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Obsessions: I'm a '90s revivalist

By Mike Hayes, Special to CNN
BuzzFeed's Mike Hayes admits that he DVRs the 1990s Nickelodeon show "Doug."
BuzzFeed's Mike Hayes admits that he DVRs the 1990s Nickelodeon show "Doug."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The '90s may be the last great pop culture era to re-embrace as an adult
  • Watching "Point Blank" or listening to Blink-182 still cool, BuzzFeed's Mike Hayes says
  • Writer Simon Reynolds asserts that pop culture has produced nothing new for decades
  • But it will be time to embrace 2000s in about another decade, Hayes says
RELATED TOPICS

Editor's note: Mike Hayes is the social media editor at BuzzFeed. He's on Twitter and Tumblr. He's seen "Point Break" at least 25 times.

(CNN) -- This statement is going to infuriate the anti-nostalgic: I think I might be a '90s revivalist. Consider the past few weeks' activity.

I now DVR the Nickelodeon show "Doug."

Since Spotify launched, I've been listening to Blink-182's "Dude Ranch" -- not on repeat, but, like, every other day.

My recent posts on BuzzFeed include "20 Bands You Miss From the '90s" and "10 Things You Didn't Know About 'Point Break.' " I also watched part of "Point Break" on two separate occasions last weekend. I then tweeted and blogged on Tumblr about Lollapalooza '92 and Gary Busey's famous line from "Point Break," "Utah, get me two."

Additionally, my girlfriend insists that I watch "My So-Called Life" reruns with her, and I'm really, really enjoying it. We also have plans to attend a screening of "Wayne's World" in the park soon. And I'm currently listening to Better Than Ezra on Spotify as I write this. Substitute parents' basement for park and Napster for Spotify, and I'm basically back to being myself in '97.

Initially, I felt privileged as a '90s revivalist, because I figured it's the last great pop culture era to re-embrace as an adult. You think television shows from the 2000s -- the next would-be era of revival -- such as "American Idol" and "Jersey Shore" are going to hold up like "Doug"? My gut reaction would be I think not. However, upon delving a little deeper, I'm so wrong.

For instance, if we arbitrarily select 2004 as the year that defined the era from 2000 to 2010 and think about some of the top-grossing movies, singles from the Billboard Hot 100 and most watched TV shows that defined that year, the list includes films such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Mean Girls," "Anchorman"; Top 10 hits by Outkast, Alicia Keys and Usher (four actually); and shows such as "American Idol," "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" in the Nielsen Top 10.

OK, I'll admit it is kind of a weak list of TV shows, but hey, "Lost" did premiere in 2004.

In his new book "Retromania," author Simon Reynolds asserts that pop culture has produced nothing new for decades, because our access to the past (through YouTube or for nerds like me Tumblr GIFs and now Teen Nickelodeon late-night programming) makes us care less about the future.

If he's correct and we can no longer bank on anything totally original happening, I think we should just admit that obsessing over things that happened 15 years ago is OK, as long as those things are at least pretty cool. And based on the fact that Michel Gondry, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell happened in the 2000s, this leaves us poised for a period of not-so-privileged but no-less-acceptable '00s revivalists, circa 2020.

Simon Reynolds will weep. The rest of us will be in our late 30s and the old people at the screening of "Anchorman" in the park.

 
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