Monday, November 16, 2009

The 90's

I am 26 sexy years old.

For those of you bad at math, that means I was born in 1983. So I turned ten around the time Kurt Cobain was taking a shotgun to the last decent mainstream band of the last 20 years. I was only 15 when Seinfeld went off the air. I was 14 when Titanic came out. And I saw a Kate Winslet boob, and it was awesome.

But then came my formidable years. The teens. The 16-20 age that I should be able to tell my kids, "Back in MY day!"

But those years were swallowed by the black hole that was 1998-2004.

What am I going to tell my kids about? Korn? Ally McBeal? Is my quintessential comedy going to be...American Pie?

My era sucked. Where is my U2? Where is my "Animal House"? Where is my rebellion or my moment?

We children of the 80's have nothing to hang out hat on.

There wasn't a rock band that took over the airwaves and changed the way music would sound forever. There was no Beatles vs Rolling Stones or Pearl Jam vs Nirvana. There was Backstreet Boys vs N'Sync.

We didn't laugh along with the Huxtables - we watched Home Improvement.

We didn't stand together as a generation and fight for our voices to be heard. We didn't rebel, we didn't believe in something so strongly that we wouldn't take no for an answer. We were too busy using our 1,000 free hours of AOL in chat rooms and looking up porn.

We are an entire generation defined by the "Thong Song".

We could have at least failed at something. At least left an impression. Even disco had an impact. You could erase the years between my driver's license and my first (legal) beer - and the world would keep on moving.

People say my generation didn't have to live through any major distractions. There was no bad guy. No excuses not to be great. I disagree.

We had to stave off boredom. We didn't have a cold war - we had white noise.

And now we are in control. We are the ones making the decisions, saving the world from evil. We now have the power to make this world a better place. We can make a difference...

...right after this rerun of Friends.

18 comments:

Russ said...

I was born in 1973, so I'm pretty happy to see someone recognizing this disparity. I can take pride in the Berlin Wall coming down while I was a teenager, in the birth of a genre when MTv threw a bunch of strangers in a NY apartment, and an undercurrent of global responsibility which inspired thoughtful college rock.

But what did we do with it? We had to commoditize it, package it, polish it, refine it. We're Ben Stiller in Reality Bites (which of course was the commoditized, packaged and polished film depicting our lives). We took the cruddy BBSes of our youth and ended up with MySpace. Real World turned a video channel into a lifestyle channel which eventually puked up The Hills.

All generations have faults, and yours are certainly greater than most, but maybe instead of fizzling out you guys can fix the mess we're in? Cuz I have to get in bed before 11 these days and just don't have time for it.

lacochran said...

Backstreet Boys > N'sync.

It had to be said.

Matt said...

We get to talk about how awful GW Bush was.

Matty Frost said...

Well put.

Just A Girl said...

Tupac v. Biggie. That's what we had. And I...can't actually think of anything else.

Ben said...

We were a generation defined by five-piece pop groups, blonde girls next door, and Pepsi vs. Coke.

WIN.

Kellie said...

Wow. We are only 4 years apart but my generation grew up w/ so much cooler stuff (IMO). Grunge baby. That is what it was all about. Flannels and bed head and doc martens. Total badass.

Jordan said...

What the hell are you talking about? The Thong Song redefined music!

Moooooog35 said...

Dude. I'm 41.

As far as a generation gap, let me ease your mind by telling you this:

I, too, thought Kate Winslet's boob was awesome.

Ed Adams said...

My first R movie was St.Elmos Fire.

I think I was 10.

Now, I'm almost 35.

What any of that has to do with this or anything else, I have no fucking idea.

Angela said...

Are you serious Narm?

Did you FORGET about old school Nickelodeon??

THAT was our Huxtables, and our U2, AND our Beatles.

Toe said...

So true Angela. Oh, old school Nick and the green slime those were the days. Remember when MTV actually played music video's. Yeah that was awesome.

miss. chief said...

I like telling my boyfriend's kids that I remember life before the internet. That's our thing.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

see i consider you (and me) a child of the 90's not 80's as i was too young in the 80's - right?

Pulp said...

You're absolutely correct. As far as cultural touchstones go, your generation has absolutely zero to celebrate. But on the other hand, I'm 35 and you're 26. I would certainly trade all that early-mid 90s awesomeness to be a decade younger. Make the most of it, because after 30, your body starts telling you to take it easy on the booze and to go to bed at a reasonable hour. *sigh*

That Kind of Girl said...

Dude. DUDE. FRASIER was on in the '90s. How can you have on a generation that welcomed the best half-hour scripted sitcom not just of any time but of all time?!

Other than that, though, yeah. Culture vortex sucks.

Tia said...

i'm still holding on to the nirvana vs. pearl jam thing.

i mean, i was in junior high. that counts.

RIGHT?

zwinggi said...

cell phones, wi-fi, LANs, personal computing, internet, and information digitization are the cultural timestamps of that era. our art and creativity was being expressed by our gigantic jump in technological advancements. anyone who commented on this blog from their mobile device and gets an alert when i press 'publish your comment' below can disagree if they like.