Post-millennium sh*t is great. Don’t get me wrong. iPhones, Facebook (and Facebook chat), Uber, Drake -- I love it all. But, to quote the last, "nothing was the same." At least nothing has been quite as dope. Yeah, I’m referring to the end of the 90s.
There really aren’t any words to describe why the time period after the 80s and before the 2000s was the greatest ever, but one look at Uncle Jesse’s mullet just seems to, I don’t know, sum up the decade. Yeah, albeit slightly greasy, the 90s just flowed.
Technology was in perfect moderation. If you needed to reach someone, you could page them and then meet up -- and actually speak in person. Music had the perfect blend of Tupac and Nirvana, sprinkled with Hansen and a little seasoned Jerry Garcia.
All of social media was confined to handwritten notes passed in the back of classrooms (@thecutegirl sitting in front of me in algebra).
HBO was about to orgasm, Mary Kate and Ashley were virgins, and the president’s sex life was more visible to the public than even the newest 17” MacBookPro LCD screen (but don’t tell Hillary).
The 90s were like those first few months of college when you discovered just how advanced (and awesome) you can be, before actually sleeping with every girl in Tri Delt (well not every one… damn it Kelly) and gaining 25 pounds of Keystone-induced blubber.
It was the peaceful calm before the Millennial storm. It was when Taco Bell had the chihuahua and not an inexplicable breakfast menu. It was a period when we got introduced to the enormous potential, which the future held, yet still we were curious about it (and I mean equally as curious as we were about what Wilson’s face could possibly look like below the top of the fence on "Home Improvement").
See what I’m saying? Somewhere around the mid-2000s, we just sort’ve lost it. Our exploratory nature went haywire (and, more or less, pocket-sized, despite the fading out of Lunchables -- goddamnit), and although it’s not necessarily a bad thing -- when the iPod becomes the iPhone and the iPhone becomes our humanly existence -- it’s hard not to reflect back and think: What the motherf*ck?
Man, I miss the 90s (which is slightly ironic given I was f*cking 8 at the time of Y2K). Anyway, here are the 20 things I miss super badly. And yeah, using the word “super,” excessively could’ve cracked this list, home skillet. Alright, I’ll stop right there.
20. Arcade games
I say arcade games, but in reality, the 90s were by and large a very “game-friendly” decade (think the “Industrial Revolution” of board games and other mildly fun activities, like Pogs and Furbies).
If stoners today think hitting the bong and transporting themselves to World War II is fun by way of Call of Duty, they would’ve sh*t themselves after 50 cents worth of the Simpsons arcade game. And don’t get me started on NBA Jam.
Sometimes I still flashback while watching a Heat game and visualize a flaming LeBron James before me. And no, I’m not referring to what he wore during the post-game press conference.
19. Neon colors
Nowadays, you only see neon colors on Long Island mothers waiting on line for their green juice cleanse. If I had it my way, I’d wear a different highlighter-colored windbreaker for every day of the week. Can you blame me?
18. AOL Instant Messenger
I guess we have Facebook chat, but that could never hold a candle to AOL Instant Messenger. They should at least offer the option to create a screen name. If I were able to creep on girls nowadays under the alias of something creative, like BigMagnumDan69, the possibilities would be seemingly endless.
“Dan Scotti” messaging girls he barely knows at 2 AM doesn't quite have the same... well, pizazz.
I remember watching the Power Rangers movie when I was a young lad, thinking, “Man, I can’t wait 'til I’m in high school so I can rollerblade through the town, scooping up fine ladies and frothy ice cream shakes as I go.”
Little did I know, by the time I got to high school in the 2000s, owning a pair of rollerblades typically preceded a slew of name-calling and almost always a brown-bagged packed lunch, eaten in the back of the cafeteria by yourself. Having said that, in the 90s, you would’ve been the goddamn bee’s knees.
I mean, you can attribute the reason nobody actually reads anything on paper anymore, in part, to the brilliance of Steve Jobs -- but I see through the smoke and mirrors.
If R.L. Stine still were churning out novels like he did in the 90s, my Temple Run high score would've been half of that which I achieved during my “downtime” in the middle of class.
15. Macaulay Culkin
Jesus H. Christ. Just “Google image” the man. I’m not even going to get into this one. I guess leaving children home alone too often really does have its consequences.
Classic example of an adorable child star turned pizza-themed-cover-band-frontman. Wait, what? I swear you need to search Macaulay Culkin on Google. I couldn't make this up in a million and one years.
Most of the girls I pursued in my middle and high school days were simply extensions of the work I put in during the elementary school years -- with the help of Dunkaroos, naturally. I’d sit back (in between readings of Shel Silverstein), and offer all the pretty girls the “icing” portion of my Dunkaroo snacks.
They didn’t have to know that I was lactose intolerant. To them, I was just the generous, cute boy with the bowl cut and an astutely charitable nature (sadly, this perception didn’t last too long, post-Dunkaroos).
13. Saying “getting jiggy with it” (and, then, actually “getting jiggy with it”)
Frankly, I’m not 100 percent sure what this even means, but if it was still the 90s, you best believe I’d be getting jiggy with it. All night, baby.
12. Early Coen brothers Movies
Sure, the Coen brothers made some movies after the 1990s, but you show me “Burn After Reading” and I’ll raise you “The Big Lebowski.” "Fargo," "Barton Fink," "Miller’s Crossing" -- the 90s batch was, unquestionably, a different echelon of cinema.
I probably wouldn’t have felt the urge to see "The Wolf of Wall Street" eight times in theaters if this caliber of film were still gracing our box offices today, with the frequency of the 90s.
11. Destiny’s Child
Umm, I guess Beyoncé is more appealing in the post-90s years... if you have a vagina and a poor sense of self-confidence on your own. But let’s be real.
Beyoncé during her Destiny’s Child days in the 90s gave this guy his first “big boy crush,” and subsequently, his first conscious erection. And with regard to inventing words, “surfbort” can’t touch “bootylicious” (which, in fact, can be found in the Oxford dictionary). Top that. Sheesh.
Granted, it’s hard to say I miss "Seinfeld" -- with its replays being shown on like 10 different network stations across cable for like 14 hours out of every day.
But imagine if there actually was a new season (and not a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" special) poking fun at the pointless idiosyncrasies of everyday life in the year 2014? So yeah, I miss Seinfeld.
9. Lisa Frank sh*t
Gone are the days of prepubescent girls proudly displaying virtual shroom-trips on all of their classroom paraphernalia.
If you didn’t have a f*cking alien throwing up a “peace sign” on the notebook you learned how to write cursive in, did you even really have a childhood? (The answer is no.)
8. Shadily listening to boy bands
It’s probably for the best that Justin Timberlake started doing work with Jay Z, and left behind the rest of ‘N Sync, otherwise my publicly displayed “Spotify stream” on Facebook would certainly give eligible bachelorettes the wrong impression. Why lie?
Literally, to this day, you can still catch me belting out random boy band lyrics in the shower. I just tell my fraternity brothers that I was on the phone with my mom, and she didn’t have good service, so I had to say “BYE” a few extra times (for good measure). BYE BYE!
7. Actual contact in the NBA
I miss guys like Anthony Mason and Charles Oakley. They ran the 90s. Limited basketball skills, limited concern for the safety of their opponents.
Anthony Mason was an all star caliber player in the 90s, but with the types of fouls called in the league today, Anthony Mason would be about as useful to an NBA roster as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
6. Steroids in the MLB
Call me selfish, I love home runs. Nobody’s perfect. Except Ken Griffey Jr.
5. The lack of wars
Let’s not get too technical. Sure, the Gulf War went down during the first year and a half of the decade, but that was really just some spillover from Iraq and Iran's beef during the 80s. And the Cold War?
C’mon now, if we called all unacted aggression “war,” then the first 17 years of my life at home were spent on the front lines. Most of Gen-Y didn’t know what a war was until 2001. The 90s were generally peaceful, with the exception of rap music. RIP.
4. OG Air Jordans
Any sneakerhead needs no explanation for this one. The original J’s that Mike was wearing in the 90s just can’t be replicated, no matter how many times Jordan Brand tries to “retro” the Jordan IV.
Side note, I also miss sneakers with velcro. Why? I’m not sure, but they’re just so "90s-dope."
3. Bob F*cking Saget
The man’s a legend. Undisputed family-TV-sex-god champion of the world, forever and ever.
2. Everything in the Fresh Prince’s closet
There’s a picture circling around the Internet of Will Smith, during his days as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, playing Nintendo in a backwards snapback hat, on a zebra rug, rocking Nike Airs -- and Zubaz pants, next to a Mariah Carey CD on the ground. Yeah, I’ll take one of each.
If the decade of the 90s could take the shape of the female anatomy, the variety of cartoons on Nickelodeon would, most definitely, be its giant pair of supple bosoms. Practically impossible to take your eyes off it.
From "Rugrats," to "Hey Arnold," to "Doug" and his green friend Skeeter (who we all knew was actually black, at heart) -- once you fought for the clicker and punched in the buttons for Nickelodeon, you just couldn't miss.
I honestly have no clue what children watch today. During my (short) tenure as a day camp counselor, I asked a gaggle of 6-year-olds what they thought about "Dexter’s Lab." One of them corrected me, asking, “Don’t you mean the kill room?” No, you little sh*t.
I told you my tenure as a day camp counselor was short.
Man, I miss the 90s.