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I keep reading about how American culture was more friendly in the 80s and 90s than it is today. It's really funny, but I seem to have noticed a similarity of that at my high school. I went to J Sterling Morton West High School in Chicago's west suburb of Berwyn from August 30th, 1994 to June 13th, 1999 (my graduation). When I started high school, a lot of the kids, even some of the cheerleaders, were friendly, mostly authentic and down-to-Earth. Especially the classes of 1995, 1996, and for the most part, 1997. I used to chat, tell stories with them, and basically have fun with them. My Sophomore year and first half of Junior year were the best. Freshman year was also great. But both my Senior years were not so good. The classes of 1998, 1999 (my graduating class), and 2000 had not a whole lot of nice kids, and the classes of 2001 and especially 2002 had a lot of very snobby, standoffish, stuck up, and very anti social kids, with the Class of 2002 being the worst. In other words, after the Class of 1997 was basically a downward sloping trend with the classes of 2001 and 2002 essentially being a "social dropoff," almost like even a cliff, in the social atmosphere at Morton West High School. To simplify it, if you've ever played "Grand Theft Auto V" for PlayStation 3 and went swimming in the ocean and you see how the ocean floor seems almost flat at first and with a lot of coral reefs, anemones, and such, and then when you get far enough out, the ocean bottom increases it's angle from horizontal and then plunges almost straight downwards, that's exactly how the social atmosphere was at my high school if you were to span across the classes of 95,96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 2001, and 2002.
Has anyone here gone to high school in the mid to late 1990s? If so, have you experienced that kind of social "dropoff" during your Junior and/or Senior year?
The music was great.
The fashion was great (nike, jordan, nautica, polo).
The NBA was actually something to look forward to (Jordan was still in flight). The refs didn't blow the whistle every freakin 5 seconds.
The NFL was filled with hall of famers (Rice, Young, Irvin, Carter, Aikman, E.Smith, R.White, B.Sanders, D.Sanders, T.Brown, etc). Refs allowed defense to play defense.
The experiences I do not miss. The girls (with the exception of a couple exchange students and a handful of italian girls) were a$$holes.
The teachers (with the exception of a few) were boring/horrible.
If it weren't for Track-n-field and the weight room (I played a little Football which I don't miss due to $hitty coaches), I would've dropped out!
All of the above is true. I graduated in 1999, and even back then, I had the premonition that this country was done and that my generation was the last of "the good old days".
Then the columbine shooting happened which ushered in the new more violent America, then 9/11 two years later, America hasn't been the same since.
Last edited by NorthAmericanguy on June 12th, 2016, 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
the girls were a$$holes since I started kindergarten (86-87). I wondered if their mothers were a$$holes as well. Had to be. Where did they get the habit of treating nice guys like garbage? Cartoons? I don't think so.
I also saw the rules for the cheerleaders at Morton change, too. In 1997, all Morton cheerleaders were banned from hugging guys while in uniform. In 1999, all Morton cheerleaders were banned from talking to guys while in uniform. What a coincidence with the social dropoff! I also went to a few football games after high school graduation too and one game, I even noticed the parents of one of the cheerleaders didn't allow their daughter to interact with guys at all while she was in high school! So not only was she forbidden to talk to guys while in cheerleader uniform, she was even forbidden by her own family to talk to guys even at home or in the neighborhood and while not in uniform! Typical Illinois family!
I graduated from high school in 1994.
It seems like Americans were normal up until the late 1990s but then transformed over a period of about ten years into the bizarro up is down black is white good is evil culture of a**holes we have now.
1994: If you wanted to find love: "OK, most guys do, nothing wrong with that!"
2016: If you want to find love: "Quit being so entitled! Nobody owes you anything!"
My how times have changed. . . finished HS in the late 90's.
Aesthetically, things were a lot different. The tattoo craze had just barely, barely begun. Kids in my HS, especially the girls, were slimmer than now. There was a whole lot less mental illness, not so many kids showing the signs of falling apart. I didn't know of any classmates on psych meds. It seemed like a lot more masculine era. Metrosexuals hadn't been invented yet, I think. Grunge was the prevailing norm.
TV and media was a lot different. Performers largely joked about what they wanted. There was In Living Color, The Simpsons, South Park, Beavis and Butthead. Internet was new and edgy back then. We did our papers more out of books than internet research at that time. We were groomed and raised for a world that never materialized: go to college, get a four year degree, and the economy would generate lots of new white collar jobs, the rising tide would lift all boats. Oil prices were low and falling, real salaries rose during the 90's. Nobody imagined that in less than a decade gas would break $4, housing prices would double, and the job market/economy would implode.
Classmates at my HS were bored, frustrated, angry, at lot of them anyway. . . it seemed to be the mood of the times. Everybody wanted to get out and be on their own, not stay in their parents basement. Classmate with part-time jobs picked up old trucks or gas guzzler cars from the 70's for under a thousand bucks.
The kids younger than me seemed more thin-skinned and picky, typical of how many people might criticize millenials. Many of the kids a year older than me seemed aggressive and uppity. Two years or more above me, seemed more likeable. People on the whole were more genuine. There was no online phony persona to maintain.
Like you, NA Guy, I remember thinking the good old days were numbered. At the time it was hard to nail down just why; it was more of a gut feeling, one that's been confirmed over the following decade and a half.
I think in the mid nineties women started to become the way they are today. i was raised up in Asia so when i had to attend high school in Germany its was atotal shock to me.
Berwyn, Illinois in 1996; Approach a group, and you might get; "Come sit with us at our lunch table!"
Berwyn, Illinois in 2012; Approach a group, and you get; "Get out of here before I call the police!"
You guys are bringing back some good memories for me.. Yep, I remember watching In Living Color, and that was back when we use to watch MTV, Downtown Julie Brown, Yo! MTV Raps, and The Box.
As a teen I was also fascinated with the future and technology so I use to watch a program called Beyond 2000 which ran from 1981 to 1999.
You're definitely right about the 90s being more masculine area because that's how I remembered it.
Here are some other crazy/standout memories from the 1990's, maybe you remember some of them:
- smoking cigars was masculine and cool
- LA riots (early 90's)
- the guy who parachuted into a boxing match (Holyfield vs. Bowe?)
- the guy who stole a tank and went on a rampage
- Y2K was going to short circuit the digital infrastructure
- second coming would happen in 2000
- serious talk about national debt default/crisis in 1994 when debt was maybe $4 trillion
- fewer unmarried mothers, there was a small measure of shame attached to that, was the center of social controversy
- world had supposedly just 20 years of oil left
- there was true freedom of speech
- kids played outside alone and walked to school, parents not arrested or charged
- creatine and bodybuilding supplement market became a big deal
- flights were costly for the masses
- international travel often required a visa, but you could go to Canada or Mex with just a drivers license
There's a lot more that's missing
There's plenty more than that in the 90s!
- You could carry toothpaste, deodorant, cologne, body wash, sunscreen, and dish soap on a plane.
- A few airports would have even likely let you bring your Emerson 73668 oscilating fan or your Simplex Sunbowl space heater as a carryon item and/or in your carryon bag.
- You could bring two carryon bags on a plane.
- Few, if any, amusement parks had metal detectors, allowing lots of people to bring tape recorders and pocket sized video cameras into the park.
- The New World Order was completely unknown.
- The implantable RFID chip (the mark of the beast described in Revelation 13:16-18) was totally unknown and looked like a far fetched (centuries ahead even) type of technology.
- Mistakenly uttering certain words (bomb, gun, terrorist, etc) at the airport was totally unlikely to cause a huge panic as if the whole sky were falling, not to mention the person who uttered the word to get tossed in jail.
- Anyone could walk their travelling friend, relative, etc to the departure gate at the airport. No pass of any kind needed.
- The huge, fat, power hungry, bureaucratic Department of Homeland Security and TSA were completely unknown.
- There was no such thing as a "sterile area" at the airport.
- The only known incident of a plane crashing into a highrise building was the 1945 incident at the Empire State Building.
- Nobody was brainwashed into (falsely) believing that a jet fuel fire will send a steel frame highrise crumbling and crashing all the way down to it's bare foundation.
- We didn't have a criminal in the White House spreading lies as if to get everyone thinking that even "God Himself could never stand up in a jet fuel fire." As if jet fuel even burned at no less than 9,000 degrees, Fahrenheit. All to get Americans to embrace the New World Order and a vandalized U.S. Constitution. Not to mention take about an entire week or more to get aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
- Many people knew that no highrise building has ever crumbled to it's bare foundation due to fire. No, not even the Joelma Building in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1974, which by the way easily burned far hotter than the World Trade Center.
- Obviously, pay phones still existed and cost 35 cents to make a call. Not to mention landline phones didn't have unlimited calls for a fixed monthly price; the more calls you made, the higher your monthly phone bill got. Plus long distance calls really made your phone bill soar like a space shuttle.
- The pace of life was slower; even my own family, even the outer circles of my extended family, had summer get-togethers and cookouts in my backyard. Today, the only time I even see more than a third of my extended family is at wakes and funerals.
- People often only worked around 40 hours a week. Today, people work no less than 60 to 75 hours a week.
- At least 90 percent of Americans had the Christmas holidays off. Today, that number appears down to 5 percent.
I'm a few years older than you; and the way that I've noticed it, is that the friendliness and fun died after the '80s ended. The 1990s were pretty bad, and the 2000s and beyond have been absolutely nightmarish. We really had no idea just how good we had it thirty years ago, and didn't know what we'd lost until it was gone forever.
You ever notice that the "darkness" in movies coincides with this? You would have never had a "hero" like Riddick in the 80's. Probably not in most of the 90's either. Also, back then not every movie family was broken. Now, you never see a healthy family all living together. The hero is always separated or divorced from his wife and struggling to see his kids. Can you imagine a show like Banshee getting made in the 80's.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan