Panic in the 90s! (A Mother’s Love Mixed With Moral Panic)

Between the ages of five and twelve, my mother raised my kid sister and me by herself. My mother was many, many things—loving, sincere, uplifting—but chief amongst them was GULLIABLE. Bless my Mama’s heart, that woman could be talked into believing just about anything, which was extremely problematic for a single mom with two world-class wise-ass children. Mama was so gullible, she actually bought a vacuum from a door-to-door salesman, in the 1990s. My eldest sister’s favorite story to tell about my mother is that my father had my mom convinced that he could breathe through his ears, and could hold his face underwater for prolonged periods of time.

Bless. Her. Heart.

Part of the gullibility was susceptibility to the scare tactics of the media at the time. 20/20 had my mother convinced that overseas drug lords had spiked her off-brand Tylenol and she did an audit on every pill bottle in the home. There was a period of time when it felt like 90’s day-time talk show hosts were taking turns to see what absurdity they could make my mom believe next. God, I miss that woman.

In honor of the woman who would believe her blinker fluid needed to be changed and her muffler bearings were going bad, I am updating some of my favorite 90’s public panics with how the world is twenty years later.

90’s Panic2020’s Update
People will try to entice children on the street with free drugs to get them addicted.In this economy, no one in possession of a substance that can make them forget about the last five years is giving that shit away for free. If your kids want to get high, they are going to have to get a job and earn the money to catch a buzz.
People who smoke marijuana are low-lives who will do nothing with their lives.Not only have they done something with their lives, but they have made a TON of fucking money doing it. Those people own dispensaries, farms, labs, and it’s all perfectly legal. They are laughing their stoner asses all the way to the bank.
Strangers on the internet are trying to kidnap and murder you.It is now publicly acceptable to turn to the internet, and their menagerie of strangers, for things like delivering your food, going on dates, having casual sex, and getting a ride to the airport. 
Smoking cigarettes makes you look dumb.You were right, but it gets worse. Now, people all around the country are smoking flavored nicotine out of a device that looks like Inmate # 395862 took a really nice ink pen and hooked it up to a Zippo lighter. These marvels of prison contraband have burned people through their pockets, exploded in their faces, and zero fucks are given. You don’t see commercials about smoking much anymore, but the anti-vaping ads are magnificent.
Pre-marital sex ruins your life.Beavis & Butthead is making the youth a bunch of troublemakers.
Beavis & Butthead is making the youth a bunch of trouble makers.Beavis & Butthead might as well be shown in schools these days—with shows like South Park (and even it is on the popularity decline), Rick & Morty, & Family Guy, the youth of America didn’t have a snowflakes hope in hell of turning out like Wally Cleaver.

I’m sure there are a lot more, and I may end up making a series about this, but these were my favorite for the moment. The 90’s media conglomerates really thought they were hip because they paid for popular actors of the time to record messages for the youth, and then pat each other on the scrotums for a job well done. The 90’s were strange.

Thank you for reading & I’ll see you on your next trip across the Millerverse!

Songs listened to while writing this blog:

  1. “Salvation” – the Cranberries
  2. “One Headlight” – the Wallflowers
  3. “Pieces of the Night” – Gin Blossoms
  4. “All I Want” – Toad the Wet Sprocket

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