"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Remember the Time

Today is Michael Jackson’s birthday. On this day in 2009 I wrote about Martin Scorsese’s “Bad” video, and in 2016 I wrote about John Landis’s “Black or White.” I like the idea of making it a tradition, so this year I’m taking a look at “Remember the Time,” directed by John Singleton (SHAFT [2000]) and produced by Reid Shane (production manager, BIG BAD MAMA II) of Propaganda Films.

“Remember the Time” was filmed in January of 1992 and simultaneously debuted at 8:25 pm February 2nd on MTV, BET and Fox, another major television event for MJ. It was the second single from the album Dangerous, so it was the followup to “Black or White.” I suspect it’s intentional that the 9-minute short film and/or video links to the last one through the use of cats. Remember, when last we saw Michael he had morphed into a panther and exited the soundstage. This video begins and ends with a cat, though not one that appears to represent Michael. Just a feline associate, I presume.

The video whisks us back to a Pharaoh’s palace in ancient Egypt, where there are a bunch of house cats and a lion cub lounging in the royal chambers of Queen Nefertiti (the Somali model Iman, a few months after the release of HOUSE PARTY 2 and a few months before she married David Bowie) and Pharaoh Ramses (Eddie Murphy, 48 HOURS). They also have a falcon and a woman that cools them with a giant feather fan and another woman that pours water in their goblets and one that plays harp and etc. These people sign alot of paychecks (I hope).

But the Queen is bored with all this shit, and she tells the Pharaoh to find her some entertainment. He claps and a guy plays bongos and the head guard comes in and bangs a gong and it pans up from his bare feet to reveal that he’s NBA superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson. (Johnson had made his HIV+ status public just a few months before, and Michael wanted to put him in the video as a show of support.) They put on a little show where Nefertiti doesn’t approve of the first two contestants (stick juggler “The Stick Man” and flame swallower “Pyro”) and instead of having them gonged she has them executed.

The third performer comes in unannounced, wearing a black robe with the hood covering his face, much like Jedi Master Luke Skywalker appearing before Jabba the Hutt in the opening of RETURN OF THE JEDI.

He reaches into his pouch, tosses two handfuls of black sand on the floor, steps into it… and then it turns into (I think) gold dust and he disappears, leaving only his robe (like Obi Wan Kenobi)?


But then the dust magically blows around and turns the robe into gold and then it reforms as a golden Michael Jackson

who I’m sorry to say immediately becomes a regular Michael Jackson but wearing a gold shirt. Then the song starts playing and he starts dancing and singing.

This is a video about sexual tension and jealousy. Nefertiti instantly melts for Michael, which does not escape the notice of Ramses. Iman does a good job of not at all hiding that she wants Michael bad. Her chest is heaving. She leans forward. She looks like she’s fantasizing – or remembering.

I think we can assume that Michael is not a newcomer, but an old flame of Nefertiti’s, because these lyrics about “Do you remember when we fell in love” seem to be hitting close to home. When Michael has the audacity to walk up the stairs and kiss her hand, Ramses jumps up and signals his guards to get him.

It becomes kind of a chase, but mostly the guards are running around not knowing where Michael is. He dances around with locals while Tiny Lister (THE FIFTH ELEMENT) and another guard ransack a RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK style market set and run around in different hallways. One of the guards is played by Wylie Draper, who portrayed the adult Michael in the TV mini-series The Jacksons: An American Dream, which aired later that year. (Sadly, he died of leukemia in 1993, only 24 years old.)

Suddenly Michael appears in Nefertiti’s bedroom – in her mind, I think – when she’s laying on the bed with the lion cub. As she remembers the time, she does the most suggestive thing ever in a Michael Jackson video, including when he humps the ground in “The Way You Make Me Feel” and when he unzips his pants in “Black Or White (Panther Version).”

Perhaps to cool down she goes out on a balcony overlooking the pyramids. Nice view. He comes up behind her, surprising her. Again, she’s clearly about to faint in her pants.

This will be Michael’s first onscreen kiss. He had that date to see that thrilling movie, and then that one girl knocked him off of his feet and made him feel the way he felt, but he never managed to get to first base. This one starts out awkward because he asks if she remembers the time that they first met (girl) and then… they hug.

Like, maybe he’s just been talking about that they were friends this whole time?

But then she kisses him and dips down and it seems like maybe they are gonna, you know, find ways to reminisce off camera.

So then it’s like Oh shit, are Ramses and the guards gonna walk in on this, because in my opinion he’s not gonna like that and also it could be argued that that’s a pretty reasonable reaction for a guy whose wife was just sitting with him a minute ago but then a magic sand dude came in and sang to her about how they used to be in love so they went onto the balcony and started fuckin.

But okay – phew – Michael is not with the Queen anymore, he’s with the palace staff, who he’s apparently deputized into his Egyptian dance squad for a big choreographed number in the style of “Thriller” and all his classics.

Apparently members of The Pharcyde are among the dancers, less than a year before their first album came out. Choreographer Fatima Robinson was a 19 year old extra from BOYZ N THE HOOD getting a huge break from Singleton. Her later notable work includes “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” by Busta Rhymes, whatever dancing is in Michael Mann’s ALI, COLLATERAL, MIAMI VICE and PUBLIC ENEMIES, THE WIZ LIVE! and Kendrick Lamar’s great performance at the 2016 Grammies. She also plays “Lori” in ROMEO MUST DIE.

By the way, Michael is singing about the past, but I think he accidentally lets it slip that he’s from the future.

Jesus, Michael. That’s as bad as dumbass Marty McFly trying to order a Pepsi Free and talking about reruns and oldies and shit even though he’s aware that he has traveled back in time to the ’50s. You don’t sing about phones in ancient Egypt. That is the rule.

As the song fades out he does one of his trademark spins, and when he stops he’s shocked to see that he’s all by himself, no more servants. I don’t know if their shift was over or what. The camera slowly pans through the empty chamber until an angry Ramses storms in. Michael smiles mischievously and runs away, but has to slide around on the floor trying to evade the spear-wielding guards, and then he spins and turns into sand and then gold dust that blows away as the cat from the beginning tries to chase it. The cat immediately decides “Fuck it,” licks his paw and then struts off in a different direction.

The digital animation of sand was very sophisticated for 1992 – a child of the T-1000 – though it looks chintzy now. Michael seemed to remain enamored of the idea of transforming himself into granular substances – in the short film Ghosts (1996) he smashes his face into the ground and it turns to dust. I wonder if he tried to get cast in THE MUMMY?

Strangely enough, this was one of Murphy’s first dramatic roles – he doesn’t use his humor at all. He does get a big laugh in the MTV making-of featurette, though, after getting scared by the bird on set.

This was his role between ANOTHER 48 HOURS and BOOMERANG. The next year, Michael returned the favor for Eddie, appearing on his song and video “Whatzupwitu,” from the album Love’s Alright. (Not a great song or video, but it’s interesting that it exists.)

“Remember the Time,” the song, was co-written and produced by Teddy Riley, who in his teens and early twenties had produced hip hop classics like Kool Moe Dee’s “Go See the Doctor” and Big Daddy Kane’s “I Get the Job Done,” but by ’92 was better known as a member of the R&B group Guy. Because Riley gave “Remember the Time,” “Jam” and “In the Closet” his signature early ’90s R&B-dance sound, Dangerous is considered the highest selling new jack swing album of all time (better luck next time, Boyz II Men).

Singleton had just celebrated his 24th birthday, but he was riding high on the success of his first movie, BOYZ N THE HOOD, which had nabbed him Oscar nominations for best director and best original screenplay. According to an extra cast to play a snake charmer, most of the background players were actors trying to meet Singleton because “for black actors in particular a relationship with him might lead to great things.” He had not yet done his second movie, POETIC JUSTICE, starring Michael’s sister Janet and Tupac Shakur, and it would be more than a decade before his best sellout gig, 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS. On the daytime talk show The Real, Singleton claimed to have gotten the job as the result of a friend prank calling him as Michael Jackson. Believing the call was real, he had his manager get a hold of Michael’s, which led to an actual offer, according to the story.

The director told Rolling Stone after Michael’s death that he had “challenged” MJ by asking “Can we put black people in the video?” As addressed in “Black or White,” Michael had been widely criticized and made fun of for lightening his skin, so it’s interesting that the video not only remembers a time when they were in love, but when black people ruled Egypt. With Murphy on the throne you can’t help but think of John Landis’s COMING TO AMERICA, since it starred him and was one of the very few movies glamorizing African royalty.

I think “Remember the Time” is a fun video, but not a great one by MJ standards. On the plus side, its all-black celebrity cast makes kind of a statement, its Egyptian setting stands out from other videos, it gives Michael fun new super powers, and it sticks to one theme, unlike the jumping-all-over-the-place “Black or White.” On the other hand, it’s a little bland for Michael. It’s weird but not really weird, not jarring and unpredictable like when he morphed into a panther and then back and then smashed a car and what not. And the dancing is good, but does not push beyond what he’s done before.

Still, I have a soft spot for it. It’s Michael’s little part in the black pop culture renaissance of the early ’90s. Michael had famously conquered MTV at a time when they didn’t even play black artists. His record company had to strong arm them to change that. Despite the deep soulfulness of his music and dance, his broad appeal and “Black or White” ambiguity caused some to think he transcended race. I don’t think he saw it that way. When the so-called fad of hip hop had begun to infiltrate R&B and pop through Riley, Michael was quick to get in on it. Likewise, the new ascendancy of black directors in Hollywood.

As a Washington Post article points out, “In 1991, at least 17 black-helmed films opened in theaters, more than in the entire previous decade.” They range from Melvin Mario Van Peebles’ NEW JACK CITY to Julie Dash’s DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST and of course Singleton’s BOYZ. A Sun-Sentinel article from April of that year describes a “new wave of black films” riding the coattails of hits like HOUSE PARTY and DO THE RIGHT THING. “Urban dramas, hip comedies, subtle relationship films, these films are authentic stories from the black experience, written and directed by blacks. They are drawing audiences of all skin colors and making money.”

And that’s pretty much what “Remember the Time” did. Singleton tells a story of black royalty starring a sort of black royalty of the time, in a video not aimed at a specific demographic, but at everyone.

Looking around today, it’s clear that this movement didn’t lead to a paradise of racial harmony. Our country seems even more harshly divided than it did then, and the internet has done the same to our pop culture, virtually erasing the possibility of a shared moment like a new Michael Jackson video that everyone has seen. The sort of optimism and inspirational afrocentrism of this music and video and era couldn’t even exist in pop culture today without us having to suffer through a wave of ignorant complaints from internet commenters and Fox news pundits trained to see blackness as an intrusion on their lives. We are broken in ways that I can’t picture ol’ bleeding heart “Heal the World” Michael even comprehending. It sucks.

So sometimes it’s nice to forget about all that stuff and remember the time.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 at 12:28 pm and is filed under Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

36 Responses to “Remember the Time”

  1. I love this song/video. I remember it playing a lot at the roller rink and feeling like, on wheels, maybe a person could, with a lot of practice, kind of approximate Michael’s fluid movements. I never tried it (I could barely even stand up on skates) but that idea, that Michael’s natural abilities were so awesome that it would require a regular person to utilize special enhancements and a practiced skill set to even just emulate them, is even more compelling to me now than then. Like, it was a known thing that Michael was an incredible dancer, so I knew it. But I didn’t appreciate until later, when I’d spent almost 30 years moving and watching other people move, just how superhuman his movements were.

    Also, that last paragraph* made me cry a little. What an ugly truth it exposes :(

    * Well, next to last paragraph.

  2. Wow random but a nice surprise. This was my favorite music video for a long time. Iman looked fantastic. I remember this also getting a lot of people in the hood in a gas cause “Egyptians are finally portrayed as Black on MTV”.

    I cite this video a lot when people try to push that rhetoric of MJ being a sellout who hated his blackness and wanted to be white and bleached his skin bla bla. Black cast directed by a black director in a piece set in the fucking motherland with dances inspired by Africa itself as well. So yeah stfu. This was dope Vern. Thank you and Happy Birthday Michael Joe Jackson wherever you are.

  3. Dear Vern,

    Since the reality of this all has set in I had been considering writing and politely requesting a long Tell’s It Like It Is think-piece. I love (as much as one can “love” someone articulating intense, confusing misery) and admire your Twitter posts but was hoping for some really-long-form writing on the horrors of our current shared existence. I’d really like to know what you think led us here and what we can do to take direct action against it all.

    Without using dramatic structure cheaply, that last paragraph was totally unexpected and threw me for an emotional loop. It says so much. The way it reflected our reality was amazing; the saddest, most concentrated poem.

    Thank you for what you share of your human concern as expressed from your vantage point. It is a kindness in an unkind time.

    If a tone change is allowed (and I may cheaply invert your happiness-leading-to-sadness structure), “she’s clearly about to faint in her pants” is up there with “O as in Oh shit”, “laughing like a laughing hyena on laughing gas with a feather up his ass watching Richard Pryor Live In Concert and Dr. Strangelove at the same time” and “not so much a bad motherfucker as a sad motherfucker” as one of your most applicable and singular uses of language.

    You’re vital, you’re inventive, you’re a solace and you’re an inspiration. And as if that weren’t enough, you’re consistent. Thanks again for the elbow grease, and the heart.

    Your fan always,

  4. Yup, it’s sad what a sorry state race relations are in modern America.

  5. I hate to be this cynical but sometimes it feels like we are living through nothing less than a slow motion apocalypse, the very end of civilization as we knew it.

  6. want to echo those above who were moved by the turn at the end of this one — Vern, you are not alone (no pun intended) in your observations or your sorrow about the crisis the USA is having.

    also just want to thank you for your consistent empathy and respect towards Michael Jackson over the years– you’ve gotten me to think in more depth about his life and who he was as an artist than I would have otherwise.

  7. I remember seeing this video for the first time as a kid and thinking: “Is that Eddie Murphy? Nah, it can’t be. Hollywoodstars don’t appear in music videos.”

  8. Nicely said, Vern. That last paragraph really hit me. I have to admit though, saying that there’s no longer the “possibility of a shared moment like a new Michael Jackson video that everyone has seen” rings kind of hollow the day after Taylor Swift released a video clip directed by Joseph Khan that racked up a record breaking 40 million views in it’s first 24 hours. These kinds of things still happen, it’s just that we all got old and don’t give a shit about pop music anymore.

  9. That’s true, I have not watched that video. I guess you’re right that it does happen sometimes, with the difference being that you have to intentionally click on it instead of just be watching one of three channels on TV.

  10. Kind of a stream of consciousness, per usual. In no particular order…

    I remember being underwhelmed by this song**, but enjoying the video a lot, especially this following BLACK OR WHITE. This was two back-to-back short films of some ambition. It was cool seeing Magic Johnson, especially still relatively soon after his HIV diagnosis, and just the sheer volume of characters was really cool. And Iman was (and still is) a cutie. It was also fun seeing Eddie Murphy and Michael kick it, especially after all the shit Eddie talked about Michael in RAW or DELIRIOUS or whichever it was. **Despite my meh status on this particular song (it was too soft and insubstantial for me), the DANGEROUS album as whole is really solid with some good deep cuts imho.

    I also enjoyed the afrocentrism of it. This was around the same time Eddie Murphy did BOOMERANG and HARLEM KNIGHTS, and it was cool the way he used his influence to do that kind of a film. This kind of reminds me of that. Come to think of it, Eddie did similar with COMING TO AMERICA. Duh. I miss Eddie.

    As with the comment about Taylor Swift, here again, I think there are still afrocentric films like that, I guess. It’s just that our beloved peops aren’t the ones making them, and the technology and way we “consume” media has changed. These days, the mainstream-ish afrocentric films are made by Tyler Perry and/or star Common or Morris Chestnut or Cedric the Entertainer, and I have no interest in seeing them. Except BARBERSHOP: there is an example of a latter-day example of a film series like that which I actually enjoyed. Still have not caught the last installment of that, but BARBERSHOP 1 at least was pretty good.

    Vern is on the money that the balkanization and internet-ization of media changes the game. It was something when you only had a few network channels and a Michael Jackson video was on prime-time. Hell, I can tell you about Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings (#anchorssowhite), but I couldn’t even tell you who’s anchoring most of those networks these days. Times is changing.

  11. But even forty million viewers in twenty-four hours is relatively low when compared to past pop culture phenomenon. Two-Thirds of all households with a television watched I Love Lucy. Since that forty million number is likely global, that’s a big drop proportionately. (Even if forty million Americans watched that video, with a population over three hundred million, that’s still small relative to past forms of pop culture).

    My family was never a fan of Michael Jackson for whatever reason, which trickled down to me as a kid, but even I remember seeing him in many of these videos and other appearances. He was inescapable. And there was something fun about everyone tuning in simultaneously. I definitely remember feeling like Black and White was some sort of global phenomenon. At the same time, I’m glad I live in a world where I can ignore something like Taylor Swift’s new song because I have better things to do.

  12. Another great tribute to the master. I was coincidentally just listening to this song with my wife last night and lamenting his loss. We’ve been listening to a lot of New Jack Swing lately, and this turned up in the rotation. In context, it is a prime example of the genre, while also sounding a lot more polished and expensive. It seems like Quincy Jones maybe gave it a mix?

  13. What RBatty said reminds me of a comment from my mother not too long ago. Most music TV channels have disappeared here. MTV is only available on Pay TV, VIVA, which was basically the center of German youth culture in the 90s, airs only from 3am till 2pm and then becomes Comedy Central, and the modern day music videos* basically all suck. One day it made even my mother, who rarely bothered to spend more than 10 minutes on watching a music channel, unless my sister and I were doing something in the living room and had them running in the background, say to me: “Remember when they actually put some effort into music videos? Michael Jackson made real movies! Not like the shit they play today.”

    *Shout out to friend-of-this-site Joseph Khan. I only watched Taylor Swift’s new video to see what he came up with this time and while I, as a guy who doesn’t care for Taylor Swift, didn’t get any of the references to her career or recognize and of the celebrities who apparently cameod in it, I had a huge smile on my face all the time and thought: “Damn, Khan really keeps making A+ music videos like in the good ol’ days!”

  14. The other thing with the information overload we have today is that there might well be good music videos that you just don’t know about, since there’s no centralized cultural hub for music videos around which we all can gather.

    I’m no music video enthusiast but I die a little inside when people say “there’s no good X anymore” about eg entire genres of music or film. Or entire mediums. In my experience those given to such lamentations have not been able to transition into the new model, where the material is there but now it’s up to you to engage with communities of likeminded enthusiasts and discover it

  15. I have to admit I never quite “got” Michael Jackson – I don’t mean the songs (which are cool and all) but the persona. I find it easier to see him as a genderless extraterrestrial (like a US David Bowie) than as an icon of African-American masculinity. But it’s cool that he did pro-black and pro-racial-harmony themes in his early 1990s music videos.

    I associate Iman with STAR TREK VI.

  16. Random musicvideo related observation: A few days ago I actually had one of our last music channels running in the background for 30 or so minutes and three of the brand new music videos, were about dramatic car crashes, with lots of close ups of the singer sitting (and singing) crying by the wreck. Got no idea what was up with that.

  17. “Melvin Van Peebles’ NEW JACK CITY”

    C’mon man.

  18. In honor of this review I thought I’d pass this twitter thread along

    He went all in with that dissertation.

  19. Also happy 30th to the BAD album. Can’t believe it’s been that long. Seems like only yesterday I was just listening to it for the first time.

  20. renfield: I agree 100%. The majority of my listening habits may tend towards the classic rock era and into the 80’s, but I know there are great musicians out there still. It’s all just being cast aside towards the people the powers that be deem “trendsetters”. It’s a tragic cycle, but I think there will always be a strain of true artistic expression as long as it’s passed down properly to the next generation and so on.

    I think I remember seeing this premiere on Fox. In the pre-internet/YouTube days, it was kind of cool when videos had their world premiere, even if just on MTV and VH1 or the other similar outlets. But now it’s more clearer that the 90’s were kind of the beginning of the end of MTV as purely “music television”*, by things like THE REAL WORLD and even BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD, who’s modern-day Statler and Waldorf routine to videos themselves signaled the coming irrelevance of the form and eventually the channel itself.

  21. *frankly, the peak of music on television is whoever came up with the idea of putting The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You See Me Knocking” over the “Local on the 8’s” on The Weather Channel.

  22. Your comment about “tastemakers” reminds me: Al Gore was on the WTF podcast recently and he put forth this really interesting thesis regarding the internet.

    Basically he went through the history of information dispersal as a series of paradigm shifts. You start with the Church controlling information: they’re the only ones that can read, they decide which languages the One Holy Text gets translated into, and what the translation actually says (probably slightly different than the original eh?), etc.

    Then the Printing Press comes along and obliterates that centralized authority. Journalism rises, people become educated, we go through the renaissance and enlightenment and so on.

    Then the pendulum swings back towards a central authority with broadcast media. Once again you have these masters who control information and use it to push an agenda. Disney, Murdoch, etc.

    Gore argues that the internet is the same revolution as the printing press, that we’re taking information back from the masters and making it a tool of the people once more. To which my immediate response (and Maron’s) was: what about the Dark Side of the internet, the echo chambers, the algorithmically targeted disinformation campaigns, the loss of a hierarchy that let’s us decide what is true and what is bullshit, etc.

    And Gore’s very interesting and optimistic rebuttal was to point out that all that shit existed in the early days of print media. These are basically the growing pains of a young medium and eventually we’ll evolve and codify a set of ethics that lets us use this tool more effectively.

    So I think to some extent the reliance on “tastemakers” is our reluctance to give up the old model, to resist the pendulum swing. I don’t think Vern is a tastemaker, he’s a community builder. outlawvern.com is a community of likeminded enthusiasts, and there’s a spirit of equanimity and inclusiveness and integrity of discussion that we’ve all worked together and supported Vern in fostering. It’s not an echo chamber; we have strident disagreements and use that to learn more from each other. We read through comments that are longer than the review itself because there’s a sense that these film enthusiasts from around the world have interesting knowledge to share, knowledge that I can’t get from my coworkers or circle of “real-life” friends.

    This is all to say that I cherish such communities when I find them, and they DO exist for whatever medium or genre you might want to explore. And how could anybody who is privileged enough to have discovered this sight doubt that the internet can function not to just erode and dismiss the hierarchies and canons of art, but cultivate and celebrate them?

  23. The internet is without a doubt the biggest innovation in information technology since the printing press.

    The trouble is the internet is also one of the greatest double edged swords mankind has ever invented, as we’re seeing now with the internet’s influence on society as a whole and it’s not been pretty.

    But hopefully it is just a series of growing pains.

  24. Thank you Renfield. That’s a nice compliment and I have to agree that we have a good community here. I learn so much from reading the comments. I’m always hoping to make this thing bigger so I can make more money (my fucking rent went up $700 yesterday!) but sometimes I read the comments on the bigger sights and I think “jesus I hope I never attract people like this!” Not even just the mean troll people, but just people that have nothing worthwhile to say and say it anyway. We get very little of that around here and I’m so thankful for it.

  25. 700 dollars ?! I hope that is yearly and not monthly, but still that is a fucked up raise to be thrown in your face. I´ll try to throw some money your way when possible.You motherfucking earn it bro.

  26. Living in Chicago, 700 doesn’t seem to bad. lol

  27. Jesus Christ! What kind of sham operations are you living under? How can you afford anything?

  28. I’m with Stern, $700 is a damned bargain!! #checkyourprivledge

  29. He said it went UP $700. That means take whatever he was paying before and ADD $700. I don’t care where you live, that’s extortionate.

    If you motherfuckers who haven’t already done so aren’t jumping on Patreon right now, you might as well be sending thoughts and prayers.

  30. Sorry, I didn’t mean that as a Patreon plug. I’ll figure it out. But yeah, I’ve lived here for 12 years or something and a few months ago a new company took over management, so I was afraid this was coming. It’s about an additional $700 for month to month or an additional $900 if I want a 6 month lease. That’s about an 85% increase if my math is right, and without even the stability of a 12 month lease. Pretty sure the subtext is “get the fuck out, we’re about to wreck this beautiful pre-World’s Fair building to make more shitty condos,” so I’m looking for a cheaper place to move to.

  31. WTF? I mean…what!? The!? Fuck!? Seems like you don’t even have to ride a boat to Somalia to encounter pirates anymore. I hope you gonna find a good and cheap place to stay.

  32. Same here. Hope you find a cheaper and yet good place to stay, Vern.

  33. I heard that there has been some extreme price gouging in Washington but that is ridiculous. I live in Manhattan so I can relate and it hurt my gut to even read that. Sorry to hear that Vern. I’m actually starting a new gig in a couple of weeks.

    As soon as I can I’m definitely dumping something in the Patreon bank. Like Shoot said you have more than earned it and quite frankly it’s been long overdue on my behalf. Also need to still buy that AMERICAN NINJA 2 tee from your store. Might just end up killing 2 birds with one stone.

  34. To lift our collective spirits and steer us back to what really matters in life, I offer this music video, which did objectively happen in 1993.

  35. I moved three years ago after my landlord (which was really just the faceless company that had gobbled up my apartment building) raised rent by two hundred dollars. I thought that was ridiculous.

    Sometimes I wonder what it will take for cities to actually do something about the rental crisis in this country. We subsidize mortgages in this country, but we do nothing to make sure renting is affordable. It’s just another way that we transfer money to the wealthy and to the suburbs.

  36. Welp seems I owe you an apology Vern. Second time recently my reading-comprehension was faulty. I’ll place all the blame on Stern rather than take personal responsibility. Blaming Stern has done me good in the past.

    So anyways I apologize for misreading your comment that it went up 700 not up to 700. Like many, I’ve been in that situation myself. First with a crappy one-room apartment that they started wanting an additional 200 for, for no good reason. Then for a ‘nicer’ apartment that they then wanted an additional 400 for, for (supposed) renovations that were not even happening to my wing. Now I live with my brother/friend and split-rent. Luckily I had already given up dating because if not then I would have been forced to.

    So you have my thoughts and prayers.

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