September 29, 2022

"Weird" aesthetics over the decades: From unifying youth rebellion against authority, to anti-social warring against peers, as imperial collapse sets in

Although I like the '90s the least among decades I'm familiar with, they were still formative for me, and they're currently undergoing a revival (along with y2k), so I might as well chime in on some of the key features of that decade, and how they're different or similar to today's.

This recent reflection was sparked by Mumei singing "Basket Case" during her recent karaoke stream, instead of the 2000s emo era Green Day songs that are more popular nowadays. (Unless Zoomers get back into the '90s for real, and not just in clothing styles?)

Green Day has had one of the saddest trajectories of any musical group, regarding their role in the overall zeitgeist -- from purely (counter-)cultural actors back in the apathetic '90s, to the stirrings of the red state / blue state culture wars of the W. Bush 2000s, to full blown politicized witch-hunting of the woke 2010s and 2020.

Punk proved itself to be the most authoritarian-loving genre, with not only Green Day but the Offspring, the Dead Milkmen, Rage Against (now, For) the Machine, and worst of all the Dead Kennedys outright fangirling on Twitter with the CIA's anti-Trump electoral pointman McMullin. The common theme was that the half-or-more of the country that doesn't support your political program -- bailing out Wall Street, waging war against Cold War boogeymen, and mandating worthless vaccines for a bad flu -- are literal Nazis who must be concentration-camped in order to preserve freedom.

The only punk to pass this test with flying colors is Avril Lavigne, who never once posted anything political during the crucible of 2020 and after -- BLM, Antifa, boo Trump, vaccines, masks, etc. The princess of much-derided "mall punk" aced the test of anti-authoritarianism, while the critical darlings all failed pathetically. Score another W for all things mall-related.

As punk and "alt" culture in general became more authoritarian, its symbols went fully mainstream, to the point where you can walk into any drugstore and pick up hair dye in rainbow colors, Millennials are obligated to have tattoos, and marijuana is sold openly in every strip center around the country.

* * *

But enough about the recent past, which is all still fairly fresh in everyone's minds. The point here is to contrast how different the non-polarized '90s were. Hardly anyone had weird hair colors, tattoos and piercings other than in the ears were hard to find, and there were "3 strikes and you're out" laws about drugs and related crimes.

Now, someone who wasn't there might think that the relative normie-ness of the '90s meant that the alt culture was ignored, shunned, or suppressed by the majority of young people. But in fact they were fully accepted, even elevated at times. Just because you were a preppie or jock didn't mean you didn't have alt friends, didn't listen to gangsta rap or grunge, and never smoked a joint. Youth culture had its diverse sub-cultures, but they were all aware of each other and more or less friendly toward each other -- in their common struggle against The Man, The Powers That Be, The System, etc.

And far from that anti-authority sentiment being a vague vibe, it was explicit. White suburban alterna kids used to openly shout, "What smells like bacon?!" when the police were nearby. Preps didn't want to get hassled by The Man for smoking pot, joyriding, or whatever other mischief they were getting into. And being anti-police goes back even further among African-Americans. All this came together in the scene from Airheads -- where a metal band hijacks a radio station in order to play their demo tape for exposure -- in which the metalheads begin chanting, ROD-NEY KING! ROD-NEY KING! in order to get the crowd to swarm the bumbling cops.

This anti-authority attitude was not limited to local police, while praising the feds as witch-hunters against political enemies, as has become the norm over the past 5 years. Black leaders openly began talking about the role of the FBI in the MLK assassination, and the CIA for introducing crack into the ghettos. It was also the heyday for what the Deep State would brand as "conspiracy theories" among white people, too -- blaming the CIA for the JFK assassination (famously in the blockbuster Oliver Stone movie), the X-Files, the origins of Alex Jones, and so on and so forth.

* * *

To outwardly express these shared interests against authority, they adopted core elements of each other's aesthetics and style. Alterna kids flirted with dreadlocks (Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes, Dexter Holland of the Offspring), wore baggy jeans (including from Afrocentric brands like Cross Colors), and even if they were anti-sports, still sought out Charlotte Hornets gear by Starter. The preppy girls wore Doc Martens shoes. All white people adopted some degree of black slang.

The gangsta rap kids had as many drawers of plaid flannel as the grunge kids, and were bigger consumers of Tommy Hilfiger and Polo than even the preps. The '90s were the heyday of both the wigger and the... bleppy? Blunge? They weren't "Oreos" -- those were black kids trying to act WASP-y and yuppie in general, not just adopt the plaid flannels or Polo logo shirts from white kids.

The two counter-cultural camps -- alternative and gansta rap -- shared the pot leaf as a symbol (on hats, shirts, scrawled onto their textbook covers, etc., even if they never smoked a joint in their lives). In fact, they bought their counter-cultural clothing from the same store in the mall -- Spencer's.

Although I've never done any drugs, that didn't stop me from buying and occasionally wearing a black hat with a white skull in front, which had a vivid green pot leaf on its forehead. You couldn't buy that stuff at Abercrombie, Marshall's, or Walmart -- you had to go to Spencer's. That was before white counter-culture split off from black counter-culture and re-camped in the Hot Topic store, during the 2000s.

But back in the '90s, multiculturalism was the rule -- not only across races, but within white sub-cultures, like alterna and preppy, or alterna and country. The lineup for Woodstock '99 was heavy on the alterna sub-cultures within whites, but it also had George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars, James Brown, DMX, and Ice Cube. Not to mention multiple bands in the popular black-white fusion genre of rap-metal. Along with Willie Nelson, Creed, Sheryl Crow, and the Dave Matthews Band for normie / conservative-coded white audiences.

The shared interests against authority, and their cultural expression, came together in the censorship of music -- mainly by putting the sales-killing "Parental Advisory" label on the album cover. That effort was spearheaded by the non-partisan PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) back in the '80s, but continued into the '90s. And whereas the leader of the crusade, Democrat Tipper Gore, had earlier been the wife of a Senator, she was now the Second Lady.

There were also local measures across the nation to suppress counter-cultural symbols in public schools -- the pot leaf, the Charles Manson t-shirt popularized by Guns N' Roses frontman Axel Rose, piercings other than in the ear, and wild hair colors. But I'll cover those in a separate post, looking back on my own experience as a purple-haired 8th-grader in '95.

For now, suffice it to say that the role of those symbols was to unify the youth culture against the grown-up authorities. They were unifiers because they were already shared across a broad range of youth sub-cultures, and because the authorities were targeting their expression no matter who was displaying them. So it really was youth rebellion vs. power-tripping authorities.

This anti-censorship attitude meant to unify all of youth culture against the overbearing authorities, while still being non-partisan and indeed remarking on the political apathy of young people, was best expressed in the grunge anthem "Pretend We're Dead" by L7 from '92. (In the woke era, you'd have to add "all-female band", but that wasn't a rare thing before wokeness killed off the spirit of cooperation, including among women themselves.)

I didn't hear it at the time, but the jangly tambourine adds a nice Sixties counter-cultural touch, without being hamfisted or "boo Nixon" about it. Probably absorbed through the non-political Paisley Underground scene of the '80s, in their native SoCal area, which bore fuller fruit with fellow '90s icons Mazzy Star.

* * *

After over 200 years of rising, our empire's social cohesion (asabiya) had already hit a state of plateau by the 1980s and '90s, although it had not yet started its shallow decline, as it did during the blue state / red state culture wars of the 2000s, let alone the complete and total meltdown by the woke nadir of 2014-'20.

In the cultural domain of society, this breakdown manifested in the creative crowd -- whether the actual creators, their funders, their distributors / platformers, or the diehard consumers, or the commentators -- severing bonds with everyone who was not 100% identical to themselves. Obviously that unglued the whites from all non-white groups, since the creative crowd is overwhelmingly white. But it's not a racial thing, and pointing to 2000s emo and Hot Topic as a "whites-only" space is retardedly missing the bigger picture -- the creative crowd was severing itself from all other white cultures, like the preppies and normies and country fans.

Indeed, this dissolving of social bonds is so intense that even the alternative sub-cultures keep fragmenting into smaller groups, even though 100% of them are on the Democrat / liberal side of the political divide. They can't help but corrode the cohesion that would otherwise hold them together into a semi-big tent.

And as the creative crowd have abandoned their fight against overbearing authority, and turned on their fellow citizens instead, the overt and Deep State at the highest levels have come out in favor of them, and they in favor of it. Neither the FBI nor the local school principal will suppress a woketard student from sporting green hair, a lip piercing, pot leaf on their hat, etc.

Both the woketards and the authorities have discovered a common interest -- suppressing the unruly rabble during a crisis of legitimacy for the central authorities and elites in general, especially after the 2008 depression from which we have never recovered. The woketards because they feel they're superior to normies, who must be humiliated for their heretical culture. And the Deep State as part of a divide-and-conquer strategy against a would-be organized populace.

The central theme of anarchy has been re-branded for this new alliance, exemplified by the Black Bloc of the early 2000s anti-globalization movement being re-worked into a woketard paramilitary of the Deep State, now branded as Antifa. Whereas before it meant anti-authoritarian, now it means dissolving all social-cultural bonds for the woketards (to purify the culture of heresy), and preventing higher-level organization among the rabble in the eyes of the central state's security apparatus. Chaos, confusion, every man for himself, pure and total social breakdown -- not the put-upon banding together against The Powers That Be. In the new configuration, organization and teamwork = fascism, hence if you're anti-fascist, you're committed to dissolving every social unit in society.

And yes, that includes their own political team's units -- not the bizarre notion from right-wingers that the Dems or libtards or the Deep State have a well-oiled machine dominating a fractured GOP / conservatard enemy. The Democrats could not even produce enough cohesion to nominate Biden and Harris legitimately in 2020 -- the party leaders shut down the primary when it was clear nobody wanted Biden and would stay mired in a Bernie vs. not-Bernie civil war through the convention, like their 2016 convention on steroids (when Bernie representatives were boo-ing their "fellow" Dems from the convention floor!).

Every institution in the American Empire is coming apart at the seams, even the libtard ones. Hollywood can't make new movies, TV series, or music anymore. The video game industry can't do anything more than what they did 10 years ago, as Minecraft and GTA V are the most popular "new" games. The premier streaming platform, Twitch, is currently melting down from within. The general public does not believe the media, nor "peer-reviewed research" from the universities. The finance sector is collapsing again, with double-digit inflation on top of the problems of 2008.

Sure, there's an oasis here or there in every institution, but the overall trend is one of anti-social greed rotting them out from the inside, until they ultimately collapse. This is the opposite world of the Mid-20th Century, when people trusted the news & "studies," when the military could still win a world war, the FBI could coup a sitting president from the shadows with no one the wiser, when cultural production was still flourishing, when our manufacturing was first in the world, and when we didn't have rolling finance collapses with double-digit inflation and 0% interest rates and infinite money-printing.

*That* was the world of well-oiled machines -- here and now, we are in unrestrained breakdown and chaos, on all sides at once.

* * *

Contrary to clueless right-wingers who say that the creative crowd were always this bad, or always had this goal in mind, or are only now taking the mask off, this is in fact a 180-degree corruption of who they were in the '90s. And they themselves are openly embarrassed and ashamed of who they were back then, confessing their sins, promising to atone and "do better", and in all other ways disowning their previous selves. That's the opposite of celebrating their '90s selves as the tip of the spear, Trojan Horse, initial seed, Patient Zero, cuckoo's egg, long march through the institutions, or whatever other dum-dum metaphors the right-wing cultural commentators use to describe it.

Nor can we lazily say that they're the same as who they were back then because "the '90s led to the 2010s" -- sure, and so did the '50s, and the 1770s. We've gone through various phases of having little cohesion, rising, plateau-ing, then declining, yet to reach a new minimum. As far as cultural cohesion goes, the '90s were in a qualitatively different phase of this multi-century cycle. It was the multicultural consolidation of all our empire's earlier conquests, as well as unifying the sub-cultures within the imperial natives. The End of History -- no further left to go, unless history turns out to be non-linear...

Anyone likening the multicultural Nineties to the woke 2010s is from outer space -- they're totally out-of-touch with America, at least, and might as well be foreigners.

Next up: my 8th-grade battle for purple hair -- waged not against my normie peers (or even my parents), but against the literal authorities of the school. And other episodes involving my friends wearing the Charles Manson shirt, etc. I'll also elaborate on some other themes that I didn't get to chance to here, like individual vs. collective identity.

Millennials and Zoomers won't believe it, but that's because only Gen X and Boomers remember the reality of the '90s. Millennials and Zoomers retroactively insert way too much of the their own formative years in the 2000s and 2010s, back into the '90s or '80s, when it was not only absent, but often the polar opposite of the environment they imprinted on.


  1. Not that it was in doubt, but Gura is openly a "hiiii" girl. I'm catching up on old Minecraft streams. When Sora joins the server, Gooba types "hellooooo!!!!" into the in-game chat. :)

    Faunya says she's even cuter IRL than online -- I fully believe that.

    In the old days, before online was the primary social domain, people were more reserved IRL and let loose online. Now that online is the primary social domain, they're more reserved online, and let loose IRL where "nobody" is watching -- nobody from online, that is, which is all that matters.

    "Nobody can possibly screenshot me -- I can finally be myself!"

  2. Faunya wanting to live in a Holo House together, so cute! Nobody simps as hard for the Holo girls as they simp for each other. ^_^

    You girls should check out Pokimane and some of her friends, who just organized a fairy princess tea party IRL. Quarter Jade organized, I believe. They got all costumed up and everything! I know the Holo girls couldn't publish pictures of it, but that wouldn't stop them from enjoying such an adventure off-camera, like when you went to the arcade this summer.

    Y'know, once the housing market crashes sooner than later, maybe you girls could pool your income and buy a dream house that's currently overpriced. Say, one of those "storybook houses" that are popular out West, but especially in SoCal. Just the right home for fairytale princesses. Hehe.

    Probably cheaper if you avoided an insane market like L.A., but they're all over the place out West. And you girls never leave the house anyway, so location doesn't matter much.

    Or if Fauna & Mumei wanted to return to their Midwestern roots, there's several in Michigan by the eccentric self-taught architect Earl Young, very Hobbit-esque.

    I'm sure they're expensive no matter where, but instead of only 1 or 2 earners, it would be like an idol dormitory, so more like 4 earners.

    Or, if you don't want to commit that much, you could stay at one for your next off-collab! Just search for "hobbit airbnb" -- there's lots of them! Might want a south-latitude one if you meet during fall/winter -- or a north-latitude one, if you want the whole wood-burning fireplace, wool lap blanket experience! (I respectfully leave out the phrase "cuddling to share body heat"...)

    Careful, though, once you spend a weekend in one together, you won't be able to go back to normie reality, and it'll be buy-time for sure. Hehe.

    How are you girls so cute and magical? I don't know, but you need the proper home to fit who you are! :)

  3. A few airbnb search terms: hobbit, storybook, fairytale, enchanted. Happy Holo House / Hotel Hunting!

  4. Wordle in 2 tonight, baby!

  5. To clarify / preview the next post, who is antagonized by wild hair colors, lip piercings, drug symbols on a hat / shirt, etc.?

    In the old days, it was some older authority figure. Perhaps a parent, the school (the admin for sure, perhaps the teachers), the previous generation that had no such experience before. They responded by trying to crack down on the offending symbol.

    But you were not given any grief by your peers, by and large. Even the ones who thought you were weird, kept that to themselves or made jokes behind your back, I dunno. You didn't get bullied, made the butt of a joke to your face, become the target of rumors, etc.

    Now, the authorities do not respond to these symbols. So you aren't antagonizing them by sporting them.

    Who does still notice and respond to in some way? Your peers. It's more of a provocation toward your peers, not your parents, teachers / principal, square old geezers, etc. Maybe it's meant to say you're cooler than your normie peers, or more fashionable / attractive, or more progressive instead of backward, etc.

    But it's all directed at an audience of your peers. And from what little I've heard, I think the funny-haired people or multiple-piercing people do get somewhat more negative attention from peers, than back in the '90s. At the same time as the adult authorities have sanctified their "civil rights" about personal appearance / expression.

    That's because your peers these days understand that your green hair isn't meant as a middle-finger challenge to the principal, which might rally them to your side, as though you were looking to lead a rebellion of your fellow rambunctious teenage peers.

    Rather, it's a middle finger to your fellow peers, looking down your nose at them -- you guys are so lame, with your natural hair colors, not like cool and unique me, with my green hair. You lame normies who don't do drugs, unlike cool and unique me, who uploads bong tiktoks. You lame normies who don't have piercings, unlike cool and unique me, who has a lip piercing, gauges in the ears, whatever else. You lame normies with no tattoos, unlike cool and unique me with bla bla bla bla bla.

  6. I know there are exceptions -- if Gura, Fauna, or other Tumblr angels ever dyed their hair, it's not coming from an anti-social place. They're aspiring fairytale princesses, and would only dye their hair as a purely aesthetic fashion choice. But judging from who actually took over Tumblr, the demons were more numerous than the angels. So while I appreciate the minority of rainbow-hairs who are uplifting and wholesome aspiring princesses, the cold hard truth is that most people from their generation with dyed hair were doing it to look down their nose on their peers, as part of a zero-sum status contest.

    But back in the good ol' Nineties, if I had been looking down my nose on other sub-cultures, I wouldn't have made friends with some of the preps, jocks, etc. And all those pretty popular girls wouldn't have befriended me first in many cases, if they'd thought I was dye-ing my hair to antagonize them rather than the principal.

    And like I said, we'd already borrowed so much from each other's outward styles. I generally dressed alterna, but I also had a San Jose Sharks windbreaker, a Charlotte Hornets hoodie, and the jean shorts I wore over my long-johns were by Guess (natch). Several alterna friends wore Adidas Sambas, exactly like the preps.

    We weren't antagonizing each other, but all of us against the authorities -- in our own childlike way, not burning shit down or going on shooting sprees or whatever.

    If they had to sum my weird hair color up in a single word, they probably would've said I was just acting like Bart Simpson, part class clown to entertain my peers, and part rebel against the authorities to see if they'll do anything to me, and how much I'll push back against them in turn. Exciting!

    And like I said, loooots of pretty preppy popular girls started noticing and talking to me after that. One of whom I stayed bffs with all throughout high school, even though she was on poms / cheerleading, and several varsity sports (vs. none for me).

    Honestly, I don't know how possible that is today, or even how much it was for Millennials and Zoomers. If a kid tries to antagonize the administration, would their fellow kids just think he was acting like a jerk? Millennials and Zoomers are SUCH teacher's pets, and beg the authorities to constantly intervene against their enemies, rather than fight their own fights. "Mods, seriously??!?!?!"

    Back in my day, all kids had a healthy disrespect for authority -- tempered by a healthy respect for it, as well. We weren't a bunch of chaotic anarchists, but we weren't slaves and tattletales either. So when one kid challenged the authorities, that automatically earned him the goodwill of all the other kids. I don't know how else to explain it to Millennials and Zoomers, other than go back and watch those classic first 5 or so seasons of the Simpsons, and see how Bart's peers didn't bully him, shun him, etc., for his anti-authority behavior. Appreciated him for it, even!

  7. Oh, Satanic symbols too. Nothing too sacrilegious, just pentagrams or the occasional upside-down cross. Nothing against Jesus himself, or God in the abstract. None of us had a t-shirt with that cringey Piss Christ art, for example. So, not so anti-Christian as much as "Ooooh, I'm spooooky, I dabble in the dark arts and black magic, mwa ha ha haaa..."

    At most, those Darwin fish decals on the rear bumper of a car.

    Again, these symbols were not directed at our peers who might have been devout Christians. Which is how it would function today -- You lame normies with your church attendance, unlike cool and unique superior me, who sees beyond the lies and never practices organized religion, bla bla bla bla bla. There were no fedora atheists in the '90s -- that's a distinctly, literally 2000s era development.

    No, we would've directed those symbols at the authorities like church leaders, or secular leaders for that matter. The principals of public schools might've thought we were trying to subvert all forms of authority, not only religious authority. Better to nip it in the bud and crack down on pentagrams even in a public school.

    It was the students vs. the administration, not some students vs. other students. You won't believe me if you're a Millennial or Zoomer, but I swear it's true!

  8. One exception was the Mean People Suck bumper sticker / t-shirt, clearly directly at your peers, either to antagonize your rivals or hype up your own team. Nothing to do with authority.

    But that was a pretty minor one, only a small handful displayed it -- a small fraction within the proto-woketard / fedora atheist / etc. type, who would go on to urge everyone to simply "do better" and "don't be evil" in the next decade.

  9. The COEXIST symbol is from the 2000s! *Not* the multicultural tolerant '90s, but from the incipient "liberal intolerance" era of the W. Bush years.

    There's no way this was directed at authorities -- the president, Congress, even local mayors or police would not see it. It was directed at your fellow citizens behind you in traffic, or visiting the same places as the driver, or living on the same street. The owner was urging them to BE LESS BIGOTED, or else they're responsible for our military bombing brown Muslims (its use arose directly in response to 9/11 and the War on Terror, Muslim profiling, etc.)

    This was part and parcel of the woketard / Deep State partnership, as it obscured and absolved the actual actors in the War on Terror -- the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, the President, Congress, military contractors, etc. *They* were not responsible for war, according to the COEXIST bumper-sticker displayers.

    Who was? Why, all these intolerant bigots among us in the general citizenry! If they weren't putting so much pressure on the government from the demand side, the poor helpless imperial war machine wouldn't have to do all that imperialism.

    It's bad thoughts and bad feelings in the minds of ordinary American citizens that are bringing about these horrible outcomes over there -- not the material interests of the elites of an expanding empire, particularly its military sector.

    Or perhaps blaming their fellow citizens for not protesting, if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem, etc.? But most of these bumper-sticker displayers weren't protesting or doing direct action either. So that couldn't have been it.

    They really did believe that the top-level govt actors were merely supplying what was being demanded by the lowly citizenry, who were terribly bigoted. If only we could make our fellow citizens love Muslims as much as Christians, then the Pentagon would never bomb a Muslim country again, nor would the FBI entrap Muslims domestically.

    What a bunch of absolute fucking MORONS. That was ground zero for liberal self-congratulation, mixed with the auto-immune attack on their fellow citizens, while giving a pass to the Deep and Overt State.

    Infinitely worse than the most rabid hysterical anti-Bush bumper stickers -- at least they got the target right! At least that was challenging someone in power, who was responsible for what was going on. Not my fellow Americans.

  10. The last anti-authority rockstar was Marilyn Manson, whose heyday was the '90s. Mostly directed at religious leaders, but also their allies in political leadership, which was bipartisan. That was the last time when political and religious leaders actively tried to censor culture (stop concerts from happening, blocking phyiscal or airplay distribution, etc.). And toward him especially.

    He didn't say, "GOP bad, Dems good" or "rednecks bad, urbanites good" or even "Christians bad, atheists / Satanists good". It was always about the abuse of authority by people in positions of power.

    It wasn't a bitter revenge fantasy against the half of America that bullied him in high school.

    Contrast with the hit title song from "American Idiot" by Green Day in 2004. No more apathy, boredom, counter-cultural cheerleading. It does attack those who control the media, but there's an entire verse directed at ordinary powerless Americans:

    Well, maybe I'm the faggot, America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda
    Now everybody, do the propaganda
    And sing along to the age of paranoia

    The enemy is ordinary kids who called him a faggot in high school, or rednecks putting pressure on their GOP representatives. And whoever watches the news is going to mindlessly regurgitate it, brainwashed zombie sheeple.

    It's really telling how he directly addresses "America" in the first line, as though the majority of the country is responsible for hurting his fee-fees in high school. And that they're also the ones responsible for all the idiocy going on in the country.

    Strictly speaking, he should've been addressing the jocks, preps, or black and Hispanic kids, who were the ones calling him and other punks faggots back in the '80s. But he politicizes that into blaming "America" instead.

    Similar to the "Stupid White Men" book by Michael Moore from 2001, whose subtitle makes it explicit: "...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!" Blame ordinary people who vote against you, not anyone with real wealth and power.

    Also the Jesusland vs. United States of Canada meme map, etc. You just didn't see that in the '90s. It's blaming a majority of the country for the problems caused by elites.

    That's why my only other vote for pres, before Trump, was Nader 2000 -- suck it and stay mad forever, libtards.

  11. Back to cute girls with wild hair colors, how could you tell whether a 2010s girl with such hair was a Tumblr angel or a Tumblr demon?

    Well, look at the rest of her personal appearance -- does it suggest wanting to please and entertain the audience, or giving them the middle finger, sneering down her nose at them, wanting to disgust them, etc.? Or even trying to bitchily compete against other girls in a status contest.

    If she otherwise looks cute, feminine, girly, made-up, put-together, and performative -- maybe literally cosplaying as some character she likes -- then she's probably a Tumblr angel. Like Avril Lavigne! (who did have green hair for a bit in the 2010s).

    If she looks horrid, anti-girly, not made-up, frumpy, then she's a Tumblr demon.

    There's also the demons from Instagram, who would put more effort into their clothing and make-up, but would still look like a typical catty girlboss whose hair color, and rest of her appearance, is only meant to one-up the other women in a fashion contest -- not entertain an audience, whose well-being she is putting first as a performer.

    That's partly why my peers didn't hate me for showing up with purple hair -- it felt like a bit of entertainment, trying to excite them, stir things up, make them laugh, play a prank on the principal, etc. Not part of a status contest to one-up the other guys. And not a sneer of derision toward the audience.

    If you didn't wear the pointless masks in 2021, when the popular revolt against them began, the few members of the general public who might hector you, definitely included the rainbow-hairs. But who otherwise looked like the demonic, rather than angelic, kind of Tumblr user.

    No way on Earth that a cute anime girl cosplayer would've hectored me about the mask. She would've been the type to walk up and say how much she liked my beret or something, smiling behind her mask and not making a political issue out of it.

  12. I know you Tumblr angels exist out there -- especially among the Holo girls! -- but just like how Fauna has to preface her veganism with, "Now, I'm not one of *those kinds* of vegans..." I.e., the anti-social authoritarian tattletale majority of vegans. OK, we accept you and appreciate you. :)

    Likewise, if you dyed your hair green tomorrow, we wouldn't start thinking of you as a hectoring SJW tattletale. It would just be part of your gift to other people, trying to entertain them, not antagonize them. :)

    Same when Gura dyed her character's hair blue in that YouTubers game. I thought, well, if she did that IRL, it would be like Jem -- adding a little style or flare, for her performer's role toward the audience. Not trying to one-up the other girls in a catty way, and not to sneer at the normies.

    And since her personality is based on Bart Simpson-esque mischief, rather than anything anti-social, we'd understand it as Gooba just getting into some mischief, trying to stir the pot, get people thinking and talking, not wanting things to get boring. Entertaining the audience as her main goal, as a natural performer.

  13. Now that there's a '90s revival, and dyed hair is normalized, some Tumblr angel could do her whole hair in a zany '90s palette -- purple and teal green, streaks of magenta, and black for the background (or maybe at the roots). Heavy jewel tones, no pastels (that was the '80s and the 2010s).

    I would be tickled and delighted as an audience member, for sure. Anytime I see those colors on sheets, shirts, whatever, it takes me back. "Wacky '90s colors!"

    How much purple and green would you like?


  14. Vladimir Berkov9/30/22, 4:21 AM

    Very interesting that Coexist is actually from the 2000s. It feels so 90s but looking back on it, yeah, it’s not.

    Bumper stickers in general might be interesting as a gauge of things. Like as a gut feeling I’d think at the start of a politically polarized era you’d see more political and social bumper stickers than during the middle and end. You’d have to have rising tensions and a divided population enough that people feel compelled to display their politics on their car, but as things really heat up there might be worries about actual road rage and confrontation, vandalism, discrimination etc.

    Maybe it also ties to the outgoing cycle.

  15. Overalls! Worn by all sub-cultures, from normie / preppy to alterna to rap. Mostly girls, but some guys too, especially in the rap sub-culture (Fresh Prince, Tupac). They did not have an anti-authority connotation, but this is to establish how multicultural the '90s were, including various white sub-cultures that are now at odds with each other.

    Image search "90s overalls," and you'll see mainly black people wearing them -- perhaps because they were a better fit (heh) with the baggy styles that were more popular with them? Sometimes with one strap undone, as part of the slacker / unkempt / laid-back / just vibin' look that was another pan-cultural theme in the '90s. (Remember to keep one backpack strap off of your shoulder, don't shampoo your hair too often, go easy on the make-up, mismatch your shoes, etc.)

    But if you image search for "overalls my so called life," you'll see that the alterna girls were just as happy to sport them. Angela Chase wore a different pair every episode, it seems, often paired with a plaid flannel on top.

    "overalls alex mack" shows it was common with the preppy / normie crowd as well (ditto the plaid flannel shirt, wrapped around the waist of her overalls).

    Aside from the baggy theme of the '90s, overalls touched on the blue-collar / rural / country theme of the '90s. Not that everyone LARP-ed as cowboys, but all sub-cultures within America had to be borrowed from. That included bib overalls, associated mainly with blue-collar white rural hillbillies.

    There was a backlash against the yuppies of the '80s, so anything too white-collar or too urbanite and sophisticated was frowned on. If you wore a suit or tie, it had to be dressed down somehow -- made from mustard yellow fabric, super baggy fit, wacky '90s colors and patterns on the tie, etc.

    And the yuppies were artificial and plastic, so there was a flight to things more authentic and salt-of-the-earth.

    Related to overalls are pinafore dresses, which were huge in the '90s, mainly with the preppy / popular girls, but alterna girls occasionally wore them too. This was the compromise with preppies wanting a more put-together or classic look -- they could wear skirts or dresses, but mix them with the overalls trend, and get a pinafore.

    Funny to think that Gura is bringing back a '90s / y2k staple with her signature pinafore dress. :) And not as a deliberate '90s LARP-er, just that today's clothing is similar to back then, and Zoomers are neo-X-ers in a way (whereas Millennials are neo-Boomers).

    I did see a Zoomer girl wearing overalls in the thrift store a little while ago, so it's making its way into IRL revival, not just buying it to post a tiktok.

    1. Would you say the mid to late 1970s also had a rural/provincial revival to counter the radicalism of the late 1960s and early 1970s (John Denver, Hee Haw, Laverne and Shirley, WKRP in Cincinnati...)?

  16. Oh no no nooooooo...

  17. Fauna played Civ V last night, for those who are into those games but haven't checked out a streamer or vtuber yet.

    She held over 9k viewers the whole night, and the vod is already well over 100k views, so this must've been even more appealing than usual. A real "gamer's game", played by a super-cute and girly anime girl:

    The point of these streams isn't to watch the top in the world play it, or speedrun it. It's to hang out with someone while they play it, and maybe feel some nostalgia for it or the series. Check it out.

    Fauna was in an unusually giggly and engaging mood last night, too. You can't get that experience by vicariously hanging out with a guy while he plays Civ 5.

    I almost thought she might've had a little White Claw, or spiked her pumpkin spice tea with a little Bailey's, when the stream started. Then again, maybe it was just checking in on the charmingly offbeat insights from yours truly, and seeing that hilarious image of all five members of NSYNC in ultra-baggy overalls from the '90s. Hehe.

    She played as Byzantine, BTW. The name Pawgia Sophia occurred to me, and surprisingly there's no hits for that phrase on Twitter. Not enough Turkish appreciators of callipygia out there? Open opportunity for someone's next ironic username... maybe an alt for @shamshi_adad, who often visits Turkey for archaeological research?

    I still suspect Fauna is Irish by ancestry, and thought of her playing as Celtic. The city name occurred to me: Dunfaunnegan, "Fort of Faunnegan".

    Faunnegans Wake -- title for the anti-comedy stream where she just starts reading Joyce for several hours, without elaborating, then ends the stream mid-sentence.

    You said you're a Druid, after all... I like the sound of this Celtic name for our green gamer goddess.

  18. My Faunnie's gone AWOL from posting
    My Faunnie's gone AWOL from memes
    My Faunnie's gone AWOL from posting
    Oh, bring back my Faunnie to streams

    Not true now, of course, just a little wistful ditty for when/if she does go on hiatus for whatever reason.

    (That nursery rhyme is Scottish rather than Irish, but still Celtic.)


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