1990s Futurism? How can that be? The 90s were decades ago, we are in the future as viewed from the 1990s. How can we have 1990s Futurism? Good question. In a sense the title is a bit of an attention grabber, yet at the same time, deadly serious. It isn't a joke. What is 1990s Futurism? What does it mean? How do we return to the 1990s? Read on to know more.
The 1990s were a very interesting time. They were interesting at the time and they are interesting now, looking back. The world was very different then. Socially, culturally, politically it was different. Economically it was very different. Stylistically it was also very different. It is true that some 1990s trends, more in the casual, "streetwear" - I hate that word, are making a comeback and that is just fine and kind of fun, but it doesn't really concern us. Fast fashion trends that the masses absorb which arrive today and leave tomorrow don't matter to us. It is irrelevant and isn't what we are interested in.
There was a different essence in the air in the 1990s. There was a different attitude about life and technology. There are of course similarities between then and now. There are similarities between the year 400 and now. The point isn't to talk about the similarities, but rather the differences so as to understand 1990s futurism and what is meant by this term. I was watching an interview with Peter Thiel years ago and he mentioned how the attitude toward technology, and AI specifically, has grown very dark. Things used to be more positive, he says. I am not going to get into the specifics of AI, it isn't about that. It is about the spirit. This positive spirit and positivity surrounding technology and the emergence of more advanced forms of it, how far is that from how we feel today when technology and the future come to mind?
In general, and I am speaking very broadly here, there is a general sense of gloom, trepidation and concern about emergence of new technologies and new sciences. Whether it is AI, gene editing, experimentation, hyper-addictive media, VR etc... it is rare when I hear a normal, good, right-thinking person talk in any positive terms about new technologies. I suppose the only exception to this may be crypto-currency. There are many who seem to be bright and right-thinking, who are positive about crypto-currency developments. Whatever your personal feeling on cyrpto-currency may be, that isn't the point. That seems to be the only area where there is some general positivity among some decent people. There are some who talk in excited terms about new technologies and the technological future but they are generally bugmen to the extreme and most likely making society worse. They don't see what is happening as a problem, because they like the problem and / or help usher in the problem. On the side of good, normal, moral people, a positive view of the future and the role of technology in that future seems very rare to find.
Why this is, is certainly not without good reason, compared to most people I would be counted among the most tech-skeptic around. Look at who is currently imagining the future around us. It is absolute sickos who seem most interested in destroying all beauty, all goodness and mutilating you in some way or another, so that you are a lifelong psychological / medical patient. Those who imagine a new future imagine a future without man or woman, a future of the androgynous, weak, screwed up entity, neither man nor woman. A totally dysgenic, weak and sickening future. An atheistic future lacking any sense of God. A VR future. It is an attempt to undo the world and lower the entire world into a sort of Hell on earth. Of course it actually doesn't seem so wicked to many because it's all sort of covered and wrapped up in a coating which makes it seem more gentle, more kind, more accepting etc...
Currently, whether you like it or not, many if not most of the people who are trying to make the future are trying to make it in this way. The good, the moral, the righteous and simply put, the normal, shrink from imagining the future because they can't, it is difficult on one hand and because the menace which does imagine a future is so numerous, so repulsive, so debased and so seemingly everywhere it feels impossible to actually vie for a future against such ghastly manifestations which seem to spread with the passing of each and every day. It is better to retreat, always retreat. I understand it, I get it. I feel it too. And, in a sense, we all must retreat in different ways and different times, for your safety and sanity. But if we bring ourselves out of our right concern and bring ourselves out of the gloomy frame that we are so covered by we can explore what else is possible. I think one of the most difficult things is getting outside of the frame that covers you. When a frame and a way of feeling, thinking or conceiving of what is, and what may be is so strong and so forceful, it can be so hard to imagine something outside of it. This is often one of the reasons why it is so hard to imagine a different future. It is like imagining an object which you have never heard of. You can do it, but to really truly feel it, it's difficult.
In order to imagine a better future, we need to let go of our prior conceptions, our prior ideas of what makes sense and what seems will be and rather think of the future as that which is there for the taking and the making. Think of exactly what kind of dreaming the early Zionists engaged in. The Jews were without a state for 100 generations, 2000 years and the early dreamers were able to dream something so bold and then actually act on it and actually do it. That was a a herculean task. To understand that which was, need not determine that which will be and to put yourself in that space and to understand you are free to imagine and dream anything you please and even do much of that which you dream, to engage with this and just get in this space in your mind, even if only temporarily for an experiment, is very useful.
This is all part of the first step in accepting that the future will be seized by two people. 1, those who show up, meaning those who actually exist in the future. The future will belong to our children and grandchildren. 2, the future will belong to those who seek to make it. We have to think of the future, we have to make it different in some way from today, we must not run from it. The only territory that matters is the future. If you are not engaging with the territory of the future, you are removing yourself from the territory that matters. There is no other option, if you are not imagining a future, engaging in the territory, and trying to make the territory yours, it will be made by someone else and currently the majority of those who are concerned about this territory are sickos and they are very numerous and their future is dreadful.
In this piece, this idea, this approach we are not committing to anything or stating any absolute truth. It is about exploration and imagination. You can't really know what may be unless you can free up your mind a bit and see more of what is and what may be. We should ask ourselves some questions. It helps to free our mind, put ourselves in a different place. Remember the frames that loom over us so heavily, they make it impossible to see through the great bars and see the sky, the great terrifying scaffolding makes it almost impossible to wonder and imagine what may lay beyond. The point is not to bring ideas which are the total truth. It doesn't really matter if it sounds crazy, foolish, odd. There is a bigger point. The point is about making space, freeing up possibility to understand more, This space we are engaging with is about opening questions, provocation to thought Not final answers.
Why does the future have to be filled with soul sucking technology? VR? Terrible media? Why couldn't a good state-regime ban-limit it? Why do the cars have to be so terrible looking? Why couldn't companies make beautiful cars like they used to. Why couldn't they be made to? What if our houses were made of incredible stone or some kind of futuristic stone/concrete which was made to withstand extreme unimaginable amounts of pressure and these stones can last for 10 centuries easily? What if the entire North American continent was connected by tons of hyper-speed trains. There are small towns all across the midwest which only a few generations ago had 10 and 12 trains come through each day. Now the train tracks are ripped up, no one goes there, and there is a Dollar General putting the final nail in the coffin. What if we had a train network which could connect you from a small town in Maine to a tiny village in Oregon and could do so efficiently, rapidly and comfortably? Why are our train stations, when they exist, so disgusting? Why did they tear down Penn Station in New York City? Why don't we, in our current era of abundance, have 1000s of beautiful train stations, stations that look like art, found all over our land, luxury trains with sleeper cars, dining cars? We had more of this 70 years ago than we have today? Why do we need to have as many cars on the roads? What if the noise pollution of the car disappeared? All of the loud, deafening noise from the highways quieted. Maybe there would be a few cars on the highway every hour but not much more. Have you ever taken a drive some autumn afternoon, on a highway in the middle of nowhere? You may see one other car every 10 or 15 minutes? What if those were our roads? The roads would last much longer. Everybody else is on the silent trains enjoying themselves. Sleeping, drinking, working, relaxing.
Why do a mother and father have to work 2 full time jobs to make ends meet in 2022? It's absurd. 70 years ago, 1 person could work a full time job and provide for the family. Today the average family needs 2 full time jobs to make ends meet. This is not a good society and this organization of family life must have no part of 1990s Futurism. In 1990s Futurism, 1 full time job will be more than enough to provide for a family. Although, it must be said, it is imperative and I realize that a great many people do not want to hear this or engage with it, but the truth is that the man working a full time job away from the family while the mother raises the children is a problem and it led us to where we are today. Boys end up spending all their time around women when they are children while the men are off working. All their teachers are women and all they see are their mom and their friends' moms. This same circumstance of the 1950s led to the boomers ultimately, which lead us to Gen x, Millennial etc... and to our disaster today.
I have read that amish boys go with the men as young as 3 and the girls go with the women at the same age. Of course, they aren't contributing much but they are becoming acquainted with being around their own sex, they are learning their place, what they do, what their culture is. They are learning in a deep way. The boys do this, the girls do this. Most people don't think big enough and think the housewife raising the kids with the guy working all the time barely seeing his kids is the way to a good society. It is not. Your boys will not see you, they will not learn how to be a man this way. There are many ways the future can be, maybe boys go with the men, girls with the women. Workplaces would have to be restructured. Maybe the man works a part time job and the woman works a part time job. The children receive 50% male influence and 50% female influence. There are many different takes on how it could be done. What is important to not forget is that, men working far away from their families without raising their children, raising their boys, teaching and showing their boys how to be consistently and turning the boys over to be raised by women is a big problem. When people think that is the goal it is because they are not thinking big enough. You need to think big, reaching into the archaic and meeting the modern.
Because we are on the topic of the sexes why not go a bit more on it? Maybe men and women of the future are segregated by gender again. There is no reason that men and women should constantly and continually be hanging out, socializing and working together. There is not reasonable benefit to having men and women working in the same place. What is good about spouses going to work only to spend many hours each day surrounded by members of the opposite sex?
Maybe in the future there will be different domains for women and different domains for men. Men work in certain fields, women work in certain fields. Women work in businesses for women and men work in businesses for men. There are different needs in society. Perhaps there are women's offices and there are men's offices. That is a much bigger discussion with many details, the bigger point is, what we have assumed to be normal for the past 50 years is not normal and even if it was normal, it doesn't mean it needs to be in the future. We must always think in our 1990s Futurism of the Good society.
On to some other questions. Why do we need to have so much light pollution on roads all night? When everyone is on the trains and the roads are empty, maybe the lights can shut off? Why do we all need to live cram packed in rat cages in the city? In the new future incredibly fast rail transport can connect small villages to cities rapidly and easily. Why do we need to keep around the dilapidated repulsive buildings which were put up after they destroyed the beautiful stone buildings? Why couldn't we tear down all of the public eyesores that litter our landscape and build in their places beautiful buildings with a new stone-concrete? The design will be ancient, classical architecture but made to last longer in more pristine condition than we ever could have imagined.
Why does it feel like we haven't made any progress in the physical world for decades. All of our "progress" is in the virtual world. And what is the progress? To blast us with more garbage media quicker and in more totality. The physical world is decaying and the virtual world is thriving. It is a manifestation of a sort of toxic inwardness.
Why don't we have any of these things? We have incredibly advanced machinery and technology comparatively. Why exactly do we live in such a time of "abundance" but everything feels more like living in a strange shopping-mall garbage dump where you are less and less sure anything will work at all. We live in a world where there are oligarchs with such disgusting fortunes, there is so much money, such possibility, yet for the normal man his life is more degraded in hidden and not so hidden ways. The reason everything is the way it is, is only because it happens to be that way. There is no actual good reason. We could live in a what would appear to be a fantasy, a dreamworld if we wanted it enough. There is a good reason I cannot jump off the earth and fly to the moon, there is a good reason I can't grow myself to be 11 feet tall. There is no reason everything is the way it is.
People will accuse you of being "utopian" as a slur, when you talk like this. These people are mostly useful idiots of the servant-regime. Using utopian as a slur to shut down thought is a way to make sure you don't ever think that things could be different. Don't think too much. Don't get any strange ideas. Oh, you think that things really aren't the best they could be? You think that actually in fact things are terrible and you are living under a crushing hidden structure which grinds everyone into the ground slowly inter-generationally? Oh you think that it doesn't necessarily need to be that way? You are utopian! Stop dreaming! It is just an easy way to get you to sit down, shut up. It's totally cynical and a slave mentality. A good way to make sure a system stays stagnant is to make sure you can't imagine anything outside the system.
Society is made up. We make it. We decide how it is ordered, we decide how it is built, how it looks, what is expected of us, what are the values, what are the rules. Everything could be made to be so much different. It's remarkable that we live in a time of extreme wealth and advanced technology yet everything is so broken, weak and worthless. Imagine if we used all the best brainpower, monetary power and creative power we had to create the best, most beautiful, most right world we could imagine. There is literally no good reason why everything has to be the way it is. It is only that way because we assume this is the only way for it to be. Part of beginning to imagine a different future is understanding that nothing is guaranteed to be the way you think it will be, the future is a blank slate, nothing is determined. The future is yours, if you want it.
Why couldn't we have a future without smartphones? Not without the internet, just without the smartphone. What if we all had ultra fast internet at home but there was no wifi, no smartphone. The personal portable computer was done. Why can't we imagine a future where we understand that actually the mass use of portable internet makes us less happy, more miserable and even less "productive" so we come to understand a better way of organization. Fast internet in every home but no smartphones, no laptops. You have your station in your home. What if the internet was like television many decades ago. Programs were only on at a certain time. Was there anything on in the middle of the night? I don't know. What if the internet shut off in the middle of the night? What if everything was in it's right place?
The good future isn't creepy gene editing and monstrous medical treatment and advancement from Hell. The good future is just that, Good. Maybe abortion will be banned in the future? Maybe it will be banned but we will live in a truly good society with a social welfare net so generous that no woman would ever be tempted to have an abortion out of monetary pressures. Banning abortion and maintaining the hunger games society we live in today isn't futurism, it's total idiocy. Maybe it will be a good society of strict norms between the sexes. This isn't about abortion or your opinion of it. It isn't about the answers. It is about opening our mind a bit and breaking some of that which blocks out the light and imagination.
The good future isn't eliminating down syndrome or anyone else who doesn't make the cut for whatever creepy system someone imagines. The good future is about truly understanding life, it's purpose, our purpose and using everything at our disposal to help every member of the society realize their full potential for the betterment of themselves, their family and the society. It will look very different than the society we live in today. What would be needed to bring about this society would be thought, ideas and understanding of mission that is totally non-existent today and is "out of time".
These questions are just a few questions about society and what could be. These answers and ideas are not the final answer or any answer, they are just opening questions. They help us wonder and imagine and most importantly understand that many of the barriers that keep us from imagining are in fact totally false. To free our mind and imagine what could be helps us to think a bit more grand, with a bit more music and a bit more aspiration and magic.
Left wingers are much better at this by the way. Left wingers dream up insane, massive, huge dreams and then they propose them and talk about them and set the stick way out at 10 and so even if they make it to 5 in 20 years it is a huge success and then they keep doing this again and again and over 50 years they made it to 8 and by 100 years they made it to 10 and some. Dreaming and wondering big is about expansion.
What does this all have to do with the 1990s? What does it have to do with style? What in the world does it have to do with neckties? The 1990s was a different time compared to today. It was not a perfect time, there were problems. But, when we look with sober eyes from 2022, any honest man must acknowledge the problems were far more manageable, human problems, than we have today. This is important because the 1990s were in a way, the last moment of some semblance of positivity, in a deeper spiritual way. There have been many different points in which a break occurred, which were a clear moment of cosmic spiritual change. The assassination of JFK was a big one, 9/11 was another one. There are many others, these are just 2. The Soviet Union falls at the very beginning of the 1990s and the rest of it are spent in a sort of strange dream and then the 21st century truly begins on 9/11.
There are further reasons I am framing this as 1990s Futurism as opposed to 1950s or 1920s etc... It is because 1990s is very accessible to us. When you watch a movie from the 1990s it feels very modern. The 1990s was very modern. We had great medicine, we had good water, good supplies, nobody was starving in America, life looks very recognize-able to us today. Sometimes when people think of the 1950s or 1920s it feels too far. 1990s doesn't feel too far to most. In a way the late 1990s is like today but without cellphones. You will see cars from the late 1990s driving around today, you don't see many cars form the 50s and when you do they are decidedly classic cars and you never see cars from the 20s. Many young people were born in the 1990s, it just feels closer. To me the 1990s was like now, but better. When you watch a late 1990s movies specifically, 98, 97, 99 it is a very cool feeling. Everything is modern, it feels like today but you don't see any weird tech around, computers aren't everywhere and there is no social media references. The culture is also insanely right wing compared to today. The 1990s wasn't insanely right-wing obviously, Bill Clinton was the president, but you get the point. Read articles and pieces from the 1990s and the whole conversation would be banned on Twitter of 2022. The 1990s was like a normal version of today with basically all the good stuff, and very little of the bad stuff. And if you are going to try to nit-pick and try to pretend otherwise I would suggest that you need to wake up, look around, we are on the threshold of hell. Someone could clammer on about how "you are romanticizing the 1990s, there was a lot of bad!" Okay, I am romanticizing the 1990s, It is now Romantic 1990s Futurism, now what?
In a way I am, in 1990s Futurism, suggesting a sort of rewinding, going back a few stops on the train and re-orientating and then going a different direction, imaging a different way. You don't need to go back to year zero. Reorient yourself into the 1990s, reorient your mind into a more optimistic time and things begin to open in a way, doors which seem closed or forgotten become visible again. This is about big broad societal ideas but it is also about the person, the personal. You are king of your domain. You do choose your life, your story, you beliefs, your attitude. You create the culture in your home and life. This re-imagination is for your own little world. What if instead of one world we think of this planet as made up of many worlds? In a way you can have your own world. It is a part of other worlds, but it is also your own little world. You can make your own personal world anyway you want it to be.
For our style the 1990s was very interesting. What is the meaning of it? The 1990s in a lot of ways drew on some very early 20th century styles. Everything was big, full. The suits were big and full, big shoulder pads, big ties, everything was this grand, strong sort of approach. Polo Ralph Lauren ads from the 1990s are incredible. Truly, amazing. There was this sort of building up of the man, making him great in the traditional menswear of the 1990s, as was the case in the first part of the 20th century as well. Yet, at the same time there were also takes on traditional menswear items that feel incredibly forward looking. Colors and patterns on traditional pieces, yet totally not traditional in final execution. Both of these elements are a key part of the 1990s Futurism that was (even if it wasn't fully aware of itself) and the 1990s Futurism that will be.
When we talk of man and woman and our 1990s Futurism we must be clear. 1990s Futurism is about the building up of a serious, grand, formidable state of the man, the beauty, soft femininity of the woman. It is about modernity, beauty, right roles, right aesthetic, right thinking, right living and it is also about the ancient, the classical, the true. It is not about trans-humanism and creepy drugs and weird steroid fueled work-outs or body dysmorphia. Those are disorders. It is about the best of our natural selves. It is about building up the beauty physically, aesthetically, sartorially. It is about building up what God gave us.
The decor in the 1990s was very interesting as well and also allows our minds to open to a kind of interesting starting place for our Futurism. There were very old elements in the 1990s, traditional. There were some ornate, heavy, rich color elements which harkened back to the old times. This models the same sort of harkening back we see in traditional menswear. And also, similarly to what we see in menswear, there is also a ffwd-ing which happens with futuristic sleek design. There was the super sleek black and light green look. I am imagining black tiles in your kitchen or bathroom. Some sort of dark green marble. Very angular lamps and ultra modern couches. The apartment in American Psycho, represents some, but not all. It is only one sliver of a corner. Yes this movie wasn't made in the 1990s, but it is portraying the 1990s.
The 1990s was in ways, aesthetically fusing very old traditional elements, with a new sort of forward look to the future as well. A lot of people like the 80s sort of futuristic vibe and that is very cool too but it is a bit wild, and in a way it is too fantastical, I don't think it is really serious and I think people don't actually want to live in it. Not every corner of the 1990s is desirable. There are many other wacky wild styles and lifestyles that were around in the 1990s which we most certainly do not want to capture or cultivate.
The rotten corners aside, there is a certain corner of the 1990s which is in a total sweet spot. It is traditional yet forward looking in the modern age. To imagine oneself there doesn't feel as distant as the 1950s, 1920, 1890s etc... It doesn't carry a feeling of play-acting. Aesthetically speaking, it is incredibly sustainable. You have traditional menswear with traditional full cuts, not restrictive overly tight fitting clothes which make you want to jump out of them at the earliest possible moment. You want to live in clothes which feel good. The clothes of traditional menswear in the 1990s felt good. The hair, when it comes to traditional men in the 1990s, was natural. It largely wasn't ultra slicked back with a cacophony of product. That look which reminds us of the 1950s and earlier looks great, it looks so clean cut, severe, imposing and futuristic as well. I love that look, I am not cutting on that. There is something amazing about that and I could write about that as well. That is also a possible future. But, now we are somewhere else, we are in the 1990s. I am not sure it was so comfortable, that ultra permanently sleeked look. I am not sure it felt so good to sit your head back when you hair was like that. Maybe it was fine, but I am not sure. It may not be honestly sustainable.
Look at most all of the images of traditional men of the 1990s and they are more often than not, wearing their hair in a natural way. Of course there is some product, but it isn't glued to their head, it looks comfortable and natural. Of course, another element of the 1990s menswear which came back was the popularity of round eye-glasses. Of course, they were always there, but they made a big appearance in the 1990s. These also simply feel old, not in a 1950s way, but more of an early 20th century way.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior (1994)
This image of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Junior (1994) is a great example of the man of 1990s Futurism. Clean shaven, trim natural hair, put together and buttoned with the round eyewear. Also, it must be noted, the film Junior is a crime against humanity. It is a ludicrous movie and watching it in 2022, well I am not sure how exactly the masses are supposed to watch this in 2022. I won't ruin it for you, you can look it up yourself. I will admit, there were actual moments I laughed at Arnold. It doesn't change the fact in a light way and a serious way, the film is a crime against humanity.
1990s Futurism is about stretching back, re-starting in optimism and leaping forward while continuing the reaching back into time. In a way it is hyper-reactionary and hyper-modern at the same, fused into one approach. This is 1990s Futurism. Much of this has to do with everything outside of clothes. Life, religion, family, purpose, meaning, societal organization, values etc.... but it also has to do with aesthetics. Aesthetics play a massive part in 1990s Futurism. Aesthetics play a mass role in everything, for good and bad, even if we pretend they don't. Our man of 1990s Futurism, he represents, in his presentation this basic premise of stretching back and looking forward at the same time. Facing the future with dignity, strength and assuredness. These values, these core ideas, assumptions and aspirations are evidenced in him, his presentation, his aesthetic, his attire and his worldview.
It is ultimately all about dreaming. It is about dreaming big dreams. It is about breaking away from the imposing suffocating ceiling. It is about allowing ourselves to truly imagine outside the sandbox. It is about re-orienting ourselves in freedom, optimism and possibility. It is about the broad world but also our little world. We cannot directly change the outer world much. But, we can change our inner world and then our little world and our little world changes other worlds. What the future holds, we do not know, we will never know until we arrive. But, we can re-orient ourselves even if only as a part of an experimentation, toward wondering, toward possibility, toward optimism, toward the future. Toward 1990s Futurism.