Visiting my bedroom circa 1995…


By Shawn Robare

So I am totally going to steal an idea from Jaime over at Shezcrafti today because I am terribly jealous of the fact that she has a snapshot of her room from when she was a kid. My parents never had the presence of mind to immortalize any of my childhood room set-ups, and the only picture that I have that even remotely counts is this one below of me sleeping when I was three or four. Did they get my Castle Greyskull or At-At in the picture? Nope. Just me hanging off the bed like a goon (this was how they found me pretty much each morning, by the by, apparently I’m a restless sleeper…) At least I can scope my Amazing Spider-man comforter and my Disney sheets. Oh, and footie pjs FTW.

My Room 4

I do however have a couple of pictures that I took of my room during high school, circa 1995 that I can take a look at.  Granted, it’s not the 80s, but it’s basically been 20 years, so it’s still nostalgic and junk.  Looking back I guess I was going through my “dark” phase where I wore a ton of black, made my own goofy Punisher T-shirts, and took selfie photos with my dad’s Pentax 1000 manual camera that I stole so that I could take photojournalism as an elective in school.  I wonder how long I f-ed with my hair until I was happy with this picture at the time (sigh, what a retard I was.)  Also, note the X-Men keychain I turned into a necklace pendant (hanging near the Punisher skull nose area), as that’s a clue to an upcoming post, the second part of this Atari post from a couple weeks ago…

My Room 3

Anyway, now that you’ve had a look at my dumb ass, here’s what my room looked like…

My Room 1

This was is just a smidgen of the cacophony of posters, clippings and miscellaneous crap that I had plastered on almost every square inch of area in that room.  By the time I was done I had the entire ceiling, all four walls, the doors, door frames, bookshelves and dresser covered in stuff.  Wish I had some more shots other than the two in this post.  That being said, lets take a look at some of the junk in that photo above.  First off there’s an awesome Aliens poster that I totally forgot I had.  The two mobiles hanging down from the ceiling are the dissection worksheets of an earthworm and a crayfish that I swiped from biology the year before.  I was full swing into horror movies and I thought they were cool.  Lets see, there’s also at least three Vampire the Masquerade promo posters up (including the two on the top right, and one of a vampire chick coming through a doorway off to the left), as well as a Werewolf the Apocalypse calendar (just to the right of the hanging lamp at the top left of the photo), and a Wraith the Ascension poster all the way to the left.  I was pretty big into the White Wolf role playing games even though I had a tough time finding people to play with (my friends played Werewolf, but Vampire was too weird for them.)  In that same vein (ha, punny) I put up a Red Cross Give Blood sign I nabbed from a local grocery store to go with the Vampire theme.  There’s an image from James O’Barr’s The Crow up at the top.  That was cut from one of the free swag bags at Dragon Con that year.  Speaking of Dragon Con, there’s a flyer for my first show up underneath the one Masquerade poster.   There’s also a chunk of one of Casper’s brothers from the Casper the Ghost movie that came out that year.  I’m pretty sure that came from a cardboard standee that I got from my local Home Video rental store.  On the ceiling you can see the corner of a Star Wars Trilogy poster, as well as a comic book page I drew for my Senior Independent Study class (I was so proud of that class as I was the only student having convinced the school to let me have it as an additional elective.)  Last, but not least there’s a fireman’s helmet, a gift from my uncle Dale who worked for a time as an EMT, and my high school diploma…

My Room 2

In this final photo (taken with a roll of black and white film left over from my photojournalism class) there’s a bit more of the wall to the right of the original photo.  In addition to some Atari ads I cut out of comics (Kool-Aid and Mario Bros.) there are a couple of my favorite Saturday Morning cartoon ads (this one featuring Pryor’s Place and this one with It’s Punky Brewster, Kidd Video and the Smurfs.) There’s also a Highlander the Final Dimension cardboard standee poster and some snapshots of friends from our graduation.

I never realized just who emo and faux-goth I must have seemed at the time.  Le sigh…

  • http://tophatsasquatch.com/ Tommy Day

    That Alien poster is awesome.

    One time when I was a kid and obsessed with Space Jam (well, I still am), my Grandma got this huge cardboard display from a store she worked at and gave it to me and it took up about half of my room. I wish I still had that.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, I think the Aliens poster was by Brian Bolland, but I’m not sure. I miss having good access to movie related swag from video stores and stuff…

      • http://twitter.com/batfandotcom Ben Rollier

        Good connections to have. My little brother used to manage a video store and got me standees from Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and The Dark Knight.

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          That is cool! I guess I need to worm my way into the employee pool of a movie theater or something these days…

  • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

    Wow. You remind me a lot of my first boyfriend, also a pseudo-goth and into all the same stuff.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Hopefully that doesn’t put me in too bad company… ;)

      • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

        Never.

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          Good!

  • http://www.poprewind.com/ Pop Rewind

    These posts are making me want to post my game room (when I was 17 or so, I annexed a room upstairs and made it my video game haven… being an only child has some perks) Although, these posts do make me feel like a complete slob since yours and ShezCrafti’s rooms are spotless in comparison, damn!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Oh that’s only because you can’t see the floor in my pictures. ;) Seriously, almost every inch of the carpet was covering in stacks of magazines, comics, toys, you name it. I had a slim path from my bed to the door, my bed to the bathroom, and that’s about it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pensteelers Chris Adcock

    Please re-consider use of the word “retard.” I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for a while — I used to use the word infrequently until I had a child born very prematurely who nearly died. Luckily he survived 114 days in the NICU, but sustained a brain injury and is now what would classically be called “mentally retarded.” It’s not a good idea to make light of his disability, the same way I would hope you don’t refer to things as “gay”….

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Hey Chris, I apologize if that offended you, and I can’t even imagine the struggle and hardships of raising a child with special needs. That level of dedication and love is admirable and inspiring and please trust me when I say that never in a million years would I ever make light of your son’s needs or condition. I hope it was obvious that I was simply being self deprecating and using the slang that I grew up with, and never, ever, would I ever direct that word or anything even remotely similar towards an individual with special needs.

      That being said I want to address a couple points. One, I’m a firm believer in standing by what I write and doing my best to not edit unless to correct facts or misspellings. Two, I totally understand where your coming from, and even if it doesn’t appear like it, I genuinely appreciate your stance and even applaud you for calling me out. At the same time, I also believe that words have the power that we give them, and incremental censorship of language considered taboo is a slippery slope that leads towards a fear of writing and speech based purely on the thought that any word will offend someone. To stop using anything even remotely sensitive leads to a scary place where art is dictated by the masses and not given to them to react to. In the same way that a common derogatory term like “dumb” can be traced back to making those suffering from forms of non-speech or muteness, but also mean “bone-headed” or “stupid”. For one, you might be surprised at the etymology of many common words that trace back to horrible origins. For another, where does the trend stop?

      Again, I do apologize if you were offended, which was, hopefully, obviously not my intent, but I will also totally understand if choose to stop reading, and believe me I appreciate more than words can say that anyone stops by my site and take the important time out of their day to take in what I’ve written. Everything I write for this site is intended to brighten people’s days with a discussion of nostalgia and what it was like to be a kid. Also, and again, I want to thank you for standing up for what you believe in and calling me out. I know that might sound antithetical to some of what I stated above, but it’s also what makes the internet a great place. I hope you understand my position, and I wish you and your family noting but the best of luck and happiness that life can offer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Pensteelers Chris Adcock

        Might I ask why you thought you looked like a “retard”? Was it due to the fact that you wore all black and had touseled hair? Wouldn’t a more fitting and eloquent descriptor be, “toolbox” “tool” “poser”? Doesn’t that more appropriately capture the sentiment? “Retard” is too generalized. I would even say that using another medical affliction like “bipolar” might even be more fitting. And the slippery slope argument has been used to propagate everything from segregation to owning tanks. Just not buying it, but the rules of logic a d civility don’t apply on the Internet.

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          Tool would probably work, it’s just not in my vernacular. Also, and I’m not trying to start an argument, I see very clearly how passionately you feel about your stance (and again I applaud it), but I would hope my initial response would show you that the rules of logic and civility do, in fact, apply on the internet. Sure there are trolls who would just fire insults at you or mods would would delete your comment.

          As for why I thought I looked like that, it was because I had a horrible self image of myself at the time, and I can distinctly remember messing with my hair for like 30 minutes trying to make myself look aloof and cool, and ended up looking like I tried too hard. In my circle growing up “retarded” was the slang for doing something dumb knowingly. You can believe that or not, it’s up to you, but our usage didn’t even harken back to the version you hold umbrage with.

          On a similar note, and to show that I’m not immune to the usage of hurtful slang, I used to weigh close to 400 pounds (totally my own doing, just saying.) I hated the way I looked and felt, but would get a little hurt and angry whenever anyone would referred to those “fat fucks” who shop at Wal-Mart, etc. It came to a point when a couple of guys who I seriously admired and respected made the same sorts of comments on a podcast I loved. I had met these guys in person (as a fat dude), hung out with them, tabled at comic conventions with them and it really hurt for a few minutes. But then I thought about it. I knew these guys. I knew they were nice, one of them to a fault, and I knew that the context they were using their statements had nothing to do with the literal translation of the words. Again, choose to believe it or not, but I knew for a fact that they accepted me, liked me, and didn’t want to hurt my feelings. It illustrated to me that all of this power was not in the words themselves, but in how I reacted to them, and that power is mine.

          Again, this stems from the idea of thinking about the usage and intention and not simply reacting only to the words. Granted, I know not everyone is going to be able to react, process, etc in a similar fashion, but the point is that the usage of the words was not directed blindly and it wasn’t hateful. You can attack the word usage till you are blue in the face, but it does not deal with the ignorant hurtful people who do want to cause undue harm. That is the real problem.

          Also, I recognize that this is a difference of opinion, and not one that has a right and wrong answer. It’s just not that simple.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Pensteelers Chris Adcock

            I understand the usage vs intent — however, one’s vernacular is a reflection of one’s own civility. My deceased grandfather would refer to Brazil nuts as “nigger toes” as that was simply in his vernacular growing up. And, low and behold, he was a racist. I don’t see the point that “fat fucks” and “retard” is a fair company, as one chooses obesity or chooses not to get treatment — brain injuries are irreversible. We cannot judge intent, but the choice of words we use is conclusive evidence of our own consideration of our fellow man. Choose wisely.

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