Subnostalgia

For some reason I was thinking about pieces of culture that have departed from the world but which somehow didn’t “stick” well enough to persist even in the sphere of nostalgia.  Like when people think about the early 1990s, the years when I was in college, they might well say “oh yeah, grunge” or “oh yeah, wearing used gas station T-shirts with a name stitched on” or “oh yeah, Twin Peaks” or “oh yeah, OK Soda” or whatever.

But no one says “oh yeah, Fido Dido.”  So here I am doing it.

It is inherently hard to try to list things you’ve forgotten about.  My list right now consists of

  • Fido Dido
  • Saying “bite me”
  • Smartfood
  • Devil sticks (from Jason Starr)

That’s it.  What have you got?

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9 thoughts on “Subnostalgia

  1. Jason Starr says:

    When I was an undergrad (probably 1 or 2 years later than you) devil sticks were very popular, but they now seem to have disappeared on college campuses (hacky sacks, ultimate frisbee and slacklining persist).

  2. Ø says:

    I’m older than you, and I’d have said “bite me” was around before the 1990’s. Google N-Gram https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=bite+me&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cbite%20me%3B%2Cc0 shows it peaking between 1920 and 1940. But that’s in books, of course. I wonder why.

    Tom Goodwillie

  3. Ø says:

    I played ultimate frisbee (very badly, and my knee was never the same afterwards) as a grad student circa 1980.

  4. JM says:

    Hypercolor shirts, snap bracelets, Cop Rock jokes, Bart Simpson (esp. gray market rasta ones). When you are curious about 90s pop culture the analog years of MST3K always help.

  5. JM says:

    The word “shirts” seems to have jumped ship from my prior comment.

  6. Diophantine equations?

  7. JSE says:

    Oh, man, I felt that.

  8. Tim J. Moerman says:

    I still say “bite me.” I remember Fido Dido but can’t remember what product he was associated with.

    I’m of the same vintage as Jordan. Racking my brains for “forgotten early-nineties things (that implicitly have some relation to Fido Dido, even though I can’t remember who Fido Dido represented),” I get “Bob’s Favourite Snack” which was associated with Doritos and–was Fido Dido also a Doritos thing? I am deliberately not looking it up.

    But other than that, there are a whack of things of that era that don’t quite qualify as “forgotten,” but are “very era-specific and that I have had almost no reason to think about in the past twenty years, except possibly as punchlines to jokes about things being no-longer-current”: Samantha Fox, Vanilla Ice, Zima, etc.

  9. JSE says:

    Yeah but the “punchlines to jokes about things being no-longer-current” are exactly the things I am rejecting as not being forgotten enough! I want the things that HAVEN’T become signifiers of their era. So no Zima, no OK Soda.

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