Back to the past

I listened as my stepmother explained over Thanksgiving dinner how strange it was for her to see my age group greatly reflecting the ‘60s, while my younger sister’s age group greatly reflects the ‘80s. As she further explained this idea, I began to wonder, is she right? Are the ‘60s and ‘80s back?

The ‘60s were a time full of “free love,” revolution and, of course, sex and drugs. Traditional values at this time were commonly mocked, as people rebelled against conservative norms and created a world of their own. Woodstock rocked the nation with electrifying music from Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin, and a collection of people existed ready to let loose and enjoy each other’s company.

The children of the ‘90s, however, share many common interests with the era of the ‘60s and greatly identify with the culture of that time. My generation, along with that of the ‘60s, was never fully committed to the idea of relationships or the idea of not being able to be with whom they wanted when they wanted was the norm. Not only do the generations seem similar when focusing on relationships, both generations existed during a time of unpopular wars — Vietnam and Iraq, respectively.

The people of the ‘60s lived through a long-debated war in Vietnam, as soldiers returning home were greeted by individuals spitting on them for taking part in such a war. The children of the ‘90s lived through the global war on terror. Although the soldiers are greatly admired and appreciated, the war itself was greatly discouraged during the later years.

Not only do those similarities exist, the pop culture of the ‘60s is reflected in the children of the ‘90s, as stores such as Free People and Planet Blue have begun to take hold.

The ‘80s were a time of crop tops, high-waisted jeans and leg warmers. Maybe the ‘80s are back. Not only does my younger sister’s age group follow along with the fashion and music of the ‘80s, they also seem to relate when focusing on relationships. My sister, who is a freshman in high school, has spoken for years about the countless “relationships” in which she finds herself involved.

Perhaps the ‘80s are back. After all, my sister and her friends do spend countless hours playing “MASH” and listening to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson on repeat.

Maybe the ‘60s are taking over my own life. I do have a framed image of John Lennon that is nearly the entire size of my wall with Janis Joplin hanging over my bed. The past is back, and I can’t say I mind.


Reach the columnist at bsramos@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @brookesramos.