Don’t get excited. The headline doesn’t mean that Shooting Parrots has been hacked or that I’ve decided to spice up my content to drive up my Google stats. It’s just that Roger has been reminiscing about the time he worked in a comic book store.
More to the point, Roger was posting about the X-Men and that reminded me of my early days on the interweb and an embarrassing incident.
It was the mid-1990s and my son was into the X-Men in a big way thanks to the cartoon series that appeared first on the BBC’s Live and Kicking programme before the series was hi-jacked by Sky.
It was also about the time that we got internet access at home and I wanted to demonstrate this technological marvel, telling him that you could find anything you wanted to on the web and suggested that we do a search for X-Men.
I’m not sure which search engine I was using, Yahoo probably, but they weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are today and most of the results referred us to sites specialising in ‘sex with men‘ which had me coughing with embarrassment and realising that the web wasn’t safest place for a youngster.
The X-Men were soon to be supplanted by Spiderman in my son’s heroic aspirations and I have a soft spot for both because of the animated cartoons I was watched with him back than.
But the X-Men were different from other superheroes because they were not simply crime fighters. They spent their time either battling each other or the normal ‘humanity’ who were oppressing mutants.
The story goes that the 1960s X-Men stories were an analogy for the civil rights movement; that Professor X was the peaceful Martin Luther King leader, while Magneto represented the radical Malcolm X.
Of course there were explicit anti- fascist references with the mutant internment camps and Magneto the holocaust survivor.
But I loved the storylines and dialogue, my favourite line being Apocalypse when he said: ‘I am the rock on the eternal shore. Crash upon me and be broken.’ (You need a really deep, gravelly voice to pull that one off.)
All of which has got me very nostalgic, so I shall leave you with the opening credits from the X-Men animated series.