Awesome Children of the 90s Ad

Children of the 90s, you got to watch this ad for Internet Explorer, because it seems like they are very well aware that we've all moved on to bigger and better things and just want to remind us that IE is still around. Please bear with some shameless commercialization knowing that I'm not making a dime from this, but am posting it here because of how awesome this ad is! You could do a "90s Kid bingo" with this ad. And the message is true, the internet as we know it is technically also a 90s invention, like many of us (unless you're like me and were actually born in the 80s...like the internet)...

 

"We met in the 90s. We are members of generation Y, as in yin-yang, as in yo-yo. Life moved a little slower. Disks were square. Desktop folders had personality. Extra storage space was just a zipper away. There was only one social network, but most of your friends died of dysentery. The only thing buzzing in your pocket was a pet, until that died too. But at least a troll was still a friend. Lunch was puzzle, not a picture. You were pumping jams, water, shoes. You didn't have to worry about a newsfeed full of farm animals. You were busy feeding wild animals. A haircut didn't cost 60 dollars. It cost 4 minutes. You really had nothing to lose. Unless of course, you were playing for keeps! The future was bright. You grew up, so did we." 

End the Overalls

For some reason parents in the 80's and 90's saw it necessary to lock their children into their pants. These things called overalls were somewhat fashionable at the time, especially for girls, but where they at least didn't crowd their style (at least for tomboys), the whole "farmer John" hillbilly look was not only trauma-inducing for anyone who wasn't a girl, but was also potentially hazardous. Once again, I speak from personal experience.

I happen to remember one panic-inducing bathroom experience at school when I was little, being unable to unhook those metal loops (this was when I was more youngish, you see). There was just no way to open it up and I wasn't going to go ask someone to do it for me because that's ridiculous. And no, there was no zipper or anything else, which in my opinion just makes any piece of clothing a torture device. So it was either stay locked in and suffer, of somehow get out of the contraption and do what needs to be done. I don't remember how I solved the problem, but perhaps I blocked it out for my own good.

Everyone talks about how great childhood was in the 80s and 90s simply because they've been able to block out things like this! This is why I implore people today to never put anyone over (or under) the age of five into these things, and especially anyone who isn't a girl. Maybe these were cool for guys back in the 30s, but those days done. Girls actually do look pretty good in overalls, I got to admit, but what do I know about "clothing?" ;)

Nickelodeon Gak

Even if you were living under a rock in the 90s, you probably came across Nickelodeon Gak (I think that's where they got it from). It was slimy, stretchy, liquid-y, snot in a plastic cup, and it was fun enough if only because it farted when you squished it in its cup. Gak was also probably the substance that filled me and my friends' heads most of the time back then, and not just because I tried eating it once.

Sure, you could press it into things for indentations, or bounce it off the desk, or roll it into balls, but the best thing was that if you squished it into its cup, it farted! Yeah, you could stretch it over your mouth and blow a small bubble through it, or pull it to pieces and stick things on the wall with it... but just so you know, it did indeed FART when squeezed... kind of like me. Are you picking up what I'm laying down? Forget the other stuff it did, just call this stuff the iFart of the 90s! And how appropriate that it should be, seeing as it smelled like some kind of chemical waste dump.

Gak lost its fun when it started getting dry and crumbly, or once it got sat on and pressed into the couch cushions or stepped on and stuck up your sneaker treads. The novelty soon wore off, but get yourself another batch and it was sticky, oozy, goo-y squishy fun all over again. And for little weirdos like me, anything that meant never-ending ripply, blurping, raspy fart sounds seemed like the only toy I'd ever really need, even if the "sound effects" weren't really up to my exacting standards, but there were a LOT of them. Just don't put it in your mouth.

The Enterprise and Other Ships

I don't know when my obsession with the original Star Trek show and movies began. Legend has it that it was the only show that could pacify me as a baby. But the first real memories of Star Trek that I have came from the original movies, that is, the ones I saw (3, 4, 5, and Generations). I've already talked about my early love for Star Trek 3 as a film, so it's time to explore my fandom a little deeper... (as "deep" as an 8-year-old boy was capable of going, that is).

What I loved most about Star Trek was the ships. Maybe it was because I was already into real ships and used to say I wanted to be a "ship captain" when I grew up, or maybe I was already into Star Trek when I used to say that, I can't remember which, but those two facts were true about me as far back as I can remember. I used to draw these ships in kindergarten even, and all of them contributed to my collective life enjoyment and over-active imagination for so many years afterwards that I'd be lying if I said it still wasn't true.

In any case, I loved the USS Enterprise, the good old NCC-1701, pre-op yes, but especially when it got its slick make-over for the movies.  I loved that blue eye-like deflector on the front of the ship, the little lit windows around the saucer, the spotlights illuminating circles on the hull, the stern "engines" (or "nacelles") jutting out the back, and namely everything else about it. I loved the ship so much I used to imitate its basic shape with my fingers (middle and thumb forming the stern nacelles, index forming the "neck"), and would just fly my hand around making warp sounds forever in a day. If anything looked futuristic, smooth, or plated with neon lights (like in Star Trek 5), I used to just call it "the Enterprise." Anything with a round shape was "the Enterprise." I once glued a bunch of plastic cups together in an "Enterprise" shape, and even that was "the Enterprise." Mom's old Buick Century became an "Enterprise shuttle-craft" once I stepped in. If we stopped off at Home Depot, well, that was just the Enterprise's dry dock. The very word "Enterprise" meant nothing to me beyond "cool-ass star ship."

Klingon Bird of Prey
Star Trek 3 may have been my favorite film just because it was the first time we get to see the other kinds of ships out there, including the downright awesome Klingon Bird of Prey. This bad boy was a kid's imaginary "finger ship" dream come true, with its neck and wings, making it a whole lot easier to make with your fingers (by turning the "finger Enterprise" upside down that is). First of all, it was green, and it had phaser canons on its wings and big intimidating "football shoulders" built right into it. I loved how the wings went up and down like a bird... low for attack mode and up for speed. And being Klingon, the ship could cloak! The Reliant from Star Trek 2 did have a slow macabre menace to it as it skirted around, but the Bird of Prey was just all around badass. Swooping down with a roar, blasting its enemies to pieces and speeding off in a huff, it was straight up gang-banger. It was like something out of the Ninja Turtles, and for the first time in Star Trek, actually "looked" alien.

Science Vessel Grissom
Then there were a few other ships that left some impression on the 8yo me, such as the defenseless science vessel Grissom, the so-called "state of the art" Excelsior, and the new Space Dock. First of all, everything about the Grissom and the Excelsior looked 80's, but in a good way. The Grissom looked like the equivalent of the 80's "econo-car" in space... small, cheaply assembled, and fitted with a hydraulic hatch on the back most likely. On the other hand, The Excelsior looked like a bulky 80's home computer, very sophisticated and showy with all its fancy new features, but you knew it was probably buggy as all hell and wouldn't work at all, or that nobody could understand how to make it work. It was the equivalent of an over-sized 80's minivan in space: heavy, expensive, and easy to break. Maybe people were just scared of new technology back in the 80s. And then there's Space Dock, which was just a giant mushroom in space, but a stunning one at that.

USS Enterprise D
I'll mention TNG only because it was on television (even if I wasn't particularly interested in watching it). Following the trend of most good things Star Trek related, TNG actually began in the 80s and carried that smooth/bulky 80s aesthetic right through its entire run in the 90s. I never really liked the chunky "cruise ship" look of the Enterprise D, although it was the toy model I used to play with, four sound effects included (lasers, photon torpedoes, warp speed, random explosions). For some reason you could pop the plastic nacelles off the Enterprise D model toy even though the ship couldn't separate like that on the show. And even if they lit up whenever you hit the button for the torpedo sound, I still would've taken a toy Enterprise or Enterprise A any day.

Looks like I've exposed the extent of my dork-hood fandom once again. Oh well.