1. Dawson’s Creek
I watched a lot of Dawson’s Creek in the 90s, but I never really liked it. Firstly, we were all meant to be crushing on Dawson, even though he was boring and moody and generally acted like he was 35. Then he broke up with Jen when he found out that she’d had sex before they even met! Because having sex in Dawson’s Creek meant you were ‘off the rails’. And Dawson had a crush on Joey, who was also incredibly boring. Nothing exciting ever happened in Dawson’s Creek. If, once in a blue moon, they actually had a party, someone would almost nearly die. They had heart to hearts every five minutes, and spoke in a deliberately eloquent language in order to help US teens pass their SAT exams. What patronising bullshit! For some reason this TV show went on and on for several seasons, when programmes which depicted a more realistic (and fun!) view of teenage life, like ‘Freaks and Geeks’ and ‘My So-Called Life’ got cancelled. I still can’t figure out why it was so popular. I have since developed a weird unforgiveable crush on James Van Der Beek, ever since I saw him in ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’.
2. Boring Dad-Rock
The 90s were a time when really super boring white boy bands were famous. It was such a dull time to like music! Travis were so popular and their songs were dreary and full of self-pity. Their most famous song was ‘Why Does it Always Rain on Me?’ and it was famous because when they played it at Glastonbury… it rained. Ugh. What I love about pop music is that it’s always evolving and there are exciting outfits and the Boring Dad-Rock movement was like the antithesis of that. Other bands who were famous in the 90s for being so boring included Coldplay, the Verve and Oasis (after 1995, anyway). Now there are still Dad-rockers about, but fortunately they’re not as famous as they once were. I still avoid Coldplay as avidly as I can! Every time I hear their songs I want to fall asleep.
3. No mobile phones
I remember back before mobile phones, people used to go into town and just see who would show up. Making plans was too much effort for Generation X! If you arranged to meet someone off a train at a certain time, and you didn’t see them get off the train, you’d just have to wait for the next one. Even if the next one wasn’t for an hour! All of this insane time wasting has been saved thanks to mobile phones! I like that someone can text me when they’re running late or I can call someone if I want to change plans.
If you liked a boy and wanted to speak with him, or just wanted to call one of your friends to talk after school, you would have to call their house and usually have to speak to their parents. Of course it was super embarrassing. And then when you were gossiping with your best friend about SUPER IMPORTANT STUFF , her Dad would get on the second line and be, like, “I don’t know what you girls have to talk about, you’ve been together all day at school! Stop tying up the line, I have to phone your Grandma!” Ugh, parents just don’t understand!
I didn’t even get a CD player till 1998, so much was I in denial about the changing times. I wish I hadn’t have bothered even starting my CD collection. I now have two crates of CDs in my bedroom that are taking up tons of space and I never play them anymore. I burned them all onto my laptop forever ago. I remember in the 90s people saying that CDs were better than tapes because they didn’t break as easily and the sound quality was amazing. These people were full of shit. Once a CD gets scratched, which happens really easily, it makes the most annoying sound ever. I preferred fixing cassette reels that had come out with a pen. So CDs are cumbersome, easily breakable and now they’re completely useless! Okay well, maybe not completely. I sometimes use them as a mirror when I can’t find one and I want to put mascara on or a contact in.
5. Lad Culture
Lad culture was huge in the 90s – beer drinking, football watching and girl watching mainly. Loaded magazine was launched in the 90s with the tag-line ‘For Men Who Should Know Better’ and became incredibly popular. It was okay to be sexist again, as long as it was done in a ‘nudge, nudge, wink’ fashion. I thought it was unbearable then and I think it’s got worse now. There are tons more lads magazines out in the shops which are little more than straight-up porn, and they aren’t even on the top shelf. I think it sexualises women to a ridiculous degree, and it is so patronising to men too – you’re only meant to like women, and women who look like this, and you should be interested in beer too… Ugh. I hate it! More info here – http://www.object.org.uk/lads-mags-faq
PS. This post has been kind of depressing! So let’s end it on a great 90s tune!