In many ways, 1993 did give us our world: globalized and multicultural, libertarian and technocratic at once, target-marketed, relentlessly digital and relentlessly individual, without distinctions between the pursuit of culture and the pursuit of wealth. To put it another way, 1993 might have been the last year of the sellout, when the principle of resistance to the smooth and efficient running of the market began to collapse into our culture of collaboration. It was the year of the first web browser and the forging of both the European Union and NAFTA. Bill Kristol was writing, in Commentary, of how to rebrand conservatism as rebellion in the face of Clinton’s win. MTV’s cultural metabolism was probably at its most rapacious, Tony Kushner brought Angels in America to Broadway, and Toni Morrison won her Nobel. Atlantic Records invested in indie label Matador and Walt Disney bought Miramax. Pulp Fiction, Clerks, and Reality Bites were all in production. Marc Jacobs’s grunge collection was for spring ’93. Harmony Korine was writing Kids, and the former insult-comic editor of Spy had taken over Vanity Fair.
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