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  1.  (10231.41)
    im not really able to be nostalgiac about the 1990s as it seems pretty recent to me. a lot of cool stuff happened but more shitty.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2011
    I have this image that sticks out in my mind, whenever I think of the 90's.

    I was living in Los Angeles for a while, when my dad got stationed in San Pedro, and there was this skate park not too far from the Air Force and Navy housing where we lived. Most of the place was just gray cement and slightly rusted iron bars, but each one of the pits, which looked like someone had taken a giant ice cream scooper to them, had been spray-painted with these insane, intricate murals. In my memory, someone is always playing Sublime on a giant boombox (remember those? Maybe they were called ghetto blasters where you grew up, but we called them boomboxes). "Whoa I don't cry, when my dog runs away," it said "I don't get angry at the bills I have to pay." I never skateboarded myself, but I went there all the time (almost certainly a lot more often than my mom would have liked me to), just to watch the older kids skate and look at the murals. There was one that was the brightest oceanic cyan I'd ever seen, and memory has only made it more intense, just swirls and whorls of slightly different shades, each seemingly brighter and deeper than the last.

    Now, I'm sure I was imagining this part, or that I constructed this in my memory later, but one time I saw a kid 'board down into that pit and shoot back up, and what I remember is the paint suddenly becoming wet, and this kid had his own bow wave of sea foam, like he'd suddenly quite skateboarding and started surfing. The paint flipped up with his board, and then fell and splattered back down onto the gray cement above it.

    It was just this weird moment of hallucinatory harmony, to little-kid-me. If I'd had the vocabulary for it back then, I guess I would have called it a spiritual experience, a micro-vision quest. I dunno, that weird memory just seems to distill my entire childhood, and my whole experience of the 1990s, down. A kid on a skateboard, breaking reality to turn cement into sea, with no more effort than it took to keep his balance and momentum.
    • CommentAuthorDarkest
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2011
    I was born in '88 so I didn't get to do much fun in the 90's. Mostly it was a trial by fire since I didn't know I had Asperger Syndrome and English primary/ secondary schools.

    I'm surprised no one's mentioned Phantom 2040 yet? That was a great program. I used to love Street Sharks too but I watched a clip on you tube and was kind of dissapointed. Also the New Adventures of Jonny Quest.

    I remember Playing lots of Tomb Raider (Playstation) and Super Mario Land 2 (Gameboy). Remember when Gameboys were green screen, also games consoles you can carry in a pocket/bumbag! Also Streets of Rage and Sonic on my cousin's Master System.

    I remember watching Ghost in the Shell on video (I think, it may have been a little later).

    Warhammer was a big thing before I hit double digits.

    Mostly I sort of Phonogram memory kingdom and watch/ listen etc. to stuff I missed first time around.
  2.  (10231.44)
    Like many others here the music is what stands out the most for could hear NIN, Nirvana, Sublime, Alice in Chains, Bjork, Tool, Blind Melon, Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, Rancid, etc. all on the radio. Fuck, all on the same station (kroq). Of course I spent most of my time in the late 90's listening to obscure british punk 45s - but still the variety of sounds had a huge impact on me.

    You had the rise and fall of Lallapalooza and the Warped tour.

    Of course I remember the death of Kurt Cobain, the rise and fall of Manson, the death of Bradley Nowell and Shannon Hoon.

    I spent a lot of the 90's with my face buried in comics too. I was first exposed to Transmet, Preacher, Hellboy, and the Dark Horse prints of Lone Wolf and Cub which rekindled my dying interest in comics.

    Then there was the joy of RPGs. DnD 3rd edition came out, Rifts was still around, L5R was becoming big, and of course Vampire/Werewolf/Mage and Whitewolf in general.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2011
    Doom and the X-Files. That was the 90s.
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2011
    I remember hanging out with the Bad Kids one afternoon. It was 1991, I was about to become a senior in high school, and it was ALL METAL, ALL THE TIME for us. We'd hang out in the school parking lot, smoking our cigarettes, waiting for something to happen.

    One of the kids put a tape in the car's tape deck; the cover had a naked baby swimming, or something.

    The first few chords of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" had displaced the Iron Maiden and Anthrax we usually played. It felt like a Copernican shift.

    It felt like what the first mammals felt when they looked up, saw the K/T asteroid screaming Earthward. This was NEW.
  3.  (10231.47)
    @Fauxhammer - I read 'it felt like a Copernican shift' as 'I felt like a Copernican slut'... my bad...

    @Oddcult - I never got into Doom, but the bloke I was sharing a house with tried to put a bootleg copy on my crap old 386 with 4mb RAM. It ran, but literally so slowly that you could fire, make a cup of tea, and the bullet would still be on the way. Twat.

    Music - how did I forget Portishead?
  4.  (10231.48)
    For good or ill, I am a product of the 90s. I started high school in 1990, college in '94, my first "grown-up" job in '98, got engaged and had my first back surgery in '99. Yeah, that decade held a lot of life defining moments in there.

    Someone made a comment about there being nothing to rebel against and therefore a general sense of apathy and I think there might be a little something to that.

    I'm not really sure I'm in the mood to whip out my alternapeen and play that game (yes, I've been listening to NIN since Head Like a Hole was "the new single" blah, blah, blah). I think the internet changed everything and we were the first bastards to try and make sense of it. In the 80s and before, you knew what your friends knew. Bands, comics, fashion, it required word of mouth to get to anything worth getting too. My cousin gave me a mixed tape and some copies of MRR and suddenly I had treasures to share. That's the way the 90s started, but by y2k you didn't even need to know your friends personally. That's the other thing to remember. Things were good and only getting better. All the way up to the dot com bubble bursting.

    Although really, culturally the second half of the 90s was very different. Nu Metal replaced Grunge for God's sake. The mid 90s is when the bottom dropped on the comics industry. Marvel and DC had whored themselves out for several years and the bubble burst. Variant covers and "events" didn't go away, but I and many of my friends did. The ones who still bough comics didn't collect them. The only reason I read any Transmet or Preacher or whatever is because a buddy would leave them laying around when he was done with the latest issue.

    And with that kids, grampa SMYS has noticed that it's beer o'clock so I'll be off.
  5.  (10231.49)
    As far as comics, I was lured into buying (for the first time since the 6 issues of Batman I bought at the Navy Exchange in the 80s) by the X-Men cartoon like a lot of people, then like a lot of people got sapped of interest and dropped out halfway through middle school which was 95 I believe. But I will say, the cards with the bar graphs were always cool.

    Then in high school I tried to get into MTG. Would you believe, that although I went to the fucking magnet school, I could not find many people to be a nerd with? So I ended up spending my time in limbo between counter-culture and pop-culture, not committed to either. This is one of the reasons I am sensitive to the fact that 90s art and culture didn't have a lot of great shit! The coolest thing my TV ever did was in 97 when I flipped to Bravo (old school Bravo) and some black-and-white-ass fence was being looked at in loud, blurry rain. This was Seven Samurai. In other words, I have nostalgia for nothing.
  6.  (10231.50)
    Mid nineties, I started playing around with BBS's. There was a free one from the local newspaper, I used the handle Reverend. Occasionally I would go on, and rant about something, called them my sermons. I chatted up with a few people, and I was trying to meet girls. I think I was 15 or 16 or something.

    So this girl asks me to meet up at a local coffee shop, where the Goths and hippies hung out, called The Source. I went, and her name was Mary Jane, she was a little older than me, she was about 5 feet tall, 100lbs if she was soaking wet, had a few tattoos, and I was very, very naive.

    She wanted to take me to the local punk rock skate park/live music place, The Pit, and I obliged. We hung out for a little while, and she told me she wanted to show me something, but I was having a hard time hearing her correctly. She took me by the hand and walked me down this really narrow hallway. She opened up a door to a very tiny room, and as we walked in I realized it was a bathroom. She sat up on the sink and hiked up her skirt, and showed me her g-string.

    Now, I'm no fashion genius by any means, but personally, if you are into wearing g-strings, and like showing them off to strange guys in bathrooms, personally, I would think it would be appropriate to shave the area in question. I hope I'm not coming off misogynistic or anything; believe me, I thanked the nice lady for showing me what I was sure was a vagina in there somewhere, but said no thank you, and went home and never met anyone from the internet ever again.
    • CommentAuthorSBarrett
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2011
    I didn't really discover music until I was in college, which wouldn't be until '98.

    The 90's were all about video games for me. We didn't ever have a console in our house, but we did have a PC.

    Sid Meier ruled my video game life for much of the 1990's. Kicking it off in 1990 is Railroad Tychoon, a game my dad bought because he was picking back up his model train hobby from when he was a kid. Civilization hits in 1991, a game series still kicking 20 years later. Colonization comes along in 1994. My mother would worry about me playing these "violent" games as I bragged about wiping out civilizations and native americans (in colonization).

    Warcraft: Orcs and Humans was in 1994 and it was like the greatest thing ever for me. Warcraft II comes out a year later. I think Orcs and Humans was also the first game I ever played "Online". Playing a friend of mine from down the street with our dial up modems. Shouting for my mom not to pick up the phone when it rings because it was my friend's computer calling us. It set up my love for RTS games. I remember the awesome bad live action acting scenes for Command and Conquer: Red Alert.

    I remember playing Shareware (remember that!) versions of Duke Nukem. I remember playing and beating Doom in co-op over our modems. God I can't even imagine how I played FPS games with no mouse and no WASD setup. You had to look up and down with PageUP and PageDown.

    The Space Quest series was really firing on all cylinders in the late 80's to early 90's. I can remember sitting around the computer with the whole family to solve some of those puzzles.

    In 1997 I had Fallout. In 1998 I got Baldur's Gate. The Baldur's Gate series is still my favorite video game series of all time.

    I was all about strategy games and RPGs. Then 1998 came along with two FPS games that set the standard. Rainbow Six comes out in May then six months later we get Half-Life. Thus began my love affair with FPS games.
  7.  (10231.52)
    Another fun little PC game from 1991 was Atrain, a Maxis/Artdink production which was the predecessor to Simcity 2. The other truly great game of the period was UFO: Enemy Unknown, the first and best of the X-Com series.
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2011
    So, wait. What's the point here? The '90s mean nothing to me, personally; I was born in '86, and up until I was 14 I wouldn't really consider myself a person. (I had my moments when I was 11, sure, but nothing special.) I'd love to hear more stories of everyday life for the old fogeys, and less "here's some decontextualized nostalgia." Perspective, I guess, is what I'm asking for. Government spy's story, for example, is awesome. More plz!
  8.  (10231.54)
    I... generally consider myself a person as of age 5?
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2011 edited
    The early nineties were a blast for me. I was in my mid to late twenties, singing with a terrible punk band on the fast-dying Sydney pub circuit (almost all the pubs were replacing their performance spaces with poker machines because, you know, money . . . ). There was no internet to speak of, so I did my socialising by actually getting together with my mates and going out for drinks, seeing offbeat films at the Valhalla art cinema, or surfing up at Whale Beach on the city's northern edge. There were way more indie films and bands, public transport wasn't choked with loud twats blathering on mobile phones, and it was fairly safe to cycle everywhere because traffic volume was about half what it is now. Tech support didn't involve waiting three hours to argue with a non-English-speaking intern halfway across the world.

    On the minus side, information and reference materials could be a pain in the arse to procure. If I needed a picture of, say, a lawnmower for a painting, I had to either go and take one myself with my optical camera and wait while the photolab developed it, or go to the library and hope to find a book with the relevant illustrations. FInding out what films were on, or what bands were playing, or what was on TV, required buying the relevant magazine or newspaper. Music CD's were about thirty dollars apiece in Australia because of the corporate stranglehold on the industry.

    Oh, and there were no budget airlines, so it cost an arm and a leg to fly anywhere - although terrorism wasn't the hysterical buzzword that it is today, so flying didn't involve being photographed naked or having your crotch fondled by government employees, and nobody swiped your nail clippers or pocket knife before you boarded the plane.
  9.  (10231.56)
    Perspective, I guess, is what I'm asking for.

    In the early 90's,the summer before I started high school I moved from Southern California to a suburb of Portland Oregon. I had a shitty attitude and had no desire to live in a place that resembled things I'd only ever seen on TV - people in cowboy hats/boots/and buckles, "preppies", and frighteningly devout god-faring folk. I stood out a bit given that I had a 6-7 inch green mohawk at the time. I remember my first day of school and was shocked that I was the only person with dyed hair. The only one. I'd had dyed liberty spikes since 7th grade thanks to my mom and skater friends in California.

    By my senior year I'd gotten far too lazy for knox gelatin dipped spikes and manic-panic dye jobs but there were many dozens who had taken my place. And some of them had even abandoned their cowboy hats or tommy hilfiger to do so. This was the rise of Hot Topic.

    I'm not claiming that I influenced them at all, so please don't take it that way. What I'm saying is that in those 4 years there was a cultural shift that pretty much killed off the stereotypical redneck and birthed the stereotypical whatever-the-fuck you'd call it.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2011
    @Greasemonkey: I'm currently playing X-Com: UFO Defense. Talk about staying power!
  10.  (10231.58)
    I still play Enemy Unknown on my machine, using a dos version with mediocre sound.
    • CommentAuthorScrymgeour
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2011
    i remember sitting in the computer room at school and comparing shitty qbasic programmes with other kids, waiting ten minutes to see a picture of the prodigy in crappy resolution, and it taking literally forty minutes for doom to load to the title menu..... the nineties were shit for computing...although I kinda miss dos
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2011 edited
    I spent the '90s in school, being 13 in '90 and I started uni in '99 (maths heads out there will realise that those numbers don't quite add up there - I will say that there was a 'lost' year and leave it at that...) so in that decade I discovered booze, drugs, and women (tho' not necessarily in that order).

    Musically @bob and @J0n managed to dredge up a number of items I wish had stayed un-dredged, but I also fondly remember the '90s for being the birthplace of my hip-hop love - it's still known as Hip-Hop's golden age for a reason....

    The early 90's were dominated by the likes of Eric B and Rakim, EPMD, KMD Pete Rock and CL Smooth, with De La Soul making inroads into the mainstream. three Feet High And Rising was the first Hip-Hop album I owned.

    In the mid 90's The Wu burst out of staten island to shake a few people out of their comfort zones, Gang Starr held court (shit, you weren't anyone unless you got on a GS posse cut). NWA and Public Enemy scared middle america, Nas released his still classic first album, And of course there were the two great Beastie Boys albums Check your Head and Ill Communication.

    The late '90s saw the lyrical/intelligent/backpacker revolution with Rawkus Records' entire roster, and their seminal Lyricists Lounge and Soundbombing compilations, and also the mini-resurgance of the UK Hip-Hop scene - records like TaskForce's New Mic Order, Braintax was active, Jehst's early EPs, shit I recall Mark B and Blades "You don't See The Signs" getting played at football stadiums....advertisers and clothing comapies fell over themselves to get attached to all these underground rappers in the hope some of their cool would rub off.

    B-boy dancing made a reappearance on the dancefloors too - do you remember to video for the Jason Nevins 'it's like that' remix?

    As hateful as it was, it brought B-boying into the mainstream

    Edited to add - @MercurialBlonde mentiones on page one about the 90's now having passed some buffer period and becoming almost cool again..

    Well in my hometown the Eighties Retro themed bar recently closed for renovation, and re-opened as a muvva fuggin '90s retro themed bar.