As Titanic comes back to theaters this week, here are other pop culture things I remember being da bomb in 1997. Hindsight is embarassing.
As you've probably heard squealed at you some point in the past week, James Cameron's "Titanic" returns to movie theaters in 3D this Wednesday. The movie originally came out in 1997. Do you remember what was happening in pop culture that year? In 1997 I was in sixth grade. "Titanic" was sixth-grade-me's "Twilight" as far as pre-teen obsession with a love story goes. In celebration of seeing Kate Winslet's wobbly bits on the big screen again, throughout this week on Sensory Overload I will revisit the music, movies, fashion, slang and heartthrobs I idolized in 1997. Hindsight, as I find, is often embarrassing.Monday: Music. I wish I could impress you by saying I listened to the Toadies in sixth grade. But a Juno-style bank of cool music knowledge a sheltered farm girl does not make. Here's what 1997 music meant to me. "Quit Playing Games with My Heart," by The Backstreet Boys 1997 me's interpretation: I should write a letter to Nick Carter every day. Maybe then he will love me. 2012 me's interpretation: No wonder I was a confused, lovelorn teenager. Backstreet Boys, which I adored, would sing a song like "As Long As You Love Me" (sidenote: "I don't care who you are… what you did… as long as you love me" is a horrible message of what love is to send a kid) followed by "I Want it That Way." Dear God, which is it?! Which annoying significant other characteristic do I embody?! Watching these videos and listening to BSB music now (although, I still have nostalgic warm fuzzies for all of these songs), I totally understand why anyone who was not just learning how to shave her (or his) legs at the time these came out would hate these guys. Also, in the "Quit Playing Games with My Heart," Nick Carter singing while being doused in water is one of the most homoerotic things you'll find on YouTube. Another lesson learned: writing love letters on a daily basis usually gets you nothing but a restraining order. "MMMbop," by Hanson 1997 me's interpretation: Man, Zac Hanson is a really good drummer. And what a unique way to spell his name! He must be so creative… Also, how unfortunate that I look like Isaac. 2012 me's interpretation: Play "MMMbop" at any girl's night and pomegranate wine coolers and pillow-fight-soft pillows will appear out of thin air. "Barbie Girl," by that band that sang "Barbie Girl" 1997 me's interpretation: I don't want to stop singing this song ever. 2012 me's interpretation: I shouldn't link this on Columbus Alive's website lest readers accidentally click through and sue us for putting them through that again. Gross to think I knew every word of this song at a time when I thought "frisk" was some kind of shortening of cat food brand "Friskies." "No Diggity," by Blackstreet 1997 me's interpretation: Awesome. Bag it up grocery store bagger person! Paper, please! 2012 me's interpretation: Even more awesome. Have safe sex. "Tearin' Up My Heart," by 'N Sync 1997 me's interpretation: Pffft. Look at that guy with the frosted curls pretending like he could ever be as talented, famous or respected in this industry as Nick Carter. 2012 me's interpretation: A big ol' "Whatever!" to whoever thought spelling the band's name with an apostrophe and space would be edgy. You have pained copy editors for more than a decade now. (I might note, while "Bye Bye Bye" didn't come out until the new millennium, I once was at a happy hour at Bernard's in the Short North and that song came on the jukebox. It was still only 9 p.m., but every female in there stopped all conversation and began singing and doing the dance. It was like an evil spell-we couldn't stop. Justin Timberlake is a witch.) "Wannabe," by the Spice Girls 1997 me's interpretation: If my "lover" doesn't like my friends, he's out of here. My independence and sweet self-reliance are totally intimidating and they are worth keeping me from actually getting a boyfriend. It is definitely not because I look like Isaac Hanson. 2012 me's interpretation: If my "lover" "gets with my friends," he's out of here. And this explains why I like my pop culture "Girl Power" feminism in my face and wearing platform heels.