Part of The Dirty 30
This post is going to be hypocritical, as I too have waxed poetic over the favorite things from my childhood. Power Rangers, Space Cases, the Fox Kids weekday and weekend lineup, Nickelodeon on Friday and Saturday nights, the beginnings of both Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel, BET, MTV’s Rock N Jock Baseball, Daria, you get the idea. The 1990s were a hell of a decade in human history, and those of us who lived as children in them are now approaching or are in our 30s.
We washed y’all.
What comes with age and the further progression of time is the tendency to look back fondly on those years; I happen to see those years with a golden aura around them. Considering the state that this country is in, the future is bleak and the present is complete bullshit; therefore, many of us, aided and abetted by like minds on social media are able to relive those moments from our childhood and reminisce about how good everything was back then and how we wish we could go back and have it all be so simple.
I don’t want to go back and be a child in the 1990s. I don’t want to to it. I refuse.
For one thing, common sense says that shit was just as foul then as they are now. We just had a few radicalized white men send mail bombs and open fire in synagogue recently; in the 1990s, we had Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing. The government fucked up the Middle East then just like they continue to do now. The nations of Africa were still struggling from the effects of colonization then and now and Black Americans people were no closer to being “there” that we are now. People were getting killed every fucking day. We just barely had a 24-hour news cycle reporting on it and grown folk didn’t allow us to be in their whack ass business.
Speaking of grown folks…listen. I know paying bills and being responsible sucks. I know. But if that’s what I have to do so that I don’t have to depend on grown folks to look out for my well-being, then so be it. I don’t want to go back to being a dependent. If that’s your MO, then by all means, go back and do it. I’m good luv, enjoy.
Finally, how much of the shit from the 90s did I actually enjoy and didn’t just watch because it was expected that I watch and enjoy them? I just recently revealed that I didn’t like Living Single. A show about a group of women living in a 90s kind of world and glad to have one another just didn’t mesh with me. That shit was on every week in my household though because it was a Black ass show. Maybe I’m simple. Even the stuff that I did enjoy, I’m not about to sit and watch that shit today. I’m not going out of my way to find or wait for The Splat on Teen Nick to air the Mega Diaper Babies episode of Rugrats. The reruns of Martin and The Wayans Bros. on MTV and BET were cool for all of five seconds. I stopped somewhere in the middle of Power Rangers Zeo on Netflix and haven’t been back yet. It’s not just a time thing, it’s a I don’t care to relive this shit thing and also a I just don’t enjoy consuming television and films like I used to* thing.
We get so wrapped up in the past and and remember things as being so much better than they actually were. That shit does not do you any favors and if you’re someone like me who is prone to bouts of depression, then you don’t need to linger on things that you cannot go back and experience again, or change. Again, I know the present sucks and it doesn’t look like there’s too much to look forward to. Truthfully, we’re kind of stuck in that regard. The past is gone, the present is a mess and the future is uncertain. For many of us, nostalgia is a salve, soothing over the current battle wounds, carrying us to relief in the future. Maybe I’m just a sucker for pain.
*How am I going to be a filmmaker without wanting to watch films and TV shows though?
Follow the photog on Instagram @bladvagacian