1990 was the year war came to our TVs.
The Gulf War, as it was known, started when Iraq invaded Kuwait in January 1990. It was a war over oil and it was on every TV channel around the world day and night. As an 8 year old, I remember wondering if my father would have to go to war, because that’s what happened during the other wars I’d learned about, World War I and World War II.
The night vision of airstrikes and oil fields on fire are my strongest memories of that war. And the feeling that it was all a bit wrong.
Other big things were going on in 1990 as well.
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela was released from prison. This was the first time I’d heard of him and the first time I became aware of apartheid and what it did to people. I filed that information in the ever-growing section on how horrible humans can be to each other.
The Soviet Union was crumbling quickly in 1990.
Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union and Estonia officially called itself Estonia again.
In October 1990, East and West Germany reunified to become one Germany again. A wonderful symbolic moment to go against all the fighting and oppression elsewhere.
While many Eastern European countries were moving towards democracy, Burma held general election too, with Aung San Suu Kyi winning in a landslide, a landslide that had her landing in house arrest for the next couple of decades.
In nerdy news, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990. I love the Hubble website.
Music in 1990
Faith No More released Epic, which given the politics of 1990 seems rather appropriate.
Sinead O’Connor released her cover of Nothing Compares 2 U, which everyone went ga ga over (long before Gaga was around) and the B52s were in the charts with Love Shack.
Me in 1990
It was around this time that I started to really notice how my parents were miserable with each other and just how much they fought. I think they’d always fought when I was a kid, but after the twins were born, it really ramped up.
There were endless screaming matches, things thrown and lots of storming out going on.
I don’t really remember when my father left. I remember him crying and walking out, but I can’t remember when that was. It wasn’t unusual But one day he didn’t come back and after that we only saw him every now and then.