The discussion about which generation is greatest can be both tedious and in depth. It can span a great deal of micro-debates. The factors that make a generation “great” are extremely variable. Each person has a different requirement to be the determining factor in creating greatness. Being that the qualifications are so vast I’m narrowing it down to television and music those to me are the most important things each generation has to call their own. The conversation has become a little muddy over the years as each generation starts to slowly age. So before my mind starts to slip from old age I’d like to explain why my generation is the greatest.

80S BABIES ARE SIMPLY THE BEST EVER

Television

We were born under tough times. The Reagan era was just beginning and the doom and gloom was in the world around us. So we needed lighthearted good-natured fun. Boy did we get it too in the form of the pizza loving, skateboard riding, high five-ING, cowabuna-ing, turtles in the mother f-ING half shell. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became the face of the eighties child. The turtles had a relentless desire to take down the bad guys. We too wanted nothing more than to topple the evil in the world we were living. The eighties also had the Muppet Babies to help explore our imaginations. The real Ghostbusters to spark our love of science. Those creative minds that brought those type of shows to the masses could not expect the mark that they would leave upon us. So how many young doctors, lawyers, politicians and scientist call those shows the start of the love they have for their current field?

ninja turles

As we became pre-teens and teens we could count on great family programing to teach us a new lesson each week. We had Steve Urkle to show us never judge a book by its cover. Or those three best friends Danny Joey and Uncle Jesse showing us it takes all kinds to raise a family. Of course we had the gang at Bayside to give us a clue as to how high school would be. The shows of that time had such diverse characters that we learned acceptance of people no matter their race or gender. The only thing that could have a larger influence on our young psyche music.

Music

Most generations get their first musical influences from their parents and other adults in our life. We got to hear some of the greatest artist with fresh ears. As children the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Queen, Aerosmith, rang aloud in most of our homes. All that would change when three dudes from Hollis Queens came out screaming it’s like that/ and that’s the way it is. The whirlwind that would happen next would destroy the musical boarders that had grown in the years since Motown. The suburbs would be rocked by the arrival of hip-hop to its doors. Parents everywhere would gasp at the world the teens would be exposed to.

Michael-Jackson-Dancing-Moonwalk

The music of that time was labeled gangster rap. A misguided attempt at driving people away from hearing the real life hell that was going on in parts of our country. The youth was exposed to a plight that other generations were unaware were happening. Like prophets before them N.W.A predicted that their community would “F*** the police. The music was a guide to why all the violence of that era was happening not the reason for it. Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder spoke for the voiceless. The music we had to call our own had a purpose besides making you dance. Everywhere you turned the musicians were trying to raise awareness to causes of all kinds. From the riots of L.A to the aids epidemic to Rwanda. The music had meaning it tried to help the planet grow. From showing America what is really going on in the ghettos to saying enough with following the rat race of life. The music is an expression of the youth so I was eager to see and hear what the next generation would bring to the “table”.

WHY 90’s BABIES ARE THE FIRST SIGN OF THE END OF THE WORLD.

America was at a pivotal point in the world. Our president was Bill Clinton who was faced with a great deal of adversity took this country to new heights. We had an economic growth the like of which the world had never seen. We had decided to be the world’s moral police. Now with war or gun fights every few weeks it seemed like the world again was facing doom and gloom. The young feeble minds would need an escape from the reality of life. This time who would be there when the children for the children to turn too?

Television

The first television obsession for the children of the 90’s were the international Teletubbies. Each of these alien toddlers had their own distinct personalities. They 90’s T.V producer recognized the diversity of characters gave shows a “real life” feel. The problem became that Middle America was afraid that one of the Teletubbies was and I quote a “Homosexual role model” because of his purple color and the need to carry a handbag. This would be a re-occurring theme throughout the childhood of the 90’s. So characters would become plain and dreary and the need for “dumbing down” programs for kids would generate a character that was crass and immature and always ready…to annoy. The creation of Spongebob Squarepants in my eyes was the first of many signs of the Apocalypse. For reasons I’m sure I’ll never understand “soccer mom’s” waged war on creative inventive Television programing. They needed their scripted shows to be as far away from real life as possible.

teletubbies-sued

To this point television had come face to face with real life problems. Weather that was Steve Urkle and Laura Winslow dealing with gangs and guns in school to Zach and Jesse getting through drug use together. Now characters were bland and inoffensive. Parents decided to no longer allow their kids to be exposed to things deemed scary or pushing the mind to think about things that make us uncomfortable. So T.V became boring and forgettable. Anything that remotely contradicted the soccer moms idea of age appropriate entertainment. Even the likes of an 11 year old wizard were attacked for promoting witchcraft and the occult. Everything that the 90’s child was exposed to would be carefully sculpted to fit the soccer mom agenda. This reach extended well beyond just television it infused itself in every facet of entertainment.

Music.

The music would suffer the same fate luckily there became a few rebels to try to stand out. The popular music of the day would be the same cookie cutter non-confrontational acts they could find. N’SYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears on and on again were teeny boppers paraded around the country like sideshow acts. In a moment that would have fit right in with the music of the early 90’s a blonde headed rebel that would introduce himself to the world would rise. Eminem would be the knight in rusty armor the world needed to bring down this bland never-ending stream of squeaky clean music.

Britney-Spears
Again, America needed hip-hop to show the country what is really going on all over the place. Eminem would inspire both love and hatred across the entire landscape of music. The ones who loved the music would search everywhere for more. The ones that hated it turned to other forms of music to satisfy their hunger for someone that spoke for them. Bands would make a big comeback Green Day, Fallout Boy, and Blink 182 to name a few would become as large as life. The need for the dull and boring would continue, though, but this time the youth would choose it for themselves. A game show would be the place where the battle for the lamest would take place. The fans would cast their vote and decide who would be their American Idol. This would be the second great sign of the forthcoming apocalypse. Although maybe not entirely the fault of 90’s babies I’m personally blaming you guys for Justin Bieber.

As the 90’s babies begin to reach voting age I hope the take a step away from the keyboard and start making decisions for themselves instead of by how many likes they will receive.

Why MY generation is the best.

The real truth to all this is each generation has its ups and downs. We, however, choose to judge our generation by its achievements and all others by their failures. A funny thing happens as you grow older you begin to forget what it’s like to be young. We quickly bypass the misgivings of our own youth as just a learning experience but we’re ready to shame the next for its transgressions. Being young doesn’t forgive all mistakes we made. Vanilla Ice a star (seriously he sold 15 million records and no one bought it right). I’ll end this by saying like every parent no matter what generation has said to their child. “You do not know how easy you have it because in my day we had to walk uphill both ways in the snow just to get to school.”

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