Comment permalink

It's The 90s!

Everything Is Terrible (a sort of internet art collective) has made a "supercut" of people saying "It's the 90s!" in movies and TV shows from the 1990s. This is surprisingly engrossing and funny, and it gives me that warm fuzzy feeling that I get from thinking about the 90s all over again.
Maybe because everyone uses that phrase as shorthand for "We're living in the future, so don't be so stuffy and old-fashioned." That's how we felt in the 90s: we really were living in the future, and everything was as shiny and awesome as you could possibly imagine. So get with the program, and stop being such an old fuddy duddy! Talk deals on your cellular phone and fax someone! (And while you're at it, why not party like it's 1999?)
I spent a long time trying to think about what the current version of this would be. Obviously people don't say "It's the 2010s!" or "It's the naughts!" For one thing, we never did decide what to call the last decade. And if we had, we would most likely use that phrase with a world-weary, "what'cha gonna do?" kind of air. Like, "If you're going to the airport you'd better wear slip-on shoes. It's the 2010s!"
The phrase I think most closely corresponds would be either "In these post-9/11 days" or "in these difficult financial times." Depressing, right? No wonder we're so nostalgic for the 90s! Financially speaking our country wasn't that much better off, particularly for the first half. But dang, we were optimistic about it anyway!
Another thing I particularly like about this clip is the sources they chose, many of which are quintessentially 1990s in and of themselves. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Party of Five, Fresh Prince (twice!), Die Hard, Married With Children, Roseanne, Sleepless in Seattle, Austin Powers… it's like a parade of 1990s awesomeness.
(In fact, this clip would be a great 1990s quiz! How many sources can you name without cheating?)
What this clip really illustrates is that everyone was very enthusiastic about the 1990s while they were happening. And that certainly doesn't seem to be the case today. Things weren't that much better in the 1990s than they were today, but everyone was a lot more hopeful and optimistic about it. And that's the real heart of a lot of 1990s nostalgia. If only we could be that enthusiastic about our own time!