A tweet recently popped up on my Twitter feed that Britney Spears “…Baby One More Time” came out 20 years ago.
Well, it’s actually 20 years and about a month and a half, so you missed the true anniversary.
But, still, I get it. The point attempting to be made here was: “FEEL OLD YET?!”
And, no. I don’t. Telling me that “…Baby One More Time” is almost old enough to legally drink alcohol does not make me feel any older than I am. I remember it with fondness. In 20 years, when someone laser etches “Billie Eilish “Bad Guy” came out 20 years ago” into my frontal lobe, I might start to think I’m getting old.
This phenomenon isn’t rare. It seems every content website needs a filler piece, so they mine Google for images of products from the 90s. The picture are low definition, sometimes a picture of a television commercial.
Did I just leave this blog post for fifteen minutes to play an emulator of Number Munchers? You bet.
These lists don’t make me feel old. Usually, they make me wonder what we were thinking or why some things went away.
Why did Gushers survive, but Dunkaroo’s failed? What was the Mr. Sketch scented black marker supposed to smell like vs. what it actually did smell like? Are all the Tamagotchis dead? Is Tamagotchis the plural of Tamagotchi? Should it be Tamagotchae?
Like the flavor of Fruit Stripe gum, some things are only meant to exist for a fleeting moment.
When “…Baby One More Time” came out, I was a child. I have not been a child for a long time. I don’t eat garbage anymore. If given the chance to have a Surge soda, I would decline. If given the choice between real food and a Lunchable, I would take the real food. Those other things don’t interest me anymore. I don’t hav I have moved on with my life; I have moved on to more mature things.
Maybe this is a secret negative review of nostalgia culture. Every new Star Wars movie seems to inspire a wave of hatred, not because it is bad (sure, @ me, but you’re wrong), but because it is not the thing they grew up with. Just because you had a fondness for something or you are a member of a particular fandom doesn’t mean you own it or have any say in the matter.
Nostalgia culture is the non-drug equivalent of chasing the dragon. It will never be as good as you remember, not because it isn’t good, nor because it never was. YOU are the thing that has changed and that’s a good thing.
You never get anywhere by standing still.
While cleaning out my closet, I found something.
Round, shiny objects with holes in the center. I’m not exactly sure what their purpose is. They are called, “Compact discs”.
That’s right. I discovered my high school collection of CD’s. It’s possible that I bought one or two in college, but I doubt it.
I’ve been known to rock out to some old school Britney Spears. And, N*Sync circa ’99? Forget about it. Everyone thought the world was about to end, but we were more concerned with Bye, Bye, Bye.
I remember the Christmas when I got my first discman. It was a life-changing experience. I listened to music almost constantly (still do). It wasn’t long until I wore out that first one and had to upgrade to a Sony Sport Discman, the one with the big lock on the front. The one that the tank could drive over…
Now my hard won albums will be making their way to Half-Price Books, to fulfill someone else’s collection. Here’s a look at the big ‘uns.
1. The Bubble Gum
All the essentials. Genie in a Bottle, …Baby, One More Time, Say My Name. Do you remember Destiny’s Child? You know, back before Beyonce put a ring on it?
I don’t know if I would say I wore these albums out, but they definitely found their way to my ears on more than one occasion.
I even had the N*Sync Christmas album. That’s made you popular in college. Well, if you hung out with the right people.
2. The Rebellion
I had my Korn period. My Nirvana phase. My *cough* Limp Bizkit phase. Hey, I was young. And, I was at that impressionable age when all that stuff gets pushed into your head.
Anyone up for a Nookie lyric rap battle? It’s in there. Right behind Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It.
3. The Essentials
So, maybe I made a few questionable choices, but you can’t call me completely tasteless. My mother grew up on the Rolling Stones and Motown, which means I did, too. As a result, I’m a diehard Jagger fan and the Beatles can kiss…nah, the Beatles are all right.
Forty Licks, Janis Joplin, Jackson 5. They all stack up.
4. The Soundtracks
Oh my God, I did not realize how much of a soundtrack junky I was until I stared into the box. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Moulin Rouge, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain. I started to dip into musicals there, didn’t I?
I’ve transferred all this stuff to my computer and forgotten about it. It’s time to share my music collection. The gems (Dresden Dolls) and the not-so-awesome (N*Sync/Britney combo that came with a Happy Meal).
I like to think my taste in music has evolved since then but turn on Livin’ La Vida Loca or Mambo no. 5, and I’ll be on my feet in no time.
Do you have any guilty music pleasures?