Do you think the ’90s were five years ago?
January 10, 2021 7:38 AM   Subscribe

 
That's the beauty of being gen-x: we were never cool in the first place.
posted by signal at 7:45 AM on January 10 [61 favorites]


Yeah, this genXer cannot relate to any of this.

And I think the 90s were 10 years ago. 2019 was 5 years ago.
posted by Foosnark at 7:47 AM on January 10 [84 favorites]


I’m in favor of anything that helps people remember that despite a decade+ of thinkpieces and hot takes, Millennials are old and shitty now too.

It occurs to me that I could do one of these specifically for anime and manga shit. God—I could make a very specific demographic of nerds just shrivel up and become dust. That might be fun.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:51 AM on January 10 [19 favorites]


I was born in late October 1964, technically 10 weeks too early to be Gen-X (if you insist on absolutely rigid annual boundaries). I have two elder siblings who are both clearly boomers: I'm the one who grew up wearing t-shirts and listening to synthpop and new wave.

I blame the invention of personal computers, frankly.

(Also, yes: the 90s were ten years ago and 2019 was another ten years ago, sideways into a parallel universe where I did not have the personal mobility of a frightened mediaeval peasant.)
posted by cstross at 7:51 AM on January 10 [36 favorites]


Oof.

I mean, I think this experience is pretty much near universal but it still hits hard. I definitely find myself looking around the room for the adult sometimes and then being like “oh... oh fuck.”

I work in a teaching hospital as a preceptor in a program that requires a bachelor’s degree, and very soon my interns will not have been born in the nineties and I’m really struggling with this fact.
posted by obfuscation at 7:52 AM on January 10 [25 favorites]


Have you ever called it “Ecstasy”?

Shut UP.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:55 AM on January 10 [54 favorites]


As one of the oldest Gen-Xers (or youngest Boomers), all I can say is "Welcome to the party, pals".
posted by octothorpe at 8:09 AM on January 10 [25 favorites]


[ gently chuckling ]

Start that daily exercise routine now, kids, or when you're my age you'll look like your grandparents. Aerobic capacity, stamina and strength are all important. And don't skip leg day!
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:12 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


The most hilarious thing about that article are the screenshots from The Big Chill, where all these characters who are supposedly confronting their incipient middle age look like they're in their late twenties and maybe cleaned up a bit for job interviews.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:13 AM on January 10 [18 favorites]


There was a meme circulating back around 2013-14 with a picture of that ubiquitous Steve Madden slinky wedge that said "if you owned these shoes it's time for a night serum" and that damage has never really left me.
posted by phunniemee at 8:21 AM on January 10 [30 favorites]


Have you ever called it “Ecstasy”?

Why are they bringing Hedy Lamarr into this?
posted by TedW at 8:24 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


So if I only scored about a 3-4.5 out of 20 because I wasn't cool/paying attention to pop culture at the time, does that make me extra old, or younger than my years? (Or just off in some different parallel universe, as cstross hypothesized?)
posted by eviemath at 8:29 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I grew up in the 60s (wait a minute I NEVER 'grew up'). All around me I heard the music of a new 'clean-cut' group of fun guys called 'The Beatles'. Their alter-egos were a bunch of 'dangerous' edgy musicians called 'The Rolling Stones'. I grew my hair and listened to Joni, CSN, Mamas and the Papas etc. My hair and beard grew long and longer. With a change of shirt and jeans I went and listened to the Stones, the Who, Hendrix, and Iron Butterfly. Along the way bands like Hawkind, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, came along. Prog Rock and large stadium, bands arose. Edgy, 'alternative' music like The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, and a new band called AC/DC popped up. West Coast music with The Eagles, Doobie Brothers. Along came punk rock with The Sex Pistols, Ramones, and others of their ilk. Glam rock as personified by the likes of Bowie in one of his many changes. Michael Jackson, The Cure, XTC etc etc etc The list is long, the labels and timelines and categories equally so. I NEVER grew up.

Within all of this I refused and still refuse for someone or something to try and label me as being 'of a certain category' or type. All this article does is try to make you look at people who SEEM to be in a category created by someone else to reinforce stereotypical labels and types believed to be attributable to people 'of a certain age'. This means you too remember.

I look around me at people who are born at/around the same time as me and I see vague physical similarities. Apart from that, what is seen as 'normal' by my supposed cohort is not what I aspire to. I refuse to adopt the cloak of blandness and conformity that this sort of article espouses and would like you to chortle to and finger-point about. At some point the finger is likely to be pointed at you too and you may not like it or what you see about yourself.

Seriously, do not grow up and take that badge off of you (twist on Dylan lyric). 'Keep on rockin' in the free world' and other similar lines..., dance your ass off to WAP or whatever floats your boat, simply be yourself and stop (or start!) spending time in Emo-esque, paranoid retrospection. Be you!
posted by IndelibleUnderpants at 8:30 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


These works of art examined the experiences of aging Boomers—the first generation to consider being young and cool part of their identity—making peace with the fact that they were now older and uncool.

Woah.

Even now I feel like being young and cool (or at least ironically uncool) is part of my identity. Reader, I was born in 1969.

It actually makes no sense at all for "being young" to be part of your identity, since you're really only a young adult for a small sliver of the lifespan.
posted by selfmedicating at 8:31 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


I definitely find myself looking around the room for the adult sometimes and then being like “oh... oh fuck.”

This happened to me in a very memorable and vivid way: I was out hiking in Yosemite back when I was in my mid-30s, up near Taft Point/Sentinel Dome, and an unexpected and pretty strong hail/lightning storm hit during an otherwise sunny day. So I'm in the forest, up on a mountain, getting really pelted by large hail but afraid to shelter under a tree because lightning, and finally decide to just head up under a big pine and wait it out because what else are am I gonna do, it's a storm and I'm out in it.

Right behind me was a group of young adults (early 20s), all speaking German, who rushed up under the tree with me and were pretty freaked out. We kind of said 'hi' and stood around some, and then a couple of the guys in their group started chatting with me about the storm, and how bad it was, and wow there sure is a lot of lightning right around us, and I slowly realized that they were all really freaked out, and were looking at me for reassurance and direction--one of the guys even said "well, what should we do??" and they all sort of just looked expectantly at me.

It was at that moment I realized that, to everyone looking at me, I was unequivocally the adult in the room, even among a bunch of young(er) adults, and they really needed me to be the grown-up and reassure them and maybe keep them safe, and I just thought "holy shit, I am not ready for this," and then gently explained to them that this is nature and that there's nothing to be done but wait out the storm and hope that no lightning decides to take an interest in our area, and that we'd probably be fine. (That didn't reassure them much, and that was also when I learned something valuable about leading people in stressful situations--that has been quite useful to me as a musician, actually--which is that words don't really matter, only tone and body language will effectively communicate in high-pressure situations. So I started taking some slow, deep breaths to calm my body down, started assuming more relaxed postures, and looking every one of those terrified German kids in the eyes with relaxed-dad energy, and it totally worked and they calmed down and the storm passed and we went about our day and the silent reassurance I was able to give made me feel OLDER THAN I'D EVER FELT IN MY LIFE OH MY GOD DON'T THEY KNOW I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA, EITHER. So I spent the rest of the hike contemplating that.)

This article made an interesting point, though: for those of us (Xers and Millenials) who grew up in the Baby Boomers' wake, so much of the culture we consumed as young people was for Boomers, and so I've (as the author points out) always thought of middle age and mid-life crises and etc., as things that happen to people older than me, rather than things that happen to everyone at those stages of our lives, regularly, and so was surprised on some level when it started happening to me. My most recent You're Kind of Old Moment was right here on Metafilter, yesterday in the mega-thread, when it became clear that a fair cohort of our thoughtful and adult site members are too young to catch implicit Simpsons references that to me are completely obvious, because they're from episodes that aired ~25-30 years ago and so why would a typical 25- or 30-year-old know them at all? (I mean, they're perfectly cromulent episodes and all but assuming that they remain essential canon for today's young adults is...something An Old would do, actually.)
posted by LooseFilter at 8:34 AM on January 10 [88 favorites]


The "Hey Ya!" one was the one that made me feel targeted! The TVs in my dorm's dining hall only played like two music videos as I remember it (that one and "The Hardest Button to Button", if you were curious) so hearing it takes me back to a very specific set of sensory cues.

That said, my oldest child is in the second grade so I think I have more practice thinking of myself as old than most people my age. Once you have people calling you Mommy it's a bit harder to maintain the fiction that you're setting any trends.
posted by potrzebie at 8:34 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


I DISAGREE ABOUT THE BIG CHILL BEING A GOOD FILM AND NOT A GORIFICATION OF SELF-OBSESSION.

I'M GOING TO SIGN OFF MY WEBTV TO HAVE A REST. TTL Mabel!
posted by bonehead at 8:46 AM on January 10 [16 favorites]


The only ones I really related to are the economic one and the realization, which I had around 2006, that the younger generation doesn't care about Wayne's World. I'm not sure if it's because there's stuff I make a point of being well-adjusted about (I get a kick out of pointing out to people that "Basket Case" in 2020 was as old as "Mrs. Robinson" was in 94) or if it's just that I was sufficiently disconnected from other people in the 90's that I didn't imprint on a lot of stuff that was improtant to everybody else.

This article made an interesting point, though: for those of us (Xers and Millenials) who grew up in the Baby Boomers' wake, so much of the culture we consumed as young people was for Boomers

A thing that actually kind of hit me awhile back was thinking about- well, you've seen Malcolm in the Middle, right? The theme music plays over a montage that includes a lot of clips from old movies of the kind that were everywhere when I was a kid in the 80's and early 90's because they were old and cable and independent TV stations had collectively hundreds of hours a day to fill and old stuff like bad 50's horror movies were cheap as heck. Kids nowadays grew up first with cheap, readily available DVD box sets and then infinite streaming so there's no reason for them to ever encounter anything like that unless they specifically seek it out. That's the weird, oh-fuck-I'm-old thing for me.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:47 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


One of the things that helped me realize this was that there was a transition from SD to HD and from tape to DVD, which was illustrated whenever the Jon Stewart-era Daily Show would show a clip from before about 1999, and it looked like it was recorded in 1983.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:50 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I think the problem is we conflate "being young" with being unconventional and open to new ideas. Like, I know perfectly well that I wear comfortable shoes and have hairs growing out of weird places, so I'm not young. But when I think of myself as young, I mean that I'm not hanging on to old ideas. So we need a different word than young to mean this kind of flexibility.

Also - this association of being young with being mentally flexible kind of hides the fact that progressives are part of a tradition. For example equal rights aren't some kind of newfangled tomfoolery. People in my cohort were marching for gay rights. People in the boomer cohort were marching for civil rights. When we think that being young is the opposite of being conventional, we miss out on a lot of connections that can be made across generations.
posted by selfmedicating at 8:52 AM on January 10 [24 favorites]


Xennials unite! We're the best! ;)
posted by kfholy at 8:57 AM on January 10 [11 favorites]


I'm a late Millennial, but got on the internet very young, so I've consumed billions of kbs of discussions about how whatever Gen X touchstone is the coolest thing ever. I hope this has inoculated me from inflicting the same upon Gen Z.
posted by airmail at 8:57 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I am on the cusp of Boomer and Millenial. Yes, I am old by most standards. My kids are in their mid 20s. I first knew I was old at a concert. I went to see Phil Lesh & Friends at the Cap. I distinctly remember saying to a friend, "Wow, a lot of old people here." His reply, "You know a lot of them. They are our age and live in our town."

I agree with selfmedicating (aren't we all?). I break down age into physical age and mental age. Physically, things are breaking down. Don't get up in the morning and hit the hotel gym after eating a hit of acid and taking a Quualude at a show the night before, but am still willing to go to the show and drink copious amounts of bourbon.

I still think I think like a 14 year old. Willing to do stupid things. It is just that now people call them "Dad jokes" or "Dad bod" or Dad something, but mentally I have not changed since 1982. There was a point a few years ago when I turned 50 that I decided that I was going to embrace my age rather than fight it. "Sorry officer, I am old and I forgot I could not do that." is not much different than, "Sorry officer, fraternity prank."

Anyway, I have lived a successful life knowing that my kids can tell the difference between 1972 Grateful Dead and 1992 Dead. They listen to Neil Young. They ask me about Lynyrd Skynyrd. They listen when I tell them about my IBM XT computer or even about land line phones. They may even know what a POTs line is. They have seen Animal House, Blazing Saddles, Slap Shot, etc.

I am closer to 80 than I am to 30. That is sobering. But, what are you going to do, worry about it or live your life to the fullest?
posted by AugustWest at 9:07 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


LooseFilter, Boomers also "always thought of middle age and mid-life crises and etc., as things that happen to people older than me." We were growing up in the shadow of the Greatest Generation and someone in their thirties was OLD. I don't know about others, but my mother was 22 when she had me and that was LATE for her generation.

It amuses me to listen to people talking about "Millennials" when they mean teenagers. My Millennial kid is a parent and nearly 40 now.
posted by Peach at 9:10 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


37 and yep. Although I will say that those of my cohort who have also been Very Online since the Prodigy days tend to have more vernacular in common with zooms than with Xers. Makes it possible to pass a bit. A skill I have found immensely helpful when working on my first degree at this age.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:16 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


For this to be posted to metafilter the day after I turned 33 is a personal attack.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:17 AM on January 10 [20 favorites]


None of these resonated with me, what with being a member of Bill & Ted's Excellent Generation, but standing at my desk listening to Primus' 1991 album "Seas Of Cheese" and thinking about how the last time I heard this music was a couple weeks ago in a cafe, where the mid-twenties-at-best barista was playing a bunch of nineties alterna-pop sure did make me feel like An Old, and that sure is the feeling this whole article was trying to evoke with slightly different specifics.

I laughed out loud when the distinctive opening notes of King Missile's Detachable Penis echoed through the cafe, only to be very quickly replaced by the results of hitting NEXT SONG on that nineties playlist.
posted by egypturnash at 9:21 AM on January 10 [11 favorites]


ME: I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me.

TEENAGER: Huh? Is that from a movie or something?

ME: .....
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 9:23 AM on January 10 [67 favorites]


Sigh. The really sad thing about this is I mostly don't get these references despite having been born in 1982. I was not a cool kid. I didn't listen to popular music until the grunge era was winding down. I watched mostly YTV (boomers love it when I talk about Get Smart & Rocky and Bullwinkle with them) and was pretty much doing things like recording the audio from Megaman 2 on my NES onto cassettes to listen to later, or reading sci fi novels or such as Douglas Coupland and Haruki Murakami. My cultural reality was different enough from enough people my age that I struggle to connect with people that want to talk about the good old days with me. "Remember that SNL skit?"
"Nope, do you remember that episode of Wycliffe where the guy killed people with frog poison and it was terrifying watching him watch them die?"
posted by signsofrain at 9:30 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Most millennials I know feel "young" in the sense that they haven't hit the socioeconomic touchstones that stood for maturity in the past. It's hard to feel like an adult when you're still stuck living paycheck to paycheck and having little hope for things like home ownership and family.
posted by Ferreous at 9:41 AM on January 10 [27 favorites]


ICE COLD!

Oh god. *quiet sobbing*
posted by supercrayon at 9:51 AM on January 10 [25 favorites]


Those of you in your 30s? I'm so, so sorry, but you're NOT old. You *think* you're old but then when you turn 50 you're gonna be all, "Oh man, I thought 38 was old! I should have been thinking I was in my prime that whole time!"
posted by cooker girl at 9:57 AM on January 10 [44 favorites]


I am on the cusp of Boomer and Millenial.
This is the most vicious Gen-X erasure I have ever witnessed.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:59 AM on January 10 [135 favorites]


You're older than you've ever been,
And now you're even older,
And now you're even older,
And now you're even older.
You're older than you've ever been,
And now you're older still.
posted by praemunire at 10:05 AM on January 10 [21 favorites]


Hmm. I'm right on the older edge of their cutoff, so it's not surprising I'm missing some references, but I get 1:20, or possibly 2:20 if the correct answer to "Do you even know what they call it now" is "no." I barely recognize any of the names of people or the images. (I know one guys in a picture is from Beavis and Butthead, though I don't know which one he is. And I've heard of Amy Winehouse, and have been meaning to try some of her music since her debut. That's it.)

I remember the transition from being too young for MTV to being too old for MTV, which happened one day when I was 11.
posted by eotvos at 10:07 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one seeing "Read the rest of this story about culture with a free account"?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:15 AM on January 10


A few days ago there was a meme going around that now all a bouncer has to look for is a 1 at the front of your birth year to tell if you're old enough to drink - and the low gasp that it inevitably forced our of my younger friends was deeply satisfying (speaking as a Gen Xer who still remembers the day it dawned on me that the woman cutting my hair was born after the Bicentennial...)
posted by Mchelly at 10:16 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


...and I signed up for a free account, and now it wants me to upgrade to a paid membership.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:17 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


A number of these seem to predicated on the idea that you’d get them, if your family was well enough off to have cable tv, or had older siblings.

My wife and I are 82/83 respectively, and she gets almost all of these, and I do not; we come from quite different familial levels of wealth, and she had an older sibling by 4 years.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:18 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


It works in an incognito tab. Sorry for the derail.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:18 AM on January 10


Being on tumblr and also going to grad school after starting a 'career' brought me to my reckoning a lot earlier. But so much of the TFA is so specifically American that my Millenial experience is that of ever-faster globalization - the space between reading the expensive fan mags at the bookshop about buffy to finding realplayer clips to actually experiencing the show was emblematic of my early years, so my childhood and early teens resembled a Gen Xer (because we got syndicated shows late of course) but college onwards i was at par with current American culture. So a lot of the references to any minutiae that happened in the 90s i would've missed unless they're really mainstream (Friends) or on Nickelodeon.

That said I just chuckled over a tumblr reblog earnestly detailing how 'we' who were born in the 90s were the last kids to properly remember a childhood free of technology.
posted by cendawanita at 10:23 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


All I know is that after 20 years, the Supreme Court finally decided the election in favor of Al Gore.

I'm not kidding. Beavis and Butthead is still on the air ffs. I want the last 20 years back, or at the very least, I want reparations.
posted by saysthis at 10:24 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


the younger generation doesn't care about Wayne's World.

Clue: the older generation doesn't, either
posted by Rash at 10:38 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I'm a late Millennial, but got on the internet very young, so I've consumed billions of kbs of discussions about how whatever Gen X touchstone is the coolest thing ever. I hope this has inoculated me from inflicting the same upon Gen Z.

Bleh, yes. I’m 33 and for most of my young life I was bombarded with messages that I ought to be obsessed with 80s media from several years before I was born.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:49 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


lol older gen x here ('68) and LOL whatever. I would love to look and feel like I did at 40!!! 30s is not old. I think the economic ones are spot on (I never hated on millennials, they got a raw deal) but yeah, welcome to it. I'm glad gen x has always been ignored. I don't feel beholden to any cultural expectations for my age. I listen to what I like, wear what I want (oh wait, maybe that is just being old...)
posted by supermedusa at 10:52 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Did people 5-10 years older than me all watch Altered States? I mean, I watched Altered States but it’s older than any Millennial.
posted by atoxyl at 10:54 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


potrzebie: The "Hey Ya!" one was the one that made me feel targeted!

Ha, whereas I thought "this doesn't belong on the list as it is clearly targeting me, a 30-year-old Millennial". Speaking of which, 1990 was ten years ago but I, born in 1990, am somehow 30 years of age. The only possible explanation for this is that the last two decades were also the 1990s.
posted by capricorn at 10:55 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


The fuck are they talking about?

Were the 90s five years ago? Jesus F Christ, what planet have they been living on? September, when the entire west coast was on fire--THAT feels like five years ago. The 90s aren't just the Before Time at this point, they feel as remote as the goddam Renaissance
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:57 AM on January 10 [30 favorites]


I’m late 30s here but most of my friends are 5+ years younger because of the amount of times I’ve had to start my career over at an entry level job (graduated with my degree 2006, took an entry level retail job in 2010 and an entry level support job in 2015), and I’m definitely the old one with multiple kids. My millennial feel-old moment was when my son saw a commercial for some Star Wars Lego sets that weren’t giant expensive models or cool desktop accessories, but were like AT-ATs with battle features and he exclaimed “why are they making kids toys for that dad movie?”
posted by sleeping bear at 10:57 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I turned 34 in September and for some reason that number has hit me really hard and I spend a lot of time angsting about how The Pandemic is ruining the last vestiges of my youth, but I didn't get like any of the references in this quiz so now I'm 25 again
posted by goodbyewaffles at 10:58 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


“1. Do you say things like “Good for Olivia Wilde for hooking up with Harry Styles,” but also, your primary celebrity sex fantasy is about picking up Michael Shannon in an airport bar and then, two hours later, having animalistic sex at a Holiday Inn Express?"

*delicate cough*

"2. Do all your sex fantasies now involve airport bars and Holiday Inn Expresses, because you’ve been partnered for so long, your fantasies need to include a whole explanatory section about why you have all this free alone time (i.e. you’re at a professional convention in Cleveland, while your partner stayed home to attend a bat mitzvah)?"

Not exactly, because #PermaSpinster; it's more "where else would I meet, and briefly woo, Michael Shannon?" But also: obviously it's a layover situation (ha) for him, but what's my excuse for missing my flight when calling the pet sitter...
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:04 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


That's the beauty of being gen-x: we were never cool in the first place.


We weren’t even supposed to be here today.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:06 AM on January 10 [46 favorites]


Primus seems to be the limit. My kid will listen to almost any of the music of my youth happily, or at least will tolerate it. But when I put on Primus she says, "Dad, Primus? Come on!"
posted by 1adam12 at 11:18 AM on January 10


Recent conversation in my house:

Eleven year-old: What are you listening to?
Me: Evermore. See? I'm not so old. I'm listening to the new Taylor Swift album.
Eleven year-old: [laughs uproariously] ALBUM??!? Also, she's like thirty, so.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:18 AM on January 10 [24 favorites]


Clue: the older generation doesn't, either

Everybody seems to love Clue, though, which is pretty good news.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:22 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]



I mean, I think this experience is pretty much near universal but it still hits hard. I definitely find myself looking around the room for the adult sometimes and then being like “oh... oh fuck.”


I'm sixty-one and I've got news for you. It keeps happening.
posted by philip-random at 11:25 AM on January 10 [13 favorites]


Just wait until the first time you realize that the music playing in the supermarket is one of your favorite songs from high school. THAT is when you know you are closer to death than youth.
posted by ITravelMontana at 11:28 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


the first generation to consider being young and cool part of their identity

With the specific term "cool", sure, but the generations of Flaming Youth (1920s) and the Romantics had the same formation.
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven!
posted by clew at 11:28 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Have you ever called it “Ecstasy”?

I remember when it was called MDA.

I know, I know -- Ecstasy is MDMA, not MDA. But is it? Was it? Did you always do a lab analysis of what you were taking? All I know is that best Ecstasy I've ever taken was indistinguishable from the best MDA. What happened was they changed the name, started up the hype machine in the late 1980s and triple/quadrupled the price.

I do remember when marijuana was illegal pretty much everywhere.
posted by philip-random at 11:30 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I do wish we could move this thread to right before "The aim of art is to prepare a person for death". I suppose people scrolling down the main page will get them that way.
posted by clew at 11:31 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


i recall hearing a muzak version of jimi hendrix' third rock from the sun playing in a supermarket in the 80s, before i was 20. it was jarring, and from that moment i have been the adult in the room.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:33 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I do remember when marijuana was illegal pretty much everywhere.

That’s gonna be a weird one for the kids, for sure.
posted by atoxyl at 11:33 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


most vicious Gen-X erasure I have ever witnessed
"Define Irony."
~elevator door closes~
posted by bartleby at 11:35 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Xennial here and most of this went over my head. The Haley Joel Osment bit definitely made me feel old, though.
posted by May Kasahara at 11:38 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I'm so old I know at least twelve Simpsons references to explain aging that no one under 25 will recognize.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:39 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Actually, I'm so old I watched Simpsons episodes mocking Homer for being too old to get grunge AND the retcon where Homer was grunge and was made fun of for it because grunge was old, said episode also now being old.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:42 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I was born in '79, and I've always felt too young to be GenX, but too old to be a Millennial. I know a lot of the reference points of both generations, but I hit them at a different time in my life. I stand by the concept that I am official part of the Oregon Trail Generation, merrily looking at the other two generations with appropriate disdain.
posted by Zargon X at 11:45 AM on January 10 [15 favorites]


Have you ever called it “Ecstasy”?

Oh, is this the way they say the future’s meant to feel?
posted by betweenthebars at 11:47 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


NOT A GORIFICATION OF SELF-OBSESSION

I DON'T SEE WHAT'S SO WRONG WITH MOVIES WHERE AMINALS STAB SELF-OBSESSION WITH THEIR STABBY HORNS
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:48 AM on January 10


- Actually, I'm so old I watched Simpsons episodes mocking Homer for being too old to get grunge AND the retcon where Homer was grunge and was made fun of for it because grunge was old, said episode also now being old.

This is reminding me of the X-Files episode where Scully gets the ouroboros tattoo voiced by Jodie Foster.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:12 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I’m truly elderly but I had a kid late which not only messes with people’s perceptions of you but also with your own perceptions as you haul around diaper bags and play with toys, etc. But, my offspring is more than old enough to call me an asshole (although does not thank god) but can recite almost all the dialogue to the “steamed hams” exchange between Superintendent Chalmers and Principal Skinner despite never having watched The Simpsons with me at all. Thanks, internet!
posted by 41swans at 12:18 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I've been having a full-bore midlife crisis for a couple of years now, but the "Fuck, I'm old" hammer moment really hit hard somewhere between listening to my OBGYN talk to me about perimenopause last February and realizing that Ethan Hawke was credibly playing an old looking John Brown in "The Good Lord Bird" (which is fantastic, ps).

I won't even get into realizing how many of the (not even that much) younger people I know have never even heard of "The Legend of Billie Jean."
posted by thivaia at 12:24 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I was born in '79, and I've always felt too young to be GenX, but too old to be a Millennial.

'76 here, and same.

I know a lot of the reference points of both generations, but I hit them at a different time in my life.

Lots of weird contradictions for me. Like, I feel like I was both over- and under-parented in different ways. And both too young and too old to be a part of various economic/career booms. Etc. Etc.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:39 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Rather than launching the hair stylists giving spiral perms into the sun, I'd like to start with Strauss and Howe.

“Generations,” Joshua Glenn, Hi-Lo Brow, 02 March 2010 posted by ob1quixote at 12:43 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Born in 1983, but grew up under a rock so I don’t get these references.

1980 was twenty years ago, though.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:44 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I always find it extremely ironic that every single post on The Blue about “generations” gets like 100+ comments of clarifications and caveats, yet no one seems to come to the conclusion that perhaps “generational markers” are just Astrology for sociologists.
posted by sideshow at 12:46 PM on January 10 [19 favorites]


I am on the cusp of Boomer and Millenial.
This is the most vicious Gen-X erasure I have ever witnessed.


Things are gonna be OK. Have an OK Soda.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:48 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


1954-63: [Boomers] OGXers
1964-73:


the guy who wrote Generation X was born in 1961. Back to the drawing board.
posted by philip-random at 12:49 PM on January 10


1964-73: [Generation X, Thirteenth Generation] Reconstructionists
1974-82: [Generations X, Y] Revivalists>


Per his definitions, I'm a Revivalist, but I definitely feel more Reconstructionist. But maybe this guy should be Generation Beanplate, amirite folks?!
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:53 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Born in 1980. I was really annoyed to have graduated in the ‘02 recession, but holy crap in thank God I didn’t graduate in any of the later ones.

Also, that stuff about conservatives being liberals mugged by reality? That’s some greedy Boomer bullshit. I was a Randriod libertarian in college, but I’ve been straight blue since the end of Bush’s first term.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:53 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Sideshow - uh, not so sure about that take. Plenty of science suggests that people who go through similar experiences develop and think about things in more similar ways. The definitions are loose, and depending on the topic they are better or worse in terms of segmentation and prediction, but saying that generation doesn't predict anything meaningful is like saying nationality doesn't predict anything meaningful. Demographics are not the best or most accurate individual predictors, but they're still powerful in statistically provable ways.
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 12:54 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Rather than launching the hair stylists giving spiral perms into the sun, I'd like to start with Strauss and Howe.

“Generations,” Joshua Glenn, Hi-Lo Brow, 02 March 2010
1944-53: [Boomers] Blank Generation
1954-63: [Boomers] OGXers
1964-73: [Generation X, Thirteenth Generation] Reconstructionists
1974-82: [Generations X, Y] Revivalists
1983-92: [Millennial Generation] Social Darwikians
1993-2002: [Millennials, Generation Z] TBA


Anyone else feel like this generational stuff is the new Astrology?

Sideshow: JINX!
posted by leotrotsky at 12:55 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Wait, Luke Perry died?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:14 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Elwoodwiles: Yeah, I missed that. Had two strokes in 2019 :(
posted by dismas at 1:19 PM on January 10


approximately six years ago
posted by dismas at 1:19 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Another Xennial here. Just wanted to say that. No ironic sarcasm today. I'm too tired.
posted by cgg at 1:24 PM on January 10


It’s “Arcade Fire,” not “the Arcade Fire.” rolls eyes
posted by scratch at 1:25 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Anyone else feel like this generational stuff is the new Astrology?

I was told I was a boomer until Billy Idol invented Generation X. It's been pretty confusing.

My grandparents were born 1888-1895. My son in 2006. They have more in common than he does with his peers.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:26 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Have you ever called it “Ecstasy”?

By the time I even heard of the stuff I was already married with a kid and too old for things like that.
posted by octothorpe at 1:29 PM on January 10


Born in 1960, so the tail end of the BB generation, but I always resented them for being a huge bulge in the market: taking the jobs, driving up housing prices, etc. Now I resent them whenever someone tars me with the brush of their stereotypes-- e.g., assuming that I'm incompetent when it comes to computers or don't care about younger folks' perspectives. That said, I'm having trouble with being 60 and I'm glad that I'll be benefitting from improved geriatric medicine made possible by that same market bulge.

I know that the pop culture progression for me was a) being au courant; b) knowing what I didn't know; c) having no idea what I didn't know but understanding, perhaps vaguely, how to find out; d) not even knowing how to find out.

Old age isn't for sissies.
posted by carmicha at 1:31 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I know that the progression for me was a) being au courant; b) knowing what I didn't know; c) having no idea what I didn't know but understanding, perhaps vaguely, how to find out; d) not even knowing how to find out.

Or to put it another way: I used to be with ‘it’, but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it’ anymore and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary. It’ll happen to you!
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:33 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Yeowch, that stings and yes I do kind of think the 90s were about 5 years ago. 808s, 303s, and Junos still sound futuristic to me. I'm late GenX - I remember the Cold War and Chernobyl but none of my younger siblings do. I just missed having to pay university tuition fees in the UK, which, a few decades on once the consequences have become clearer, is an obvious and sharp generational dividing line.

A few months ago my partner and I cheered and sang along when "Ebeneezer Goode" came on the radio, and I suddenly realised that to our 8yo this would be the equivalent of my parents getting excited about "Jailhouse Rock".
posted by doop at 1:42 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


A few months ago my partner and I cheered and sang along when "Ebeneezer Goode" came on the radio

This was one of the questions in an 'Alternative UK Citizenship Test' I once saw:

Q: A great philosopher once wrote... ?
posted by Cardinal Fang at 1:47 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Getting older sucks.

But it sure beats the alternative.
posted by thecaddy at 1:51 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


We were blessed. Nothing to do with free education, affordable housing, decent job opportunities etc. Quite simply, we had the best music, the best fashions, and the best drugs.

To young people today I say: Put down your phones. Get a musical instrument, plug it in, make your own sound; release it yourselves, without going through the conventional channels. Design your own look, without looking at anyone else's; go outside wearing it, see what happens. Build your own chemistry lab in the garage, ... (actually that's probably enough to be going on with for now)
posted by Cardinal Fang at 2:03 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


It is important to my mental health and sense of self that bands immediately stop issuing 25-year anniversary editions of classic albums.
posted by deeker at 2:05 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Don't patronize us
posted by Ferreous at 2:05 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


These discussions always get this song stuck in my head.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:15 PM on January 10


Wayne's World IS a classic. You take that back!!!
DISCUSTING
posted by Stoof at 2:28 PM on January 10


Have you ever called it “Ecstasy”?

I took it once, long before it was called ecstasy. By the time they called it e, I was too old to go to raves. When I was offered molly, I was too old to take it. What do they call it today?
posted by hypnogogue at 2:42 PM on January 10


It blows my mind that chicken pox parties are a thing of the past and antivaxers
posted by Jacen at 2:46 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I was too old to go to raves.

I was at this one. I've never dared watch this video all the way through.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 2:49 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


If you ever typed a/s/l into AIM you are an old millennial, this is the hill I will die on
posted by mostly vowels at 3:39 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]



Sideshow - uh, not so sure about that take. Plenty of science suggests that people who go through similar experiences develop and think about things in more similar ways.


Here's three hypothetical people for you:

Person 1 has had their own computer in the their room since the age of 5, and email address since the age of 13, and their own website since 15. They are now a software engineer. Their mother was a computer programmer before Person 1 was born, and their father started in software engineering after Person 1's birth, and continued in it until retirement.

Person 2 did not get a college degree, but got the first job of their career a few weeks after barely graduating high school. They never had the opportunity to go to college because putting food on their family's table was more important than an education, although they choose a career that did not require a college degree. They have been the sole breadwinner in their household, and even with a single income they were able to purchase a home.

Person 3 is the first person on one side of the family to speak English as a first language. They are also the first in their family to to not face any adversity because of their accent, mostly because the nationalists of country they were born into made it dangerous to have one when their mother was a young girl. Their mother spent some time hiding from the governmental security forces during a time of war, because her boyfriend at the time would have been sent to the front lines would he be caught. After that war ended, they left their hideout in a major European forest and came back to their home country.

So, which generation, and what country, did each of these three hypothetical people originate?

Just kidding, it's all me, and was born in 1980 in the Los Angeles area. My 2nd generation American mother hid out in the Black Forest in Germany with her draft dodging boyfriend, but she still had a Lithuanian accent until it was practically beaten out of her during the Red Scare.

Turns out all the generational horseshit you thought of while reading about my "hypothetical" people is just that, horseshit. And, since we are once again 103 comments into a discussion that's just "Well I'm a X, but here are a few dozen words about how I kinda really Y", it's horseshit for everyone else too.
posted by sideshow at 3:45 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


Have you ever called it “Ecstasy”?

I took it once, long before it was called ecstasy. By the time they called it e, I was too old to go to raves. When I was offered molly, I was too old to take it. What do they call it today?


This is also what I came here to learn. All the search results that come up are anti-drug sites from 10 years ago. :(

Adam? Beans?
posted by urbanlenny at 3:54 PM on January 10


I had the articulated skeleton earrings in the mid-80's!
I am too cool for school.
Therefore, a gen-X'er.
posted by not_on_display at 3:54 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I watched The Big Chill at the theater when it came out. I was 18 and it was one of the first times I felt like a grownup watching a grownup movie. The next time I saw it I realized I was older than all of the actors were when they made the movie and I felt really old.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:55 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Why are they bringing Hedy Lamarr into this?

It's not "Hedy," it's "Hedley."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:57 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


In my head I'm 17 until I catch my reflection somewhere. Then I'm definitely a 1965 Xer with no workable concept of skincare past soap and water. I got officially old when I realised that bands I considered new as a late teens / early 20s rock fan were now being referred to as "classic" and even worse, were putting out greatest hits compilations. How? They'd only been around for about three months in my recollection.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 4:09 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


No, seriously you guys, what DO they call ecstasy now?
posted by selfmedicating at 5:24 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


No, seriously you guys, what DO they call ecstasy now?

A steady paycheck, a good night's sleep, a morning without headlines signaling that the world is almost certainly coming to an end, and maybe a nice massage.
posted by thivaia at 5:31 PM on January 10 [23 favorites]


“The only possible explanation for this is that the last two decades were also the 1990s.”

How I wish this were so.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:56 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


It's still called molly.
posted by jwest at 6:39 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I think I've just hit a new cusp of "damn I'm old": seeing articles on the "you know you're old when" theme that are aimed at the generation after me.

I am old and there are wolves after me.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:11 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


VSauce's Illusions of Time
posted by oceano at 7:29 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


1) I didn't RTFA (questionnaire) because it just wanted to trawl some moar datas.

2) Generation X is the book by Douglas Coupland that really captured the Zeitgeist of the 1990s (mostly about changing cynicism about day-jobs verses life-careers).

3) Quoting an old friend back-then: "We're stuck between The Boomers and Generation X, but we are Generation-Fucked!" (true at the time, but in retrospect also applies to subsequent cohorts).
posted by ovvl at 7:39 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


exactly what cookergirl said about turning 50. *wham! you have, at best (for most of us) only 35 years left!* also, I know I am old because I can’t assume that my gym trainer (now online, never fear) will understand any of my references, whether pop cultural, fictional, political, historical or grammatical.
posted by mollymillions at 8:27 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I have a fan script for the Legion of Superheroes that I will never submit that lays out The Code of Science that the Science Police are honorbound to uphold. It's pretty clear from the getgo that the Inviolable Code is a series of warnings from one mad scientist to another. "Do not Undermine Causality Itself" shows up on at least half the laws. This makes me happy, that someone else used this literary mechanism.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:29 PM on January 10


1) I didn't RTFA (questionnaire) because it just wanted to trawl some moar datas.

Indeed you didn't. TFA is not an interactive quiz.
posted by eviemath at 8:43 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


wait which arcade caught fire i hope it wasnt the one at the mall where everyone leaves their smokes on the consoles
posted by not_on_display at 8:45 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I know I am old because I can’t assume that my gym trainer (now online, never fear) will understand any of my references, whether pop cultural, fictional, political, historical or grammatical

never enough gym trainer Savoyards imho
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:05 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


that the younger generation doesn't care about Wayne's World.

The younger generation may not exactly care about Waynes World, but they still play Bohemian Rhapsody every 5 minutes on the radio because of Waynes World. Before Waynes World the casual fan knew 2 Queen songs: We Are the Champions and Another One Bites the Dust. I would argue Bohemian Rhapsody is now more famous than Another One Bites the Dust.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:17 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Indeed you didn't. TFA is not an interactive quiz.

Ah, you're right, I actually just didn't want to have to log into their site in order to view it, I've gotten into that habit lately.
posted by ovvl at 9:38 PM on January 10


sideshow - this seems very personal to you, and if I'm treading on something sensitive, I apologize. From a scientific perspective, the framing of "astrology for sociologists" is pretty demeaning (and possibly a gratuitous swipe at sociology itself?) The principles involved are related to trading off the estimates of between-subject vs. within-subject variance. They underlie the same cluster analysis that's used in machine learning. If you have more granular data, or access to better information, that's always better, and individual prediction is indeed often terrible! And runs all the risks of reverse inference! And ignores interaction effects (e.g. intersectionality!) I'm also in perfect agreement that overusing one dimension of this data is (while often very fun, like this article) overstepping its abilities. But it's incorrect to claim that demographic information (like generation, which is basically "age range") is useless or incapable of cultural prediction.

Anyway, again, apologies if this was all obvious, but it feels like there's a big difference between saying "generational generalizations claim too much" or even "doesn't seem that useful" or even "I don't like it" and "this is all horseshit."

Completely separately, I'd like to go on the record saying that many sociologists are damn fine people, and we could learn a lot as a society by listening to them.
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 9:43 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I don't know most of these references. I was so deep into Reggae that I missed most of the popular media during the 80s and 90s. I keep reinventing myself so I never feel old. A couple years ago I went to a seminar about Medicare and I was astounded by all the old geezers in the room. I felt 30-40 years younger than them even though I was older than a lot of them. I'm into metal now.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:57 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


From ‘83 I descend upon the thread to defend Wayne’s World (asphinctersayswhat) and The Big Chill; not disappointed. Mom (‘46) and dad (‘50) had procured a copy of The Big Chill for our Beta machine and listening to the soundtracks on the stereo system on Friday and Saturday nights has instilled in me a love of boomer music that will never die.

However, while my interns and now young coworkers gig me for being 37 - today one got onto me for saying “The Facebook” and I was like “cause when I joined, it *was* The Facebook and you had to have an .edu,” last week kind of hammered the first nail in my coffin.

My knees have been hurting for a year or so, and I tore my meniscus in September. When I finally made it to the orthopedist in November, I got a cortisone shot and some arthritis medication (!) and a course of PT. Ok ok, so the oestoarthritis diagnosis was a little harsh...but last week the ortho and I were having the follow-up appointment. And I asked him “ok, but when do I get to run again; lift heavy; get back to working like my old self?” He pulled up my x-rays again and said “do you see what’s left of your knees? These are the knees of someone 20-30 years older than you. Your arthritis is going to continue to flare up and a lot of lower body stuff is going to be uncomfortable.” “Till when?” I asked. “...uh, forever. Or a knee replacement.”

So this concept - I’ll never hit my 320 deadlift again; I couldn’t go back through rookie school even if I wanted; it hurts to lay in the bed if it’s rainy and damp...it was kind of like “oh.” My friendpersonthing, who is 53, has always been like “just wait.” And he’s right. Mentally I feel like a teenager, but my body is like “lol.”
posted by sara is disenchanted at 11:45 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


This article is bullshit. THE BIG CHILL sucks.

Otherwise pretty spot on.
posted by brundlefly at 12:03 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Millennials are confused by The Big Chill because they can't find the noun. (The big chill what?)
posted by Cardinal Fang at 1:55 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


It is important to my mental health and sense of self that bands immediately stop issuing 25-year anniversary editions of classic albums.

Not 25, but 35 years ago, this was released.

I'd like to see them try 'digitally remastering' that.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 2:34 AM on January 11


I'm from "Generation X-Wing" (my favorite moniker for the microgeneration). Born in late 76, just months before Star Wars came out in theaters, caught between Gen X and Millennials. The "Xennial/Oregon Trail" cutoff tends to say 1977, so I'm even old for this tiny slice.
For some perspective, I was still working at the same job I am now when I joined Metafilter - Joined: May 8, 2001 - and what directed me to MeFi was the AYBABTU meme (if you need to look up what that stands for, it confirms I am old).

Question #8 just came up for me in the last few days. I was shocked that there were people in the geek culture who had not seen UHF, and there were other people in the geek culture who had not HEARD of UHF, and there were yet other people in the geek culture who were like "yeah Weird Al, I've sort of heard of that guy, he does song parodies right?"
posted by jozxyqk at 2:51 AM on January 11


I maintain that Sonic Youth are a classic band. Just for a niche genre of music fans.
posted by MattWPBS at 3:32 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I think I've just hit a new cusp of "damn I'm old": seeing articles on the "you know you're old when" theme that are aimed at the generation after me.

You Know You're Old When you remember Instagram before they had Stories. Maybe you had an older sibling who had used MySpace as well.
posted by acb at 4:05 AM on January 11


You Know You're Old When

... you can remember telephones
... you can remember telephone boxes
... you can remember telephone boxes you had to put coins into
... you can remember telephone boxes you had to put 6d. and 2/- coins into
posted by Cardinal Fang at 4:38 AM on January 11


Somewhat tangentially, there was an article on the Ringer today about Tiger Woods that used the neither-Gen-X-nor-Millenial framing that some in this thread (and me, for that matter) seem to find useful.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:46 AM on January 11


Look, the Cleveland Browns just won their first playoff game since they fired that loser Bill Belichick in 1995. The NFL is all about parity, so no team can be truly terrible for more than a couple of years, ergo the 90’s were NOT THAT LONG AGO.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:53 AM on January 11


While I think there might be some utility in a generalized sort of thing like this, or appears this one was the very idiosyncratic and gift individualistic memories of the author.

I can honestly say I scored a zero because whatever white upper middle class bubble she was living in had a completely different experience of the 1990's than I did.
posted by sotonohito at 7:22 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I can honestly say I scored a zero because whatever white upper middle class bubble she was living in had a completely different experience of the 1990's than I did.

For me, it's the suspense in these seemingly yearly walks down memory lane that make them so intriguing. Which generation will be the one to break through and finally have fond childhood memories based non-white people? I mean more than just Thriller or Purple Rain.

There's a reason pop culture is considered largely disposable, and why so much of it from those glorious heydays of "our" youth, should be disposed of. Much of it is deeply tainted by the sins of the past and the elements that aren't have already been replaced with near duplicates. Young people are still singing about love and angst, and still cracking wise to authority figures in the shows kids today are watching. We get old but are still drawn to the things that helped define our histories as we came of age. That's natural, but treating a growing distance from being up on this kind of pop culture as some big loss shouldn't be as so much of it is artificially flavored commercially produced kitsch.

We all, hopefully, have filled our lives with other, more personal memories, skills, and histories that transcend these disposable commonalities. It's those things that define who we are, not the TV shows we watched. I'm fine with noting the 90s are more than 20 years past as long as there is reason to still keep expecting something more and richer ahead.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:46 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Mais où sont les Wayne's Worlds d'antan!
posted by betweenthebars at 9:13 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


My daughter had a concussion last year. She formed a pretty good bond with the physical therapist she worked with for a couple of months. At one point, daughter and therapist were talking about school, and it comes out that daughter's favorite subject is history. Therapist says, "Oh, I love history too! I'm excited for my college classes to start back up; I really want to take a history class so I can learn about 9/11."

I died of old age.
posted by nickmark at 10:53 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


However, while my interns and now young coworkers gig me for being 37 - today one got onto me for saying “The Facebook” and I was like “cause when I joined, it *was* The Facebook and you had to have an .edu,” last week kind of hammered the first nail in my coffin.

Facebook may not be the best example, but for this kind of thing it's not too hard to transition to considering yourself cool because you're Old School, as long as you don't couple it with mindlessly trashing the new. I bet 70% of active Mefi users remember Usenet. In media fandom it makes you Pai Mei.
posted by praemunire at 11:07 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


or, in fandom, knowing why AO3 exists at all.

hell, once i was ruing how i was the same age as the new mickey mouse club cohort (timberlake, spears, aguilera et al), and how they're at least rich, but here i am in grad school, and one of my classmates literally did a double take, and went, "timberlake? but he's OLD."

but it's good mental practice, as i've said before. nowadays when i stumble on zoomers shitting on millenials for being such babies who had to use words like 'adulting', i just cackle and move on, at least until the next virtual hangout so i can do a spot of light trolling within my friends' circle.
posted by cendawanita at 11:20 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Which generation will be the one to break through and finally have fond childhood memories based non-white people? I mean more than just Thriller or Purple Rain.

Weird framing to me - seems like it actually diminishes the extent to which Black America has been a pop culture dynamo for ages. Like, yeah, some of that gets whitewashed before it gets big, but there have been plenty of organic crossovers in the last 40 years especially.
posted by atoxyl at 12:10 PM on January 11


Mais où sont les Wayne's Worlds d'antan!

*reads thread, lies down, rolls over, closes eyes*
posted by y2karl at 12:52 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Look, the Cleveland Browns just won their first playoff game since they fired that loser Bill Belichick in 1995.

I watched the highlights of that game and realized many/most of the players hadn't been born the last time the team won a playoff game. Then the announcers that it was their first win in a quarter century and that made me feel even older.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:00 PM on January 11


I watched the highlights of that game and realized many/most of the players hadn't been born the last time the team won a playoff game.

Yep.
Cleveland Browns 20, New England Patriots 13: January 1, 1995

Baker Mayfield: born April 14, 1995
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:20 PM on January 11


When I was a kid in the 80s the oldies music stations would play stuff from the 40's and 50s. The modern day equivalent would be the 80s and 90s now wouldn't it?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:48 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


The 90s are the new 70s, with Pearl Jam and Oasis being the new Led Zeppelin and such, and a vaguely mouldy ocean of turgid Classic Rock. The 80s are the new 60s, the era endlessly regurgitated and romanticised in a succession of highly stylised forms (only it's synthpop/electro(clash)/synthwave in lieu of Paisley Underground/Deee-Lite/Lenny Kravitz-style faux-hippieisms).
posted by acb at 2:57 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: a vaguely mouldy ocean of turgid Classic Rock
posted by kirkaracha at 3:19 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


True; I joined Facebook in what I guess was my final year of college or maybe just after I graduated (October baby who powered through undergrad in 3 years) in 2004. I left it in 2011 and never adopted any other social media except MeFi, if that could be considered social media? I did have a Friendster and a MySpace and a Livejournal at various points between 2001-2008.

It makes me a curmudgeon, but I do NOT like when 3 people in the same room are scrolling through Tik Tok. Also, EDM is noise that makes me physically uncomfortable; I like other types of electronic and industrial-influenced music, but there’s something about EDM that my brain doesn’t seem to process well.

I poke fun at them for their generational markers, but I expect to get it back in good fun.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:09 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


The 80s are the new 60s, the era endlessly regurgitated and romanticised in a succession of highly stylised forms (only it's synthpop/electro(clash)/synthwave in lieu of Paisley Underground/Deee-Lite/Lenny Kravitz-style faux-hippieisms).

I'll take this if XTC can finally be recognized as being The Beatles of the 80s, but as better musicians, songwriters, and lyricists.
posted by mollweide at 4:27 PM on January 11


1) I didn't RTFA (questionnaire) because it just wanted to trawl some moar datas.

Indeed you didn't. TFA is not an interactive quiz.


Urgh, my curiosity got the better of me, and I went back and finally shared/logged onto Medium (terrible interface) and the silly article is an example of how not reading the f cking article is sometimes a thing.

(Websites demanding login in order to view content is a thing these days. They're allowed to ask, and usually I take a pass, unless it's something I think is worth reading.)
posted by ovvl at 6:19 PM on January 11


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