I always like to consider myself as “timeless.” I am Amanda Wood no matter what decade or location I am in, and that’s fine by me! Sometimes, though, I do feel like I might be very “90s” about things. It was the ten year span that I was an impressionable teen, so it makes sense that it would leave its stain on me for the rest of my life. And really, with hindsight making things clearer, it is probably a symptom of the ’90s to feel as though you were alone, or in any way apart from the others. A generation of alienated youths probably didn’t have a solid cohort base. I know buzzfeed makes a lot of lists that only ’90s Kids Would Understand, but I often wonder which of us would even bother making that kind of thing?
As an old person now, I derive a little satisfaction seeing that my classmates don’t really want to bother setting up class reunions. We kept the friends we wanted to keep. No one really wants to put forth that kind of effort, anyway. None of us really wants to awkwardly see how much we’ve aged or discuss shattered dreams or whatever. It’s nice. Thanks, class of ’98. I probably like you all better because it turns out we were all as antisocial as I thought only I was! Bonding from afar.
With that in mind, I always planned to preface this article with a disclaimer saying that my impression of the ’90s is probably extremely personal and just one tiny rare facet that is nothing like anyone else’s experience. But, no. I had a teen time probably like everyone else’s, at least in rural Ohio. I’ve heard it suggested that rural Ohio is kind of surprisingly horrible in many ways, so maybe the rest of you dear readers had some sort of decade of playing in flower fields and volunteering your time to good causes. Well la dee da, sunshine. Good for you.
LISTEN UP! It’s the 90s this week on Sneer Campaign and we’re bringing you this delightful craft project. So grab some paper and pens and some literal garbage. Cut out some magazine shit and I don’t know… stamps? Whatever you have.
If you didn’t love zine culture or you just don’t know, they are generally self-published booklets that you distribute on your own. People basically made their own publications about everything from niche weirdo topics to full-on non-profit businesses sharing information. A lot of zines were made with radical ideas and feminist intent, as they should.
Junior Sneerfriends Team, lets’ make a zine!
Brutal fact of life: Gaming will never, ever be as cool as it was in the late 80s/early 90s. Why? Several factors contribute to it: 80s/90s hairstyles, general inability to see how much we would laugh at ourselves in the future, etc. But the biggest thing that made the time so awesome was that it was all so new. Sure, games had been around for over a decade at that point. But after the video game crash in ’84, the future of gaming was mostly relegated to being bulletpoint features on shitty home computers from Radioshack. Then came the NES, and everything exploded. Gaming, as it turned out, was the real deal. And it wasn’t going anywhere. Suddenly the entire subculture of video games went mainstream, and few people were ready for it — especially the people that quickly saw they could make a boatload of money from them.
Magazines based solely on games literally sprung up over night. The two most prominent being Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Gamepro. Immediately out of the gate, Gamepro seemed to be the far more “color by the numbers” magazine created by people who had no clue what to do with a game magazine, and were just throwing stuff together in a way they thought would look cool to kids. Featuring blindingly bright layouts (I still can only see in shades of neon pink thanks to Gamepro), giant cartoony art, and a general mishmash of coverage more suited for an ADHD-addled chimp.
Gamepro quickly garnered a reputation as being that one kid who would always scream for attention on the playground, but no one would ever come close to him for fear that he would never leave you alone again. That didn’t stop Gamepro from making money though, since this was a time when you could put out anything game-related and kids would choke it down as fast as possible. Gamepro quickly saw that their aberration of a magazine was making gobs of money, so decided to take the next logical step and made a TV show.
The 1990s had some remarkable television. Television that laid some of the groundwork for today’s greatest and most hilarious shows. Iconic television. Television that I’ll never, ever stop watching.
Sitcoms in the 90s were just the best, really. Even with some of the amazing shows of today, we’ll never get back those sick nineties fashions, haircuts, dance moves, or wacky synth noises. Sure we’ll have some reboots, and nostalgic tendencies in newer shows, but it won’t be the same.
The 90’s decade was a glamorous year for any of us in the teenage bracket. Sure, Seventeen Magazine had “new clothes” that you should buy in order to be popular, but truthfully they were just expensive new versions of the attire the rest of us found in thrift stores, the closets or floors of friends and friends’ family, or, occasionally, pretty much just in the actual street.
Get up and go! It’s time to give a shit. Now that warmer weather is approaching (in the US at least), let’s take a brisk walk to our closest library and put in the smallest effort to preserve probably one of the best things in your town! One of the best things in the world, really, when it comes to public institutions.
So many libraries are not just places to check out books, but they also provide research information, computers and the internet, music and movies, art, children’s reading time and activities, adult classes and lectures, and even just a comfortable place for solitude. Not all of them will have all of those features, but they’ll all have books and they’ll all have librarians.
When I was a kid it was my favorite place to go. I’d beg my mom to take me, which she would dread because I’d spend so much time there, searching through the books. And then I’d check out so many that both mom and the librarian would chuckle at my little stack, bigger than my always-tiny presence. But we all knew I’d be back the very next week. Since I haven’t done that in years, I’m going to join y’all on this library journey set forth below. Pick any or all activity and get on your way to your closest or favorite branch.
I had a lot of fun with my Grandma when I was young. I did small jobs for her, for $1 at a time, we spent all day together, for days. We also played word games! Our favorite was to choose 7-10 Scrabble tiles at random, lay them out, and write as many words as we could think of using those letters.
Today is the anniversary of the birth date of Alfred Mosher Butts, the American architect and creator of Scrabble. Mr. Butts did not just create a board design and think of putting letters on it, but also did some detailed analysis to devise the points system and distribution of letters. Adorably, he did this by reading articles and tallying letters by hand. In honor of Butts and this contribution to the world and especially lovers of words, today is considered Scrabble Day.
The setup is common enough. Three adult children and their parents, along with some little ones, navigate the strange world of having all your family nearby. However, if you distill any sitcom to its most basic premise, they’d all be described as “Friends or family living or working together or near each other” imo. Of course, however, the differences are what make these shows worth watching!
This one is the not-so-new show Life in Pieces, from CBS (but more importantly Season 1 is on Netflix). And if you love it, you’re in luck! Season 2 is almost finished airing. But, since I’m loyal to my boo, Netflix, I’ve only seen Season 1, which I’ll talk about. Strangely, I can’t seem to find any positive reviews, so please take my word for it.
Welcome back to our monthly comic series, Doofus and Darling. If you had Highlights for Children magazine when you were young, you’ve seen Goofus and Gallant. If not, it probably doesn’t matter anyway.
Beloved leather-crafted leading man, Daniel Craig, took time away from posing as a serious actor of note to sit for a portrait in his natural form today. The result of a love between his father, a catcher’s mitt, and his mother, a traditional sugar bowl belonging to a respectable dish set, Mr. Craig is Hollywood’s only leather dish heart throb. Soon, his bodyhead will be reattached to his tuxedo clad, unusually muscular human body in order to once more play the part of James Bond, a role he claimed to never want to portray again.