Maybe it was just the delusions of childhood, but America in the 1990s seemed like a paradise where dreams went to romp. For one thing the government seemed to be a completely different animal.
The biggest administrative scandal I can remember involved Bill Clinton forgetting to get his intern’s dress dry-cleaned, which in hindsight hardly seems much of a faux pas when thousands of Americans are dying overseas.
It was a golden age filled with Danish bricks, Japanese pocket monsters, yo-yos and Space Jam. A better age. I guess kids are still into Pokemon but its just not the same. Things just got out of control and now there are millions of the little suckers (Pokemon, not kids). How could anyone possibly hope to catch them all (again Pokemon, not kids). And Legos ... what happened to you? You used to demand a modicum of imagination from your wayward architects but now there are all these speciality parts. I used to have to puzzle things out and find an ingenious way to create a ray gun. Now there’s a Lego Superman? I have seriously fallen behind when it comes to interlocking plastic bricks.
The 21st century didn’t really start off too great, either. First you had 9/11, which sort of set a somber tone for the rest of the decade. Then we had the advent of a dozen years of widespread warfare (so far) and a clenching of the federal government’s metaphorical rear end. Of course there was also the popping of the real estate zit. How could I forget the greatest economic hit to the nation since the Great Depression. Not a really fun time to be a teen in my opinion. Of course I wouldn’t trade it for the current generation’s experience, a thumbs down to Hipsters.
The nineties were a time between the Cold War and the War on Terror. A time when being an American was pretty stress free. However, I shouldn’t get too carried away romanticizing the bygone era of Furby; the 90s did have its quandaries. We can’t be forgetting the things which frightened the bejesus out of America. There were killer bees, Stephen King, ex-Soviet nukes, and of course nothing could ever match the shrill terror of the impending apocalypse otherwise known as the dreaded Y2K – a bit of an embarrassment for the doomsday acolytes ... at least in 2012 they had the Mayans to use as buffer to put between themselves and the accusations of being ignoramuses. Of course there are still hangovers of fear from the 90s, such as the hole in the ozone over the Arctic and ... well, Stephen King. I am pretty sure the poorly guarded weapons grade Uranium in ex-Soviet satellite countries is still kicking around somewhere too.
There will always be fear mongering though, and while many of the things which made us quake in the 90s never amounted to much – Stephen King aside – the same can’t be said for America in the 2000s. Over the course of the decade many Americans lost their lives or their livelihoods. Nevertheless, things seem to be turning around. The economy seems to bouncing back (despite rumors that Wall Street might be up to its old tricks again), and the wars in the Middle East might be winding down. So maybe the 2010s will be a better decade than the last.
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