- There was high unemployment, it was hard to get a job, Meryl Streep was nominated for a lot of Oscars, there was controversy over who would host the tonight show, ...sort of the same as now actually.
- I can't speak for what it was like for a gay man, but for me it was all about Doc Martins, ratty jean cutoffs(not Daisy Dukes) white wife beater with Flannel shirt. Add a generous dose of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Mother Love Bone with copious amounts of coffee, and that was about it.
- Imagine a world where nobody had cell phones.
- I do remember the excitement of must see TV....Thursdays were like the run home and watch Seinfeld/friends etc....then you tooked about it all day Friday.
- [quote]There was high unemployment
You mean in the very beginning. The country was in an economic boom during the decade, leaving us a surplus. People did wonderfully. Clinton was the greatest when it came to the economy which is why the Right used them for their 2012 presidential campaign.
- I was in the process of buying a home for $145,000 when one of our soon-to-be-neighbors, a lawyer, told us how bitterly disappointed he was that this democrat, Bill Clinton, won the election because "whenever a democrat is in office, real estate prices go down."
By the time Clinton left office, my house was worth more than 4 times what it cost.
- [quote] Thursdays were like the run home and watch Seinfeld/friends etc
I used to set my VCR to record Seinfeld and went to the laundry room the minute it came on. NOBODY in NYC moved from the TV when Seinfeld was on, so I had the every washing machine and dryer to myself. I used the two big commercial-sized washers that were always being used at every other time of the day or evening. I'd do my hot wash and my cold wash and when I was taking my clean laundry out, hordes of people came rushing in with their laundry in-between Seinfeld and LA Law.
I just smiled and put my clothes in the dryer while they rushed to claim a washing machine.
- [quote]Imagine a world where nobody had cell phones.
well, at least in Europe, EVERYONE had cell phones.
- Americans had cell phones. What the fuck are you talking about?
- Black biker shorts everywhere.
- Everytime you wanted to connect to the internet, you had to listen to this.
- I've always been more of a pop than rock fan, but the 90s was probably the best decade for rock. Alternative was so much better than the metal garbage that had preceded it.
- It was so different than the way we're living now, mainly due to technology and mobile devices. I was a teenager in the mid-90s (went to college around 97-01), and when we hung out with friends, we hung out with them. Not their games or apps. Just them. We went to parks, streaked, smoked, bullshitted about anything and everything (Bill Clinton, college, which teacher was the hottest in high school, etc). There was no distraction from each other, aside from maybe renting a video and watching it together.
Now, kids are fucking absorbed in their phones. My brother-in-law has let his 11 year old and 8 year old daughters get mobile phones. The oldest one has a smart phone. She asked me for my number, and I said, "No way". She has my husband's number, and gets stupid texts from her about nothing. When she comes over to our house, she's on her phone all the time.
Other fun things about the 90s:
Drove around, just because. Gas was so fucking cheap, it wasn't even a big deal for any high schooler with a part-time job. We just drove around for hours, getting lost on a county road, eventually finding the highway again, heading back into town, getting ice cream, driving around some more.
Fantastic music, in all genres. Even blatant pop music was really good. Emergence of R&B/Soul in the 90's (En Vogue etc) was a nice addition to either straight-up pop, rap, or grunge.
The Real World, back when it was interesting.
Gay touchstones for a queer teenager: Feeling brave enough to buy a copy of XY Magazine at the local Waldenbooks. Also, buying a VHS copy of Beautiful Thing at A Room of One's Own Bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin. And of course, coming out to your friends. In person, with some tears. Not making a fucking video for YouTube.
- Nirvana. Elliott Smith. River Phoenix.
It was a wonderful time for depressives.
- God, I remember actively thinking how weird the Internet was. Waiting for that dial up ring tone thing. I like older guys and had internet "phone" sex with some married guy in Texas in my dad's house in LA. It was wonderful and just so strange. I was 17 and knew that no other 17 year old in history got to do what I did. It was an exciting time, being on the precipice of change. It has turned into middle age apathy. Also, very 90s.
- Kids used phones a lot in the 90s, they just weren't cell phones. My teen nephew was at my apartment one day helping us move. We only moved two blocks away, so he helped us move stuff to the new apartment, then went back to the old apartment to wait for us while we did stuff like set up the bed frames, mattresses, arrange furniture, unpack dishes and put them in cabinets.
The phone company allowed us to keep the same phone number. A month later, we got hit with a HUGE bill. To a teen hotline. There were these numbers that kids called and talked to random other kids. My nephew thought we would be getting a new phone number, so he thought we wouldn't get the bill. DUH. He'd spent his whole time in our apartment chatting on the teen hotline. We had to pay hundreds of dollars. The phone company didn't care that we had no idea the phone was being used.
- There were still a lot of good movies for grown ups. They did not involve superheroes, animation, vampires, zombies or CGI.
On the other hand, there were far too many Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts films.
- We wore dark Blousy shirts, pleated pants, square-toed shoes, and micro-fiber suits.
In 1995, the frat-boy look gave way to the muscle queen look as more AIDS sufferers survived and thrived because of the cocktail. Being too thin was still associated with HIV illness.
Our decor inspired Starbucks. Our lighting switched from track to halogen...until the fires.
Globalization consisted of calling Bahamians away from their bongs to plug in the fucking fax machine.
Katherine Hepburn streamed porn to you in JPG format by hand.
The homeless were easier targets -older and crazier- so people bitched about them.
Driving drunk was ok, but pot, ecstasy, coke, LSD, and shrooms were considered disgusting.
Enron, Motorola, Qwest, and IBM were held as the gold standard in every management/finance book.
- The internet was just in its infancy in the early 1990s and the first chatrooms were DOS-based. I purchased my first Windows computer in 1991 and became aware of AOL M4M chatrooms in 1993.
I bought my first black/white laptop in 1994 and my first cellphone in 1997.
- People made lots of money on sex chat lines.
$3.99 a minute!
- It was more PC and there was no real saturation of Rap or R'n'b in mainstream culture, Grunge was actually sorta PC and would pride itself on its artistic merit. In a weird way youth culture, Gen X, was probably less homophobic than today.
- The g0ys still did anal.
- I graduated in 1993 and had a pretty good drug habit. I don't remember much. I had fun though.
- The same as now, only with more thin people and a helluva lot more plaid.
- Oh my god, so you mean you are like 13, Op?
- The 90s were awesome. I was in my 20s, healthy and still pain-free (an accident in the early 2000s would change that forever), building success in my career, living in different cities and making lots of friendships that endure to this day. One of my best friends (who died in 2009) was still alive and very much in my life.
I ended the decade by moving back to my hometown (one of the largest cities in the US and I missed it dearly) for an unexpected job offer. After I moved I got a little puppy who would be my faithful and beloved companion for 13 years (just put her down last year due to illness). A year later (technically early 2000)I met the love of my life. We're still together today.
So I have many fond memories of the 1990s. That's what it was like for me.
Did that help, OP?
- [quote]There was high unemployment, it was hard to get a job
The early 90s recession was long gone by 1994. The middle and later decade were marked by a booming economy, the tech bubble and an ever climbing stock market. You don't know what you're talking about.
- r30 Sorry about your dog.
- Why does everyone think that grunge/alternative acts dominated 90s music and charts?
Worldwide the 5 biggest selling artists of the 90s were
1. Garth Brooks
2. Mariah Carey
3. Celine Dion
5. Whitney Houston
- So funny reading r14's post about what was essentially a boring decade.
In the early-mid '90s no one really had cell phones, by the late '90s most people were getting them - except Americans. I'm from Europe (UK and Greece) and even in Greece in the late '90s/early 2000s most people had a cell phone but friends of mine in the US were still using pagers. In the mid '90s the internet took off, which was kind of interesting but also sucked up so much of my grad school time!
The 90s were a bit like today, except without so much time-consuming technology and more hair.
How long has DL been around for? Whatever happened to the "13 years of bitchery, gossip, bitchery, etc." logo? Shit, DL is 18-years-old! No wonder it's trying to hide its age.
- I had a TA who cancelled our review session right before the final because he (and probably the rest of the class) wanted to get home to watch the finale of Seinfeld/Friends. Thursday night TV was that big.
Oh, and payphones. Payphones everywhere.
There were also a brief few years before cell phones became a big thing where everyone had a pager.
- r21 came so close to nailing it. Except, drunk driving was a taboo (see Ruth from the Real World Hawaii). Cobain was a god for some odd reason so doing drugs was cool. Maybe that was just in my circle though, I am a straight female. I did have many gay friends that I did meth with though, so I don't think I am wrong. He is right about IBM being the end all, be all, if someone was trying to make a point about what they could or could not do, the sarcastic question posed was, "What am I, Bill Gates?" Oh and being tan was not in so I had to lay out secretly.
- I was in college and I went to raves and danced to house music. It was so much fun. Clinton/Gore in the White House and the world was my oyster.
- Yes and r35 is right also. I got rid of my cable in the later 90's after my roomie moved out and was almost friendless. My boss at work would tape Friends and Seinfeld for me every week. I still have the vhs that says Friends/Seinfeld on it. Remember how crazy the build up to the Seinfeld finale was? I used to listen to Tom Lykus and he had a guest on that said there were like ten alternate endings and every time an extra was on they were fired for talking too much.
- The big difference between the 90s and now, white kids acted white.
- r39 Say what?
- [quote]Imagine a world where nobody had cell phones.
You're about 2 decades off. I saw my first cellphone in 1988. Sure it was bigger than a brick and enough of a rarity that the guy yakking away on it turned every head within hearing distance, but it was a cell phone and it was 1988. This wasn't some unknown prototype, either; everyone knew it was a cell phone and knew what it did, it was just a still-uncommon sight in those days.
Back to the 90s, I knew many people who had them. They were more of a novelty/luxury/vanity item, but many people did have them. Although they didn't become truly uniquitous until the 2000s, the 90s were hardly "a world without cell phones".
- R39 has never heard of Eminem.
- r39 and r42 have never heard of House of Pain or Vanilla Ice.
- R39 didn't know any white kids, apparently.
The "wigger" phenomenon started in the 80s, with Run DMC pairing with Aerosmith, and then the Beastie Boys gaining widespread crossover popularity. I graduated HS in 1987 and I remember white kids who "acted black". I knew plenty more who loved rap and idolized black NBA and NFL players.
Didn't Eminem first break out in the late 90s? It seems like by 2000 he was already on the radar, even if his peak was still a few years away.
- The difference was that white people in general, apart from a few entertainment figures, didn't emulate black culture. Kids didn't adopt hip-hop clothes or lingo yet.
- R45, you're wrong. Let it go.
- cartoon character neckties
- [quote]In the early-mid '90s no one really had cell phones, by the late '90s most people were getting them - except Americans. I'm from Europe (UK and Greece) and even in Greece in the late '90s/early 2000s most people had a cell phone but friends of mine in the US were still using pagers.
What's this nonsense about Americans not having cell phones? Another poster earlier made the same dumbass comment.
I'm 33 so I was a teen for most of the decade. Early in the decade, cell phones were seen as a luxury item for the wealthy, but by decade's end most everyone i knew had one. It's funny, when CLUELESS came out in 1995, we marveled at how Cher and Dee talked on their phones in the school halls, but when I graduated 3 years later we were doing the same thing though the phones had shrunk in size and didn't flip. They fit in the palm of your hand.
- The 90's. Good times.
- It was a consumer paradise. The mall stores and chain stores sold much better products than they do now, and after the early years of the decade there were more jobs than people to fill them and people had more money. And the pop music was much better.
- Not to put too fine a point on it, but r39 is exactly the opposite and very wrong. It was during the 90's that kids "wigged out" as it were, and got a lot of shit for it (as they should have) I don't see that anymore.
- Oh and the 90's were the big "crossover" phase when shit musicians like Garth Brooks became mainstream. I grew listening to and loving Willie Nelson but took a lot of shit for listening to Country music. Enter Dwight and Garth, and Billy Bob, for that matter. You have the 90's to blame for all of your shitty American Idols.
- I think what it was that Americans (for once) were behind in technology with mobile phones, stuff like SIM cards. At least that's what I read. They certainly weren't behind with owning the phones themselves.. by the late 90s probably cell phones were just as widespread or more as the growing internet?
I also think Americans were behind with texting, that was long a big deal in the UK from the late 90s. That's the impression I get anyway.
I remember Hilary Duff talking about how she was so quick with texting like it was a new thing and this was like 2003, wtf?! I'm interested in this so would like to know more. America is like 20 years ahead in everything. Not fair. :(
- You could still go shopping. In things called stores.
Also, re: cellphones, yes, they were available in the 1990s, but they didn't become truly ubiquitous until sometime in the 2000s.
I think it took until 2009-2010 for the default meaning of "phone" to change to "cellphone" from what would thereafter be called the "landline."
- [quote]Kids didn't adopt hip-hop clothes or lingo yet.
How old were you in the 90s? Did you live in some lily-white state like Utah or Alaska? Or were you just really sheltered and insulated in some suburban "gated community"?
Another argument against you: Yo MTV Raps was one of the hottest shows on MTV in the late 80s, a time when the rest of MTV was still white-dominated and most inner-city kids didn't even have cable. Who was watching it and making it such a hit? I knew lots of white guys who peppered their lingo and altered their wardrobes in response.
- r53 You are joking/trolling, right? You READ about this shit? Read what we say, we were there.
- You misunderstand R56, it was some random tech website I read it on.
I'm not American as indicated by my post and also remember the 90s all too well, that was my era so your possessiveness is out of place. I was responding to the above comments about the penetration of mobile phones which R54 has explained. I wanted to know more about it, like I said.
- [quote]It was a consumer paradise. The mall stores and chain stores sold much better products than they do now, and after the early years of the decade there were more jobs than people to fill them and people had more money. And the pop music was much better.
r50 Yes! I still have clothes I bought in the '90s. I can't wear them because they're horribly out of style, but they've lasted remarkably well, and they were relatively cheap price-wise. It wasn't like today where you have to replace items after six months.
- I don't buy it r57, if you were indeed one of us, you would have signed your post "Eddie Vedder" and not STP. Interloper.
- We've got to go buy more of those Ty Beanie Babies. Everyone says they will increase in value. I already have about 3,000 of them in my basement.
Why are all these girls getting tattoos on the small of their backs. They can't even see them there!
I am trying to train my Furby to say "Suck it harder, bitch!"
I'm so into that new song "Losing My Religion" by REM (pronounced Rem.)
I'll take us to see Edward Scissorhands. Mom and Dad got me this new Saturn. They say it will look brand new 20 years from now.
You know what I like about Jolt cola? It has all of the sugar of regular soda but twice the caffeine!
I love watching Raquel Welch on Central Park West! She still looks so good. She's got to be, what?, 90?
I don't even LIKE flannel shirts. How could I be into Nirvana.
I love it when Boys form Bands!
Chloe just got the Rachel. Should I get the Joey?
- 90's kids where not like they are today, think Alica Silverstone in Clueless.
The whole Black ghetto allophilia didn't really happen 'til the very late 90s. But White kids have always copied Black Culture, jazz, blues, soul, disco. They only difference is rap and modern r'n'b are totally bottom of the barrel retard shit and the degree to which it saturated all pop mainstream culture.
In the UK is was all Britpop and shit.
- If you want it, you got it, you just got to believe, believe in yourself..
- What can I say R59.. as my post says I am a big Yankophile which is why I love DL. Used to watch America's Top Ten with Casey Kasem all the time as a child, then MTV's Top 20 Countdown. I get where you're coming from, I'm always suspicious of that sort of thing myself.
Pearl Jam weren't even as revered as they were in the States elsewhere, they were kind of looked down upon actually. It was all about Nirvana.
- R48, I just remember around 1998-2002 and possibly even later asking American friends for their cell phone numbers and being told they didn't have a cell phone but they had a pager. Also, it took Americans a while to get into sending text messages. I just noticed that r53 - also a non-American - said that too. These are perhaps our impressions because other developed countries were using cell phones and sending texts a lot more than Americans in that period, so it was always weird to hear American friends say they still had pagers or didn't know what a text message was. Just like it's funny today that Americans don't have electric kettles and still boil water on the hob.
Friends was also huge in the 90s, and epitomised the decade well.
On the whole I don't think the 1990s were so dramatically different from the 2010s, except for the technology, fashion a little and some shifts in social attitudes, which were already underway. There was a bigger difference between the 1980s and the 2000s or the 1970s and the 1950s. Certainly between the 1960s and the 1940s.
I think on the whole, though, life was a bit simpler then whereas it's a bit rougher now. I was slimmer.
- early 90s shitkickers
- r64 I applaud you, you're learning. From now on you must mention "The Real World" in your remembrances, after all, they did start reality tv.
- I just wrote a long piece but then I realised it was too region specific. I think this picture rather sums up the 90s better than I could without writing a whole fucking essay.
- Oh my god r66! I had those and wore them everyday. They literally look just like mine, they are dusty where mine would be. I shrieked like a girl on seeing that photo!
- And this one from 1995.
- The technology differential is huge. It's easy to underestimate how much society has changed because we adapted with the changing technology, but if you were to drop a high school student from 2013 into 1993 and ask them to write a paper, how would they do it?
Many people don't even know what the Dewey decimal system is anymore, or even how to quickly find information without googling. Would they know how to work a typewriter? (I know there were home computers back then, but plenty of people were still using their trusty typewriters in '93.)
And based on the teenagers I know today, they'd be bored out of their minds without their smartphones.
- guy ponytails
- When I think of the 90s I think of talk shows, chat rooms, "New Age" spirituality, minimalism in design, 70s nostalgia, generic Gap clothing, military inspired gear (combat boots, army jackets, camouflage, etc.), Lolita style dressing (babydoll dresses, Mary Jane shoes, Keds, etc.), fetish/boudoir/underwear as outerwear clothing(corsets, bustiers, bandeau tops, lace, crushed velvet, leather, chokers, stiletto heels, etc.), Hip-hop wear (baggy, oversized everything!), Ceasar haircuts, the "Rachel" hairdo, rave culture, trip-hop/acid jazz/jungle/deep house/electronica/drum and bass/trance/ska, Reggae resurgance, the OJ trial, Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas, alternative becomes mainstream, cheesy T.G.I.F. sitcoms, Julia Roberts THE movie star, ripped from the headlines movies of the week, safe sex becomes imperative, etc.
- I grew up in the 90s and the only good thing about that decade was television was great (Seinfeld, Fresh Prince, Married With Children, Blossom, and Roseanne were my favorites) and music was way better (until the last few years when cheesy pop made a comeback).
Other than that though, it sucked. It was still a very homophobic time, gays still had few rights and there was no gay marriage anywhere in the world yet. School was horrible - there were no gay/straight alliances back then and nobody cared about gay kids getting bullied back then.
Also, things like a computer, cell phone, and internet access were luxuries back then and usually only people with money or business people had those things. It wasn't until the early 2000's that they started becoming affordable.
I don't miss that decade at all.
- I think in terms of technology changes, you can't beat the 90s. You started with landlines and answering machines and typewriters. PCs were huge, underpowered and expensive. Music was on vinyl and tape. Data communication took place via Fax.
By the end of the decade everyone had a mobile phone. Everyone had a PC and was on the internet. Music now came in digital format you could take wherever you went.
Compare that to the 00s-10s and what did we gain? Capacity. More resolution, more storage, and faster data speeds. And err... what else, really? And everything is poorly-made crap now, whereas in the 90s things were still built to last. If you bought a good make like a Sony you knew it'd work for years. This is no longer the case.
- Oh my, r73 nails it, right down to the bustier I bought at Contempo Casuals and used to wear to parties.
- [quote] after the early years of the decade there were more jobs than people to fill them and people had more money
[quote] after the early years of the decade there were more jobs than people to fill them and people had more money
This is true. My nephews had their pick of jobs at Target, Banana Republic, Lechter's, Fortunoff's, Border's, Abercrombie and Fitch, Bombay Company, Frank's Nursery and Crafts, Pergaments, Rickels, Triangle Pacific, Gap, Kids Gap, Baby Gap, Blockbuster, Barnes and Noble, Rite Aid, Sam Goody/f.y.e/Coconuts, Tower Records, The Wiz, Virgin Megastore, KBs, Toys R Us, Playworld, Warner Brothers stores, Disney stores, Sharper Image, Discovery stores, Circuit City, Linens N Things, Caldors, Odd Lot, Computer City, Egghead Software, Brooks Pharmacies, EXPO, compUSA, Herman's, Incredible Universe, ComputerLand, Zany Brainy, TCBY, Hallmark Stores, Service Merchandise, Noodle Kanoodle, Bugle Boy, KidsRUs, Genovese, Levitz, Seaman's, Channel Home Centers, Le Gourmet Chef, WicksNSticks, Office Warehouse, Country Curtains and the myriad multiplex cinemas in the area.
- Not as much fun as the '80s, but better than the '70s. Everyone was walking around high as kite after reading their stock statements, until...
- It was all about being "politcally correct". It was exhausting, worrying about offending someone. Everyone was so sensitive! it drove me nuts.
- Texting was cheaper in Europe than in the US. That's why Americans used cellphones to call rather than to text. It wasn't until the 2000s that texting came in an add-on package. I have friends who still don't text because it's not in their phone package.
We had a cellphone in the 1990s. It was Motorola and it was fairly big. It didn't have a texting option. We used it mostly in our car. When we went on a seaside vacation, they hadn't included a phone in our (exorbitant) cost. Rather than add a phone, we just used the mobile. We even called it "the car phone" even though it wasn't a real car phone. There was a monthly fee and then a per-minute charge. It was spendy.
I remember being on the road and the car ahead of me was filled with tiny juvenile delinquents, giving me the finger and pretending to shoot me and wadding up paper they were threatening to throw out the window at me. I reached down, picked up the mobile phone, pretended to dial 911 and pretended to be giving the police the car's license number. Those kids snapped to attention, turned their backs on me and quietly sat in the back of their car.
Their mother must have wondered wtf happened. Anyway, cell phones were still pretty rare then. I think it was 1993.
- Oh thanks R80! I think one of the reasons txt was/is so popular in the UK was because it was ridiculously cheap like you say.
- But we aren't talking about the UK. Our biggest glimpse of cell phones was Zack Morris and Gordon Gecko. My best friend's dad was a doctor and he had one, but it was weird, Why don't you guys beep me when you think of something?
- [qoute] But we aren't talking about the UK
He asked why Americans didn't text much back in the 90s. The answer is there wasn't a cheap add-on $10 per month/1,000 text plan back then in the US. Texts were the same price as phone calls. In Europe, texting was much cheaper than calling, so everyone in Europe was texting years before we were.
- Right r83, we aren't talking about the UK, as the person you quoted was.
- a blur for me I was in my 20s. Music WAS NOT all that. Grunge ick, R&B ick. Rap in the 90s was somewhat tolerable. Pop Music was almost non existent.
Dot com money was everywhere in the mid to late 90s - early 90s when I graduated college were tough times to find a job.
The 80s were infinitely better IMHO
- They were fabulous, OP. We were all wearing flannel and chinos with multiple side pockets while we were receiving blowjobs from Monica Lewinsky and listening to Celine Dion. And then we'd go see Meg Ryan look adorable in another shallow romantic comedy and then go home to watch Seinfeld.
- The '90s were fun.
Actors ruled in the '90s.
- The drugs, the clubs, the sex!
E and K, Sound Factory and Roxy in NYC, the Fridge and Trade in London, so happy the music is starting to come back. Real back rooms in NY, and club nights that were actually interesting.
This is #1 in the UK this week and sounds like Inner City from 1991.
- Let's not get bogged down in the details of ancient talk plans. This is what the 90s was like. Getting very stoned at night at uni in halls with my pal listening to this whilst we talked and surfed random shit on Geocities at slow dial up speed lol.
- The thread title wasn't region specific was it, I was looking forward to ayb's essay, would be a bit of insight for everyone.
As far as mobile phones go, there was Zack Morris and also of course Beverly Hills 90210. Those brick ones were ridiculous, only the likes of stock brokers used them in the 80s.
- Lots of great music in the 90s.
Dave Matthews (who I can't even listen to now), Duncan Sheik, Technotronic, Neneh Cherry, Rhythm Nation, Beastie Boys, Oasis, Dishwalla, TLC, C+C Music Factory, Spice Girls, Alanis...Vogue, Erotica, Ray of Light.
And that's just the tip...
- r86 isn't far off. The tone of the 90's was longing and leave 'em wanting more. We were longing to find out if Rachel and Ross would get together. We wanted more of Jerry Seinfeld and his shallow friends. I bet this is a joke thread to make fun of us elders, but the joke is on whoever started it. I loved the OJ and Menendez trial. I was very hot in the 90's and had a blast. In 20 years, when they post a "how great was 2002" thread, you can relive your glory days there, we will all be gone. Oh and good luck having a "where you when Kennedy was killed?" moment. We took that with OJ.
- Ah, R90 now you're making me feel bad. I'll summarise a bit.
Britpop started off as shoegaze or baggy. Best typified by Ride and The Happy Mondays, respectively. Then Blur rediscovered a retro vibe with their "Parklife" album and everything became about YOOF nostalgia, a sort of dippy patriotism and drugs. Then along came Trip-Hop and it became what was called the 'Pre-millennium tension' scene, best exemplified in Tricky and Portishead, and of course "OK Computer" happened and Radiohead became the new Pink Floyd. By the end of the decade it was all about Big Beat- nuff said!
Fashion started off Baggy or Grunge, went Mod and then kind of retro 70s. I remember dark purple, and brown was everywhere in 1999, it was all about that and the Levi twisted jeans. If you had a black shirt with pointy collars and a Chinese dragon on it, so much the better.
Channel 4 started off the decade as an arty, youthful, Guardian-reading sort of TV station and by the end of the decade was much more American, cheap and fast. After that it went into reality lifestyle decline.
The Commodore Amiga was the computer to have at the start, and by the end it was boring old PCs. It's amazing, but a 512K floppy used to be capable of running extended 'demos' (this was a big scene) by manipulating the Amiga's custom chipsets. This was actual programming. It's all very flabby now, in comparison. It was the multimedia decade. A term you never here anymore.
If you're looking for the year it all started going to shit, it's 1998. That was the year of Fatboy Slim, Britpop went prog, and the Nokia PAYG phone was the thing most people in their 20s got that Christmas. It also became clear that Tony Blair wasn't going to deliver us from Thatcherism, and it would be business as usual. At the time, I was 19/20, at uni, stoned, and having a great time. But looking back, that was a future echo of what we could expect from the 00s (misery and shit music).
The last amazing thing about the 90s was that you get get quite drunk on a tenner. Fags started at £2 in 1990 and ended at around £3.50 in 1999. Hardly compares with the £4 to £8 between 2003 and now.
In conclusion, it was a great decade really. There were shit parts but nothing as horrific as the 00s. There was a lot more freedom, a lot more money and people were largely embarrassed by the 80s. Culture had yet to be swallowed by the corporations, and TV was miles better because there were less channels and a lot of talent on them. We didn't realise it at the time, but we were really being spoiled. Even the adverts had properly creative people involved in them, not like now where it's all BUY THIS- very 1950s really.
Don't believe me? Check this. The idea an advert brought The Velvet Underground into my life seems insane now. But it did.
- They were like now, only with more leather at the bar.
- I'm curious as to why people like R39 don't consider the white listeners and performers of Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Soul, R&B, House, Country, Folk, Disco, Doo-wop, and on and on to be "wiggers"? A woman named Billie Holiday essentially revolutionized modern singing; therefore, if you sing whether or white or black you're likely emulating elements of Billie the n-word. Also, why is Elvis not considered a wigger? Did he not wigg out? Didn't the DL fave Dusty Springfield wigg out as well?
- Ecstasy and Raves, Courtney Love and a booming economy
- Like I said, this sort of thing came on one floppy disk. There was a big pirate/underground demo scene. To put that into context, this was 0.5MB of data.... to do this. A modern equivalent of this kind of graphical output would take about half a GB these days.
If you don't believe limitation makes people more creative- check this out.
Damn, wine can make you nostalgic :S
- Burning Man before it went corporate
Sassy and Big Brother magazine
Ben is Dead zine - so many zines
Barry McGee AKA Twist - that kind of new graf art
Heroin - The Viper Room and its notorious mirrored shooting gallery
Pavement and Royal Trux and Redd Kross on tour
Indie scenes city to city
Getting into clubs because you knew where they were, not because of how much money you had.
Bad cybermovies that didn't get it right until The Matrix
Stand up comedy was a thing, commingled with poetry or personal tales
Coffee houses that attracted all walks - this is pre-Starbucks
Cities had unique personalities visually
It was uncool to worship money and materialism ('80s blowback)
- The early 90s were fun ... Madonna was at her peak with Vogue, catchy dance/R&B music abounded, clothes were kooky but innocent(parachute pants, anyone?), Hollywood still occasionally produced a movie for adults, Must See TV was actually compelling ... the economy was the shits but there wasn't the omnipresent "fear culture" that we have right now ... The beginning of the end was Grunge. Everything became increasingly homogenous and repressive after that.
- Oooh great summation there, ayb. I could only have done that with constant wiki checking, shit memory.
The decade did start off good, I do like a bit of shoegaze like MBV. In particular, 1991 was a high water mark.
While Britpop was a very exciting time much of the music was stale in reality. But it was great to see indie dominate the charts for once. Suede don't get enough credit for kind of kicking it off and many say Modern Life is Rubbish was the start of it, but that came at the wrong time.
Your post reminded me of the Criminal Justice Act, it all started out with raves. I had an Amiga but could never get the hang of it like I did with the Commodore 64, so was pleased when I was playing Wipeout on the Playstation.
Adverts were definitely better then, some say they're a waste of creativity but many went on to become film directors. Music video no doubt peaked in the 90s. Big Brother and the early incarnation of X Factor, Pop Idol didn't start till 2000, that was the beginning of the end.
Did you watch The Word, ayb?
- Same here R13. Rock doesn't really do it for me but there were some nice alternative rock songs in the 1990s (the 1980s Hair bands aside from Aerosmith were dreadful).
I think music was just good in the 90s period. I liked the early days of rock music like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Beatles, Janis, Tina, Hendrix, Buddy Holly (and many others but not so much Elvis) the most, though. It just sounded better.I think that was the last time rock had a significant international presence. Today it can't be compete nationally but especially internationally with Pop/ Dance/R&B/Hip Hop/Country and other genres. But DL has some sort of obsession with the genre. I think they associate it with masculinity and apparently some other things.... Oh well. I could like any musical genre as long as it sounds good.
- [r87] Super Models ruled the 90's. The birth of the super model, in fact.
- I finished college in 1994 - perfect time to read this newfangled wave called the Internet! I took six months off after college to backpack around the world, then returned and got a job at a dot-com startup a couple of weeks later. I was already computer-literate, having owned several computers since '88 or so and having been online since '92. I also taught myself HTML, which back then NO ONE knew.
The next six years were the most awesome wave! Jumped from dot-com to dot-com. Stayed at one long enough for it to go public. Made a nice (but not massive) pile from my stock options, and then hopped over to another startup. Then the Web 1.0 sky started falling in 2000, and I was laid off from my last dot-com job in February 2001, a few weeks before it filed for bankruptcy. God knows it was fun in the beginning - I was a vice-president and making six figures a year at 27! (not counting stock options)
I've moved on from working for other people; these days I work with angel investors mostly as a consultant on startup Web businesses (and, this being the iPhone era, phone apps). Hate to say it, but I think we're in another tech bubble right now, one that will burst sooner rather than later. VC firms have literally been raising more money than they know what to do with, and subsequently investing it in more and more ill-advised places. At least four sites that I advised *against* funding have already gone under. That said, companies these days at least have a realistic business model: instead of "let's wait to go public," it's "let's wait for Google or Facebook to buy us." FB already bought one company I had advised and invested in, which provided enough of a bump for me to spend this past winter in the Turks and Caicos. :-)
- [quote]The drugs, the clubs, the sex!
All that still goes on today. It's just that you've gotten older.
You're not nostalgic for the 90s per se--you're nostalgic for your experiences when you were younger.
- It's weird to remember how AIDS-y the early '90's were. All that ACT-UP stuff and Silence = Death signs on the bumpers of cars. The last half of the decade people were on the longevity drugs (that they fought so hard for), and most are still alive and kicking.
- [quote] Right [R83], we aren't talking about the UK, as the person you quoted was.
He asked about the US. It was a comparison question. Why didn't his American friends text back then, when it was common in the UK? That was the question. He wasn't only talking about what happened in the UK.
Besides, this isn't an America-only board. The OP asked what it was like in the 90s. He didn't ask what it was like in the US in the 90s. Our Canadian, European, Australian, South American and Asian posters have not been excluded from the OP's question.
So far as I know, we don't have anyone posting from Africa here or they would be welcome to answer as well.
- Cinema was pretty great throughout the decade, but particularly in the first half, with the flowering of the independents led by a pre-sellout Miramax. The output of Miramax alone was pretty astounding in terms of its artistic ambition: The Piano, Paris is Burning, The Three Colors Trilogy, Pulp Fiction, The Crying Game, Sex Lies and Videotape, Heavenly Creatures. Then around 1996/97 it started to turn toward more mainstream fare and Oscar bait.
Now, there were comic book movies, but they weren't taken so seriously. Think of the silly Batman movies. Its only now that adults are expected to revere superhero franchises as serious fare.
- [quote]Think of the silly Batman movies. Its only now that adults are expected to revere superhero franchises as serious fare.
WTF? "Superman" was certainly intended to be serious fare, considering they shelled out $5 million to Marlon Brando for a mere week of filming (and that's in 1978 dollars!). The first two, Tim Burton-directed "Batman" films certainly weren't intended to be comedy; they didn't become silly campfests until Joel Schumacher took over and ruined the franchise.
- from 1995-2000, you had to work at NOT finding a job.
- I worked.
I changed jobs ... had my job changed ... moved a couple of times... and that's about it.
Yes I am happy that I stayed employed, but lost my job later in 2007.
- My dad had cancer in 1991-92 and was in a hospital that had a "cheaper" area -- the patients came in with a care partner, got their treatment (chemo, eg) when the nurse buzzed them in their room and told them to report o the chemo area The patients did not get served dinner in their rooms -- they went to a cafeteria and they and their caretaker both had breakfast, lunch and dinner there. If the patient was feeling unwell, the care partner could go eat and bring some food back to the room for the patient. The patients had PVL catheters but only had an intravenous when they got chemo. No IV tubing or bags in the patient rooms.
There were only two nurses for about 25 patients. The nurses buzzed the patient when it was time for medication and the patient went up to the desk and took the medication from the nurse. If the patient was nauseous from chemo, they could buzz the nurse and she would come to the room and give an injection. The area where the chemo was given had great views of the East River. They had a support group for AIDS patients, where patients talked about having AIDS, the latest treatments, etc. My dad asked if there coud be a support group for cancer patients too, because there was not much interaction between the cancer patients. Everyone was in a private room and the doors were often closed. I don't know if they ever started a cancer support group.
This was going to be the "care of the future," where family membersand/or friends would help with the care (washing, dressing, meals, observation) of patients while nurses stayed at the "care station" most of the time. It was going to have a much lower cost than a "regular" hospital. It was quite nice; like a hotel.
They shut down the "cooperative care" section of the hospital as soon as insurance companies switched to managed care in NYC in the mid-90s. Hospitals slashed middle management and tossing patients out of the hospitals ASAP and not admitting patient's for cancer, heart failure, hemodialysis, endoscopy, etc became the "care of the future." Now cancer patients get chemo on an outpatient basis, hemodialysis units are in strip malls and congestive heart failure patients are "tuned up" and released in a few hours at the cardio unit.
- [quote]And everything is poorly-made crap now, whereas in the 90s things were still built to last.
- [quote] you had to work at not finding a job
[quote] I worked. I changed jobs... I had my job changed... moved a couple of times
Me, too. I worked, went to school, changed jobs. I had two per diem jobs at the same time and made my own hours. I got every job I applied for. I had several part-time jobs with full time benefits.
I left my job in 2001 and said, "I'll take the summer off and return to work in the fall." I started a job in late August. By October, the job went away, thanks to 9/11. People stopped buying what we were selling. It was considered frivolous.
I applied for another job, got hired and was then told never mind. They too had been adversely affected by 9/11. In a year, they were out of business.
I was sporadically employed a few times in jobs that were impossible to do thanks to cuts. At one job, the boss fired his 2 secretaries (single mothers who'd worked for him for years) and 2 office nurses and replaced them all with one office manager and a med tech.
All of a sudden, I was asked to give the names and phone numbers of all my previous supervisors on my resume. WTF? Some of them were dead. Some had left their jobs and married after I left and I had no idea where they were or what their married surnames were. One place had an acting supervisor I'd never even met. I didn't know her name. She never showed up on the unit and couldn't give me a recommendation because she never heard of me. It was crazy. In the past, I'd been only asked when and where I worked at previous jobs. If I couldn't remember exactly when I started or left, personnel would say, "Make something up! Don't worry about, they'll give us the dates when we check." Now, all of a sudden, it was Human Resources, not Personnel, and I had to have the exact start and stop dates or else I was falsifying my resume.
And yes, I blame Bush. The entire country changed when the 2000 election was stolen and 9/11 was allowed to happen. Any criticism of the New Corporate America was stifled. Remember Andrew Sullivan talking about the "Third Column"? Pricks. They destroyed the economy, destroyed unions, cut jobs, sent jobs overseas, issued thousands of HB1 visas after laying off tech workers, coddled bankers, propped up a housing bubble with the "ownership society," allowed pensions to be stolen and funded two losing wars with our future social security and Medicare dollars.
- fuck off r106 the reading is fundamental troll. You suck and your heavy handed condescension makes me think that you don't read, at least you don't get laid because you are tiresome.
- Piss off, R114. You're an asshole for constantly telling a poster that we weren't talking about anything outside of the US.
- Both my parents had government jobs.
My dad worked at a lab for the federal government; my mom worked for the state at a psych hospital. The pay was ok, but the benefits were great. They were free. And both parents had secure pensions.
When my parents retired, they had 3 kinds of medical insurance. Connecticut General, Travelers and Medicare. My father's entire cancer care cost a whopping $700 out-of-pocket.
Neither of my parents' jobs exist anymore.
- There were lots of good Irish movies
- R114, it shows.
- My favorite new music was by Beck.
- Lots of flannel and Doc Martens. Seinfeld and Friends. Taking forever to dial into the Internet (via AOL or Prodigy). Beepers. Huge cell phones that you basically used for emergencies. Adam Sandler and Phil Hartman on SNL. Nirvana. Beck. Ska (remember ska?) Beastie Boys and Luscious Jackson. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky's blue dress. Pulp Fiction.
- Things were not built to last in the 1990s. I know of buildings built in the 1990s, already torn down. Is that crazy or is it a good thing?
Aids was still a huge worry.
Movies were great and in the early 90s, grunge was fabulous.
- That's just it R116, fewer and fewer good jobs, low pay and no benefits unless you are one of the lucky ones.
I worked for 9 years for a great company that was privately owned. They treated their employees with care and respect. A big conglomerate made them an offer they could not refuse. Over a period of a year, all the employees were let go.
Our congress should make laws that protect the workers, not just the corporations.
- R121, and others. I was more referring to consumer electronics. I have a Walkman that was used almost every day between 1991 and 2005 before it finally fell apart.
Things like that were less plasticy and cheap. And the plastic they used was thicker and of a better quality.
- Superman and Burton's Batman movies had a sense of fun. They weren't so self-consciously serious and heavy as the new crop of comic book films. Nolan's Batman films are so self-important, I always remind fans that nevertheless they're still about a grown man running around in a cape.
- the music wasn't better. you guys just got older. everyone thinks the music they grew up with was "better".
- "... and 9/11 was allowed to happen"
It made me a very wealthy man. Why can't you be happy for me?
President Forever, Dick Cheney
- Ayb at r123, I feel you. I had a yellow plastic waterproof walkman and it lasted for years, it was very cool and not badly built.
- The 90s were DIVA heaven. Mariah, Whitney, Madonna, Janet, Celine, etc.
- The end of briefs. Boxers came into vogue. Thug music, sagging pants, baseball caps on backwards, HORRIBLE music.
- Safe sex 70s.
- Great chatrooms on AOL
- Let me elaborate that: hedonism was high (to quote Alex James of Blur ``I don`t remember a lot of 1995-it must have been good``) with lots of (safe) sex and drugs like X, fashion was a big deal but overall style was embarassing with all that fur and feathers and pvc and i thought already in mid-90s how one day it`s all going to look like the worst 70s style. There was also a lot of progressiveness in music-post-rock,all kinds of electronica all kinds of crossovers and the influence of German krautrock was ubiquitous,also techno was like 90s punk rock and house 90s equivalent to disco...generally 90s seemed to me in lot of it the upgraded 70s.
- Don't forget body glitter, Beanie Babies, and scrunchies!
- The Puppy Episode. Now I can't stand the annoying unfunny Ellen, she is smug about it; that it changed things but it was a big deal. A turning point of sorts. Without which we wouldn't have... Will & Grace.
But it was important and groundbreaking, right? And at least it had Laura Dern.
- What' up there, needledick?
- I am right now watching "Basic Instinct" and laughing at it. I remember my friend Jon and his dad who was a doctor. Jon always had the best of everything and he invited me to his house to watch a "dvd" of this new movie. It was bad then and it's bad now.
- I forgot that Jeanne Triplehorn used to be a hot chick. Now she will always be remembered as the matronly one of Bill's wives.
- R85 how was pop music nonexistant? The biggest selling acts of the decade worldwide were pop artists.
1. Garth Brooks- country pop
2, Mariah Carey-R&B/pop
3. Celine Dion-AC/pop
4. Madonna dance/pop sometimes AC and R&B (especially her 90s work)
5. Whitney Houston R&B/pop/AC sometimes dance
- r138 is right. As I stated earlier, Garth was huge in the 90's. We all listened to him and Pearl Jam.
The 1990s were a revelation.
I was born in the early-1970s. My first voting-eligibility election was 1992. Just prior to the day, when it was becoming clear Bill Clinton would unseat George Bush, the thought penetrated: "I'm not used to Democratic party presidents!"
That was no joke. 1972. 1980. 1984. 1988. All won by Republicans. It was great to see their wall come tumbling down. I did not despise George Bush -- his son is the one who is completely an abomination (how telling that he's now an artist; so was Hitler) -- but it was very refereshing. And it permanently changed the map. California. Connecticut. Delaware. District of Columbia. Hawaii. Illinois. Maine. Maryland. Massachusetts. Michigan. Minnesota. New Jersey. New York. Oregon. Pennsylvania. Rhode Island. Vermont. Washington. Wisconsin. No Republican has won any of them since the 1980s. (With Minn., it's not happened since 1972; with D.C., it has never happened.) Add Iowa, New Hampshire, and New Mexico for coloring red just once -- but when Democrats win the presidency those states carry.
The 1990s and Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton … it was great for politics to see the nature of the beast we call the Republican party. Them fuckers got really spoiled with how they won presidential elections. And we still see their rotting souls trying to claw and scratch their way back in power -- sucking off the Koch brothers, fucking with state legislations and with the dumbass voting electorates who supported their return to power, etc.
- [quote]I am right now watching "Basic Instinct" and laughing at it. Jon always had the best of everything and he invited me to his house to watch a "dvd" of this new movie. It was bad then and it's bad now.
When BASIC INSTINCT was released on DVD in 1997 it was no longer a "new movie." It came out in 1992 and had already been out on VHS, even a director's cut VHS.
Incidentally, TWISTER (1996) was both the first film to be released on DVD, and the last to be released on HD-DVD!
- Those old DVDs were rubbish, didn't you have to turn them over to the other side like records? Talk about defeating the purpose.
- Oy. It seems way too soon to have 90s nostalgia.
(but indeed, it's 20 or more years since and that's about when it starts)
- R142. what are you talking about? My family was one of the first to get a DVD player (c. 1997) and we didn't have to turn the DVD over. We just put it in like a CD. The one thing we remarked about was that we didn't have to rewind them anymore and could skip to chapters.
- Some of them were. It depended on the film.
- R142/R145, the only ones I remember turning over were the long, epic ones, like GONE WITH THE WIND. Instead of 2 discs, you just had one but turned it over when Part One was finished.
- There was definitely great pop music in the 90s r138, but that mainstream crap you list is just awful, the worst of it.
- Hmm I think Gone With the Wind is still 2 discs (thank god!).
Maybe it was a Region 2 thing but I had to get the US import of the out of print Sweet and Lowdown and it was one of those turn it over ones.
The Color Purple was definitely one. I didn't get a DVD (combi!) player till well into the 00s and these type of early ones annoyed the fuck out of me and I'd always see if a more recent alternative was available.
I did want a DVD player back then though as I remember the hype in the late 90s. Just as well I never got that laserdisc player in the early 90s.
- R147 according to the United World Charts, they were the 5 biggest selling music artists worldwide of the decade.
No grunge acts among the decades top 5 biggest sellers!
- I wasn't deputing that r149, but it's still awful music, generally of the elevator variety.
- For the hell of it here are the top 5 biggest selling music artists worldwide decade by decade
1. Michael Jackson
4. Bruce Springsteen
1. Garth Brooks
2. Mariah Carey
3. Celine Dion
5. Whitney Houston
2. Britney Spears
3. Robbie Williams
4. Norah Jones
- House music and MDMA.
Fabulous parties with a sea of smiling faces.
- "Hi, my name is _________ and I'm an alcoholic."
- The streets flowed with acid wash jeans, and their were bangs as far as the eye could see!!!!
- 1990s, ahhh!!. i watched "Star Trek, The Next Generation" everyday.
- Be Kind, Rewind!!...or you faced a fine
- Pokemon trading cards
Talk to the hand
faded jeans with holes in them
Georgetown Hoyas Jackets
Black and Latino girls with their baby hair curled into an s and gel plastered onto the side on their heads
My mom at her happiest
NBC Movie of the Week
- Dolly the Sheep/Michael Joradan/Princess Diana
- r157 nails it. And I am sorry to hear that your mom isn't happy now.
- Remember the mini backpacks that were all the rage circa 1995? The girls in my high school (central MA) used them as purse substitutes.
- r161. I hate those!
In my HS these fat wide chicks always carried them and I hated seeing thse wide backs nd asses with a mini bag resting on there
- There was a disco revival 20 years ago. I sincerely doubt these 1992 clubbers are dancing to Sylvester but there was a disco revival nonetheless.
- Beep me 911