1990: A Horrifying Vision of Yesteryear

Day 4. 23 pages, 11,529 words.

Here’s a little list of the amusing things I have learned or re-learned about the year 1990, in the process of researching for my latest book. Oh yes, I research now. I research heaps.

So, I hope we all knew that the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War essentially ended in the middle of 1990 – I hadn’t realised, when I fubbed some of my dates around, that this placed the historical event right slap-dab in the middle of my story’s timeline. I’m going to have to work it in even though it’s more or less completely irrelevant to the story, but I don’t want it to be too “establishing time period”.

In the same vein, Iraq invaded Kuwait and the whole Gulf War thing kicked off.

The Chunnel was built, or at least they met in the middle. This was apparently the first time there was a land connection between Great Britain and the mainland in 8,000 years. Which is neat.

There were only 5 billion people in the world in 1990.

Sinead O’Connor released Nothing Compares 2 U, which isn’t particularly funny except it’s a thing Deadpool makes a joke about in the movie, comparing Negasonic to Sinead. Establishing age.

In March 1990, according to Wikipedia, the New Zealand Navy discontinued its daily rum ration. That isn’t going into the story either, but it’s brilliantly charming and also sad that it was discontinued. It was the day a hopeful Kiwi sea-dog said “ration me rum” and a heartless government said “no”.

George Carey, Bishop of Bath and Wells, became the new Archbishop of Canterbury following the retirement of the previous one. This is funny for two reasons. First, the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells is a character in Blackadder. Second, my old pal KMA from the days of Usenet is a member of the Carey family. Any relation?


That’s it.

There was a lot of death and destruction around the world in 1990. It makes the horrifying terrorist attacks of recent years look like a joke, although of course they’re not. Death is death and a single lost life is terrible. It’s just that the panic and baggage now brought along with the actions of terrorists is … yeah, the terrorists have already won. My condolences, Lebowski.

I could go off on a rant about the Internet Age and what it’s done to our social conscience and cultural filters and all that, but I have work to do.

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