The 1990s was a brilliant decade for black popular culture. There was a plethora of films and television series with predominantly black casts and musicians like Mary J. Blige, Jodeci and Tupac were dominating the Billboard charts. Though we are far-removed from that decade, I am still pumped when networks air marathons of “Martin” and “Living Single.” A cut from “My Life” puts me in the zone, bobbing my head as I belt Blige’s lyrics.
I appreciate what the 1990s represent, in terms of prolific artistry and controversial trials e.g. the OJ Simpson-murder case. However, I never had the chance to experience the ‘90s in their fullness. I was born in 1989, close enough to be considered a 90’s baby, but still raised in the millennium.
It is impossible for me to feel as true 90’s babies do about Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.’s murders or the horrific beating of Rodney King. I capture the spirit of the decade through the musical and artistic footprints left behind, but I can’t help but wonder if I were born in the wrong time period.
Luke Machiak, principle blogger at Terminally Incoherent, shares those sentiments. However, he also sees drawbacks to wanting to live in the past.
During the Hurricane Sandy I had a little taste of how it would be to live in a world without electricity and it almost drove me mad. Despite I had access to the internet for 8 hours a day at work, not having any power at home for about a week made me want to hang myself with my useless laptop power cord. I can’t imagine living in pre-internet era now. Granted, I grew up without internet and I was fine, but that was a long time ago and I didn’t know what I was missing.
I would be a pretty lousy time traveler too. All my work experience and most of my general skills and interests revolve around technology and modern living. Most of the stuff I’m into either requires electricity (programming, tinkering, experimenting with technology, video games) or is a rather recent invention (SF, Fantasy, pen and paper RPG, tabletop gaming, etc..). Not to mention I’m rather fond of the luxuries of modern life – I like my hot showers, my antibiotics, my clean filtered water, my refrigerators and my Keurig Coffee Maker that can brew me a cup of joe in seconds. Take all of that away from me and I would be pretty miserable. If I went back to middle ages, I would probably die fairly quickly from some infectious disease, or skewered with a sword for being bad at being an obedient peasant. Because, yeah – there is an overwhelmingly high probability that if you moved back in time you would end up being a random peasant.
Despite his valid points, I still wish was old enough to appreciate the ‘90’s in real-time.