Friday, 9 March 2012

Top Ten: Cultural Highlights of 1992

In my forthcoming essay on the lasting legacy of 1992, I shall be discussing at length some all or fewer of the following cultural moments in British life:

1. Men Behaving Badly
The new lad got into his strides on this ITV sitcom, while the BBC was giving women a similar range of role models in Absolutely Fabulous.

2. The Jack Dee Show
The first alternative comedian to reach a mainstream audience without sacrificing his original fan base. Though the John Smith adverts the following year were more influential.

3. Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
The moment when the yet-to-be-branded Young British Artists convinced the world that making money should be considered one of the fine arts.

4. Suede in the Melody Maker
‘The best new band in Britain’ get their first magazine cover without having released a record yet, and inadvertently give birth to Britpop.

5. ‘Cherubim and Seraphim’, Inspector Morse
Danny Boyle is in the director’s chair as the Venerable Morse attempts to understand this rave and drug culture on which the youth seem so keen.

6. The death of Lymeswold
Invented by committee as an English brie a decade earlier, this tasteless, cultureless monstrosity of a cheese was finally killed off in a major victory for British food.

7. Morrissey waves a Union Flag at Madstock
He got pilloried by a generation for whom the national flag was a right-wing symbol, but within a couple of years the imagery was ubiquitous.

8. Brian Deane scores the first goal in the Premier League
Manchester United came back from their defeat by Deane’s Sheffield United to win the first Premier League title, to the delight of all those who talked about football as a product.

9. Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch
It changed the cultural status of football and changed the face of literature.

10. Charles and Diana announce their separation
Two colliding views on the nature of modern Britain give up their hopeless alliance and declare war on each other.

Incidentally, the title of the e-book has changed and will now be known as Things Can Only Get Bitter: The Lost Generation of 1992. It'll probably be available early next month.

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