One way give time meaning is by separating it by decade. We mark certain dates with events that happened, and then string together a story about what it meant to live in that particular period.
Writer Chuck Klosterman recently did just this. In a new book, called “The Nineties,” Klosterman writes that to live in the 1990s, Americans were more likely to experience a more cohesive mainstream culture, were not demanded to share their opinions as freely and had a general focus on not selling out.
“Even though in a future — in a distant future — we may look back and say, ‘Well, the internet was the most important part of the ’90s,’ in the ’90s itself you could still live alongside the internet with almost no relationship to it.” — Chuck Klosterman, writer and author
Listen: What some people remember about living in the nineties.
“The ’90s was still the world of a monoculture,” says Klosterman, “where there were only four networks and PBS, the media institutions were limited, the news cycle was limited, MTV and certain radio outlets still had a lot of control over what the average person was able to hear on any given day and sort of dictated that commercial side of music.”