much less on a cartoon. Anyway, check it out and enjoy.