The 90s were a wonderful, exciting, and liberating time to be a kid. Youngsters still played outside for most of the daylight hours, dial-up internet was in its infancy, and pop culture was taking everything great about the 80s and expanding on it. Life was simply radical. I think that’s why so much of my time is spent thinking about the past. It’s not to say that adulthood is a bad thing, as my weekly allowance and level of interaction with girls has grown exponentially, but there are some great things about being a kid that just cannot be replicated.
Childhood and adulthood are vastly different experiences to most of society, and I definitely understand that unfortunate fact, but I suppose my man-child perspective lends itself to believing that there are parts of your younger, more imaginative and curious self that can remain and even flourish well into adult life.
I’ve never really mentioned it during the run of this site’s idiotic articles thus far, but I used to be a HUGE wrestling fan as an elementary and middle schooler. I have vivid memories of dragging my annoyed dad to live tapings in Philadelphia, play “wrestling” and essentially beating the fuck out of each other on my friend’s trampoline, flipping back and forth endlessly between WCW Nitro and WWF Raw is War, watching shitty public access channels to keep up with ECW, and even going so embarrassingly far as joining E-federations and roleplaying as a horribly unoriginal Undertaker rip-off.
There’s something about the sweaty, violent showmanship and the wrestlers’ lack of regard for their personal wellbeing for the sake of adoring fans that hits me right in the pussy. While my initial interest in the sport was forged at a very young age by the likes of the Undertaker, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, and the Ultimate Warrior, it was my pre-teen years where I was most rabidly devoted to everything about wrestling.
That perfect middle school combination of hormonal angst, immaturity, and a love of rebellious douchebaggery had finally found an outlet through the unforgettable WWF stable, D-Generation X.
The majority of people, when asked in a totally serious and non-creepy way, admit that gym class was the bane of their existence during their long, boring stay within the walls of the public education system. To me, this kind of snap judgement is an ignorant lamentation. Sure, middle and high school gym class were akin to slave plantations during the turn of the century complete with sweaty armpits, long bouts of exercise without rest, and angry masters hurling insults at you, brandishing a moldy coach’s whistle instead of a whip.
However, you’re letting all the bad parts of gym class cloud your recollection of all the good, and I’m talking REALLY good, times. In the 90s, gym classes in the thousands of elementary schools across the country were a time of reflection, fun, and primal, fist-clenching, elbow-scraping competition.
Now, you’ve got to remember, getting a roomful of rugrats together to do anything even slightly organized is more futile an endeavor than convincing them not to eat brightly-colored, food-shaped hunks of Play Doh. The gym teachers, clad in their windbreaker suits and sporting white New Balance cross trainers that conflicted horribly with the rest of their outfit, stood at attention wielding whistles and issuing commands to their minions in the same way a farmer gathers stray cows when they’ve had their fill of grass. My elementary school’s particular cattle herding room was affectionately referred to as the cafegymnatorium.
While there are many 90s sports movies that left a huge impact on my childhood, there are no other series I remember quite as fondly as The Mighty Ducks.
Although hockey has always conceded and played fourth fiddle in America to the other big sports, it’s always been my personal favorite. I love the speed, the intensity, the finesse, the precision, and the bloodshed associated with Canada’s national pastime. Despite the fact that the Flyers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since the 70s, I’ll always be a die hard puckhead. It is for this reason that the Mighty Ducks film franchise holds a special place in my heart.
The film chronicles the exploits of one Gordon Bombay, a shamed Pee Wee Hockey failure who missed a penalty shot that could have won his team the championship. Fast forward to his adult life and he’s a sleazy, cutthroat Minneapolis lawyer with a chip on his shoulder. After winning a case in a particularly slimy fashion, Bombay is chastised by his boss for his antics. In a moment of weakness and depression, he chugs beer and drives around carelessly in a snow storm, attracting the attention of local police.
It’s been nearly 2 months since I last updated the site, and I sincerely apologize for depriving all of you of 90s cultural goodness for such an unacceptable duration. Real life has a habit of getting in the way of my more meaningful pursuits like watching shitty movies and spending way too much money on toys and cereal bowls on eBay.
Anyway, today is Memorial Day and all and, besides being a time for remembering and honoring fallen soldiers, it’s a weekend that feels like the unofficial start of summer for most people. There are BBQs, beach trips, and lots of outdoor fun, booze, and grilled meats to be indulged in.
Besides all of the classic summer weekend nostalgia, however, it also reminds me of one of the fundamental pieces of childhood comedic entertainment: 90s SUMMER CAMP MOVIES. Kids in these movies get to live fantastical lives full of romance and debauchery simply because they’re sleeping in bunks in the woods away from competent adult supervision. The owner of the camp is too busy worrying about the business end of things and the counselors are too busy fucking each other for any of them to give a damn about what the kids are doing. Oh, the beauty of summer camps.