I have been knee deep in the BWE's 90's movie madness bracket over the last week pathetically arguing over whether Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead is more 90's than Office Space. The whole exercise got me thinking about cultural identification of a decade through its pop medium. Most people have not even become aware of the identifiers that make the 90's the 90's and we are almost through the 2000's. Pretty soon we will begin saying that is so 2000. I can already see the wading pools of cultural fads swirling around in their pre-Cambrian stew to create cohesive markers of 2000-2010.
Part of the problem with trying to identify a decade is that culture doesn't progress in ten period cycles. What we identify as the 90's is really 85-95 and 95-2000. Many would argue that Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter is dead is 80's and Office Space is really 00's. The bad fashion and aesthetic of the 80's hung around into the 90's with slap bracelets and neon windbreakers. This leads me to asking two questions. 1) What is one piece of pop culture that neatly sum ups the 1990's? Please let me know what you think. Once you answer that question next ask yourself this: It is 2009, what is something that defines the 2000's?
Usually Tv's shows work pretty well. Beverly Hill 90210 is an easy answer for question #1 and The O.C. is a pretty good answer for question #2, but push yourself further and give me your best in the comments!