Armagideon Time

Sic transit gloria Nineties

July 31st, 2018

Looking back, you wonder if any of it was real.

Of course it was. You can find ample physical evidence in any thrift store or the few sad remnants you’d elected to hold on to all this time.

There’s a part of you that whispers how these were your best years — a halcyon daze of short-term thinking and affected irony. The party to end all parties.

Yet confronting the material leavings of the era induces a profound sense of queasiness, as if you washed down a bowl of styrofoam packing peanuts with a quart of vegetable oil.

There’s a stink of burnt plastic you don’t recall, but then there’s a lot you can’t quite remember.

The iconography is both utterly alien yet intimately familiar, a language willfully erased from memory.

Still, enough traces remain to evoke sentiments better left buried.

The best parts were a long time ago. The worst parts are forever.

Self-delusion or survival method? Either way it dies hard.

The rose-tinted lenses crack, revealing an unending expanse of variegated puketones.

Youth is for the young and, baby, that train has well and truly left the station.

Don’t lament it as a reminder of frail mortality. Embrace it as a liberating epiphany.

You can finally see the truth. Let it set you free.

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7 Responses to “Sic transit gloria Nineties”

  1. Jon H

    Okay so what is the “magic eye” effect in that Mallrats ad?

  2. Chris Wuchte

    The soundtracks. So many soundtracks.

    I’ve often thought one of the reasons why Napster, and then iTunes, replaced CDs is because soundtracks like these had primed people to desire a way to just get that one song they actually wanted.

    R. Kelly, R.E.M., and Underworld on the same CD? Seriously? Who is that for?

  3. bitterandrew

    “R. Kelly, R.E.M., and Underworld on the same CD? Seriously? Who is that for?”

    Record label marketing execs.

  4. Michael Loughlin

    I picture a bunch of ’90s alt-rockers waiting outside a recording studio. “Okay, that’s three from the Toadies. You’re all set, guys. Bush, you’re up next- we need filler songs for 4 movies. Make ‘em angsty, but not too heavy- we got White Zombie for that. Go!” The entire recording process for all the late ’90s soundtracks took about a day and a half.

    P.s. I bought the Crow: City of Angels album because it had a P.J. Harvey song that wasn’t on any of her albums. You won that round, corporate synergy!

  5. bitterandrew

    As a Belly fan, I know this all too well.

  6. Hey-Its Mike

    “The best parts were a long time ago. The worst parts are forever.”

    Philip Marlowe could have said this, on some page between finding the victim’s body and being roughed up by the local heat.

    I mean this as a compliment.

  7. DensityDuck

    “Okay so what is the “magic eye” effect in that Mallrats ad?”

    It’s a running joke from the movie. There’s a guy who spends the entire movie staring at the poster and getting angrier and angrier that he can’t see the picture.

    (That’s about the level of humor in the movie. You really do not need to see it ever.)

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