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    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
     (10231.1)
    Let's talk about the nineties.

    Celan brought up the point that this might devolve into an issue of personal taste and subjective memory, but I'm not certain that's a bad thing - instead of trying to prove objectively whether the nineties were a good or bad decade (for culture, technology, art, whatever), let's just talk about how we each experienced the 90s, the good, the bad, and the ugly, all together.

    To start us off, I'm going to say right now that if you haven't read Joshua Ellis' essay Children By the Millions Wait for Alex Chilton, you really should. 1) Because it's directly relevant to what we'll be talking about here, and 2) it's just a damn good essay. I'm gonna go re-read it as soon as I post this.

    I also think it's sorta funny that this topic was brought up, originally in the Ask Whitechapel thread, just after REM announced their dissolution and Nirvana's Nevermind album had it's 20th birthday.

    So, everything's open for discussion here, I say - examination of 90's music, clothes, cars (I agree for the most part that the 90's weren't a great time for automotive innovation, but there were a few gems that I want to bring up), and maybe some personal stories (with Lord Master Spurrier's usual story rules applying here, of course) of how you made it out of the 90's alive. I think the 90's have been dead long enough that we can all examine it through the eyes of history as well as nostalgia, and I'd be interested to see what happens when we try to combine the two. I grew up in the 90's, but I grew up mostly isolated from everything that was going on at the time, and I missed a lot of the good shit. So tell me, Whitechapel...

    What did the 1990's do for, to, or with you?
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.2)
    The 90s...man. I WILL post on here a few times. I guarantee. I was born in '84, so I entered grade 1 in 1990 and started to comprehend things a bit stronger than I did in the 80s (although I still remember plenty from that time).

    A lot of things stuck out for me, most of which I'll talk about later, but I really want to address the animation aspect, which is what had a particular impact on me.

    Although we didn't get it up here in Canada, my dad's contacts allowed us to get mixed VHS shows from the likes of Disney, Nickelodeon and MTV. Good 'ol Nick and MTV, of course, were HUGELY in their prime and, to me, way ahead of their time when it came to animated entertainment. With Nickelodeon boasting shows like Ren & Stimpy, Ahhhh! Real Monsters and Rocko's Modern Life, I really had to give credit to this company for encouraging a beautiful sense of innocent chaos to bloom in my imagination. But MTV...well. Never mind shows like The Maxx, Beavis & Butthead and The Head, which came later for me. My SHOW was the great Liquid Television. Where Nickelodeon gave me the innocent chaos, with fun-loving cartoon characters not really meaning any harm, Liquid Television brought forth an animated world with a knife's edge to it. Something that showed the dark side of things. But it had a beauty to it. Shorts like Aeon Flux taught me that in this day and age a story can still be taught with no dialogue whatsoever and the messages can be as deep in animation as they are in films and music.

    Here's the Aeon Flux short that particularly impacted 7 year-old Robin. It's called War.


    It had it's silly side as well. And of course what made the show great is (as I later learned) a lot of great animators got their start on Liquid Television doing either a regular short or a one-off. For instance John R. Dilworth, creator of the amazing show Courage the Cowardly Dog, first had a spot on Liquid Television. Here's Smart Talk With Raisin (note that the dog Hamilton is the start of what would become Courage):



    So that's one of many things that the 90s introduced to me.

    Yeah.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFishelle
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.3)
    I was born in January of 1990. (I promise you're not as old as that sentence probably makes you feel.) I spent most of my first 10 years (and beyond) playing Barbies. It was a good time for Barbies. All the Barbies now suck. I've gone shopping for Barbies more recently as a gift for a niece, and I tell you, they have gone downhill.

    And I didn't discover in until much later, but, well, the 90's had Twin Peaks.

    As far as art and entertainment generally goes, I didn't really know the difference as a kid. I watched anything that played on our tv, from Aurthur to General Hospital. I wasn't too picky really. I didn't read comics back then, since I didn't have a store of them anywhere close. I listened to lots of crap music perfectly happily. Most kids do, it seems.

    It was a fine time for me, but it was my childhood. And that's always the time people look back on and remember things being simpler, right? No matter what the time actually is like, it seems easier and better when you look back on what the world was like at 8.
    •  
      CommentAuthortedcroland
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.4)
    @oldhat Fuck yeah Liquid Television! THE HEAD!!

    The nineties, for me, was bad comics (that I loved), great cartoons, terrible movies, and music I would later fawn over in High School. The aforementioned Rocko, AAAH!! Real Monsters, along with Doug, and others. Fox Kids Saturday Morning was my shit: Spider-Man, X-Men, Batman, The Tick, Animaniacs...then when a bunch of that moved to WB we got Freakazoid! and Pinky and the Brain, and tons more.

    This is just a nostalgia thread, right? Being ages 4-13 in the nineties makes me have few emotions associated with it, but my nostalgia bone hits hard for that stuff.

    Oh, yeah, and this:

    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
     (10231.5)
    Oh, man. oldhat got it in one - the 90's were such a good time for TV animation. The quality, artistry, storytelling, and voice acting were all amazing, and even shows that didn't have to be anything but really long toy commercials ended up as some really amazing, challenging pieces of art.

    No discussion of 90's animation would be complete, I think, without talking about the Batman animated series. I mean, just look at this:

    Two Face's Origin

    That is some frightening, smart stuff, considering it's a cartoon about what most people thought of as a kid-friendly superhero. Before the Animated series, most people's vision of Batman came from the 60's Adam West show - yeah, there was 1986's The Dark Knight Returns, but while that got more attention that most comics, I don't think it had the wide appeal that the animated series did, and for my money, there were episodes of B:TAS that were in a lot of ways darker and better-told stories than even The Dark Knight Returns.

    Of course, we got the best of both worlds with Tales of the Dark Knight

    This was what came on TV almost every day after I got home from school, and my mom had kind of a weird opinion about it - she told me on a few occasions that she was worried it would warp my brain, but it was ALSO the only TV she'd let me watch before I did my homework. I think even she knew there was something interesting, something fulfilling, happening with that show. You also had stuff like the X-Men cartoon, which while not nearly as dark, quirky or brainy as Batman, still had a LOT more going on than anyone would have expected, including some interesting examinations about social responsibility.

    Of course, you've also got, as oldhat mentioned, things like Ren and Stimpy, Beavis and Butthead, Daria, Rocko's Modern Life, animation that went straight for the 20-somethings, declaring outright that TV cartoons could be for ANYONE. That, I think, was a huge leap forward, and if those shows had not been as successful as they were, I'm willing to bet we wouldn't have shows like The Venture Bros. These shows which, on the surface looked no smarter than a fart joke, became voices to the people who watched them, rallying points for a counterculture that was practically defined by its apathy. That's a pretty impressive feat, if you ask me. Even today, if I'm hanging out with a bunch of people I don't know that well, doing a Butthead laugh or telling someone they're lucky they don't allow hanging in O-Town, is a pretty good test to see if I will get along with these people.

    Consider also that Disney was pushing the boundaries of what an animated feature film could be around this time, too, with things like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. We look at the 30's and 40's as animation's golden age, but the 90's were more than even just a silver age - I think they were something entirely new, and its effects on the art form and industry have yet to fully surface.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
     (10231.6)
    I'm old folks. I was in Vietnam War protests, albeit in a stroller. I watched the moon landings live.

    In some ways the nineties seem like yesterday.

    First half of the nineties I was living in my parents basement, yet traveling and seeing stuff and doing stuff I'd never done before. I was working as a freelance sales trainer and trade show guy.

    The last half of the nineties, I was at a incredibly demanding grade school, and then moved to SILICON FRICKING VALLEY. Dot-com paper millionaire ulcer burnout track career time.

    So, I was pretty damn busy. I missed out on a lot of cultural stuff, especially music. Clothing? I'm a nerd. Jeans and polo shirts and sometimes a T-shirt.

    I was very, very attuned to the whole birth of the information superhighway / cyberspace thing. I felt like I was right on the edge of the edge of things. Not quite involved, but close enough to get an idea of what could be coming. A Secret Service raid on one of my publishers led to the creation of the EFF; I went to lectures and author readings. Heady times. Too bad the Global Village turned into Pottersville real fast.

    Oldhat brings up the animation renaissance. Oh, yeah, I was in my thirties, but did catch on to that, as did my old-school college SF club friends. We grew up watching Hanna-Barbera crap, and here Hanna-Barbera was suddenly turning out COOL stuff. (The rumor was that the younger H-B animators went down the street to Spumco after hours to work for free on Ren and Stimpy for the sheer pleasure of working on wild stuff.) And then all that crazy sick shit on Liquid Television, and those goofy, joyous, WB shows.

    EDIT: BATMAN! Wow. You know, not the best animation, and the noir style was kind of pasted on, but WOW, what stories!What characters! I remember slouching on the couch watching "Silicon Soul" when then sixty-something mom came in. (The folks weren't AROUND a lot, they travelled even more than me.) She sat down and got right into that show.
  1.  (10231.7)
    "...Radiohead announced their dissolution..."

    what? you mean REM?
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.8)
    Okay, forgive me in advance Whitechapel, but... I'm gonna talk about cars for a little while.

    Now, okay, 90's cars, most of 'em? Sucked. Yep. No arguments there. And not even "they weren't cool," or "they had no soul," I mean most cars from the 90's were rustbuckets a year after they went home with some sucker, and while certain things like brakes and safety features did improve, the engines were lowest-common-denominator drek, the newfangled computer systems often didn't work right, if at all, and there's a lot of evidence out there that hybrids and even full-on electric cars were totally feasible in the 90's, but simply weren't put into production, weren't even LOOKED INTO, by almost all car companies.

    Now, if you WANT to talk about coolness, bah. Even the MUSTANG wasn't all that cool in the 90's, and if you can't count on the Ford Mustang to be cool, who can you count on? The Europeans were making some cool stuff, particularly Lamborghini, but (and forgive me, again, for this) while the Lamb was sexy as hell, it's always been, to me, American cars that have to most spirit, the most iconic and powerful look and feel of all the regional auto designs. And we just simply fell down on the job, in that respect.

    But then... then, Dodge said "Let There Be Viper."



    What started out as an homage to the Shelby AC Cobra became perhaps the 90's most iconic car, and one of the coolest muscle cars ever built. Some mad genius at Dodge said "let's take something that looks like a 70's-era pony car had hot, sweaty, oily sex with a Ferrari, and then let's open the hood and drop a V-10 aluminum truck engine into it, give it tires that would look right at home on a tractor, and do everything in our power to make sure that when this car's engine revs to life, toupees get blown off, underpants disintegrate, and marriages are saved." And, for what they were built to be, these were GOOD CARS. Fast, fun, reliable, relatively safe, and not so finicky that you had to call in a specialist to have them worked on.

    The thing I love about the Viper is that it wasn't an update of an old design, it wasn't an attempt to play off the nostalgia and romance of cars from decades long past, like the Mustang and a lot of other crap sport and muscle cars from the 90's were. Yes, Dodge got their ideas for it from the Cobra (the inspiration is as obvious as the car's name), but it was a brand-new design that will always be a car of that decade, in the same way the Mustang will always be a car of the 60's. You think 90's muscle, and you think Viper.

    I'm not gonna spend TOO much time on this next one, but it has a special place in my heart, and I would be remiss not to mention it. The Jeep Cherokee, widely considered the first real sport utility vehicle, was everything SUVs were initially meant to be, and nothing they weren't - whenever I see some absurd monster like the Lincoln Navigator or the Hummer (another product of the 90s, though not one I'm as enthusiastic about... actually, not enthusiastic about them AT ALL), I shake my head, and think back on the Cherokee. Now, why does this car mean so much to me? My first car was a 1993 Grand Cherokee Limited, and I could not have asked for a better one. Easy to drive, reliable, easy to fix, tougher than a Soviet Tank, precisely the right amount of space that I needed to haul most of my life back and forth from Iowa to Georgia (where I went to school from 2006-2010), and for such a big, unwieldy-looking thing, she was an absolute dream to drive. Where most cars from the 90s were made of cheap, flimsy parts, which often weren't produced in enough numbers to order replacements, my Cherokee (the "Self-Fulfilling Prophecy," as she was called - I was big into Iain M. Banks at the time, so she got a name that could have belonged to a Culture starship) almost never broke down, and when she did, my dad and I could perform most of the repairs ourselves, with rarely more complicated tools than a few wrenches and an oil rag.



    This car could almost BE The Prophecy, except for the hubcaps.

    I miss that car, and I miss the design philosophy that went with it - an SUV built without any frills or bullshit, a car that would be kind and forgiving to its driver, that would carry a decent amount of freight, and would perform well in nearly any road condition. Even the new Cherokees have given in to the 'roid rage of SUVs lately - I remember a time when such beasts were looked upon with shame, and a car was judged on its power, its reliability, and its (yes, stay with me here) personality, and not on how loud its speakers could thump, or whether or not the seats came with heated, vibrating pleasure nubs. The Cherokee needed nothing but clean lines, a dark, subdued paintjob, and a small, contended grin on her grille. She was simple, and that was what made her beautiful.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.9)
    what? you mean REM?

    Or... yeah, that. *Edit* Oooops.
  2.  (10231.10)
    it's so weird to read you feminizing that Cherokee, and yet it gives me a lot to think about.
  3.  (10231.11)
    I was born in 82 so the 90s were the bulk of my development/conscious youth. It was sort of a mixture of nine inch nails t-shirts, sneaking over to my friends to listen to Biggie Smalls Ready to Die album because my parents thought rap was evil, getting into superhero comics with McFarlene, Lee, Liefeld--getting out of comics for awhile, then getting back in with Alan Moore and Warren.

    Aeon Flux and the Maxx were two shows that sort of happened like as if in a dream. I was addicted to the X-men cartoons.

    And I got to see a president impeached over a blow job.

    Oh also I strongly remember Montell Jordan's "this is how we do it" video.

    I think we've had our 90s hating buffer period incidentally--and that in the next few years, the 90s are going to be cool again.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
     (10231.12)
    @BrianMowrey

    I will happily admit to being THAT WEIRDO who gives his cars girl names and talks to them softly as he drives. I cried over that car at least three times that I can remember. She was 14 years old when she finally died, which means she'd been in our family as long as my youngest sister. Even before I started driving her, when she belonged to my dad, I still thought she was the coolest thing on four wheels. I grew up with that car.
  4.  (10231.13)
    Man the 90's was my decade. I was born in '79, so by 90, I was 11, and by '99 I was 20. The 90's made me a man. That's where I learned about music in general (I was a grunge kid, with the long hair, shaved around the back/sides, and the chin muff mustacheless goatee, and the requisite flannel tied around the waist while wearing a thermal), got taste in movies (Swingers & Resevoir Dogs), discovered booze & weed, and learned about women.

    I left out high school completely, but you all can imagine I'm sure.

    By '99 I learned what it was like to find morphine or heroin mixed with your weed, watched crack destroy my father, lived in a car and later a crackhouse (though I never touched the stuff), been a roadie, a couch surfer, and off and on homeless.

    At some point I joined the swing dancing craze... somehow that sticks out a lot...

    Yeah the nineties completely whooped my ass. But they made me the man I am today.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.14)
    Standup comedy in the 90's.

    I'm just gonna say one name, alright? Most of you know exactly who I'm gonna say, but for those who don't, well... here you go, ladies and gentlemen:

    Mr. Bill Hicks
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.15)
    REM brings thoughts about the 90s? Ok.

    Sorry Fishelle, you will not take away my need to feel old when someone with all the adult worries you carry around declares she is 13 years younger than me. *sigh*

    First half of the 90s = high school. Second half = college. Put them together, shake them a bit, add ice and dried red pepper and you have the heady, necessary disaster of my formative years.

    Before I forget - Amen to cartoons! I refused to outgrow them! Just when some shows and some toon blocks were getting too immature for me, along came the Dark Knight and Gargoyles to smarten the place up a bit. Just when characters were a little staid and stuffy, there was Peter Pan and the Pirates with Tim fucking Curry as Captain Hook. just when cartoons weren't speaking to my crazed sense of social positioning, along came the Beavis and Butthead spinoff, Daria. And THEN someone introduced me to anime, by way of Cowboy Bebop. (Reintroduced? I'd already watched Robotech and Voltron and several others a decade earlier.)

    But back to music and other such markers of the times: I have a theory that there's a sort of soft programming in the late teenage mind that leads it to glom onto whatever music that speaks to looking for an identity and finding most of the usual offerings severely lacking. In the end, it's probably just me (and the millions of other rock fans - by which I mean, excluding the zillions of hiphop, R&B and top 40 fans), but I couldn't stand love songs, I couldn't stand songs about chest beating "Yo! I'm the best, the rest of you is just muthas who wish they was as great as me!" I couldn't stand pretty much anything that wasn't playing on the local alternative rock station. The exception to this was the jazz station, but at the time it was taking a distinct second place to alternative rock.

    1. In the early 90s there was a sort of rock to which alternative rock was actually a distinct option. Hair metal, the dying vestiges of glam, and disco-infused I-don't-even-know-what-the-hell was still around, along with "mainstream" acts like Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top, etc. Blue jeans and hair spray and very, very red-blooded American.
    2. In Los Angeles, and throughout most of Southern California, the juggernaut radio station was KROQ. Back then it was the alternative. (Today not so much...we need a new alternative. And maybe I'll win the lottery and get a pony.) They played the new wave acts, kept spinning the British rockers - Cure, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode - and played the more accessible acts of industrial rock - Nine Inch Nails, some Ministry. Fearless singers were featured - Tori Amos, PJ Harvey - and every now and then a kind of love song would get through my angst by dint of its ability to say something old in a new and profound way (see ref Portisehead). At lunch Richard Blade spun favorite tunes from the 80s and on Sunday evenings Rodney on the Roq would play little known bands that he earnestly believed in. Of course, he notoriously hated the 90s, but still he played No Doubt, Hole and Sonic Youth among many others.
    2b. As well as music, KROQ had a nightly show called Lovelines where people could call in and ask (usually) sex or drug related questions and a DJ and a doctor would answer them. they were frank about safe sex, blunt about the impact of hard drugs and seemed genuine in trying to keep people from hurting themselves. For me this was huge as Lovelines made sure I got to college knowing how to drink (eat, keep up water intake, etc). Freshman year would have been an even bigger disaster without knowing this.
    3. Living in/near LA with such an important station meant that it wasn't hard to get to events that featured acts I really wanted to see. In person, I saw professionals do their damnedest to mix doing what they loved with running their business. I haven't figured out the mix yet for myself, but it let me know it wasn't a hopeless romantic scheme to think I could do the same.

    Internet: There are books upon books on the impact of the Internet, and my typing here to you beautiful strangers is a direct consequence of it. I have NO FUCKING IDEA who I would be or how I would get along without the Internet. Hell, the fucking thing has probably saved my life more than once. When I was a kid I was called shy and I didn't want to argue with the label but I didn't quite agree. I just didn't know what to say and I hated being interrupted and just wasn't good with the chaos of communication that comes with what normal people call speaking in social settings. As an adult I came to learn this is called social anxiety and that as an introvert I'm hardwired to want to wait and get the lay of the land, so to speak, before talking. (Never mind that I learned all of this by researching ON THE INTERNET.)

    But anyway, my freshman year one of my roommates showed me how to use my email and introduced me to this computer-based process called IRC. And I was off to the races. I could talk without feeling like I was being interrupted. I could hold my peace until I had constructed my speech exactly as I wanted it. I could listen or not listen to people; I could talk or not talk; I could go off for ages about subjects I wanted to talk about...someone would be around to listen. Best of all I could hide behind a nickname. Best of motherfucking all, I could just be a mind. Without a body, without a gender, without an age, without a life - just intelligence. It was my childhood dream come true. I could be "nobody" and I could speak for myself exactly as I pleased.

    I dove in without knowing thing about hacker culture, without having read any of the prominent scifi, without anything. And reaching people far away was how I became comfortable with who I was here and now. Well, sort of. Crippling depression did find me, from time to time. But then I could retreat into virtual space and say what was on my mind without listening to someone freak out over me or bore their eyes into me or something.

    Fuck, sometimes it feels like the Internet was handcrafted for people like me.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.16)
    Thank god someone else remembers Peter Pan & The Pirates.
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     (10231.17)
    Oh - also, X-Files. And the first Matrix movie.
    •  
      CommentAuthorBrianMowrey
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2011 edited
     (10231.18)
    No, this thread isn't just for nostalgia! We can also address problems.

    So, the moving pictures

    Movies: in the ASK thread, I said that 'if you unexisted all the Hollywood movies from the 90s, you would lose ten good ones.' good might be better phrased as essential, as offering something you couldn't get just from asking three smart people today to spend one day bullshitting a story. I stand by the number! Movies were afraid to be quiet and create resonant moments of awareness of grace! Rage!

    Then I said of TV, the 90s were tame and docile -- compared to previous decades where American TV pushed boundaries outward, 90s TV kept it's head behind its fists. Stop auto correcting i-t-s, iPod! As an example of how stuff used to be raw, I namedropped Kaufman's cussing out his wrestler friend on Letterman. YouTube it.

    However! You'll unexist 90s TV over my significantly bruised body! Safe is not bad, and there was a lot of great stuff in the safe realm. Northern Exposure, vintage ER, MST3K, first gen Futurama, on and on. (Northern Exposure had quiet, resonent moments of an awareness of grace). And as we have seen in this thread, cartoons in general were a life preserver amid TV's general dearth of good shit.

    But what TV in the 90s could not deliver is the things we take for granted today: long-form storytelling that requires sustained attention from the audience over multiple episodes (see: the quick clean death of EZ Streets), underplayed humor based on gestures (look at how half the laughs in the new season premier of Parks and Recreation come from half-pauses and half-second facial expressions: until Sorkin, nothing even resembling this happened in the 90s -- in the 90s we still had laugh tracks). The state of the tech had a lot to do with it, yes. TVs still were low res and no one would see muted facial expressions. But the state of the tech doesn't explain why there was not yet anything like The Shield or The Sopranos (started in 99): cable TV was widespread, these stations were already in people's homes! Cultural unwillingness to accept edginess is what explains those shows not happening for an entire ten year stretch when the groundwork had already been laid by 1990.

    Lastly cinematography: and while we're at it, photography. somewhere around 1984 it was decided that video and pictures should never again have color filters and let's make movies that look like the evening news. Thank god we got over that in the 2000s; or rather in 99 with Fight Club and The Matrix
  5.  (10231.19)
    Wow. Memory lane...

    I was 16 when the nineties started, and on a skiing trip in Italy. I came back with my sister on about the 2nd of Jan to find my grandmother had died on New Year's Eve. So it was really the decade I grew up in - where I had my first relationships, my first jobs, went to university, left home and drank inhuman amounts of alcohol...

    Music - I loved Nick Cave's output, Tindersticks, Suede, Elastica - most of britpop passed me by, and I never got on with Grunge. The mid-nineties seemed to be taken over by Oasis, every song that ever got played on a pub jukebox (and I spent every available moment in pubs) went 'nyah nyah nyah nyah' ad infinitum, usually the same bloody three Oasis tracks...

    Photography - I rented a flat from a photographer and started processing my own black and white film with my first proper SLR, a Pentax K1000 - nothing I did from then survives, and I was pretty rubbish, but had caught the bug. When I went to work, and found that magazine photography was part of my job, I had to learn pretty bloody quick, which was fantastic. I ran up my first stupid sized credit card bill on a Nikon F90x and some decent lenses, and wound my friends up by having a camera loaded with Fuji Neopan 1600 at all times of the day and night... I'd develop it in my room, which I'd blacked out and stay up all night as my girlfriend slept making prints and drying them in the bathroom. I lost the deposit on that place because I destroyed the carpet with chemicals. I love a lot of the people stuff I did then, want to compile it all into a photobook at some point. Lots of poignant stuff for me there...

    TV - Prime Suspect and Inspector Morse. In the mid nineties, my idea of heaven was to bake a huge plate of scones, start a log fire and curl up in front of it with a pot of Earl Grey and an episode of Inspector Morse. I should have got out more...

    Internet - I discovered the internet in 1995, when my dad gave me an old modem and the log on codes to JANET, the uk Joint Academic Network. I had an old 286 Amstrad PC, and I used to log on late at night to do research for my degree or pull off weather forecasts and news headlines for the college radio show I did. The noise of the modem connecting used to have a really powerful effect on me, I still get goosebumps when I hear it. I was reading a lot of William Gibson at the time, and the buzz of the modem made me feel I was falling into that world.

    Cars - I learned to drive in '92, and bought a Triumph Dolomite, which I wrote off about 4 weeks later. Then I bought another one, and blew that up six months later after ignoring the overheating problem for too long. The AA turned up and said 'sorry mate, you need a new car'. So I bought a third one, a 1979 1500TC, which I loved to bits, walnut dashboard, twin carbs, could get a ton out of it. I learned to fix it too, spent the weekends taking bits of the engine to bits.

    Clothes - I started the '90s a goth, had black hair, Robert Smith style, I finished it dressing much smarter, wore suits and ties everywhere. There were probably some bad bits in the middle where I got it horribly wrong. I don't remember much about '90s fashion but remember strongly the impression that things had got much more fragmented in terms of subcultures and there was less of the 'alternatives/casuals' split that there was in the late '80s.

    Politics - spent much of the time in the '90s dreaming of the day when the bastard tories would be thrown out. 1997 felt brilliant. I was up for Portillo, and it felt great. Shame that Labour turned out to be a shower of dickheads (even though they were nowhere near as vile as the current lot of pricks), but for a while things felt good.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2011
     (10231.20)
    For me the 90's started so well, then towards the end, it sorta got crushed by University stuff and Call centre job blues.

    I will start off with the music




    then partying!



    Then crappy 90's US alt rock that came out from Grunge. Best summised by this article.

    Then Britpop... Jesus what were we thinking.



    And the end of the decade was completed with a nasty post-Oasis coke hangover. But at least we had this...