For reasons best known to herself my sister decided to switch the telly over from a perfectly good episode of Top Gear to some music channel or other yesterday. And it was just all this awful whiny R’n’B and Lady Gaga prancing about and I exclaimed, ‘wait, what, is that Beyonce with her?’ and my sister looked at me as if I was really dim and explained that actually they’ve apparently been working together quite a lot recently. Personally I was quite pleased that I recognised them both at all. I haven’t been following the charts at all, not since my first year when I found myself doing things like straightening my hair and drinking VK Apple; looking back it’s all like some slightly trippy dream. So yeah. I really don’t know how to get down with the kids these days.
My housemates tease me for having basically missed out on the nineties and also some fairly major elements of modern culture. So here I will lay myself bare to all of your collective derision and admit that I don’t really know who or what the Fresh Prince of Bel Air is; I have watched two episodes of Blackadder in my entire life; I have never watched the vast majority of so called ‘classic’ kids telly (seriously, quiz me on that one, I don’t even know enough to know what names I don’t know); I have never had a meal from MacDonalds (occasionally the chips when starving and having run out of other options) or for that matter from any other fast food joint; I didn’t even know what Nando’s was until a couple of years ago; if you ask me who I had a crush on from Five I would until J enlightened me have probably asked ‘five what?’, ditto any other boyband of the nineties; I don’t know the songs, let alone the dance moves, by S Club, Billie Whatserface-who-was-in-Doctor-Who, Steps, or whoever else; I haven’t watched most of the classic high school movies I should probably know by heart; and I get ribbed for listening to Radio 4 (‘can’t you listen to something more normal? Have you ever tried Radio 1?’ Yes. It annoys me lots).
To be honest this is where I run out of things I know I don’t know. It is now up to you to ask me things about nineties and early noughties popular culture and discover the great, gaping, glaring holes in my knowledge. I don’t know how I completely missed out on a decade. I didn’t know what Crystal Maze was until recently. But then, in my house, we always had to ask to watch telly, and I continued to ask if I could right up until I was about fifteen, so before that it was educational stuff or whatever my parents wanted to watch, in the main.
Anyway, it’s weird. I’m aware there’s a hell of a lot that has entirely passed me by and I really can’t quite account for it. To be honest, with the probable exception of some seriously classic comedy, I’m not sure I really mind that much…!