YouTube allows me the ability to browse the music videos of my early teens, the beginning of the so-called Alternative Revolution. They haven't dated as much as my perception of them has dated, and I realize now how many of them weren't nearly as awesome or as groundbreaking to the whole scheme of things as I thought they were at the time. That is to say, the sacred cows of a prior age are not nearly as sacred these days. Still, there are a handful which retain their staying power with me--albums and groups which I've always kept around and listened to periodically over the years. Those are relatively rare, though, and in watching the songs now a decade and a half old I often fail to see what the fuss was about. That era is in some ways closely related to these times, but in subtler ways they are also light-years away from us.
With age, tastes evolve, shift, and change. The people I worry about are the ones who live in a state of perpetual adolescence, neither moving forward, nor backwards. I also know that this one paragraph's worth of realization is far from uncommon. When you strip away hype and hyperbole and youthful exuberance and effectively demystify your past, you don't have much left afterward. What I have noticed is that the 1990's, led forward by grunge and post-punk were at times a pretty dark, dismal period in popular music--one teeming full of heroin-addicted musicians, ego posturing, preciousness, angst, and social defectives masquerading as tragically romantic, fashionably fallen demigods.
Case in point.