Fun Have The Last Two Decades Lacked Character?


Member: Rank 6
I was thinking about Back to the Future and how when the film came out, the 50's seemed like such a long time ago (the 30 year gap felt enormous) but then on the 30th anniversary (2015) the same gap of 30 years didn't feel like it was all that huge at all.

The cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the music we listen to... is it that much different from the 80's? Yeah sure, there's a few changes here and there but essentially, the 80's and now don't feel like utterly different cultures whereas the 50's and the 80's did.

Have the last couple of decades lacked character?

We're seven years into this decade for example and yet you never hear people talk about the 10s (the teenies?). It feels like Western culture has stagnated for a few decades. Nothing new has really impacted upon the culture in any meaningful way. I guess you could say that mobile phone/ipad/computer technology and the ubiquitousness of tattoos are very much a sign of the modern world but to me, the wider culture doesn't appear to have developed that much for nearly 30 years (not in the way the 60s, 70s and 80s developed totally unique personalities in comparison to the 50s).

Everything is so very samey.


Just rambling.


Member: Rank 8
In some ways, but I see other ways we've changed. The 80s, for me, was represented by bright neon colors and pop synth, and yuppies versus the aging hippies. The 90s were represented by flannel, worn jeans, and a sense of dread and darkness. Since then, it seems like society is trying too hard to bring back too many things from past decades. For me, the early 90s were the last decade with any real character.

My fer instance is this. There was a great music scene in Ames, Iowa back then. There were a ton of bands playing, mostly punk, alternative, and metal. When I think back to that time, I imagine that Ames had it's own sound, and it sounded like Nirvana's Bleach. Dark, chunky guitar riffs with thick bass and a grungy drum beat. Sometime in the late 90s, everything changed, and suddenly everyone went to the post-grunge, pop punk era, and electronica took the main stage (I hate electronica).

Does that make sense? I relate so much to music, that most times in my life have a particular soundtrack. It was a shitty day at work, so I'm most likely rambling as well.


Member: Rank 6
To really identify the distinctiveness of a decade you need at least a couple of decades of hindsight. The 90's as a decade are only now beginning to really come into focus. The 00's will be able to be perceived as more distinct in another 10-20 years. But even now we'll be able to start seeing these eras as internet / social media decades. Remembering that YouTube didn't exist until 2005, Facebook 2004, and Twitter 2006. Given how ubiquitous they are now it's hard to remember how "new" they really are. Most of the things we identify as making a decade distinct tend to revolve around entertainment and fashion. I can't comment about fashion (at my best I'm at least a decade behind on fashion). But the current decade is the beginning of streaming becoming the main form of viewing tv and movies and listening to music as opposed to tv, theatres and radio.


Member: Rank 5
Just rambling.
Ramble On, my friend - this is a Very Big Ponderable and I'm sure there isn't one right answer.
We're growing up and learning some things that (shit) our grandparents already knew, but were too busy enjoying our kiddy innocence to tell us -

Whoever you vote for, you get a politician.
Wars happen. Everyone hates it, not just the pacifists.
Either: singers have hair too long and you can't hear the words OR their hair is too shot and you can. And it's not worth it.
Youth is wasted on the young. But they can't have mine. YET. I haven't finished with it.


Member: Rank 2
Not entirely related to Hux's BTTF reference, but some thoughts about this topic in general:

Whenever I see a colour film/photo from the 1950s or earlier, it feels much more "modern" than a black-and-white one from the same time period. So, it could be that our perception is sometimes affected by this factor when we (we as in the generation that grew up past the b/w media era) contemplate the difference between the 50s-80s & 80s-10s. After all, they are the main two visual gateways for us to that era. Literature & anecdotal verbal sharing from older generations are the main non-visual ones.

That said, the rate of change is not necessarily linear, so it could definitely be argued that societal and technological changes have been greater in some time frames than others. Not just the sheer amount of changes but also the significance of them; it only takes one or two truly groundbreaking changes to completely change the world.

Here's a key question: Were the changes from the 80s and onwards more about improving existing concepts than breaking new ground? Moore's Law dictates that the amount of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles annually; could it be that the changes in the last 30 years have been massive but a bit "dull" compared to past changes that revolutionized the world?


Member: Rank 2
It's all Chris Jericho's fault.
When he came into the WWE in 1999, he wasn't kidding about changing the WWE, he also changed the decades that followed.
He made sure that his personality would make the new century "shut the hell up", and that the pre-Y2K decades would be material that we'd never...ever...forget.

The Seeker

Member: Rank 6
I just read an article in the Chicago Tribune by Mary Schmich about one juror’s diary kept during a trial of the Chicago Seven in 1968. And I’ve been reading Mike Royko’s columns from the 80s. As far as the political landscape, Americans have always hated each other and under Reagan our economy started its downward spiral into the pathetic debacle it is today. Nothing ever seems to change, except music and clothes.