Ninety reasons to hate the Nineties

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IF you can remember the Nineties, you weren’t there.

Have you noticed nobody ever says that?

I remember them. I was there. They were rubbish.

Football didn’t come home. New Labour turned out to be old Conservatives. Britpop gave us Menswear. And Jennifer Aniston’s bob was always more hair don’t than hair do.

That was the Nineties.

If the past is another country, the Foreign Office should warn against the decade that gave us baggy, Blobby and Blair: visiting this place not advised.

Yet, here we are barely 10 years on – not even enough time for the scars to have healed – and we’re apparently crash landing into the middle of a revival.

I read this in a broadsheet this weekend.

Doesn’t mean it’s true, of course.

Generally when a journalist starts writing about trends or revivals (as, um, I am doing now), it means they’ve got nothing to say and 500 words to say it.

You’d be surprised how easy it is, with a deadline looming, to suddenly become convinced that a three per cent rise in ukulele sales and a new George Formby documentary mean, for example, there’s a uke revival a-coming.

And yet, this Nineties one? It has the horrifying ring of truth.

In literature, there’s a new Trainspotting prequel; in cinema the American Pie franchise is re-raising its crusty head; and in the economy George Osborne is doing his best to ensure that most Nineties of throwbacks, a recession, lasts as long as possible.

Sounds bad? There’s worse.

In music, The Stone Roses will take a long, well-paid leak over their own legacy this summer; dad-rocker Noel Gallagher has already been riding high in the charts; and Sheffield’s own Pulp – whose hit Disco 2000 was once about the future – have long since been doing the re-rounds.

Fair play, Jarvis is a God but if we let this kind of nostalgia go unchecked how long before Menswear reform? Not long enough, my friends, just not long enough.

You’re not convinced?

Look at the box. Beverly Hills 90210 is back on Sky, The Big Breakfast is returning to Channel Four, and Chris Evans is a star of prime time.

He’s welcome to stay on The One Show but Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, Chris? I’ve tried so hard. Please don’t bring that nonsense back.

And yet...

Am I being too harsh?

If the Nineties were a nightmare, perhaps so too was I – an angsty young teen, all music too loud and jeans too skinny.

Maybe I can’t see the wood from (super niche Pulp pun coming up) The Trees.

Because, after all, was this not a more innocent time before the four horsemen of the cultural apocalypse - Twitter, TOWIE, Heat magazine and Jordan?

Was this not a place where Radiohead, Alan Partridge and Gazza getting smashed on a Cathay Pacific flight brought great joy? Was this, ultimately, not a decade which had Jet from Gladiators?

Could it really have been so bad?

Well, actually, yes.

It was a post-Smiths, pre-Strokes age where rock n roll meant Supergrass, Hugh Grant was still taken seriously and the only people with mobiles were those annoying blokes on trains telling everyone that they were, indeed, on a train.

Conclusion? The Nineties were a decade which should not only be consigned to history, they should be made to go back somewhere before the Forties.

If you can remember them without a shudder, you weren’t there.