Nineties explained to Zoomers

Hi Zoomers,

How are you? I am fine.

Let’s learn what the 90s were like via this music clip:

I know you’ve got questions so let’s go through it bit by bit.

The sound: that’s called a melody, used to be quite common in pop songs. Zing!

The clothes: it was cool in the late 90s to dress like an old man or wear something with a stripe down the side.

The location: this was a shopping centre or ‘mall’, where we bought things before we could order stuff online. It was also a popular hangout for young people. I know they still exist and what’s different now but let’s not say it out loud. It was always an artificial, consumerist space but seems weirdly organic and wholesome these days given that people actually left the house and saw each other.

The theme: kids had to be on their best behaviour in the mall or they’d get kicked out. In this video they take over and have a raucous party. In the 90s, it was cool to rebel against authority and assert one’s independence. This clip is a silly fantasy, of course, but we certainly annoyed our Boomer parents and teachers by rejecting their faux-hippy world view.

Funny to think: if lockdowns had been imposed in 1995, we would have rebelled against that, too! Instead of dobbing in any grown-ups breaking the rules or spreading ‘misinformation’ online. The past is a different country. Maybe I wouldn’t have resisted but the cool kids would have.

The people: there used to be a lot of white people so a mall might have actually looked like that.

The bare faces: we didn’t have to wear masks back then and there were no social distancing rules. It was pretty much a free-for-all.

0:28 – mopeds were cool.

1:18 – that’s what normal girls looked like before they all got fat. It was sweet. I guess the blokes were pretty trim, too. Everyone knew who was a boy and who was a girl, and no one worried about it. Now you can see why we used to date each other.

1.46 – they are showing their teeth not in a threat display but rather in something called a ‘smile’, which is what we used to do to express our joy when socializing with others outside the house.

1:52 – why is the black guy smiling with everyone else and not being oppressed or heroically fighting the power, aside from the non-racial, generational battle going on in the video? I don’t know where to start. It just . . . I can’t explain, let’s keep watching.

2:30 – the joke is that the Boomer is being forced to do a low level, Gen X job. We used to have part-time jobs back before mass immigration, stimmy cheques and lockdowns. Notice how the kids are still smiling – this is not a serious rebellion like Antifa or BLM. Nothing’s being broken and no one is getting hurt as that would make the video too nasty. It’s meant to be funny, something good-natured Boomers might laugh along with and say, ‘I wish you kids would rebel – when I was your age I was arrested for throwing eggs at LBJ!’

3:18 – just to reiterate, the security guard is coming because they have put all the grown-ups in cages, not because the kids are out of cages and are roaming in public.

4:20 – lyrics ‘Beck and Hanson, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson’. Look them up.

Of course no actual Zoomers read my blog, or any blogs. Show this your kids and let me know how lame they thought it was.

The most Zoomer-friendly book I could think of. For ages 18+.


  1. Jack · April 18

    “A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

    Whoda thunk teenage rebellion would ever sink into unacceptability?

    Here’s my favorite example of “civil disobedience” from 1987.

    “Rock and Roll stops the traffic! ~Bono

    In times past, music was something that cut across the barriers of race and class and brought people together.

    …and it was FUN!!!

    Whoda thunk? Shocking!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Johnny Caustic. · April 18

    Great post. Do the 80s next. One thing I miss from the 80’s is dancing with girls. As opposed to dancing in their vicinity, which took over in the 90’s.

    BTW, why do Zoomers look so scared when I talk to them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · April 18

      Stranger danger. In-real-life interactions are curated via online introductions, if they occur at all.


  3. overgrownhobbit · April 18

    In my little town the one group you see hanging out, physically close, and mask-free are the teens. Warms my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dickycone · April 18

    No joke, I always thought that song was a Mick Jagger solo track.


  5. RMIV · April 18

    i think about the 90’s everyday, a “place” that now really exists only for those of us who were there. i’d never heard that song yet i love it and genuinely captures the zeitgeist of the times. Gregg Alexander even hails from Grosse Point, MI the setting of the greatest black comedy of all time (black as in dark & deadpan, not like Barbershop as it would mean today) featuring John Cusack at his zenith.

    even the anime was better back then, featuring hand-drawn art that has a timeless quality

    i also bought your fucking paperback book. love you

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Word from the Dark Side – the right to party, crypto revelations, restricting efficacious meds and riding the (mall) lightning | SovietMen

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