Artists Pay Back (The Blog)

August 1, 2010

Pop Culture Conversion Chart

I have a twelve year old daughter. Thank you. Her worldview is like that of any preteen which means that she is under the false impression that the experiences of her generation are completely original. Music, movies, fashion, personal tastes – the whole sphere of pop culture surrounding her demographic is like nothing no others have seen.

It is therefore my job to let her know that in reality her entire generation is ripping off my entire generation (who, incidentally, DID do everything original. Pipe down, mom.)

It always fun to deflate her arrogance with a “yeah, we did that first.” In her defense, the big reason that I can do this is because my generation is pretty much running the pop culture machine these days and if there’s one thing my generation excels at, it’s being narcissitic. So the people making movies, TV shows and music are regurgitating our childhoods to the people buying movies, TV shows and music. Because of this, the younger generation has no choice but to feed on our reheated leftovers. (A quick look at the multiplex confirms this, eh, B.A. and Perseus.)

Recently, she was throwing out what she deemed originals of her generation and I countered with the equivalent from mine. The following is a simple “Your generation’s THIS, was our generation’s THAT.” It’s a handy conversion chart for anyone who either needs to counter their own budding brainiac or for those who are a’scared of the new generation and think that you can’t relate. Come on now, we unleashed Boy George on the world, surely you can handle Adam Lambert.

And that’s as good a place as any to start:

1. Your Adam Lambert was our Boy George

2. Your Spongebob was our Flintstones

3. Your Jonas Brothers were our Bee Gees (or maybe Hanson for the slightly younger)

4. Your High School Musical was our Grease

5. Your Twitter was our AOL Chatroom

6. Your 3 month wait from movie theater to DVD was our 3 YEAR wait from movie theater to broadcast TV (edited with commercials, yay!)

7. Your Rob Thomas was our Peter Cetera

8. Your 24-hour Cartoon Network was our 8am-12pm Saturday Morning TV

9. Your Adult Swim was our Heavy Metal

10. Your American Idol was our Star Search

11. Your Lady Gaga (desperately wishes she) was our Madonna

12. Your Michael Jackson was our Elvis (oh, we had a Michael Jackson too, though you wouldn’t recognize him)

13. Your Eddie Murphy is (nothing AT ALL like) our Eddie Murphy (seriously, not even close)

14. Your Selena and Demi was our Tiffany and Debbie

15. Your Glee was our Fame

16. Your Kesha was our L’trimm

17. Your Mac was our Commodore 64

18. Your iPod Touch was our Walkman strapped to a Game boy mounted on a Commodore 64

19. Your Peyton Manning was our Joe Montana

20. Your Wii was our Atari

21. Your Seacrest was our Kasem

22. Your Silly Bandz were our Jelly Bracelets

23. Your So You Think You Can Dance was our Dance Fever

24. Your emo was our new wave

25. Your Sia was our Sade

26. Your texting was our passing notes

27. Your Wikipedia was our Cliff’s Notes

28. Your Nick At Night was our local UHF channel

29. Your Yo Gabba Gabba! was our The Electric Company

30. Your UFC was our WWF

31. Your Beyonce was our Janet Jackson

31. Your dance “Jerk” was our “Cabbage Patch”

32. Your Gossip Girl was our 90210

33. Your Pixar was our Disney


34. Your ‘beast’ was our ‘gnarly’

35. Your ‘meh’ was our ‘lame’

36. Your ‘hella’ was our ‘totally’

37. Your ‘tight’ was our ‘rad’

38. Your ‘OMG’ was our ‘no way’

39 – 41 submitted in comments below

42. Your Monster Energy Drink was our Jolt Cola

43. Your World of Warcraft was our Dungeons & Dragons

44. Your Annoying Orange was our Max Headroom


That’s the list off the top my my head. If there’s anything I missed (or perhaps got wrong), I’d love to hear it.


  1. […] This post was Twitted by ArtistsPayBack […]

    Pingback by Twitted by ArtistsPayBack — August 1, 2010 @ 12:50 am | Reply

  2. 39. Your ‘LOL’ was our actually laughing.

    Comment by Jaqui — August 2, 2010 @ 5:13 am | Reply

  3. forgot all about passing notes! thanks for the reminder.

    Comment by heather — August 2, 2010 @ 7:26 am | Reply

  4. 5. Your twitter was our ICQ
    40. Your second-hand clothes were actually worn by ourselves
    41. Your Ray-Ban Aviator was our Top-Gun sunglasses

    Comment by MHK — August 2, 2010 @ 10:14 am | Reply

  5. Nice one.:P

    jeffrey donovan interviews

    Comment by Alcosteneen — August 10, 2010 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  6. It’s funny. I feel the same way when compared to my sister. And I’m ONLY twenty and she’s fifteen. It’s strange. Maybe not as dramatically, but definitely there.

    Comment by Candee — August 11, 2010 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  7. Your reference range is all over the map. Flintstones? 1960. AOL Chat? The early 90’s. Madonna? The 80’s. D&D was the 70’s. Exactly what is “your generation”?

    Comment by Finlandia420 — October 10, 2010 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

    • Later 70s to early 90s would form the brunt of my ‘formative years,’ I suppose. Sure the Flintstones debuted in the 60s, but they were heavily syndicated so had a constant presence on daytime TV. I vacillated between using them or Scooby-Doo. Same thing with D&D, it didn’t end with the 70s and was still going strong in the 80s. That’s when some of the best manuals came out.

      Comment by artistspayback — October 10, 2010 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  8. […] Pop culture got you confused? Check out my handy conversion chart from Generation X to Generation LM… […]

    Pingback by Tweet Reconciliation; Or How A Tweeter Got His Groove Back « Artists Pay Back (The Blog) — March 31, 2011 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

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