Mulan Szechuan Sauce and Other Retro Things

By: Steven Underwood 

The era was the 90s; a lot of bizarre things were going on: McDonalds became known for their children’s movie tie-in promotional meals and Pepsi commercials were how Pop Stars cemented their legacy as the embodiment of music. Then, we crossed the thresh into the new millenia, and things got exponentially stranger. Not, in a good way, like how you’re down for anything for a weekend and you end-up having funny-weird stories to tell everyone about that one time you ate a bug; We had clothing made out of synthetic plastic that felt like the covering grandparents would put on their furniture to preserve them, cheetah print was worn unironically and as a fashion statement, Drake was acting.

Things were out of whack. The Cosmic Order was screwed and we, as a society, lost so many great things in our lives.

But, as millenials mature into the “Generation of Nostalgia” we welcome back so many old things that once brought meaning to the world, and the month of April 2017 evidently wants to stand out amongst the crowd by hitting the Nation with everything a 90’s kid loved — or at least, it’s bootlegged off-brand incarnation of it.

Here is our list of the best in April’s Retro Recount. Things from way back when they made a comeback:

  1. Mulan Szechuan Dipping Sauce

Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! Some would think Teriyaki would be an awful dipping sauce. That person is a psychopath and should be ignored for the benefit of the society as a whole. We cannot afford such divisive dialogue in this America. Honestly, before Rick and Morty’s April Fool’s Premiere of Season 3, I thought I had dreamt this sauce up. It retreated to the backwater bayous of my mind, and I figured my love of bitter flavors was just an abnormal mutation that was brought about by too much hot sauce. No. It wasn’t. This stuff was a miracle next to a Chinese Take-out shaped box. And no one should forget it again. Mcdonalds, the ball is in your court.

     2. Pepsi Commercials

Kendell, girl. What are you doing? In ye days of olde, Pepsi was once the zenith of bubbly sweet syrup commercials. That was before a polar bear grew opposable thumbs and decided to play with coke bottles in the North pole. Superstars once lorded there success and power by appearing on screen, throwing in a fun and trendy remix of their popular music. For a time, they stopped and things just got lackluster. I didn’t mind, really. I come from a Coke family. But, this past April Kendell Jenner became the new face of Pepsi in one of the most socially deaf commercials I’ve seen since Qiaobi detergent in China drowned a black man in bleach and erased his ethnic identity.  Synopsis: Kendell Jenner Matt Damon’d a protest.

I mean, what else are you going to do with a pepsi can? Drink it? No. Pepsi cans are for things like instantly solving social schisms and bigotry that assorted minorities have been fighting for generations. Maybe the Civil Rights Movement was so hard because it was sponsored by Coca Cola? Next, use it to return to Narnia or slay the Jabberwocky. Pepsi: It can do anything in Jenner’s hand

     3. Power Rangers

I might have had a little obsession with the Power Rangers as a kid. And, by kid, I might mean until my Freshmen year of High School. And, by Freshmen year of High School, I might mean I still check out the wikia page to this day. The Power Rangers were everything you wanted to be as a kid: good, loyal and increasingly violent without the social stigmas against property destruction and blatant murder of sentient lifeforms ( You can say that they were just fighting monsters, but Zordon is definitely an insane war hawk with a penchant for child soldiers, I wouldn’t put anything past him).

     4. Old School Hip-Hop

The Get Down premieres April 7th — which is today — and with it, a return to an era of cheesy lyricism and forward momentum, carefree rap music. Back in the day, people were as nostalgic as they were now — except they didn’t have streaming services and social media to fulfill this nostalgia. They would use vinyl records and barbershops to talk about a time before Hip-Hop was blatantly violent, overly commercialized, and simply about letting off the steam of racial inequity. This show is almost all of this old time nostalgia imbibed into two separate, yet dynamic “parts”.

The New World is almost as amazing as the old. We’re just thankful that the “Generation of Nostalgia” is more open to incorporating the old with the new than any place else before.


Centenary University is proud to be the first university in the tri-state area to offer a Social Media concentration in Business, hosted in #theVIBE, The Social Media Center of Expertise. Our center was designed to reflect high-tech New York startups and create an immersive educational facility.



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