Flack: The 1990s was just another decade

Sean Flack

Recently a friend of mine showed me a site called www.things90skidsrealize.com. As I was going through it, a feeling of euphoria washed over me, began to recall various things from my youth. Some thoughts that kept going though my head were, “Wow, the 1990s were really great. Things just aren’t like that anymore. Everything sucks now.” But as I left the website and started to go about my day, I started to think, were the 1990s really as great as we remember?

All of us are living in a culture of nostalgia. If we’re not remembering some old TV show fondly, then we’re lining up at theaters to catch the next showing of “Unoriginal Remake 33.” It’s like in “Citizen Kane.” When Charles Kane dies in the film, his last word is “Rosebud.” And spoiler alert, but Rosebud is in reference to his childhood. We are all a bunch of Charles Kanes. People who hate where we are now, so we try desperately to hold on to a time in our life when we were supposedly happy.

But guess what? The 1990s weren’t that great either. It was just another decade. If we grew up in the 2000s, I’m sure years later we’d be huddled together at the dining hall exclaiming how much we loved “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” and Livestrong bracelets. It’s unfair to say that one generation’s pop culture is superior to the other’s when you’re not even aware of everything out there. Have you really watched “Spongebob Squarepants“? It’s right up there with shows like “Rocko’s Modern Life.”

OK, you want to go back to being a kid? Sure, let’s go back to having curfews and elementary teachers who hate us. And you know what, not being able to drive would be spectacular.

Of course I’m being sarcastic here. There’s a reason we grow up and mature. All the crap we go through when we’re young makes us who we are today. Why would you want to hit the reset button and go back to all that? Yeah, life sucks now, but life always sucks no matter what age you are. Go back to being 8 years old and I’m sure the anger about not being a big boy will start to creep in. You’ve just changed the scenery, not the problem.

And do I have to remind everyone about dial-up Internet? The way all of us are wired these days would make it so we’d have to get our daily Internet fix. I guarantee after the initial novelty of hearing the dial-up sounds again wears off, then everyone would be crying and begging for 2011.

Don’t forget VHS tapes. All of us have such good memories of adjusting tracking on the VCR or blowing into a game cartridge, but when we were actually living those moments, those moments sucked and they were a hassle.

We have great stuff now. We have more books, music, video games, movies and technology. I’m not denying the validity of some of the classics, but just trying to make people realize that we have modern classics right in front of us. And while yeah, social media and fast Internet have turned us into a bunch of apathetic bums, could you really imagine life without it? There are some negatives, but boy has it made things convenient and easy.

I love the 1990s, I really do. But I wouldn’t want to go back. The 1990s weren’t the pinnacle of human civilization. I mean, good lord, look at the clothes we wore back then. And besides, you can get “Doug” season one on DVD now. There’s your time machine right there.