Everything you could ever think, imagine or remember is on the internet – and if it isn’t, it will be. Having grown up in a pre-internet era, it’s been interesting to watch my “holy grail” pop culture memories get unearthed online, one after the other. One of the best was the song “Holiday” by The Other Ones – a song that I’d heard only twice in the late 80s – once on MTV and once at the skating rink (the skating rink!). I never forgot it, but really only had a vague memory of its melody and some of the lyrics. About five years ago, I found it online. Thrilling. (Ignore the bombastic horns and dig that ethereally beautiful chorus).
And now, this (see above – for your convenience, I made it skip straight to the juicy parts). In the early 90s the Boy Scouts of America produced this child abuse PSA titled “A Time to Tell.” I saw it on TV when I was around fourteen years old and let’s just say it left an impression. It is primarily comprised of three vignettes depicting scenarios in which men almost have sex with boys. These scenarios bear an unfortunate resemblance to gay porn (some more than others). Seriously: the bad production values, the escalating seduction – cut them off at a certain point and you could almost masturbate to them (provided you’re a sick pervert who should be in jail, though, right?).
Of course, I saw them before the internet existed and I’d ever seen gay porn. Hence the lasting impression and – just possibly – the fact that I’ve spent the rest of my life writing stories that are pretty much exactly like the first two thirds of each of these scenarios. (One of my favorite Kenneth lines from 30 Rock seems to apply: “It’s so romantic! Just like that movie I only saw the first ten minutes of, Fatal Attraction!”)
I unsuccessfully Googled “A Time to Tell” as recently as two years ago, and it seems like it finally hit the internet in 2011. I had a surprisingly accurate memory of the jaunty theme song – which you’ll hear if you manage to stick around to the end of the movie (good luck with that).
The other (fortunate? unfortunate?) thing is that finding “A Time to Tell” has led me down a YouTube rabbit hole of child molestation PSAs, including a sequel to “A Time to Tell” – well, it’s more like an early 00’s reboot. It’s longer…the scenarios are even hotter…but in the words of the kids today on Tumblr, I can’t even. Maybe once I let them marinate in my mind for a few weeks – or decades. Until then, here’s a couple screenshots that made me LOL.