Count Chocula. Skip-it. Michael Jordan. These were the things that our generation swore by as children. I recall days when the only musical artist I knew was the crotch-grabbing “Thriller,” when a day without ‘Dunkaroos’ seemed like a day not worth living and when I beat Ivan Drago on Christmas Eve in the middle of Soviet Russia! Maybe not really that last one, but those days glowed like a fresh bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the morning. They were the prime days of nostalgia – the ’90s, the days when different fads would waltz into our houses and snatch our parents’ paychecks, only to be replaced by another even more sinister fad weeks later. Tamagotchi, oh what a fiend you were. Beanie Babies – such spineless, bloodthirsty creatures.

It might just be me, but those days seemed so much better than now. It might appear quite clear as to why those days were more glorious, but I believe that it is deeply rooted in our medullas, revealing itself as a psychosomatic antagonist and prenatal dementia, or not really and I’m just spitballing here.

The lack of responsibility appears to act as the sole reason why our childhood seemed better. Yes, we could play with Polly Pocket, Mighty Max or whatever miniature sized toys we deemed worthy without worry of future events. We woke up early on Saturdays to watch cartoons as opposed to waking up hung-over with about three half-eaten fried dumplings and a live goose nesting in our rooms. Yet, I do not believe that this in itself can cause us to look back and just drool over the greatness of the past. After all, the lack of serious responsibility in college is pretty much absurd. At what other period in our lives can we ingest unreasonable amounts of alcohol, pass out in front of a conglomerate of security, school administrators and deans and have them suggest to you that you might want to consider not drinking as much?

The five major contributors I believe make the days of the ’90s appear better than the times we live in now are:

1. We never cared about what people thought of us. Puberty and hormones gave us a concept of reputation and embarrassment. Basically, our hormones screwed us over big time with this one. Everyone would be happier if they didn’t care about what others thought.

2. All sorts of media were much cooler than they are now. I know that every generation says that they had the best shows, the best movies, the best toys, the best cereal, etc., when they were growing up, but I have to say we had the BEST media that any generation has ever had.

3. We didn’t really know anything. Now this is one I love. As kids, we didn’t know that much, and anything that we did actually know or remember seemed to be a miracle to adults. How is it that I can still sing the song “Killer Tofu” from the TV series “Doug,” but not remember why the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor? Also, we didn’t care about politics.

4. The concepts of good and bad were not entirely instilled in us yet. Now we have these annoying things known as “guilt” and a “conscience” (whatever that is). We were punished and told what was right and wrong. Knowing the difference sucks.

5. Heroes in a half shell!

I know that a large part of nostalgia is being removed from the time period in the future, and all you readers will recall this article and how cool it was and how it influenced the world and so forth. Understand that a lot of us hit the night scene every weekend trying to reenact our childhood, i.e. lower inhibitions and not caring what others think of us. Recognize that we are in college and we are supposed to do stupid stuff. Give yourself a break and do something so foolish that you will regret it for at least a little bit. Cowabunga!

Stahl can be reached at

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