I was sitting around my apartment Saturday afternoon, when my roommate accidentally played a soundbite from his iPad. It was this soundbite:
“Ah, ATC, Around The World. Solid song.”
“How did you get that so fast?”
I mumbled a few incoherent phrases, like “internet lists,” “crucial jam,” and “only skill I have to offer society.”
He was going through a BuzzFeed list about one hit wonders of the 2000s. As a 23 year-old who bases a good percentage of his self worth on being able to recall songs from the previous decade, I implored him to continue going. We spent the next 15 minutes or so going over songs of Sweet 16’s past — Wikipedia-ing people like Teddy Geiger and Daniel Powter, and saying things like “dude…Dodgeball came out 10 years ago. How weird is that?” All in all, it was a pretty hip and millennial-like time.
But as we sat there discussing the pros and cons of T-9 texting, I realized that we’ve entered a new stage in the nostalgia game. The 90s were and always will be “great,” but it increasingly seems that the internet, and effectively society in general*, have set their sights on a new vertical to celebrate, exploit, and eventually grow weary of; 2000s nostalgia.
*despite obvious differences in behavior and propensity for outrage, society and the internet are, in fact, populated by the same people.
With that in mind, here are some things that prove my subjective thesis as something to at least entertain:
1. Pop-Punk Is Has Been Crawling Back In Style
I’ve been embarrassingly vocal about the MySpace anthems that “defined” many an aughts teens middle and high school experience — a very specific experience that musically petered out around 2007-2008, when the Good Charlotte zeitgeist was replaced by pre-EDM electro-pop; stuff with a bit more of a brash edge, like 3OH!3 and Cobra Starship.
I’ve always liked to think that Metro Station, the band with that song “Shake It”, really put an end to the pop-punk era — “Shake It” is a song that at once feels pop-punk, but seems to argue the opposite of the introspective, “drowning in my own misery” mantra that dominated the pop-punk ethos for so long.
Given that “Shake It’ came out over a half-decade ago, we’ve reached the point in the music cycle where it’s cool to start talking about pop-punk again. Or so I’ve convinced myself.
2. Superbad Is The New Billy Madison
Internet writing requires you to incorporate recurring “bits” if you want to build a #personalbrand, get twitter followers, and brag to people that you are a big deal despite making $28.5K a year. One of my bits has been talking about Adam Sandler posters in childhood bedrooms; it’s something that helps underscore the contemporary Bro aesthetic, all while helping trace the progression from Teen Tour extraordinaire to sales guy who spends too much money on shots in desperate hopes of impressing Dani, Morgan’s hot friend from Tulane.
The Billy Madison callback has been my bread and butter for years. But over the past few months, it feels like the callback is becoming a bit worn. Have the Bros in their college prime moved onto Superbad? A retirement ceremony may be in order.
3. The Majority Of “The Amanda Show” Occurred In The 2000s.
“The Amanda Show” aired from October 16, 1999 to September 21, 2002. About 7,100 different things have happened to the Nickelodeon star since then. They don’t need to be rehashed, I think we can all agree the media monster has done enough on that front.
4. Kazaa references are perfect fodder for the contemporary internet joke.
This point is only here so I can tell you that I’ve seen about 7 different references to Kazaa in the past week. I’m not saying that they need to stop, but Kazaa has clearly hit the nostalgia cycle like three different times. Out of style, semi-ironically back in style, completely forgotten about, championed as a relic from a past era. We’re at stage four.
5. “Don’t Trust Wikipedia”
I remember being in 8th grade english class, being given some assignment that nobody really wanted to do. It involved a bit of research, someone made a D-12 reference, and my teacher specifically told us “not to use Wikipedia” — something she voiced not because she was one of those college professor types who wanted to make sure that her students couldn’t be lazy, but because she specifically stated that Wikipedia was a terrible, untrustworthy source.
This was in 2004, about a year before that report came out that said Wikipedia is actually pretty solid.
The list can go on, and on, and on. But conveniently, that’s also the name of a Wilco song.