ON POPULAR CULTURE:
the end of the Nineties, the use of cellular phones rose dramatically
in America. Americans could be seen walking along on the street
chatting into a cell phone more an more, while not paying attention
to their outer surroundings. Sometimes automobile accidents
occurred while Americans chatted on their cell phones while
the Nineties, many fashions were recycled from previous decades.
The Grunge look that began in the Eighties was still popular
with teenagers, while some rappers and hip-hoppers continued
to wear over-size clothes, with pants hanging low around their
hips. Tattoos on various parts of the body were as popular as
ever along with body piercings and ragged jeans.
the business world, more people were dressing casually. Many
businesses allowed employees to come to work with informal clothes.
Most new dot.com businesses were populated by Generation X Americans
who were under the age of thirty. This made jeans and sports
shirts the clothes of choice for many dot.comers. Work and play
clothing became more and more the same style.
and Rap music continued to be popular. The rock group Nirvana
led by singer Kurt Cobain created music that rejected all that
was bland and slick in American culture, including the prevailing
styles of pop music. Both generations X and Y responded to Nirvana's
rebellious spirit. The music, characterized by loud guitar distortion,
became known as alternative music. Yet, Grunge was just a mix
of older forms of rock music like Punk and Heavy Metal which
had been popular in the Seventies and Eighties. Nirvana became
an overnight sensation. But the pressure of fame destroyed Kurt
Cobain. He committed suicide in 1994.
block-buster movies like " Jurassic Park " and "
Titanic " continued the trend towards bigger and bigger
high-budget movies geared towards a global audience. But the
big change was the use of more and more computer technology
within the American movie industry. In 1996, the first completely
digital animation movie premiered. " Toy Story " became
a popular hit all over the world and signaled the acceleration
of " converging media ". Television, movies, music,
and computers were all becoming one huge mega-industry worth
billions of dollars and an emerging global form of culture recognizable
in any country.
technology was everywhere even with the Ritchies:
" Oh, hello, Nina how are you? "
Nina: " I'm fine aunt Deborah. "
Deborah: " How is high-school going? "
Nina: " Fine, just fine. We now have internet in our class
and we even have a digital camera that hooks up to our computer.
We can take instant photos of ourselves and then send them over
the internet immediately. "
Mara: " Wow, that's pretty freaky, Nina. "
Nina: " Yeah, cousin. It's just so fab, really. "
Deborah: " Is your little brother still paying with his
computer games ? "
Nina "Yeah, he really likes Gameboy. But you know play-stations
are so ' old school. ' now. Personal computers are the hot thing
right now. You know what you can hold in your hands. "
Mara: " Yeah, like ' Doom ' and ' Quake. ' you need sixty
to eighty hours to play those games. "
Nina: " Yeah, but it's pretty creepy. I mean are these
games an escape from reality or are they now a barrier to it?
What is reality really. "
Deborah: " That's a good question, Nina. "
Mara: " Yeah, it's all just gadgets, now. "
Nina: " Yeah, palm pilots and pagers and
.cell phones and digital cameras. "
Deborah: " we had none of this when I was your age Nina,
and that was just fourty-five years ago. "
Nina: " Yeah, I couldn't go anywhere without my lap-top
Mara: " Yeah, and all this costs money. Money we don't
always have. "
Nina: " Yeah, but it feels sooo good to have all this stuff.
Mara: " Yeah, just do it. "