Tag Archives: MTV

Testimony: Courtney

Courtney in 1992

first let me say i love your blog.  i when i was younger, i often feared the days when i would hear/read/watch someone saying the words, “back in the 90s”, but now that those days have come, i actually really, really love it.  i was born in 1980, so by the time i hit my teenage years i was right in the middle of grunge, at the tail end of MTV actually showing music videos, knee deep in weekends at the mall, ripe to discover third wave feminism and the zine revolution.  i found your blog as a link on kathleen hanna’s own, and after reading just a few entries i remembered exactly why riot girl punk, the diy movement, perzines, and records stores saved my life.  it was something i needed, because sometimes when you’re 29, you wake up and all that idealism that had you marching in protest of the iraq war and forcing your dad to listen to bikini kill on road trips home from college gets flushed away in the soul sucking vaccuum of adulthood.

Courtney in 1999

i know exactly how i became a 90’s woman and i owe it all to the internet.  my family got online early, and my parents encouraged us to use the internet – then a tangled mess of code, usenet groups, and bulletin boards – to entertain us while they were at work.  i was a very sheltered, very smart child who lived in a house with a lot of rules that kept me cooped up inside with cable television and baby sitter’s club books as substitutes for friends.  in early high school, i was starting to develop into a solitary, quirky, quiet girl who loved mystery science theater 3000, nirvana, and reading about the manson family when a bulletin board on the (i think) defunct prodigy internet service introduced me to some young ladies from all over the country who were into these things called zines.

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Let’s Talk About Sex

So, Ada, we had a great interview today with Dr. Elizabeth Keenan, who is working on a book about 90s nostalgia. One of our favorite topics! We ended up talking a lot about sex. One of our other favorite topics!

On that tip, I finally forced myself to read the Caitlin Flanagan article that neither of us could initially bear. It’s mainly about the dangers of today’s hookup culture, a subject that has really already been covered ad nauseam.  One of my problems with this piece is that much of it is based on adult paranoia, rather than what is really going on with teenagers. (This is something I wrote about for you once, back when Oprah was losing her mind over so-called “rainbow parties.”)

My even bigger problem with the piece is that Flanagan assumes that teenage girls don’t really experience sexual desire. Instead, they are natural romantics who have been “forced into a sexual knowingness.” She also says that: “Unlike the girls of my era, who looked forward to sex, not as a physical pleasure (although it would—eventually—become that for most of us), but as a way of becoming ever closer to our boyfriends, these girls are preparing themselves for acts and experiences that are frightening, embarrassing, uncomfortable at best, painful at worst. These girls aren’t embracing sex, all evidence to the contrary. They’re terrified of it.”

To all of this I say: speak for yourself, lady.

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The 90s are Now Officially Back

I enter into evidence: “Unplugged to return to MTV,” Ad Age. Here’s the official MTV site.

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All the Young Bisexuals

Boys kissing! Booga-Booga! Image from L.A. Times blog.

My friend Brendan who works at MTV says the kids these days are all bisexual and have none of the angst around it that the 90s crowd did. He says they’re all, “I’m going to make out with a girl! And then a guy! And then that rock! And don’t you tell me I can’t!”

This seems to me to be a legacy of 90s feminism, which was all about being able to act on your feelings outside of labels (and yet, and how does this add up, we also totally rocked identity politics?).

Anyway, this is a very hot topic this week because as I know you know ABC kicked Adam Lambert off the morning show because he kissed a guy in his AMA performance. CBS gallantly picked him up for The Early Show, but thent totally lost all cred because they BLURRED OUT THE KISS when they showed it. They did not blur out the Madonna-Britney kiss, of course. Meanwhile, the kids are all buying his album.

So I think the moral is that kids today are totally fine with all kinds of sexuality and the Man is still freaked out by guys having sex, although they still A-OK with pretty lesbians.

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