Posts Tagged ‘heroin chic’

The 90s were our golden age, so why did we try so hard to turn it into the 70s? Seriously, Generation X!

Clinton was Carter All Over Again
Let’s start with our choice in Presidents. Wanting to copy our parents’ generation, we elected another liberal-minded, white male Democrat from the South. Perhaps we believed his idealism was what the country needed after back-to-back terms from Reagan and Bush Sr. Something had to account for the widespread optimism that marked the beginning of our decade.

The 1990s was the Comeback of Smack
Heroin was another 70s reject that needled its way into the 90s. What was up with that? helped make the 90s the 70s all over again. Twenty years earlier, only losers shot up the junk; but by the time the 90s were in full swing, everyone was dancin’ with Mr. Brownstone. Yeah, he just wouldn’t leave us alone.

It didn’t help that many of our idols were hooked on smack – Kurt Cobain being the poster boy – and movies such as The Basketball Diaries, Trainspotting, and Pulp Fiction made us all wanna put a spike in our veins … even if it was just the tip, just to see how it feels. Even supermodels were sporting the “heroin chic” look — pale skin, dark circles under the eyes, and a skeletal frame. (They weren’t your granddad’s pin-up girls!)

90s Grunge was 70s Rock All Over Again
The Seattle sound, aka Grunge, defined our decade. This was another 70s rehash. Heavy guitar riffs the likes of KISS, Zeppelin, and Cooper married 70s punk rock sensibilities to create the musical sensation that swept the nation. And speaking of music, remember Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits? Released in ’95, this compilation featured an A-list roster of 90s bands covering cartoon theme songs from the 60s and 70s. (Matthew Sweet’s rendition of Scooby Doo, Where are You? was positively sublime.)

The 1990s was the 1970s on Film and TV
With Dazed and Confused, Hollywood helped the 90s pay homage to the 70s on film. Who would’ve thought a movie about 70s stoners on their last day of school would strike a chord with us 90s slackers? And for the ultimate 90s street cred, film icon and 70s pop culture connoisseur Quentin Tarantino included it on his list of the 10 greatest films of all time. TV threw its hat in the ring with That 70s Show in ’98, offering Gen X one last wistful fling with an idealized version of its collective childhood. Kickass, Kelso!

We Were Given a Decade and we Blew It!
Like so many generations before us, Generation X failed to live up to its promise. The 1990s were supposed to be our chance to shine, yet we spent most of it looking backward through the perpetual haze of our beer/dope goggles. We’re halfway through 2014 and we’ve replaced our dreams with gluten-free meal-planning, a discerning taste for obscure micro-brews, and a wide-eyed wonderment for the latest flavors at Biggby Coffee. Anything to keep our mind off the whining sound of our car’s engine as we head out on our dead-end cubicle drive.

It’s times like this that make me wonder, where were you while we were getting high?