It’s the end, the end of the century”
Ok, that was ten years ago already. But recently I’m reading and listening to all these “best of the decade lists” and my first thought is that the decade’s not yet over. But then, “wham” , oh, shit it is. So first, let me apologize to the lady and her dog that happened to be walking on the street when I drove by with this realization. Don’t worry, I only hit a fire hydrant (paid $164, no questions asked). Second, Y2K seems why just yesterday. So does time just go faster as one ages? Or, do you not recognize time as much as when you were younger. Certainly, once out of school your calendar becomes more singular and uninterrupted instead of semesters divided by hedonistic breaks. Projects and goals become months and years instead of days and weeks.
But does this help me understand why I forgot this decade was coming to a close? Could it be as simple as the change from the 70’s, 80, 90’ the the 00’s? Easy to say, “it’s the end of the 90’s.” What are people saying now? Nothing really except it’s the end of the decade. Just not as catchy. We should have brought back the “double ought” phrase for 00. At least we could have some term of reference. As it is, we got nothing.
Nothing except 911, a couple of pretty major wars, a few catastrophic disasters, more genocide, financial meltdowns, meltdowns of the polar ice cap, media meltdowns (anyone think the term “meltdown is overused?) and Mexican drug wars.
On the other hand, we broke the presidential race barrier, made some pretty nifty advances in science and technology, put a really mean guy in a spider hole, made music as portable as a comb, outlawed the media from using the term “meltdown” (ok, I made that one up), helped out in times of catastrophic disasters, and began a process of environmental repatriation.
By now you probably expect me to list my “best of the decade” accolades. But how can I when I just realized the decade is ending? Besides, I find those lists, in the words of one of our most renowned jurists, Jackie Chiles, to be “arbitrary and capricious”. Oh sorry, I digressed back to the 90’s again.
All right, you’re frustrated but please give me just one more chance to put this in some form of prospective.
The deal is, in the last few years we have actually gone backwards as a nation, financially, militarily and in stature. Individually, too, most of us lost more than we gained this decade and have spent the last year or so just trying to get back to even. So really, it’s like we lost a couple years. Feels more like maybe 2007, because this is not where we want to be as 2010 approaches. Human nature propels us forward, and Americans in particular personify this trait. So to retreat, personally and as a country, throws off our timing and instincts.
What to do? Well if I answered that I’d have nothing else to write about for the New Year. I know we are not impotent (have you seen Viagra sales) and hope always spring eternal. But for now, just keep it simple and party, well, like its …9.