Naturally, all of this Mac nostalgia made me think of the comic strip Bloom County, in which the character Oliver Wendell Jones got a computer for Christmas which had a hilarious mind of its own, and which was obviously inspired by the first Macintosh. It was called the Banana Junior 6000.
You can click on all of these to make them large and legible, by the way. Here are two strips, from when Oliver first got the computer. . .
. . .and here are two from some time later, when Oliver and the Banana started to feel the effects of Moore’s Law:
This was the 1980’s, after all, so there was plenty of heavy metal music in the culture at large. Some people listened to it, some people ridiculed it, some of us even got guitars and learned how to play it. I told you that story so I could tell you that Kiss was one of the biggest bands in the world back then (you could argue that they still are), and one of their claims to fame was definitely Gene Simmons’s tongue. The creator of Bloom County designed a hilarious mock-advertisement for the Banana, using Gene as the negative model for what will become of your child if he or she doesn’t grow up with the necessary skills and tools to survive in this cruel and unforgiving world. Like any good, intrepid Kiss fan, I instantly recognized it as a classic, cut it out of the newspaper, and tacked it to the wall in my bedroom.
Still rings true today, eh?
I love the name of the program ‘Bananamanager.’ That’s just pure genius. Somehow, I suspect that’s where he got the idea for the whole Banana thing in the first place.
Incidentally, I need to give special thanks to this blog and this blog, from which I scrounged up these strips. Without them, I would have been trying to take pictures of my old Bloom County books, which would have been a huge pain, and wouldn’t have looked nearly as good either. My hat’s definitely off to both of them.