Friday, February 6, 2015

MUSIC SCENE IS CRAZY; BANDS START UP EACH AND EVERY DAY:  Kurt Andersen argues in Sunday's NYT that the 1990s were the Greatest Decade Ever. Some of the argument is political, but also:
In feature films, it was the decade of “Pulp Fiction” and the indie movement, thanks to which idiosyncratic, more-commercial-than-art-house masterpieces like those by Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne and Richard Linklater became plausible. It was also the decade in which traditional Disney animation came back from the dead and in which Pixar, with the first two “Toy Story” movies, reinvented the form magnificently.

THE digital age, of course, got fully underway in the ’90s. At the beginning of the decade almost none of us had heard of the web, and we didn’t have browsers, search engines, digital cellphone networks, fully 3-D games or affordable and powerful laptops. By the end of the decade we had them all. Steve Jobs returned to Apple and conjured its rebirth. 
And it was just the right amount of technology. By the end of the decade we all had cellphones, but not smartphones; we were not overconnected or tyrannized by our devices. Social media had not yet made social life both manically nonstop and attenuated. The digital revolution hadn’t brutally “disrupted” whole economic sectors and made their work forces permanently insecure. Recorded music sales nearly doubled during the decade. Newspapers and magazines were thriving. Even Y2K, our terrifying end-of-the-millennium technological comeuppance, was a nonevent.


  1. Joseph Finn11:50 AM

    OK, I'm going to quibble with the cellphones bit, simply because I had cellphones starting around 1995, and they were in general grade-A crap until the end of the decade when Nokia started selling phones with internal antennas (the 3210, for instance). Terrible reception, antennas you had to extend, crap was a dark time for design and usability. We're in a much better place with them now.

    (Also, there is no "right amount of technology." That's some Malcolm Galdwell-level drek.)

  2. Slowlylu4:51 PM

    Whenever I read articles like this I find it goes down easier if you read it in Grandpa Simpson's voice.
    I am not a crackpot

  3. Eric J.9:12 AM

    So I put on my flannel shirt, which was the style at the time...