March 20, 2012

Slacker At 20

n+1 looks at Slacker at 20. Also, Slacker is fucking 20?!?

Youth culture, and the parameters of cultural rebellion, have always been defined by market forces. The lush alternative landscape of the mid and late ‘90s, fed by the tech boom and Clinton surplus cash, was like a historical indolent child, at liberty to rebel because it had been given everything. The early ‘90s depicted in Slacker feel closer to our current epoch—the recession-tainted youth aimlessly wandering the streets, emailing their resumes into the void. But watching the film today, one can’t help but feel a certain if they only knew forbearance for the naively innocent radicalism of the time—the way they compared George H. W. Bush to Hitler, they way they casually drop slogans like “Remember, terrorism is the surgical strike capability of the oppressed!” The dilemmas the youth of the late ‘90s faced—do I vote for Gore or Nader? is it ethical to drink corporate coffee? should I take the high-paying dot-com job or remain unemployed and detached?—seem privileged compared to the periods that came before and after.