When we met researcher Jay Dyer a few months ago, we were sharing our backgrounds and how we first got into all of this conspiracy and paranormal culture. “Whoa, you guys were woke in the 90’s!”, he exclaimed, and we all laughed. “We’re gonna have to remember that!”, I replied, and that phrase served as the inspiration for this show ( even though I eventually forgot who said it, thanks Jay! ). We thought it would be great to do a round table discussion with some of our favorite past guests and friends, who were really on to the pulse of the unique historical moment, or who, like us, were really turned on to this stuff during the time and have studied it subsequently with some hindsight.
We’ve discussed how being exposed to recurring themes and memes that were popularized in previous generations, in both pop and alternative culture, tends to create a separation between camps and generations. It’s hard not to be the stereotypical “old head” when you see a familiar trope that you’ve been exposed to multiple times in your life, presented as new to a generation not yet alienated by decades of hoaxing, exploitation, politicization, and promises of imminent disclosure or apocalypse.
The 1990’s was a time when ideas on the fringes that had been developing since the 70’s and 80’s really reached a boiling point. Conspiracy theory was influencing mainstream politics, UFO’s were primetime news, and “Alternative” music became the mainstream. There was a sense of possibility and immediacy that ran between psychedelic techno-utopianism and survivalist-new world order-apocalypticism. Understanding our speculative and alternative cultures in the 90’s serves as an important lens into understanding where we are at today, though unfortunately, any of the hopeful aspects seem completely absent.
We are joined in this epic discussion by 3 friends who were all among our first choices when starting to put this together. One of my favorite authors and researchers Adam Gorightly, gives us an invaluable insider’s perspective from someone who was at ground zero of the UFO, alternative, and conspiracy cultures in Southern California in the 90’s. Red Pill Junkie and Aaron Gulyas detail how, like us, the explosion of the UFO and other fringe media in the 90’s, coupled with the emerging internet, served as catalysts to what they continue to study and write about today.
We talk about the continuing influence of Bob Lazar and the Area 51 mythos, Dulce, how UFO’s and the Satanic Panic bled over into conspiracy theory, the mass and alternative media’s propagation of these ideas, Chupacabra, extremism, early online UFO communities, Y2K, the international aspects to these trends, and more! Join us for this special episode featuring it’s own theme song and get WOKE IN THE 90’S!
Show Note- We lost power right in the middle of recording the show so we lost our version. However, Adam Gorightly had the foresight to record the show and also took over as the host for a bit as we dealt with our issues.