Question–how many “How You Know You Were a Kid of The 90s,” or “Ten Things We Miss About The 90s,” or even, “What Gen. Z Will Never Understand About The 90s” stories have you read in the last, let’s say, three years?
Same. Ditto. Retweet.
The supposition is that it has only been recently that products of Gen. Y could really reminisce and express nostalgia for the epoque that defined their childhoods–and this may amount for the vast influx of chummy, list driven stories to aid the recollection process. But no more. In such a highly fast-pace, ruled-by-the-internet moment–because that’s precisely what it is, you know, a moment–we’re barely basking in the glory of now. And that is a shame.
On the one hand, we’re overlooking plenty of opportunities to feature a brand new shitload of parodic information that can help create the same type of stories (see: Ten Things Kanye West Might Still Be Saying When He’s 80, or Videostagram: Ten Things Man Repeller Never Should Have Posted). On the other, inquisitive hand, shouldn’t we know by now that 90s nostalgia is clearly an awfully inflated memory of grand old times? As my dad always says, the old times are always good. We forget the bad lot.
But it’s 2013, people. We’re practically operating on the very robots Screech and the producers of Saved by The Bell speculated The Future may hold, (in their current form, they’re laptops, but there’s no need to get specific). You know what else? It is going to stay 2013 until it is 2014. That pattern will continue on until and the next 90s that we–or rather, the following generations of we–see will be so wildly removed from The Backstreet Boys, they will indubitably ask what a “CD” is. Someone will try to explain that in “the olden days” people had to use those to consume mp3 files. And you know what will happen then? The Future We will be like, “mp3s? What the fuck are those?”
It’s a cycle, you see, but in case you need supplementary convincing, we’re going to make like BuzzFeed and share with you a comprehensive list of ten things we absolutely do not miss about the 90s.
1. Computer Towers. This may have slipped your mind, but before Gateway was used as the adjective before drug to describe marijuana, it was a computing system that, before Facebook tagged the term “social utility” to, connected you with the people around you.
2. The Modem. The sound of a modem and the consequent wait. Don’t tell me you don’t remember staring at AOL’s running man while placing all your eggs in a basket that preached in favor of his finally getting to his big ol’ America Online family. Sometimes it worked but often it didn’t. In both instances, it took about as much time to sign on as it might now to, say, write a full feature story on potatoes shaped like cats, or get your legs waxed.
3. Britney Spears as The American Dream. While we can’t speak for you, all three of us wanted really, really, really badly to be Britney Spears. Of couse, that also meant that we wanted cropped cotton tops, ripped denim mini skirts, black streaks in our blond hair and perhaps the most lethal of all: belly button rings. That’s not The American Dream. That’s a bad autosales commercial.
4. Frosted Tips. On the other end of America’s dream and its spectrum were the angels of NSYNC. I’d be hard-pressed to criticize their music and though, yes, ombre hair (which essentially is a glavanized frosted tip, isn’t it?) did have a moment somewhere, sometime in 2010, that just seemed slightly less abrasive than the more popular frosted tips of the 90s. How does a man with frosted tips even attempt to wear a suit without looking in the mirror and asking, “what’s wrong with me?”
5. Your Walkman and Its CD Case. Carrying around a bulky walkman in the event you may want to listen to some music at your behest was burdensome. Much more, however, was the toting an additional CD case should you have wanted to interchange Mariah Carey with Coolio or Shania Twain.
6. A Pre-DVR Blessed Cable Box. The act of setting your VHS player to record the every-Degrassi-episode-ever marathon was no treat. You hoped the timer would go off at the right time, you hoped you weren’t taping over the last installment of said marathon and you hoped you would be home in time to change out the tape. Often you weren’t and what you’d have to do at that point was make sure not to schedule any after school recreational activities to overlap with your watching the newest episode of Family Matters. (Remember Laura’s first foray into drug abuse with Adderall? Dramedy at its finest.)
7. Bad Denim. Somehow the 90’s engineered the most unflattering amalgamation of bootcut and flare pants. I’m not quite where along the way they started getting it right, but my guess on the fit model is that she had a wildly narrow waist, an enormously fat vagina, and peculiarly long legs.
8. Overly Coordinated Ensembles. Britney and Justin championed this one but no matching boyfriend-girfriend set spoke to us quite like the one David and Victoria Beckham pulled out of their S&M themed trove of sartorial conquests to make us all wonder why a woman would ever agree to let her boyfriend don the same blazon of (leather) outfit?
9. Landlines And The Bitchiness of 3-Way Calling. Regina George. Need we say more? (Also, I’m not sure about you but I got mad stage fright when my friends’ parents would pick up and I would have to ask to talk to said friend. Often, in fact, I hung up.)
10. Body & Hair Glitter: Sure, in its current form, glitter is almost magical enough to diminish the use of Prozac but remind me again why we wanted to look like fairies (and had no choice but to look like fairies for the posterior month while we tried tirelessly to wash that shit off) on our way to school/the supermarket/track practice?
Don’t get us wrong, though, there were certainly some sweet spots. For one, in fact, subways were considerably cheaper. It’s just…were they faster? In a city where time is money, that’s just one question we’ve got to canvass in considering that which makes the perennial now wholly better than the past, and, I don’t know, maybe even better than the prospect of a future. We’re no fools, though. No one will learn. And we can already predict with conviction how hard Gen. Z will be yearning for “the early aughts” come that aforementioned future.