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’90s Nostalgia Buzzkill: Reasons the Decade Actually Sucked

We love the ’90s. You love the ’90s. The makers of ‘Portlandia‘ and the 50 million people rocking out to Stone Temple Pilots right now in their cars — they love the ’90s, too. And why not? Everything looks pretty in the rear view, but ultimately, it’s an illusion. The decade wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and water-cooler conversations about the masturbation episode of ‘Seinfeld.’ Some gnarly shiz went down in the Clinton years, and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the fact the ’90s are gone and never, ever coming back. Read on.

Technology blew. If you tried to download a song on your Gateway 2000 PC, the .wav transfer took a fortnight, and that was only if your dumb mom didn’t pick up the phone. Jeez, mom!

Ross Land, Hulton Archive

In the ’90s, we did it all for the nookie.

George De Sota, Hulton Archive

CDs. They sounded horrible and scratched easily, and because you didn’t mail back your BMG postcards on time, your house is littered with more of them than you know what to do with. Anyone need a copy of Live’s ‘Throwing Copper?’

Matt Cardy, Getty Images

Live were huge.

Frank Micelotta, Hulton Archive

Some of the best music of the decade was being made by R&B artists, but indie rock kids are just now realizing that. (See: How to Dress Well, Inc., Beacon, Vondelpark, etc.)

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

No urgency. The Clinton administration gave us eight years of unprecedented peace and prosperity, and there was precious little machine to rage against. Thanks a lot, Bill.

Pool, Hulton Archive

We lost some good people.

Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images

In all genres.

Instagram

If you’re reading this, you were probably too young in the ’90s to drink in bars with your friends, and drinking in bars with your friends is really, really fun. It’s like ‘Cheers.’

Marco Di Lauro, Getty Images

Speaking of which, ‘Cheers’ went off the air in 1993.

Darren McCollester, Getty Images

The dance-punk and garage-rock revivals were still years away, so we had to make do with swing.

Photo by dualdflipflop

MTV started replacing videos with reality shows. ‘The Real World’ was good until San Fran, when Puck took crazy to a new level. Now it’s all hot tubs and binge drinking and pregnant Jersey Shore teens with meth addictions.

YouTube

Although once TRL happened, videos got kinda sucky anyway.

Scott Gries, Hulton Archive

Woodstock ’99 was for Gen-Xers what Altamont was for the hippies, only instead of the Stones, we had Limp Bizkit.

Frank Micelotta, Hulton Archive

And then to top it all off, in 1999, the Y2K thing didn’t happen, and the world didn’t end. Good news, right? Wrong! It meant Prince can’t predict the future. If you can’t believe in the Purple Yoda, who can you believe in?

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

Next: Reasons to Miss the '00s

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