Gen X at 40

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Shelley -

No! Say it ain't so! The nineties can't come back yet, they're barely over.
I know what you mean though. It's odd that the 90's, the first decade of "adulthood" for me, hold no hallmarks, other than the GST/Free Trade induced recession in 1991-ish. All I remember is hundreds of workers going back to get their Grade 12, upgrading, hoping for jobs at the new casino. The government unemployment centre (now the "employment" centre) had extended hours for about six months to speed up the backlogs.
We survived it though. Most did.

Kim -

It seems weird refering to '90's nostalgia', wasn't it only yesterday? Like the 80's, I wasn't too found of the 90's either LOL Bring back the 70's!

Ben -

I think of the 1990s like the 1920s -- sure, things were a little unrealistic, but we were coming off deadly serious times into a new era. No Great War, no Cold War -- this has an impact on popular culture.


I don't know what happened, but I was out of cultural commission for almost the entire 90s. It's just a blank to me. I managed to avoid hearing the song "My Heart Will Go On" for nearly two years. And I don't believe I've ever heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

But the 1980s to me are still pretty vivid. Then again I was a teenager. I sat in my car the other day with the radio on at a stoplight and was unexpectedly overwhelmed with a rush of warm nostalgia for Van Halen (Sammy Hagar edition, even). Not having been a VH fan back in the day, I'm mystified.

Gary -

Oh Alan Alan Alan. I have been fuming over your nasty and derisive remarks for some time, now I must speak: I LIKE SMASHING PUMPKINS! Nirvana too, and c'mon, Pearl Jam, Oasis, James, Hole, Beck, and yes, YOUR Alanis Morissette. There are so many others...
I feel very Gen x: I drift through life, listening to Grunge, dressing grungily (in the same plaid flannel shirts I got in the 90s), generally being grungy.
I admit though, you are right about "nostalgia". It seems like there should be at least 30 years for nostalgic movements (where was I in '69? well, preschool actually. It was a good time!)I am still stuck on "nostalgia" for the seventies as a concept, but at least that's when the Talking Heads got going, and David Bowie too. From there we go to Depeche Mode and Echo and the seemed a relief to have Grunge as a movement: you could bite your teeth into it.

Alan -

I can entirely buy grunge and likely forgot about that but I meant in the bigger sense of the times. Was grunge as central to the 90s as hippies were to the 60s? Or was it a sub-culture?

Gary -

Maybe I am frozen in time. Somewhere around 1993 I fell asleep in my flannel shirt and patched jeans and.....culturally never woke up! Yeah, that's it. So maybe I am not qualified to comment. In my opinon, however, it was an exciting moment. The baby boomers had all done their thing and had all the fun, and there had been nothing left for Genx: 12 years of Reagan-Bush, no jobs, AIDS, crack, the future looked terrible. Along came some truly heartfelt music with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, singin' a song with our voice. It seemed so different and so genuine, and for us in Chicago, it was a very real movement.

Alan -

No worries - maybe you were intended to be our reporter from the time of grunge.

Posse of Two -

In my opinion, the 2000s are just a rerun of the nineties, with some alterations caused by the so-called "War on Terror" and the death of Sitcoms and that cheesy-arse dance pop from the nineties.

I mean really, what diff between 1999 and 2005? Not much, though 2005 is certainly better.

The Simpsons are still hot, Mariah Carey is still hot, and I swear Nirvana would be too if Kurt didn't blow his pink stuff out. Being a controversial brat is still cool.

I will say this: the Nineties sucked. Sure I was born in 1990 so I obviously remember the decade's worst (latter) years better, but the Nineties sucked.

In the Nineties we lost vinyl, had the most boring music since the 1940s. Our pop culture went from somwhat clean in 1990 to utter garbage and nothing but blood, skin, and guts in 1999. "South Park" is funny but it's all so crude and cheap.

The Nineties were when the whole world became like California, when the spirit of the times was being lazy. The Nineties were the "Whatever" decade, the Seinfeld decade about nothing

Sure it was pre-9/11, but we had school shootings and a pretty damn big terrorist attack in 1995 in a certain Southern state, even if it was by one nut.

The Nineties is when the small town died to Wal-Mart. When rock and roll died to gangsta rap and pop punk, circa 1997. The death of the arcade game. Except for Nirvana, Grunge sucked a**.

The Nineties gave us political correctness, we had no sense of humor. I love Bill Clinton, but he was just an eight-year interlude between shrubs.

In the Nineties, even kids had no innocence. Sure in the eighties they either bullying jerks or vigilantes, but at least they didn't shoot each other. Parents never let their kids have fun or go outside because of incidents like this, beginning with a shooting in 1996 in Springfield, Oregon, in the state I live in!

I guess I don't really hate the Nineties, prior to 1997 they had some merit. But what I begrudge them for is their REFUSAL TO LEAVE.

Around 1991 or so I probably would be happy to see the eighties leave, but when The Simpsons, Green Day, and Mariah Carey, not to mention the new wave of hardcore rap from 50 Cent/Game/G Unit, it seems like the late nineties refuse to let go, which really saddens me. Green Day! At least they're a good band.

David Johnson -

Long live the 80's. Music still has not recovered from grunge and gangsta rap. I thought we were pulling out of this cultural nose-drive when I saw "The Darkness" video. No such luck. Wannabe gangstas and moronic angsty alternative musicians still dominate the airwaves. I never listen to contemporary music stations. I have my collection of Motley Crue, The Scorpions twisted sister to help me survive until some good music comes along.

Captain Reality -

Who the hell was Kurt Cobain? Was he some kind of soap opera actor?