My novel, Grunge Gods & Graveyards (to be published by Red Adept Publishing next year) is set in 1996. So in honor of my upcoming debut, I thought I’d compile a list of my reasons why the 1990s rocked….and some reasons why they didn’t. I’ll probably update this as I wax nostalgic and think of more things.
First why they rocked….
- MTV. It was good back then and it showed music videos. But it also had awesome TV. The Real World, Singled Out, 120 Minutes and The State. Actually The State should have its own number.
- The State — the best sketch comedy show that ever aired. To this day, I can still recite lines from famous sketches. “Chicken sandwich, Carl!” It had Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and Ken Marino.
- 120 Minutes. Two words: Matt Pinfield. Also, awesome music videos. On a Sunday night, no less.
- Carpenter jeans. I think they looked good on everyone. Am I alone in this?
- President Clinton. The economy was good. The scandals were good. Kenneth Starr. Everyone hated Newt. Come on, it was awesome.
- My orange Vans sneakers. God, how I loved them. They were shiny, vinyl and adorable.
- Tori Amos. I once waited in a book store for 8 hours to get her autograph. I still love Tori, but nothing compares to the music she released in the 90s. Boys for Pele is the best album.
- Radiohead. Some are Bends followers, but my heart belongs to OK Computer.
- The Afghan Whigs. I’ll always love you, Greg Dulli. Always.
- AOL. We installed it with a CD-Rom and paid for 5 hours a month, which we used up within days. I don’t remember how long it took me to come up with my email address. I think it was Tori-some-numberorother at aol. (It was an homage to Tori Amos, see no. 7). My best friend and I would jump online and browse for quotes from The State. Somehow, we got a hold of Michael Ian Black’s email address and I sent him a note telling him how I got busted in English class for whispering a State quote to my friend sitting in front of me. He wrote back, “Don’t talk in class.” I nearly died. I might still have that email.
- Seinfeld. ‘Nuff said.
- Beavis and Butthead. Heh-heh.
- Nickelodeon! Clarissa Explains It All. Salute Your Shorts. Are You Afraid of the Dark? and cartoons, Rugrats, Doug, Ren & Stimpy
- “The return of truly awesome pure pop music by the end of the decade (BSB, ‘N Sync, Britney, etc).” *thanks Alissa for this one* “Backstreet’s back, alright!”
- X-Files. Mulder and Scully were the first couple I ever ‘shipped. Also, I’d watch the entire show with my friend, Jill, over the phone. The creepiest episode was Home, which I saw as it was aired once, and then never again. It was that twisted.
- Mix-tapes recorded from the radio. I remember hearing a song on the radio and scrambling over my bed to hit record on my stereo. And then I’d replay the song over and over and over again.
- Also, cassette singles. Before iTunes, you’d have to buy your favorite single on cassette. Sometimes, you’d score a nice “B” side.
- Saved By The Bell
- Fresh Prince of Bel Air, especially now that I’ve seen this.
- Also, Will Smith. Get jiggy!
Why they didn’t….
- No cell phones. I can’t even imagine not having a cell phone anymore. I remember this one time I walked three miles home after freshmen softball practice. It must’ve taken an hour. But when I had used the school payphone to call home, no one picked up. I had no idea if I should sit at the school and wait or walk my ass home. I walked. When I arrived home (sweaty, tired and fuming), I found out my mom had been home the whole time. She just didn’t pick up the phone. All of that could’ve been avoided had I just had a cell phone. I could’ve called her on route. Or called her work cell. A text, even!
- Dark brown lipstick with dark lipliner. Not a good look then. Wouldn’t be a good look now.
- Newt Gingrich and Kenneth Starr.
- Creepy chat rooms. Well, they’re creepy in hindsight. When I was a teenager, I didn’t know better.
- Dial-up and loud modems.
- Full House
What about you all? What rocked for you? And what sucked? Comment below.