Stop Kiss by Diana Son takes place in the late 1990s. There have been many significant occurrences in the 90s. For example, some of the popular artwork has influenced how some sets appear in modern-day performances
The type of art that was popular at the time was graffiti and culture jamming. Graffiti initially emerged in the 1960s with spray paintings of words and images on the walls of Philidelphia. Some historians believe that the famous Jazz Saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker’s death was the motivation for the spread of graffiti having words saying “Yardbird”, “Bird”, or “Bird Lives”. Eventually, the art movement shifted to New York but was used in predominantly low-income neighborhoods such as Washington Heights. Artists began making names for themselves. Artists such as TAKI 183 Tracy 168 gained fame. Many artists such as these would create a name that combined their nickname and street address. Eventually, there began a crew of over 500 members that included artists such as Blade, Cope 2, T Kid 170, Cap Juice 177, and Dan Plasma.
By the 1990s, Graffiti became a worldwide, popular trend. More artists such as Banksy and Blek le Rat emerged and gained recognition for their art. Graffiti was becoming more mainstream. This art form continued into the early 2000s with IBM and Sony launching an advertising campaign that would commission artists to spray paint their brands across the country.
Popular music in the 1990s was pop, rap, alternative, techno, and hip-hop. The 90s was a time when musical tastes varied, similar to the events that were happening in the world at the time. Some of these music genres have integrated into the early 2000s. Some musicians that were popular were Nirvana, R.E.M., Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, The Chemical Brothers, and Fatboy Slim.
Grunge/Alternative rock ruled the nineties with its mixture of punk and heavy metal styles. This genre stuck out as it uses slower, distorted guitars and heavy bass lines. It also contained dark and angsty lyrics.
The nineties were also the time of the pop divas. Artists with such powerhouse voices dominated the billboard charts. Female singers such as Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Madonna, Cher, Brandy, Monica, and Janet Jackson dominated the charts with their powerful voices.
Science and Technology:
1990: April, The Hubble Space Telescope was launched.
- September, The first successful somatic gene therapy trials begin
- October, Human Genome Project formally begins
- December, The Worldwide Web software is first tested by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN
- The detection of extrasolar planets orbiting a pulsar is confirmed
- The first genetically modified food sold in the United States, the FlavrSavr tomato is introduced
- The Oriental Pearl Tower is completed in Shanghai, China.
- The Global Positioning System (GPS) becomes operational
- In April, the NSFNET backbone is shut down
- In June the first Bose-Einstein condensates of Rubidium – 87 and Sodium – 23 are created at JILA and MIT.
- In December the Galileo probe orbits Jupiter.
- Dolly the sheep is cloned
- Construction starts on the International Space Station
- Google begins to create the World Wide Web.
- In April the Hale-Bopp comet passes the sun for the first time in 4,300 years and leads to the Heaven’s Gate suicides.
- In July, NASA’s Pathfinder lands on Mars and deploys a small roving vehicle called Sojourner, to analyze the planet’s geology and atmosphere.
- HTTP protocol and HTML language are successfully determined.
- The development of the free Linux Kernel is started in Finland.
- E-commerce-only websites like Amazon, eBay, AOL, and Yahoo grew rapidly.
- Microsoft introduces Windows 95, which rapidly becomes popular and Windows creates the standard operating system for most PCs.
- The Java programming language is developed by Sun Microsystems.
- Email becomes popular and Microsoft creates Hotmail
- Instant messaging and the buddy list becomes popular.
The nineties saw many changes, this decade was filled with many extremes lifestyles and trends. Many Americans built and bought bigger homes and owned more expensive automobiles and worked longer hours. People spent a lot more and borrowed a lot more. Fashion especially evolved during this decade. In the early nineties, bright colors and athletic attire similar to the eighties became popular.
The late nineties saw slip dresses and preppy prints. The slip dress was a simple spaghetti strap dress that included a minimalist idea to fashion. It also showcased that the underwear can be worn as outerwear. Sportswear such as oversized jerseys, cropped t-shirts, and tracksuits became very popular. Many musicians performed with baggy sports jerseys on stage while others had sportswear as everyday fashion. For example, Princess Diana often wore fitted biker shorts with an oversized t-shirt.
There were many cultural and societal changes as well. The unemployment rate was at its lowest and people had money to spend. Because of this, Americans began to gamble more and it is speculated that it brought in about $1.4 billion in tax dollars to state and local governments.
Throughout the nineties, members of the LGBTQ community were establishing (synonym) themselves into society making the term gay and lesbian more socially acceptable. Then, in 1992, Clinton created a lift on the ban on LGBTQ people serving in the military, then, compromised on the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, making everyone stay silent regarding a soldier’s sexual orientation. This led to heavy opposition and thousands of men and women being discharged.
In response to the “Don’t as, don’t tell” policy, Amendment 2 in Colorado, hate crimes, and discrimination against the community, 800,000 to a million people participated in the march on Washington for lesbian, gay, and bi equal rights and liberation on April 25th, 1993. Art and history exhibits, outings, and workshops were held leading up to the march. Jesse Jackson, RuPaul, Martina Navratilova, and Eartha Kitt were some of the speakers and performers at the rally after the march.
Amendment 2 in Colorado seeked to deny the protection of LGBTs against discrimination, saying that these rights are “special rights.” The Supreme Court overturned it in 1996 in Romer v. Evans, stating “We find nothing special in the protections Amendment 2 withholds. These protections…constitute ordinary civil life in a free society.”
In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act was authorized, defining that marriage, at a federal level, is a union of one man and one woman. DOMA was brought into effect due to the fear of states permitting same-sex couples the right to marry, the federal government, and the other states would have to honor those marriages. During this year, a majority of Congress was held by the Republican party. This didn’t go well with some of the members of Congress. DOMA made it so that states could refuse to recognize same-sex marriages that are granted under the laws of other states. Section three of the act was dropped in 2013 by the United States v. Windsor. DOMA prevented same-sex married couples from the recognition of being spouses for federal benefits.