An Ode to Prince: Partying like it’s 1999

While we’re all anxiously checking our smart phones, chugging overly-caffeinated seasonal beverages at Starbucks, and complaining about how slow our “high speed” Internet is going…it’s easy to forget about the twenty-somethings of yesteryear. Our “issues” pale in comparison to theirs (and I bet these problems weren’t even that bad). As an investigative piece, TwentyTweets will delve into the lives of these twenty-somethings, revealing what it was that really got them going during one specific year in history.

The lucky first year of this weekly look-back will be …. drum roll please….

1999.

Why such a random year? Well, that’s easy: enough happened in this year to cover in one post. No, no but seriously. This year was a milestone and preface for the way we live as twenty-somethings today in the year 2012. Let’s take a look.

  • Fuhgetuhaboutit. HBO’s hit series The Sopranos aired its first episode on January 10, 1999. Tony’s tumultuous, mob-style life was displayed on-screen every Sunday night for six seasons until the controversial finale ended the series (and possibly his life) abruptly. Twenty-something gangster wannabe’s most-likely began popping up everywhere, especially in the Soprano’s home state of New Jersey. Anyone with a little Italian in his or her blood (or pretended so) could relate to this epic television show.
  • “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Although the conspiracy of former President Bill Clinton’s extramarital affair with the infamous Monica Lewinsky didn’t actually happen in 1999, the aftermath was still prominent. Twenty-somethings everywhere were undoubtedly still joking about their fellatio-loving President and his young intern (who later went on to make money in random ways… a sad sign of our future. An example of this? The existence of Paris Hilton).
  • The Birth of Social Media. MySpace was officially launched in the year 1999, unintentionally giving birth to the social-media-obsessed society that we live in today. As fast as it came into the world, it was just as quickly exterminated by the bully of all that is social: Facebook. Although many of us have long forgotten who we had in our “Top 8” and will never remember our passwords to find out, MySpace will hold a small place in all of our hearts. I wonder where Tom is today?
  • Everyone became a criminal. Napster was also released this year, letting us all know it was “okay” to become a cyber-criminal. Once again, the original front-runner of illegal song downloading is now pretty much obsolete, but will always be remembered. The download speeds seem like pure comedy when we look back at them today (one song took approximately two hours), but we all knew how cool we felt when we made the best mix CD to play in our parent’s car (hey, we were all probably what, 10 years old at the time?)
  • Nothing was solo. The Billboard top singles chart of 1999 was headlined by the following five acts (all of which were a musical-grouping of pop artistry):
  1. “No Scrubs”- TLC
  2. “Slide”- Goo Goo Dolls
  3. “I Want it That Way”- The Backstreet Boys
  4. “Every Morning”- Sugar Ray
  5. “Kiss Me”- Sixpence None the Richer
  • Y2K. Does this sound familiar? A crazy, smart person somewhere said that the world was going to end at the end of 1999 because computers were going to crash and yadda yadda yadda. Something similar was supposed to happen (twice) in 2011, and once again at the end of 2012. Call me a hater (or even an optimist), but I think that people just love the idea of complete and utter turmoil…and we’re all going to be fine. Twenty-somethings are the kings and queens of perpetuating this drama (especially via social media) so let’s relax with all that and enjoy a non-world ending kind of life.
  • Drinking was still the cool thing to do. When I decided to research “Alcohol in 1999,” I was hoping I’d come across a list of the top beverages of the year, but I didn’t. Instead, I came across a Harvard University study of binge drinking in the year 1999: way more interesting. I am glad college twenty-somethings held it down for us back in the day, paving the way for post-Y2K drinkers everywhere.

*****

What should be on next week’s #MemoryLaneMonday? Let us know @20sTweet!

~B

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