what happens in the inquisition stays in the inquisition

I gave it a day or two to see if I’d lose interest, but then I read this and decided nope, I’m on board. In the summer (no time now) I’d like to do an AU set in late 80s / early 90s Vegas, where the Inquisition is a revivified hotel property (thus, it had a long-gone heyday, accounting for both the oddness of the name and providing a throwback to the pre-existing Inquisition that existed canonically) struggling against the sudden tide of family-friendliness sweeping over the Strip.

I’d be able to lump in all sorts of things I’ve developed a cautious interest in of late: bands who sold out arenas when I was only a pile of protoplasm at most, that hair, and a rising discomfort with the increasing pressure to start making babies, which pressure I get to enjoy as the oldest in-law with a uterus in a Catholic-when-it-means-they-get-to-have-abusive-political-views family. Also this and this, the latter of which I first saw as a very-much-not-80s child before a movie, accompanying an HP printer ad (this was right around the time Carly Fiorina took over and turned the company around*) that was the longest ad I’d yet seen, certainly for a non-movie before a movie. I loved that song and was saddened that my parents attached no memories to it, disinterested as they’d been with the majority of the 80s’ musical output (certainly of that genre).

People whose cultural consciousness first stirred to life in the 80s comprise a large part of the literature I’ve encountered in life–not intentionally; they just happened to start getting published and lavished with attention when I happened to start reading “adult” books–and they alternately fascinate and repel me. There is no 20/20 hindsight here: I’m fully aware that when I scoff at what they thought was dangerous to them (really guys? one plane in Iran? try three of them blowing up all your friends’ parents; try anthrax in your mail; try terror alert levels that mean you don’t know when you’ll get off the train with the bomb-sniffing dogs) I am inveterately and unfairly biased. The first time I was ever rewarded for being sarcastic–as opposed to being told to stop being a smart-aleck, which command was pretty much my constant companion from twelve years old onward–was when a teacher said that he remembered a 1980s study saying that the number one smell in America was fresh-baked bread. To which I (feeling acutely aware that this could backfire) snorted, “Oh come on, how many of you in the 80s even knew what fresh-baked bread smelled like?” To which he replied, laughing (thank god!), that I might have a point.

Which is to say that for all the nostalgic paeans being sung right now to that time (and now even leaking over into a time period whose references I can remember), they weren’t that different than us. Which, duh. But with both people who were alive then, and people who weren’t (but who stand to gain from selling us they idea that they were) telling us otherwise, it’s something I think it’d be fun to explore. Especially since it’s not nostalgia for me: it’s research.

I mean, come on. Research on (in?) Vegas. What exactly am I going to complain about?

* Which I know because my dad was entranced with the tale of her takeover–specifically, her use of code names from French medieval poetry which, had her victims known said French medieval poetry (she had an MA in it IIRC), might have given them pause and/or warning, as the characters bearing the names Fiorinia assigned tended to end up castrated or beheaded. Carly Fiorina being the first on a long list of women whom it was hoped I would turn into, and whom I didn’t.

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