A question: if someone says, “That’s so nineties,” what does that mean? I think, as someone who came of age during that decade, I have a harder time of categorizing it in broad strokes than someone who didn’t.
To me, when I think of the nineties, I think of the early part of the decade, when the eighties were hanging on by their dying hands. I think of when gangsta rap was just a toddler, when industrial music was a thing, and when alternative rock was transitioning from an actual alternative to mainstream. Fashion was baggy—so, so baggy—and brightly colored while also being muted at the same time, and people wore Doc Martens to weddings. Cars went abruptly from blocky to streamlined, and I don’t remember anything about the architecture. Right wing talk radio had only just started to infect mainstream political discourse, and everybody thought that was a fad that was going to go away. But when people talk about the nineties, this is not what they’re talking about.
So what is it?