17 things the Class of 2016 has never done, will never do or can’t remember

Here in the South, school’s about to start. Up North, classes won’t begin until after Labor Day, but students in some Southern districts go back as early as Aug. 1, meaning, I suppose, that our students will be about a month smarter than your students, so we’ve got that going for us.

Anyway, if it’s almost time for school to start, it’s almost time for Beloit College to release its annual Mindset List for this year’s incoming freshman class, the Class of 2016.

I love the Mindset List. It’s a pop culture checklist to remind professors who they’re dealing with. Last year’s list, for example, pointed out that as far as the Class of 2015 was concerned, there has always been an Internet and U.S. tax forms have always been available in Spanish. (I think Beloit’s Mindset List also helps remind professors that they’re getting old.)

What got me thinking about all this was a story I read a couple days ago about record sales. It said old albums are outselling new ones, and I wondered if that’s a generational thing, because my 12-year-old never buys albums. She gets songs on iTunes, and that got me thinking about everything else teens and tweens don’t do that my generation did.

So, No. 1 on the list: Buy an album just to get a single. During the CD era, labels didn’t release a lot of singles. If you liked a song, you bought the album. If the rest of the album sucked, you dubbed it onto cassette and traded it in.

No. 2: Trade in their old CDs. I have no data to back this up, so this is purely anecdotal, but back in the ’90s, it was pretty easy to find new CDs at the used record store. When I swing by used record stores now, it’s mostly crappy music from the ’80s and ’90s. Part of the problem, of course, is that you can’t sell old downloads.

No. 3: Sit by the radio to record their favorite songs on cassette.

No. 4: Record anything on cassette.

No. 5: Sound like a broken record. They don’t know records. Sales of vinyl albums, EPs and singles sales hit 6 million in 2011. CD sales, though, topped 242 million, while legal downloads of albums and individual songs topped 1.4 billion.

No. 6: Use a typewriter.

No. 7: Use a film camera.

No. 8. Use any kind of camera. That’s what smartphones are for. 

No. 9: Dial up the Internet.

No. 10: Look forward to hearing, “You’ve got mail!” That was an AOL thing. AOL is still around, but only about 1% of people use it for email,which is about 1% more than I would have guessed.

No. 11: Use email, period. They text.

No. 12: Pick out Mayor McCheese from a lineup. Long story (involving a bunch of lawyers and H.R. Pufnstuf), but the mayor of McDonaldland was recalled in the mid-’80s.

No. 13: Play lawn darts.

No. 14. Get a free pizza from Domino’s. It’s been 19 years since Domino’s dropped its 30-minutes-or-it’s-free guarantee because of the “public perception of reckless driving and irresponsibility.”

No. 15: Stay up late to watch some random B-movie on the late show. As far as the Class of 2016 knows, late night isn’t for cheesy movies. It’s for talk shows, news shows, sportscenters, “Seinfeld” reruns and infomercials or streaming shows on Netflix.

No. 16: Stay up late enough to watch a TV station sign off, because TV stations don’t do that anymore.

No. 17: Use an actual “clicker.” Hey, kids, back in the day, remote controls were mechanical devices that clicked! The loud clicking sound is what turned on the TV and changed the channel. If you couldn’t reach the clicker, you could just jiggle your dad’s car keys.

If you think of anything else the Class of 2016 hasn’t done, won’t do or can’t remember, let me know.

Guess you’re stuck with that Spin Doctors CD, or ‘The Do Not Never Ever Buy List’

Laurie’s Planet of Sound, a used record store in Chicago, has leaked its do-not-buy list.

It includes the Spin Doctors, 10,000 Maniacs, Joan Osbourne, Alanis Morrisette and Sting and pretty much every other singer or band you thought was cool in the ’80s and ’90s.

“The Do Not Never Ever Buy List” isn’t “a list of music we don’t like,” Laurie’s says on its Facebook page. It’s ” just stuff that we watch molecularly break-down on the shelves due to lack of interest.”

In other words, it’s a list of music nobody likes.

OK, that isn’t fair.

Someone likes it, or they did, once. That’s why there are so many copies of the Spin Doctors’ Pocket Full of Kryptonite out there.

You have to remember that 21 years ago you couldn’t download “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” or “Two Princes” from Amazon or iTunes, because there was no Amazon or iTunes. If you wanted the singles, you bought the album.

Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Pocket Full of Kryptonite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pocket Full of Kryptonite was huge. According to the RIAA, it sold upwards of 5 million copies. Quintuple platinum. So, when people got tired of listening to “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes,” the supply of used CDs pretty quickly outweighed the demand.

Laurie’s doesn’t want any more Spin Doctors CDs because it doesn’t think it can sell them. It isn’t personal. It’s business.

If you’re like me, you have spent a small fortune over the years on music. Used to, I’d cull the ones I didn’t listen to anymore and sell them or trade them in, but a few years ago, the used record stores stopped buying. I understood why, but it still stings a little to think my CD collection is literally worthless, even to me. The music itself is still worth something, but it’s all on a hard drive.

Stream this tonight: ‘Local Hero’

About a year ago, I posted something about my favorite movie, a 29-year-old Scottish film called “Local Hero.” It’s the kind of movie most people missed when it came out, but those who’ve seen it love it.

Cover of "Local Hero"

I have the movie on DVD, but, still, I was disappointed to learn from a commenter that it’s out of print, at least in the States. I thought that was a shame, because it’s a sweet little movie that deserves an audience.

So, I was happy when I stumbled upon the movie on iTunes. It’s on Amazon Instant Video, too, and it’s back on DVD as part of a 4-movie collection of Burt Lancaster movies.

If you haven’t seen it, stream it tonight.

Burt Lancaster plays Happer, who runs a big American oil company that wants to buy a Scottish fishing village and replace it with a deep-sea port and massive refinery.

Happer sends Mac (Peter Reigert), who everyone assumes is a Scot, but as Mac tells a guy he works with, “My folks changed their name when they got off the boat from Hungary. They thought that ‘MacIntyre’ was American … I can’t even pronounce my last name.”

If this was a Hollywood movie, Mac would be seduced by the village and find his true love and band together with the locals to defend the village against the evil oil company that wants to destroy it, but this isn’t a Hollywood movie. The locals want to sell. As someone tells Mac, “You can’t eat scenery.”

Pennan today (via Wikipedia).

So, who is the local hero? It’s hard to say. It might be Mac, even though he isn’t local (or even a Scot). It might be Gordon (Denis Lawson), the village lawyer-slash-innkeeper who negotiates the deal that’s going to make everyone “stinkin’ rich.” It might be Ben (Fulton Mackay), who lives in a shack and, it turns out, owns the entire beach and doesn’t want to sell. I suppose it might even be Happer.

What I do know is that there’s a scene near the beginning of the movie. Mac is visiting the company’s lab in Aberdeen, and there’s a pool with a model of the village, Ferness.

One of the scientists is explaining the refinery project when he picks up the village and hands the model to Mac. “Here, hold Ferness a minute, would you?” he says. When Mac’s ready to leave, he tries to give the model back, but the scientist says he doesn’t want it. “Take it,” he tells Mac. “Keep it.”

And that’s basically what the movie is about. Mac gets to hold Ferness for a minute.

When the movie’s over, I guarantee you’ll want to visit the Scottish village where it was filmed (that would be Pennan), and you’ll want the soundtrack. Here’s a live version of Mark Knopfler’s closing theme, “Going Home.”