I just had a brief discussion regarding disliking the B52s.   I always said I liked them, of course.  I mean…I entered the hallowed halls of Hobbs High School in 1991.  I graduated in 1994.  I started a Bachelor’s degree and completed college in 1999.  I am a child of the nineties.  The decade is deeply woven into my flannel heart,  the spirit gum on my Doc Marten soul.

Can you not adore a decade that brought us Clinton, the Internet, alt rock, gangsta rap, Must See TV Thursdays, body piercings?  CAN YOU NOT?!   No.   The nineties are an absolute perfect decade in my nostalgic and Zima dripped brain, and I will forever revere them.

IN THAT VEIN…  I was remembering when I went back to college for a second bachelors degree.  I had been out of school for over a decade, and it was a bit of a comedy of errors heading into classrooms where everyone opens their Macbook Pro and I ripped open my velcro Trapper Keeper.  I had a lot to learn.  We didn’t have cell phones when I was a Freshman in 1994.  We didn’t have “the interwebs”,  the computer lab was for serious geeks and people learning to send messages via dante.  There WAS a computer lab for Christ’s sake.

So newly returning me found a bit of a boost when I went along with our class van on a lab trip.  I was working on a degree in Entomology (the study of insects) and we were driving out to look at and catch critters in a chile field.  My professor was probably about 38 years old.  I was 33.  As we were headed along a dirt road he mentioned that he grew up in Athens, GA.


right???  So I say that to him, and we both excitedly discuss REM and the B52s.    This kid sitting next to me, who I happen to know is 18, because everyone in my class was 18, with the exception of one lovely young lady who was 17 and couldn’t sign a release form on her own without her parent’s permission, takes out one Ipod earbud to say “Who is REM?”

WHO.  IS.   R.E.M.           he says.

But here is the thing.  And I am saying this now, because my discussion of the B52s today cemented this for me.  Who IS REM?  At the time, I was so taken aback with …   horror… I was horrified that this kid didn’t know it was the end of the world as we know it… I was horrified that he didn’t KNOW.  The nineties.  He didn’t KNOW what MUSIC WAS.  REALLLLL GRITTY RAW HARD MUSIC THAT TAPS AT YOUR INSIDES AND DRAGS THINGS AROUND IN YOU UNTIL YOU BECOME ENLIGHTENED AND A BETTER HUMAN BEING.  LYRICS!!!!


Lyrics like   “everybody hurts….sometimes.”  “Think about direction. Wonder why you haven’t before.”  or  “Shiny happy people holding hands.”  or Dee Lite’s magical “I couldn’t ask for another…aye aye aye aye aye I couldn’t ask for another”.  “Hop in my Chrysler it’s as big as a whale and it’s about to set sail.”  “Rock lobster…ewwwahhh.”  “LEONARD BERNSTEIN!”  THIS SHIT GETS DEEP.     I mean….”Light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle…dance”

DANCE!  You can see where these are going right?   “Never trust a big butt and a smile”….(well alright, that one really is important). Don’t even get me started on my reverential love for the Lemonheads that I truly cannot explain.

So it occurred to me in no small way that the music of my generation has some really bad lyrics…and is often times super amazo awesome strictly because of the nostalgia of it.  Where the music transports you to in time is often what makes that music cool, and no way in hell was that 18 year old kid going to understand why we were so excited about Athens, GA.  I learned my lesson.  I will not try and push the incredibly poignant depth and one on one connection with Mother Earth decade that was the nineties on anyone anymore.  I will keep it as my own little magical unicorn starburst dolphin glitter decade that I feel it is.

That poor 18 year old.  He was listening to something on his Ipod and for the life of me I cannot remember what angsty male band it was, but I guarantee you he will remember, and have a hard time selling them in 18 more years.    Then maybe he’ll know who REM was.

Rock on 18 year old.   Rock on.