Over the past few weeks, I have become more and more nostalgic. I’ve been off work since April 10th. I’ve had a number of tests done and taken many painkillers and had some…journeys. But most of my journeys have been down memory lane.
I’ve re-connected with a few folks from back in’t day. But I think the nostalgia is more about the fact that my Mum’s 70th birthday is next month (the day after mine) and, shortly after, the 1 year anniversary of her passing will be here. Since she passed, I have felt somewhat disconnected from life. Tie that in with my health issues/worries and it also becomes a question of what the point of life is and why do I even bother. These are feelings and thoughts prominent in my mind during my teens when my outlet was poetry. Almost every poem I wrote ended with me dying in some shape or form. My own death was an obsession of mine. But my prose couldn’t have been that bad; a few of them were published in a variety of compilations…
But, my woes are not the focal point of this post. I was born in 1984 meaning that in the late 80s and early 90s, the objects of those times shaped and moulded me. In my mind, that was probably the best era to hail from. Perhaps that’s biased and everyone thinks that their own era was the best. But they’re wrong. Unless they’re from my era.
My only wish is that we had some of the tech we have now, back then (such as camera phones – decent cameras…).
So what was great about being a 90s kid (I class myself as 90s as I remember a lot of my childhood that took place then)?
- Cartoons – kids’ TV was awesome. From Dogtanian to Batman: The Animated Series…Saturday TV and after school TV rocked. The only day I hated as a kid was Sunday. TV sucked balls.
- Gaming – OK, the graphics don’t compare these days but download a ROM for a Mega Drive emulator etc and realise that a 3MB game that was either unbeatable or took hours to complete makes the games of today that are 20GB+ pale in comparison in terms of completion time and the respective cost!
- You couldn’t save games, if you were lucky you got end of level codes so you could return to a later level. Some games saved (for the life of me I could never figure it out) but generally once you turned the game off you had to start from scratch. This taught us fundamental life skills such as patience/perseverance. After all, no one ever went down in history for going ape shit and killing their schoolmates because Paperboy took ages to load on their Spectrum ZX only to misread the cassette after 20 minutes and it had to be reloaded!
- We didn’t stalk our friends. Back in the day, you would either knock on your mates’ door and ask if they were in/could come out or you’d phone them. If they weren’t in/didn’t answer/couldn’t come out then that was it. Now, if you can’t get them on Whatsapp you try Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Viber, Tango and fuck knows what else, then you sit and watch for them to have read the message and get really irritated when they haven’t replied and you keep checking the apps again and again as if, by some miracle, that prompts them to respond. In some cases, you may go to their house (OMG actual face-to-face contact?!)…with a gun.
- You could say what you wanted without having to worry about hurting feelings. Now, it’s all about the feels.
- Toys were better quality – for example, my Batman: The Animated Series figures were sturdy (they stood the test of time as most of them are in awesome condition despite being constantly made to fight each other back in the day). Fast forward to today and the action figures in stores now will probably shatter by simply making them tumble onto a carpet. The only exception I can think of is Lego. Lego hasn’t really changed but the licenses they have now in their range would have been awesome back then!
- Phone boxes. Yes, boxes with phones in them. Boxes with phones in them that one could stroll into on the way to school and fit in a few prank phone calls to 192 before continuing the miserable journey.
- Video shops. You know, like Netflix only actual shops. Where I would spend ages, in some cases multiple visits on the same day, perusing the VHS tapes and sometimes hiding one that I was considering behind some unpopular titles so that I could pick it up once I had decided that I wanted it.
As awesome as some things are nowadays, if they could somehow merge the cool stuff from today but allow me to go back to “my time”…well, I think I would just arrive everywhere. Face. Neck. Chest.
I haven’t done the 90s any justice as I know there are shit loads of other things that I have forgotten (memory loss and getting older are bitches, yo).
If you’re in the same age range and feel something is missing, drop it in the comments below!
If you feel strongly that MY time is not the best time and YOURS is, put forward your argument in the comments too. But you’re wrong.
Over the past week since being stricken with the pox and knocking me completely for six, among the fever dreams and feeling sorry for myself a few notions dawned on me.
I’ve blogged before about the fact that aspects of my childhood can never be enjoyed by my children as times have changed and technology has taken over and the fact this saddens me deeply. I started to watch Warm Bodies as well as read more of Rise of The Governor and the biggest thing to me out of these concepts, especially in Revolution, is that the current generation would never survive because everything they’ve come to know and take as the every day norm wouldn’t exist as it’s all based on technology. Even I have become sheltered and lost a lot of ‘smarts’ I once owned as a boisterous adventurer.
In the event of zombies or a global power take-down, most of our memories would be gone. Digital photographs stored on the inter-webs, memoires tippy-tappy-typed on blogs, videos of special occasions inaccessible as Youtube is no more. It’s a horrifying concept and one that all of us in developed countries will be able to relate to even partially. People like me think me can’t comprehend the absurdity of people who don’t own laptops, have wi-fi or own a mobile phone. Perhaps they have it right. Perhaps they have the correct set of priorities…
The trouble is, we are in a society where there is no going back – even if we lose technology due to no power sources being available, things would never regress back to simpler times. We will still collect technology only, instead of working and saving or serving the time of a contract to reach your eagerly anticipated upgrade date, we will steal, we will kill, we will rape and pillage. We will regress too far back to the point where our more primal instincts come out.
The Walking Dead hits the nail on the head as to how we would be. Yes, there would be good among us, but due to the strife and adversity even then, our sense of good will be bent to encompass our new environs. It’s not about zombies or nuclear holocausts, it doesn’t matter how society collapses – the results would be the same.
My children will never know the simple pleasures of climbing trees and building dens using corrugated iron sheets, discarded pallets and tarpaulins and foraging for other scraps to make it more ‘homely’. They have The Sims for that.
They will never know what it’s like to pretend fight with toy guns or lumps of wood fashioned into weapon-like objects because they have movies, games or even the ability to join the army and do it for real.
Running round woods for hours playing ‘Predator’ is no longer in. Mainly because there are actual predators in the woods these days. Our kids don’t play dead after encountering these ones…they get dead for real.
There’s no thrill of setting your alarm during the summer holidays to catch awesome cartoons at 6am because you can Sky+ them or they probably already have them on iTunes, DVD, Blu-ray or whatever the next for of physical media is.
There’s no rummaging through the droppage of a chestnut tree to pick the best ‘conker’ to dominate your friends with in competitions because there’s probably a DS game to simulate the entire thing.
There’s no playing with toy cars in the soil creating your own roads and taking down some insects as you’re cruising. Why? When they can play GTA and run PEOPLE over? It’s more fun, for crying out loud!
No building with actual LEGO blocks any more because you can design virtual cities and play – no mess so what’s NOT to love?
You’d think I’m anti-tech based on this – and hypocritical considering I’m blogging, but I love tech. I love GTA and now I have a bit more energy the amount of time I have spent in Skyrim has been significant. The difference is, I had a good wholesome childhood and gamed from a young age but still had time to enjoy real life adventures. You can’t get scars from playing videogames unless you fall off your top bunk because you’re staying up crazy late.
It’s almost like our kids’ childhoods are being lived by surrogates.
I’ve added a link to the forum on the menu bar at the top of the blog.
Kinda been left idle for a while and I’ve deleted a lot of old stuff to make way for new content.
I would really appreciate my readers to give it a look and help make it a thriving community.
I am open to any ideas for board categories and would also like some help with moderators as well.
Apologies for the lack of blogging recently, as you can probably tell by my Facebook/Twitter updates, I have been engrossed in Just Cause 2. There’s just so much to do! Even though, in essence, it’s a lot of repetitive activities and tasks it’s how you do it that makes the difference.
The map is huge. But, unlike Just Cause (which I got bored of very quickly as graphically it wasn’t great and gameplay was sub-par), navigating the map is a pleasure. If you get bored of piloting your helicopter, stunt jump to a plane or free-fall to the nearest road and car surf instead.
The possibilities are endless. Add the video capture function to upload direct to Youtube or save to the PS3 harddrive for editing and you’ve got your own, action packed, testosterone fuelled You’ve Been Framed.
Other highlights are:
- The island from ‘Lost. (on the map it’s the island in the northwest.
- A beached whale
- A bubble blaster that can be wielded as a weapon
- A fake shark
- The 2 Mile High Club (a nightclub in the sky)
And many more…as well as the highlights you create yourself!
In the meantime, I’ve taken too much time out of my gaming schedule so must get back to it!
Feel free to check out my uploads here.
And here is my favourite upload so far: