Updated: Mar 2
Cassette tapes and Walkman, not Spotify. Mongol #2 pencil and Magic pencils, not iPads. Slam-book not Facebook. Kodak not Instagram — A decade full of nostalgic reverie and one that is almost forgotten. The era before the Millenia when every pop culture reference is a derivative and jumbled mess of creative degeneracy.
Let’s hop to the DeLorean..
It was after-school when the town is drench in tropical rain, the TV is on and Dawson’s Creek is playing — the ultimate love fest of a teen drama without cellphones or 3G data that drains your time. It’s all about the creek and geek life, including the small town reveries. What boy who would not what to watch a show where a long-legged woman climbs a man’s room every single night? I doubt it. And in between commercial breaks, Charmed plays — it’s the grandest version of Powerpuff Girls, while Clark Kent strolls along Smallville (Technically, it’s a 2000 show), take note, strolls.. not flying. 7th Heaven, the ultimate family show with deep ceded dysfunctional drama while traversing morality issues of the teen-dom. It’s the show you watch after being in school detention to keep you in line and a reminder that your reckless, juvenile behaviours have consequences.
For as much how popular it was, I’ve never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it’s too dark for a boy who sleeps in his own room that deals with lurking sounds on the rooftop every single night. These shows defined an entire generation of kids who aspired endlessly and hopelessly to some extent but it does not matter, as long as we get to live the hero life even for a millisecond and to escape the sternest of the real world.
The green, gooey title of the Goosebumps is the right mix of jump scare and idiotic screams. But that is life in the 90’s, you deal with people more than we do now and there is usually no way to avoid them except if you climb a tree from the rooftop of your house as there is no sturdy ladder, or turning on your CRT television with the built-in VHS player and watching some shows that seems to be in alternate reality. We don’t attempt to distort what is real, all we seek was to escape. The TV set is the only screen we only ever stare at, maybe even longer than how much we stared at our crush in 3rd grade.
Being a kid of the 90s meant that you selfishly clasped a Gameboy and a Pokemon Yellow game cartridge — you did this sitting down, head down, not walking around the park and trespassing on people’s properties. Simple times that includes throwing the Super Nintendo controller against a wall because Donkey Kong is literally acting like a monkey.
It’s a crime to talk about the 90’s without mentioning the boybands and the beats that were dropped on MTV with originality, dulcet tones, and dashing dance moves. They’re the Beatles of our time as they continue to prove their indelible marks. And now we are reduced to autotunes and iCarly.
The nostalgia of the 90’s is not polarizing, it’s consensually beloved and continuously reminisced. How so? simply because it is the perfect blend of human interaction and the period I truly believed where we actualized as humans. It’s pure joy with the occasional hint of pain.
Society in general has become free-thinking and open-minded and yet it feels claustrophobic, remembering the 90’s seems freeing.
Sure, the 1990’s had its comedy of errors — we were Homo Sapiens going into the millenium, it was scary and yet the party of a lifetime at the edge of the end. But it was truly the greatest times.