Michelle’s piece on Singles (1992) is so. Good.
I was in college, the young side of its target audience, when Singles was in theatres. I played its soundtrack on my college radio show and put Chris Cornell’s “Seasons” on way too many mixed tapes (not ‘mixtapes’ then—and they were on tape), but for various reasons—its lukewarm reviews; my lack of cash and living in a town with one, single-screen movie theatre—I didn’t see the movie until years after, when grunge began to seem maybe naively sincere.
But when it first took the Top 40 charts, it was like waking up fresh. Pop music always confirms that life revolves around our feelings; grunge said feelings were Important, that at twenty-__ we were right to take ourselves seriously, and to feel bad. It usually kept its politics just offstage, but is it coincidental that it took off after twelve years of Reagan-Bush?
I remember my parents disagreeing with me. “What do you ( Gen X) have to be angry about? We had Vietnam, the riots.”
I had plenty of answers for that.
“None of your music is happy,” my mother said.
Not a question, and I didn’t have an answer. Because it was true.