Trouble in Paradise: Non-fiction: Essential 90s (Stephen King's IT, C&C and Nirvana)

Friday, May 31, 2019

Non-fiction: Essential 90s (Stephen King's IT, C&C and Nirvana)

This video has been on youtube for a month -- I scripted five more videos that I will release from next week onwards. In this video I discuss the most essential cultural phenomena that define what it was like to grow up in the 90s. It gives insight in me as a writer and how I see the world.


Introduction: IT, C&C, Nirvana? Stay tuned for a gust from the 90s and how it relates to the hopes, fears and dreams of our times.
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Hi, my name is JdH and in this video I will discuss the most essential cultural phenomena that define what it was like to grow up in the 90s.
The three phenomena that I have selected stood the test of time, because to a good extent those works reflect and define who we are and they do for this reason there’s the dimension of entertainment, but there’s also what’s below the surface: they vastly work on an emotional level, because they give us something that makes us want to come back for more. 
Stephen King’s IT appeals exactly for that reason, because even though it’s a scary story, it’s also about growing up in 1950s America and it reflects the experience of growing up in any rural place in any era. It’s about the kind of friendship that you build as a kid in a small town, the kind of things you do to pass the time, and also the kind of warped way the imagination of young kids work. 
Command & Conquer, C&C…. Man, did I waste many hours playing that game and all the sequels…. There was this dual element that always got me coming back for more: you could either play the missions and quickly move on to the next level, or you could fool around and build a fortress which at some point caused the enemy to just give up. 
It was that element of fooling around that was part of the games’ appeal: to expand is a natural tendency and this game simulates that. It’s very 90s in the sense that it was during that era that we were almost being programmed that our lives are less about survival of the fittest and more about expansion. This game played right into that.

This [Nirvana] was one of the bands that I listened to a lot when I was like 16/17…. This one, Lithium, is one of my favorites…. It has the slow paced guitars and upbeat drums and the hoarse, screechy, insecure voice of Cobain. 
To me come as you areis their most iconic song and it’s very 90s, but it’s also a stretch too far it’s bad advise, because it basicallygives permission not to try too hard. But that’s only something that I see after twenty years: at the time there was just the music, the lyrics and the chunk of melancholy and teenage angst that floats around the whole thing. 
This is where it touches on one of the millennial predicaments: for many of us it took years to overcome this and to incorporate a very simple premise: To become successful in anything takes more than just being who you are, but it takes work, discipline and perseverance. 
So there you have it: three cultural phenomena of the 90s and some of my thoughts about it. What is your opinion? What is quintessential 90s and how does it affect our current times? Leave your comments below.
If you liked this video, you may also like my fiction: you can read a new story every week. For free.
Signing off, this is JdH speaking to you from the Caribbean.


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    1. Hi Jelmer,

      Thanks for the interesting post.

      You made an interesting remark, `becoming successful doesn't stop at being who you are, it continues with being disciplined and unwillingness to give up.

      I dont know those artists, but I can understand in the teenage years you are young and can be easily misled and influence.

      Oldy-goldies I listened to, and they speak alot of love, something that is important in order to achieve and be successful in life.

      Thanks for your posting,it was nice to read.