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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