The Legacy of the Nineties

November 21, 2010 at 1:39 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve spent a number of posts claiming the resurgence of the final decade of the last millennia, but, in reality, a person from a particular generation cannot legitimately claim his or her own era’s modern-day relevance.  It’s like the reverse of the old-Seinfeldian notion (not be overtly stereotypical) you have to be Jewish to make Jewish jokes.  I, a ‘90s teen, can’t really say the ‘90s are cool.  It’s just not appropriate.  That task is up to my older compatriots and, dare I say it, today’s elusive, trendsetting tweenyboppers.

I can say that ‘90s memorabilia and references are penetrating commercial American society this holiday season.  For example, the resurrection of the McRib.  Also, check out Rolling Stone’s new–in time for the holidays–epic coffee table book: The ‘90s The Inside Stories From the Decade That Rocked.

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Who is the target audience for this book? Who will actually buy it?  As someone who owns Trivial Pursuit ‘90s Edition, I can’t say that I’m above the merchandise fray.  If this $29.99 HarperCollins anthology is going to sit on my peers’ IKEA coffee tables (i.e. people who want to reminisce and test their high school memory), then I don’t know if we can claim, as the Rolling Stone does, that “at no time since the rock & roll explosion of the 1960s did music matter more than in the 1990s.”  It’s just too early for real historians to make that call.  However, if non-Gen X and Y/Millennial shoppers buy this book, it could be proof that the decade’s musical relevance will stand the test of time.

Unlike Seinfeld, you can’t “convert” your formative years for the inside jokes.  I would have loved to have been a teenager in the late-1960s or Suffragette eras.  But, I was, thankfully, handed civil rights and the vote by birth and some totally dope music as a teenager.

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BU vs Harvard Girls

November 18, 2010 at 4:43 am (Uncategorized)

Even though I have publicly stated a fear of Facebook, I’m fascinated by Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher’s The Social Network.   If you haven’t seen the movie, it captures Shakespearian levels of betrayal and ambition at a generation Millennial’s iambic pentameter.  Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and the New Yorker have all given good reviews to the film balancing thought-provoking and entertaining.  I saw the movie opening night, but have only now digested its most disturbing quality.  (Apologies–this post is so early October 2010.)

The movie is an action flick for the nerdier set with comic relief.  I LOLed at various scenes, especially the ongoing background jokes between my alma mater Boston University and the esteemed Harvard.  A rivalry that doesn’t even exist.  In the opening scene a BU lady gets picked on for “not having homework,” but goes on to represent the only seemingly intelligent and likeable woman in the entire film.

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According to BU’s student newspaper the Daily Free Press, Sorkin said in an interview with the Boston Herald he has nothing against BU students–his sister was one. “Although the movie opens with a joke about BU girls, the BU girl may be the only class act in the movie.”

I’m not the only one who found the films portrayal of Coeds a bit too geeky, tech-groupie, Asian fantasy-like.  Stephen Colbert lambasted Sorkin while he promoted the film on the Colbert Report in September. When talking about Zuckerberg’s faux BU girlfriend Colbert states,

“She’s super smart and she definitely gets the best of him–the other ladies don’t have as much to say, because they are high, or drunk, or fucking guys in the bathroom.  Why are there no other women of any substance in the movie?”

Sorkin simply replies the other women (besides Rashida Jones’ character) are “prizes.”

I have personally observed enough “prizes” during my days and nights on BU’s Comm Ave to understand the sentiment.  The Warren Towers “ZOO” was an excellent vantage point to observe other inhabitants’ behavior.  Especially as I never technically lived there.  But, this is not the most disturbing part of the film for me–there are flickers of brilliance and craziness and stupidity within all young women and men from any caliber University.

In retrospect, the aspect of the film that bothers me most was the fact that you never see Zuckerberg having a female friend.  Fact or fiction? I don’t know.  Was he was a loner without many platonic relationships, but with one steady girlfriend?  Perhaps there really were no women involved in the founding of Facebook?  Regardless, in this day and age, let’s hope during his truncated years in Cambridge he made one sensible opposite sex friend without benefits.

And if he couldn’t find a worthy one in Cambridge, he could have just crossed the River Charles.

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