So here is my last decade video… unless I get a high number of responses to tell me to do the 00s as well, but I’m pretty sure you are tired of this and want me to do what you like me to do; do another video about pop music and how it sucks… okay I’ll do my share of that, but I’m always eager for suggestions as you know.
Let’s face it, I am a 90s kid. I didn’t get to live in the happy days of the 50s, didn’t get to witness the changes of the 60s, the cynicism of the 70s, and the epicness of the 80s. I am a 90s kid. Does that mean I think the best decade was the one I grew up with? For nostalgic purposes I may say that, especially when it came to the shows I had while growing up versus the stuff that came out 10 years later, and of course I’d say that about the music that was big at the time versus what’s playing now, and what’s currently featured on Kidz Bop 24…. But that doesn’t mean the 90s was the absolute best…
What I can say about the 90s, even if it’s strictly my opinion, was that the 90s was a big decade of progression. Sure anyone can say that about any decade, so why am I saying the 90s was possibly the most progressive?
Well, for starters, the 90s, especially in America was seen as a time of great prosperity. The U.S. economy experienced its longest period of peacetime economic expansion. Personal incomes had doubled, and there was a higher production overall.
Part of this was due to a reduction of welfare at the hands of president at the time, Bill Clinton. It’s hard to believe nowadays, that a democrat would reduce government spending, especially on welfare, but Clinton did. This was done to reduce the number of people who depended on welfare. Instead of just giving it to anyone, now it was attempted to restrict it to the people who absolutely needed it, not someone who was able-bodied and totally able to work. They also realized that people who relied on it too long stopped looking for jobs, especially if it meant the benefits were gone, so restrictions were placed for how long a person was able to depend on it.
During the 90s, The national debt was also reduced, unemployment rates were the lowest they had been in three decades, poverty rates were at their lowest since the 70s, there was a larger investment in education, as well as a lower crime rate.
When you look at the list of things that Clinton did as president, on the outside it seems he did a decent job. The only thing he got in trouble for was the Lewinski scandal, which in reality, most American’s thought, “okay the President had pussy in office and got caught, who the hell cares?”
In 2013, sure we’re not in a time of prosperity anymore, And I have yet to find anything Obama has done that actually has improved the situation. “Durgh, we are in bigger debt and have no money, so let’s make the government spend money we don’t have… that will reduce the debt…. ” “Let’s spend more money on illegal immigrants than spend it on 20 million unemployed Americans.” Yeah that makes perfect sense. “My Obamacare will make healtcare affordable.” Look I’m all for healthcare being affordible to everyone… after all the majority of the middle class is either too rich to apply for Welfare health benefits, or too poor to afford the outrageous premiums, but You mean that also raising existing health insurance premiums to unaffordable levels makes healthcare affordable? And if Obamacare is so good, why is it that the lawmakers themselves who organized it aren’t on that plan? “lets add more surveilance to ordinary americans and allow tapping into private citizens lives now,” Isn’t that against the constitution? Isn’t there amendment that says the government cannot do such a thing? “I authorized military action in Libya without the approval of Congress,” Um, I thought that’s also against the constitution. “I ordered the killing of an American citizen in Yemen without trial.” AGAIN, THATS AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION AND A PREVIOUS EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT PREVENTS YOU FROM DOING THIS! “oh but I killed Osama Bin Laden and got the troops out of Iraq.” Alright, fuck this guy. This man is either gonna get impeached or assassinated. He is slowly turning into a dictator, allowing the rich to get richer, and the poorer to get poorer. All this was done during his first term…. To quote the guy who played Obama on SNL around his reelection, “Republicans, what happened?! 8% unemployment, $5 gas, I even gave you a one debate head start… but still couldn’t take me out.” WHY WAS HE REELECTED AGAIN?! YOU’RE TELLING ME THAT THERE IS NO CANDIDATE THAT CAN DO BETTER?!
Oh sure, Clinton’s presidency ALSO had a government shutdown for the very same reason that the Obama presidency has: the parties not getting along with each other and not being able to resolve a budget. But this time, instead of a Democratic president and a Republican majority Congress, we have a Democratic president, and a Democratic led senate, and a Republican led house of representatives. In all five years he has been president not
Of course when you think progressive 90s, you have to think about the change in the technology. Yes every decade saw a shift in advancements. From the 1950s all the way through the 70s, the change in advancements was very gradual. It was mostly for trying to improve the lifestyle and make everyday activities much easier to do throughout the day. Even as far as the 80s, with things such as cell phones, video games, computers, portable music players, home media devices starting to become more part of our culture, they still were just there enough to be PART of someone’s life, not completely dominate it, always leaving room for everything else. However in the 90s, this is where our technology was more or less a necessity that takes as much of a hold as you let it than an actual want. Now we’re so dependent on technology it’s a joke.
As a kid for me especially it was all about the video games. During the 70s, video games were in their infancy. but they still had their charm. In the 1980s, video games as a whole nearly crashed due to mainly the oversaturation of low-quality games and consoles that were hitting the market. Almost EVERYONE was trying their hand at the industry, but the problem was that while they each had their own library of hundreds of games, many of them, especially highly anticipated and highly advertised games like the Atari 2600 version of PacMan were poorly made, or just too inferior to home computer and arcade games, causing people to lose interest. Starting in the mid-late 80s, with so many companies now bankrupt and out of the market, only a few systems, notably nintendo and sega dominated the market. When they began to make games that provided experiences just as good if not better than the arcades, this of course led to the famous console wars that began the 90s.
The funny thing is, I was so spoiled as a kid growing up, that at one point, we had a NES, a SNES, an original Game Boy, AND a Sega Genesis in the house! I actually had no idea there was even a bitter rivalry between the two companies until I watched the Angry Video Game Nerd, and I can safely say I grew up with both sides at the beginning up until the games and systems started to advance. Of course as history happened, and the home consoles grew more advanced and phased out the old arcade systems, and as people started to care more about the graphics and experience more than just the gameplay, the industry grew so much that by the end of the 90s, having 3D graphics became the standard, and playing in a 3 dimensional world was a must. The more bigger they got, the more time consuming they got, and quite possibly the more bad grades in school resulted. You look back at games from the early 90s now, like the Mario, Sonic, and Zelda games, and say, “these games were nothing compared to the games that came out later. These games were not as time consuming, were more simple to play, and of course a lot of fun.” I can definitely agree with that on all accounts. After all, if you were into emulators and had the entire library of games for the systems I just mentioned, they would barely be a blip on your hard drives. But at the time, I thought these games felt just as epic and time consuming as say when I first played all the Metal Gear Solid games about a decade later.
Believe it or not I was actually happy with my Genesis (I say mine because that was in my room while the SNES was in my sisters) even well after they stopped making games for it. When the Sega CD came out I didn’t even want to bother, and I can’t remember one 32X game that was sold at the local video store at all. By the time the N64 and the PlayStation came out, at first I was stubborn and said “I don’t need this.” If I was at a friends house that had an N64 or Playstation, of course I’d want to play it and was amazed at games like Mario Kart 64 and Spyro the Dragon, but then I’d go home and play something like Streets of Rage 2 and still get the same enjoyment. It wasn’t until my dad out of the blue decided to get me a Playstation that I became up to speed and later caught up with the rest of the gaming world. Since then I have always been mostly faithful as a Sony person, mainly due to Metal Gear being one of the flagship franchises. Do I still think games can be way too time consuming? Um, Is a bullfrog waterpoof?
Today, we still have three main systems that dominate the market, and that is OKAY! Sure, I may get sick of the seemingly overabundance of First Person Shooter games, plus I hate that it always feels like the same exact game no matter what name it is, and I especially hate the people that tell me unless the game has 3D graphics it’s not worth playing, But you know what? Newsflash, I don’t have to play them! I can load my Playstation with smaller games that are just as fun, or I can still play classic games through emulation. I am just not gonna let myself ruin every other priority because I need to get a higher ranking on COD or need to complete 3 more sidequests that take another hour. I’ve heard of relationships and even marriages that get strained or possibly end because someone gets so focused on games that he/she neglects the person that they’re supposed to love and support. That’s why I don’t like to play online gaming. If my girlfriend is in a bad mood, and she needs my attention, I can’t exactly pause or shut off an online game.
Also, thanks to portable consoles being just as advanced as home consoles, and smartphones making games just as time consuming and stimulating, it’s hard for me to see so many kids that are locked to their devices that they miss out so much on their childhood!
But it wasn’t just video games. In the 90s, even in film and television, it started to become more about what the film looks like versus how the story is told. Look at a film like Terminator 2, which was made during the prime of the blockbuster era. It was one of the biggest big-budget blockbuster films of the time, and was remembered just as much for the compelling story as was the special effects. Even my girlfriend who doesn’t really like Ah-nuld that much because most of his movies are cliched action flicks, she liked this one because of how well done it was. The acting was decent, the storyline was interesting, and the action scenes were icing on the cake. Then look at many of the big budget action films in the late 90s. Sure the special effects got better, and they may have made money, but so many people spewed a lot of hate for these films simply because of the way the story was told. No character development, bad acting, terrible pacing in the story, no suspension of disbelief…just blow shit up and blow more shit up and oh they’re talking, we can’t have any of that let’s just BLOW MORE SHIT UP! Look at the damn Transformers movies… look I am all for something being updated to look better, but these films are so annoyingly boring that I don’t care how much action goes on…
I believe it was a certain famous director that said, “A Special effect is a tool, a means of telling a story, a Special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.” yes, this coming from the man that when he made his prequels filled with tons of CGI and saturated it with special effects, in terms of balancing that with storytelling and writing it took him two in a half films to finally get it right.
In the early 90s, Disney was also in a new prime due to films like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. The Animation was great, but the way the stories were told were also great. It is kind of funny that once Pixar released Toy Story, all of the sudden less investment was put towards the traditional hand drawn animation and more towards Pixar. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the Pixar films, but I still have a soft spot for the traditional animated films that Disney was so good at making. And nowadays with films like Tangled and Wreck it Ralph, and the upcoming film Frozen, even the Disney Animated studios is making more computer animated films.
Also remember in the 90s, most cartoons and such were traditional animation. And then when we get things from our childhood that are being remade into live action CGI fests, or simply just CGI cartoons, such as the ninja turtles.
So it’s like, do people only care about the presentation of the film? Are we just always going to be in a graphics craze? This seriously has to stop!
And of course there is one more thing from the 90s that has literally taken ahold of EVERYTHING since it started out. Three words: World Wide Web! This technology had been in the works during past decades, and When this baby started becoming public and being used, it was of course in small use, mostly because the websites didn’t really have the same graphical looks that we have today. It was originally started out as a way to transfer information to other computers, not really for what we know of it today. When web browsers started being able to include graphics with the text, then it started to take off, and by 1994, while there were only a few websites in comparision to today, these websites became precursors to what we have today.
Of course, in my day, connecting to the internet was a chore, thanks to dial-up service that took what seemed like an eternity to go through. Does anyone remember the annoying noises and sounds that played whenever we did this? I do. As a kid, I remember stumbling on my sister doing instant message chatting with a random stranger online using AOL… back when AOL was an internet service provider, Of course, I was extremely excited about the idea of being able to talk to people by just typing on the computer, and I spent countless hours doing this, especially on designated kids sites like Nick.com or Cartoon Network. I also loved chatting with family members, so I of course saw it through innocent eyes. I also remember when we used it, that if we were on too long, that we’d be charged extra rates up the ass, and we had to be careful not to go over the allowed time. But still, my house was one of the few in the neighborhood that had it.
Believe it or not, even then people were constantly asking for passwords, especially where I was. I used to get a lot of messages from people claiming to be AOL technicians or whatnot and saying “I need to have your password, blah blah blah.” Also, even then there were stories about scumbag predators that got kids to give them their full information, such as their name and address, and within a few days they’d get kidnapped or killed. I am surprised people still act so shocked when more stories like these happen, and the reason why we have so much craze about internet privacy and protection is because some sick bastard already thought about it and did it in 1996.
In the 1996 movie the Cable Guy, Jim Carrey’s character said, “The future is now! Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone and computer. You’ll be able to visit the Louvre on one channel, or watch female wrestling on another. You can do your shopping at home, or play Mortal Kombat with a friend from Vietnam. There’s no end to the possibilities!”
Sure enough, it was the late 90s that saw the beginning shift into that. The cell phones started introducing text messaging, and then started to get smaller, and add full keyboards, and connect to the internet. Mp3 players were introduced in 1998, and these later became the default format for music, which eventually made portable CD players obsolete.
NOW the internet is everywhere. It’s bigger, faster, a hell of a lot more reliable, and you can access it nearly anywhere at the touch of a button. Sure, I’d say 90% of it today is used for pornography, but the other 10% is still bigger than the internet ever was in the 90s. Television services are becoming more obsolete due to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu providing you access to your TV shows at a much cheaper rate. You literally can play Mortal Kombat with a friend in Vietnam, and you don’t even need a computer anymore since the Playstation and Xbox systems can connect wirelessly no problem.
Is this a good thing? Well… it depends on the circumstance. This overabundance can actually be paralyzing at times, and make today’s technology have such a hold on your head it gives you a headache. It is also quite addicting as well, as surfing the web, watching instant stream videos, and other activities on the web can end up taking hours out of your day if you’re not careful. Plus everything you have constantly requires a system update that it gets tiring. Youtube alone has gone through so many format changes that once you get used to the website and changes, it screws up your head and changes something that doesn’t need to be fixed. My iphone constantly needs to have the apps updated, and sure, sometimes its to fix glitches and bugs, but other times, I have no idea why. Plus with the new Ios7, it is not only changing the look, but it is making things even more confusing on the phone.
Sometimes I feel like there is just too much, and wish we could go back to simpler times. I am hoping that within the next few years that we start going backwards, in otherwords stop constantly making new technology that we don’t need. Think back to the game Street Fighter 2… sure it’s considered a timeless classic, but I know there was a big question on why did we need constant re-releases of the same exact game, even if it added faster game play and new playable characters, but it was still the same exact title. It’s the same with our phones and video game systems. Why do we need new variants of the same phone every year, and why do they need to have different charging docks? Why can’t all our game systems include backwards compatibility so we can still play our huge collection of games from past years, instead of having to pay money and download them into your new system? When I moved into my apartment, I felt so sad having to see so many of my old games having to be given away simply because I don’t have the system for it, nor do I have the room to keep more than one system. Those are memories, and now there is no evidence of them on the outside, just inside my head.
Why do our computers that get new software have to be nearly too much to handle for the systems they’re supposed to run? The computer that which I am still using is an old Dell 2003 computer, and still running windows XP. The 512 MB of memory is almost too little for programs like itunes and firefox, as it takes up so much RAM when I run them. It doesn’t matter how much I move my stuff to an external hard drive and clear up space, the programs I use on it sometimes take forever to load and use. That is half the reason right there why a 10 minute windows movie maker video of me talking takes up so many hours to make.
So obviously I’m in need of a new PC. But my problem with that is that if I fork out all this money for a hard drive that promises a better faster processor, 4GB of memory space and 500 to 1000 GB of hard disk space, why does the new Operating System software have to be too much to handle for the computer and make it feel just as glitchy and slow as my old Dell.
I can go on forever on how paralyzing our technology has become. Can we just CHILL out on it already?! It’s not improving our way of life anymore, it’s tampering with it! It’s forcing us to adjust when we didn’t even have to in the first place.
I’m Desert Coyote 22 and thanks for listening!