Wednesday, January 27, 2016

History will link me to Beavis

We're all trying to make a difference in the world, and sometimes I wonder what legacy I'll leave. I supposed I've helped shaped a few sixth grade minds, and that could have some a lasting impact. But if we're talking about how I've made my mark in American history, there's my IMDB page, of course, my top achievement to my inclusion in the Wikipedia pages for Beavis, Butt-Head, and Beavis and Butt-Head.

Once upon a time I was 21 and working at The Boston Phoenix fresh of college. It was the alternative paper dissed by Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight, and it's also where I met my awesome wife. My job was to type in concert listings, a task for which I was paid the tidy sum of $6.50/hour -- and I had to compete for a month to land the gig. Anything I wrote for the paper paid extra, so soon I was reviewing the Barney the Dinosaur movie for $60, doing comedy bits for $40 a pop. The holy grail was a real-live article.

I was young and hungry, and when the voice of my generation found itself at a series finale, I saw an opportunity. I pitched an article mourning the loss of Beavis and Butt-Head, and they realized this was the reason they'd hired a 21 year-old. Which meant my first big article included words like "fart," "fart-knocker," "turd-burglar," and "nihilism." Reading it now, I'm struck by how heavily my editor put his fingerprints on it, as well as my gross factual errors (this was pre-Youtube). But because this was years before an endless slew of blogs and webzines would cover every story to death, I was the only game in town. (A recurring theme for me.) And so I'm quoted on the wikipedia page.

From the show's page:
In 1997, Dan Tobin of The Boston Phoenix commented on the series' humor, stating that it transformed "stupidity into a crusade, forcing us to acknowledge how little it really takes to make us laugh."
From Butt-Head:
Dan Tobin of The Boston Phoenix described Butt-head as "ringleader, the devious visionary."
From Beavis:
Dan Tobin of The Boston Phoenix described Beavis as "the sidekick and follower" who developed into "more of a loose cannon".
I know that anyone can edit Wikipedia, but I swear it wasn't me who added these. Still, very neat.

And I can't find it now, but years ago I stumbled across a lawsuit about fire which blamed the show, and lawyers had twisted my descriptions so it sounded like I was criticizing them (when in reality, mine was a love letter). But that seems to have disappeared off the interwebs. Wikipedia, however, lives on. And my connection to the turd-burglars in question is etched in stone... until one of your logs into Wikipedia and deletes it.

4 comments:

  1. A couple years ago, or a few, I woke up on the couch at 2 or so in the morning to find an episode of Beavis and Butthead on TV. It was one I had never seen before. I didn't think it was possible. I thought I watched all the episodes on re-run (my father took away cable during its original airings after a few too many arguments to turn off the TV and come to dinner but we wanted to see the #1 video for the day). I laughed loudly and it was that moment I realized the shows true genius.

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