Misinformed, angry, coffee-addled ranting.
The end of times is upon us ladies and gentlemen. The 1990s have returned and they’re back with a vengeance. Yes, the biggest insult to human taste and dignity since that Hitler-themed amusement park (Uncle Adolf’s Wacky Wunder-land) have resurfaced to spew their zany fluorescent zigzags all over our nice shiny modern millennium.
There’s the baffling return of 90s fashion to our high streets, as of course nothing is more fashionable than something deemed hideous just five minutes ago. There’s a whole generation of great bands, lead by the likes of Swim Deep and Jagwar Ma who are bringing back the whole Britpop/Madchester scene you thought had been killed off for good by dubstep and The Crazy Frog (remember him? Ah good times, good times).
But probably the most infuriating throwback to The Days of Yore I’ve experienced recently is the warbling playground-ditty Big When I Was Little by Eliza Doolittle.
In just 4 minutes and 10 seconds, the average twenty-something listener will experience more childhood nostalgia than if they found their Furby ferociously humping their poor unconscious Tamagotchi to the tune of Wannabe by the Spice Girls. Miss Doolittle’s irritating Mockney hark back to The Good Old Days would be passable enough were it not for the fact that you soon see past the catchy tune and realised that the lyrics are nothing more than a really half-arsed list of stuff she remembers from her childhood.
It’s not the idealised paean to forgotten treasures its intended to be – instead it’s basically someone going “HUR HUR HUR CASSETTE TAPES! REMEMBER THEM!?! GOD HOW WACKY!”. The list of things that were apparently “Big when [Doolittle] was little” is shockingly devoid of any form of meaning or emotion. It’s not even factually correct. Strawberry Ribena wasn’t big Eliza. We were just glad our mum’s hadn’t bought Toothkind. Compared to that, Strawberry Ribena was like an angel orgasming Rainbow Dust in your mouth. But they were both shit and you know it.
Apparently Nirvana was big when she was little too. Which is true I guess, but considering Nevermind came out when Doolittle was three it seems like a bit of a hollow statement. Unless she was rocking out to Rape Me on the school run, in which case she has either the best or most irresponsible parents ever.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not knocking nostalgia itself. I recently purchased the Two-Disc Special Edition featuring both Power Rangers Movies. As soon as it arrived, my brother and I sat down and watched the shit out of both of them. (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie remains the cinematic classic cruelly robbed of its deserved Oscar glory, whereas Turbo remains the steaming turd of a film with the most convincing acting performance delivered by Divatox‘s tits).
And as any Fresher’s Week at any University will prove, we love a good trip down memory lane, even if that lane has cracked pavement and the odd dog shit here and there. At my Fresher’s Week, we had Dave Benson Phillips from Get Your Own Back. Disappointingly the Gunge Tank and chair were nowhere to be seen – instead Phillips engaged in stilted banter with drunken idiots while the audience just prayed they’d hurry up and get the gunge out so we could all go home. But at least that had some substance to it, a playful re-enactment of childhood memories rather than Doolittle helpfully pointing out that Malcolm In The Middle existed.
Nostalgia can be a brilliant thing. There’s an online game where you have to try and name all 151 original Pokémon and it’s awesome. When you succeed you’re filled with an overwhelming sense of pride, fond memories and the crushing realisation that you’ll never touch a girl’s boob again.
However it can also serve as a reminder that things weren’t always better back then, as anyone who saw the recent performances by 5ive (featuring just two members) can testify. It’s also spawned the abhorrent “School Disco” nights popular in nightclubs, wherein you dance to music you remember from your sweetest most innocent years while dressed in the kind of ‘Schoolgirl’ outfit normally reserved for Japanese pornography. They truly are horrific evenings, and besides, the skirt totally doesn’t flatter my curves.
In summary, we have to be very careful about what we choose to celebrate from our early years. For every Common People there’s a Who Let The Dogs Out? For every Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids there’s Dial Up Internet. And for every Neil Buchanan there’s a Jimmy Savile. Am I comparing Big When I Was Little to Britain’s most notorious sex offender, responsible for abusing and ruining the lives of hundreds of children? Yes. Yes I am.