Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This crappy decade

I went on the eight-year plan for college in the '90s. Sure, a lot of it was part-time because I had to work two jobs to pay my way through school, but I would say at least two of those years were slack-filled. Skipping classes to play Street Fighter II on Sega Genesis, skipping critical fraternity meetings to catch Dazed and Confused for the fifth time and skipping classes to get an album review in for the college newspaper. I would say for the most part - people tend to have the most nostalgia to the decade they went to college - or the decade when they were in their 20s. It shows because you'll notice by the time these 20-somethings reach their 40s - you'll see the mainstream culture shift.

Remember when everyone made fun of the '70s and vowed that decade would never 'come back' like '60s nostalgia? Now that's happening with the '80s - a decade that for all purposes, can stay buried (with the exception of Bloom County, Nintendo, Transformers and college rock bands like The Replacements, The Pixies and heavy metal staples like Slayer and early Metallica).

There was tons of garbage produced in the '90s. Ace of Base, Vanilla Ice, boy bands, Michael Bay movies and Independence Day to name a few. But there were a few moments where it looked like the unpopular geeks in the '80s could overshadow the popular jock circuit. Take the explosion of the Seattle scene - sure it sounds formulaic now, but there seemed like there was a time when everything was possible - Mazzy Star getting a top-ten album, Morphine was getting played on the radio and a movie like Pulp Fiction could surpass $100 million at the box office.

People who have come of age in this decade were greeted by September 11, 2001, then a debilitating recession, then a war, then another war, then hurricane Katrina. And we're barely at the halfway mark.

If the '70s were the 'me' decade and the '80s were the 'Go go decade' and the '90s were the .dot com decade, I have no idea what to call this decade.

Still, I hate to leave people on a down note, so here are some things that this decade has produced that will make me look back (somewhat) fondly at this decade:
  • The outpouring of generosity from strangers time and time again - from Sept. 11 to the tsunami to hurricane Katrina
  • Blacklisted, by Neko Case
  • The Harry Potter series for getting kids psyched about books
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Political protest is still alive in well with stuff like 'The Daily Show'
  • 24

Current listening selections -
Lucinda Williams - Live @ The Fillmore
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder
Kanye West - Late Registration
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema


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