The Great Slack Wars of the 1990s defined, in many ways, what it meant to live in Denton.

What were the Great Slack Wars, you ask?  Well, I'm glad you did...because I'm about to tell you.

You see, during the 1990s, there was a great surging of pseudo-slack, led by the that noted huckster and snake-oil salesman, Beck.   His famous song, "Loser"  inspired a generation of wannabees into becoming "Slackers."  Well, what did it take to be a "Slacker" in the early 1990s?  Here's a shopping list recovered from the Delta House basement during an archaeological dig in 1998:

Slack Shopping List

  • Two flannel t-shirts
  • Pearl Jam and Soundgarden Cassettes
  • Thomas Pynchon, "The Crying of Lot 49" book
  • Vans Shoes

Clearly, what we have here is total corporo-slack, complete poseur material, and a blueprint for the noobs.  These people totally bought into the lie, and thus fell into obscurity.

Let us compare this to a REAL slack list, my TODO list that I recovered from the bottom of a box of empty Corn-Kit wrappers:

Slack TODO List

  • Eat at Pancho's buffet.  Throw up in parking lot.
  • Sell CDs at Hastings to buy gas and ramen noodles at Slack 'N Slave
  • Shoplift corn kits from that beat-down piggly wiggly by I35, cook them in coffee machine in unfurnished dorm room
  • Try to steal paper from the copy machines in Willis Library

So anyway, with this in mind, let us turn to the Great Slack Wars of the 1990s.  At that time, there was also a movie, called Slacker  wherein these deluded fools thought watching some Austin hipster movie about Madonna's Pap Smear and UFOs made them Slack.  Arguments raged over which was more slack--Denton or Austin?   Oh sure, let's drive down 35 for 5 hours to go to Austin and find out!  Let's hang out on 6th street with a bunch of A&M dropouts so we can learn what it's like to be really slack! 

Well, we all know who won the Slack wars: The Man.   That's right, The Man won the slack wars.  The Man won Austin back in the early 90s when they went full-corporate-tool, and Denton wasn't too far behind.  The only kids who went to Austin on the weekends were the ones too weak to go to Rick's at midnight and trawl for stragglers.  The only kids who went to Austin were the ones who had the money to buy gas for the trip. 

I was at a party once thrown by a guy who checked out a crapton of books from Willis library for his Master's thesis.  He had them all piled up by the back door of his crappy rental house.  Well, someone got the idea to build a bonfire, so you know what happened.   There were probably two dozen fucking books piled up, and some people started pouring beer on them at the same time someone else was trying to light them.  Well, someone got the idea that gasoline was the only thing that would work at this point, so they dumped I SWEAR five fucking gallons all over this dude's back yard.   Fast forward about ten minutes, and the dude staggers out of the house drunk to see his whole fucking yard ablaze, a pile of books cheerfully glowing in the middle.

He and about four other guys started panicking--running around pissing all over the yard, trying to put the fire out.  Some other guy grabbed a garden hose and started spraying everywhere while about 30 of us stood by and laughed like rabid hyena.s  Finally got the fire extinguished, though.  Total bill? $1631 from Willis library for book replacement.  He dropped out the following semester (couldn't register without paying the fine) and moved down guessed it: Austin.  Dude transferred to UT Austin, and now he's some big willy physician in North Carolina or some shit.