Home Tech 1994 was the last good year, and it’s still going

1994 was the last good year, and it’s still going

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1994 was the last good year, and it's still going

In 1994 everything was going well. Music, movies, television: cultural production felt alive. People were also very cool, or they managed to be cool by trying not to be cool. Anyway, 30 years ago I was No cool and didn’t have much to do on Friday nights. So on April 8, 1994, I was at home, watching Kurt Loder take over MTV to inform me and everyone that Kurt Cobain was gone.

Remembering the passing of Nirvana’s frontman may be a maudlin way to go, but it’s a savage reminder of how many culture-changing events took place in 1994. Natural Born Killers and pulp fiction. Nine Inch Nails Release The downward spiral a month before Cobain committed suicide. Tori Amos fell under the pink a few weeks before that. Above the rim It hit theaters that spring and lived on car speakers all summer since Warren G and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate” was on the soundtrack. Aaliyah released “Back & Forth”; Brandy wanted to be down; TLC pursued “Waterfalls.” my supposed life It premiered its only unfortunate perfect season. Jim Carrey had three Movies in theaters of different quality: Dumb and dumb, Ace Ventura: Pet Detectiveand The mask. Brad Pitt had three, two that matter: legends of the fall and Interview with the Vampire. Kevin Smith’s debut Office workerspremiered at Sundance, was picked up by Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax, and was a cult hit before the year was out.

These things were all anyone could talk about, culturally. that’s all there was to talk.

Except they weren’t. The above are just a few of the cultural moments that caught national and global attention in 1994. These are the things that affected the suburbs. Some of the best art of the year was produced over slow heat. As C. Brandon Ogbunu and Lupe Fiasco noted in their essay last week commemorating Nas’ 30th birthday. ilmatic, “in the early ’90s there were no hip-hop message boards. There were no social networks. The legend of ilmatic “It was built from corner to corner, from person to person, from party to party.” Still, Nas was in Hey! MTV Raps.

Every now and then an expert comes along who scratches his chin and pontificates about whether monoculture is dead or not. The New York Times wondering if these are “TV post-water cooler“times; “Vox asks”Can monoculture survive the algorithm?“My colleague Kate Knibbs has already written about how lamenting the demise of monoculture is a bit ridiculous, and while it’s debatable, there’s simply further current culture (more TikToks, more Coachella Instagram videos, more streaming shows) there are still common denominators: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, hating Zack Snyder’s movies. I would say that monoculture never died; rather, he is a zombie that stalks everything. The ghost in the machine is an unspoken desire to share something collectively, if only to destroy it together. (See again: Taylor Swift).

The Monitor is a weekly column dedicated to everything happening in the world of WIRED culture, from movies to memes, from television to Twitter.

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