Welcome to my four-part series saying a fond fare-thee-well-and-frack-off to 2009 and the aughts in general. Yes, four parts. We are Ken Burns-ing this shit old school.
So that you may make life adjustments accordingly, here is the way this will break down:
1. This one you’re reading right this second. THE FUTURE IS NOW!
2. Goodbye 2009 Part 2: The worst of the decade
3. Goodbye 2009 Part 3: The best of the year
4. Goodbye 2009 Part 4: The best of the decade
5. I take a week off and get food-drunk on fudge and peppermint things.
2010. There is nothing about that year that doesn’t sing of jetpacks and moon condos. It’s the kind of year that makes you want to don a conical miniskirt and go-go boots and hoverboard yourself around town.
And yet, no. I don’t drive around in my spaceship with my space dog who talks just like we do, only with an ‘r’ at the beginning of each word. I drive a Volkswagen Jetta and my dog’s dead. Hope you’re happy, stupid future.
But this decade? The words we said, the music we listened to, the movies we watched, these things will all be a part of the future. They will become common colloquialisms, oldies and classic films about which we will one day wax nostalgic.
Someday, given enough time and distance, we could wax nostalgic about Twilight.
Just kidding. I was just making sure you were paying attention. No, we won’t.
But some things from the past 10 years will be of interest to our children and our old-people selves. And some other things will lay dead and dormant until they are a Jeopardy question. A Space-Jeopardy question.
Five aughts-ical things that will go down in history, not unlike Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
5. Lady GaGa
I’m calling it now: she’s here to stay. Now hopefully this isn’t like when I said that about the show Good Morning, Miami, because I genuinely believe that GaGa is talented enough to stick around. I am one of the few people not weirded out/annoyed by her fashion choices. She’s like fancy art. I like to think that she is to us what the Warhol generation had in Andy and Edie.
4. Skinny jeans
Look, I’m the first to admit that I was late on the boat with the skinny jeans. But when you find the right (read: expensive) pair, comfy and not very stretchy, they’re like a thin-inducing dream. Please note: I’m only listing these for the ladies. Hipster boys, you of side-swept hair and purple American Apparel hoodies and pashminas, you will go the way of Click Five. (Remember them at all? Were they even real? That was only 2005. Think about it, hipsters. Don’t be like Click Five.)
3. Knowledge proliferation
I am of two minds when it comes to the amount of information we’ve had at our fingertips in the past 10 years. On one hand, there is so much easily accessible knowledge that even the dimmest and laziest person can be incredibly informed. On the other hand, that means that a great deal of false and misleading information is making its way into the heads of the masses, who never feel compelled to check Snopes. Ultimately, I decided the first point wins. Political apathy is pretty much a thing of the past. The short-distant past, too, as many of my friends and I spent most of the first Bush term completely apathetic because we felt so lost. Now, for better or for worse, everyone has an opinion. And while currently it’s pulled the parties further apart, hopefully that knowledge will grow and become clearer that we start to really understand each other.
2. Non-traditional sitcoms
Arrested Development, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, The Office, how I love thee. Let me count the best and most convincing ways I can: According to Jim, Two and a Half Men, Mind of Mencia, The Jeff Dunham Show, Blue Collar TV, that Jay Mohr show, that Jenna Elfman show, etc. Need I go on? For every great comedy, there’s a million and a half “comedies” I couldn’t have written worse if I’d stuck a pen up my ass and just sat on some paper. For that reason, we must appreciate the beauty of these precious gems.
He’s only been in office 10 months. Chill, clowns. By this point in Bush’s presidency, 9/11 had happened, so be a bit more positive. Shit will get done.
Five aughts-ical things that will go down in history, not unlike Jimmy Ray or The Five Mrs. Buchanans (Who? What? Exactly.)
While it was never a serious catchphrase, it was (is) certainly something I said (say) ironically, often while punching the air. And in the future, people, we can’t admit that we ever quoted Kevin Federline. Not even in jest. Irony won’t be as popular in the future.
4. LOL Cats
Oh you heard me. Also no longer okay in the future? Cuteness. Cuteness can go smurf itself. I hate to be the one to tell you, middle-aged women who send ungodly amounts of forwards, including my mother, but cats can’t talk, and if they could, I can’t understand why dey wud tok lyk dis. lulz hugtimenao!1!
3. Rumors of Jamie Lee Curtis’s hermaphroditicness
Not exactly aughts-specific, but I’m one of the only people in the world who don’t think it’s true, so my hope is that in the future she’ll pen some kind of autobio that puts an end to all the talk and shuts people up.
2. Documented meltdowns
This is a slim-to-none-chance kind of thing, but I hope in the future that TMZ no longer exists and that paparazzi laws are put in place to prevent the constant filming and public knowledge regarding horrible happenings in the lives of celebrities. I don’t need to know that Tiger Woods’s wife scratched his face up and attacked him with a golf club. I don’t need to be privy to Lindsay Lohan’s complete self-destruction and (alleged, probable) meth addiction. I really don’t need to watch as Britney Spears is loaded into an ambulance with a grin on her face because her bipolar disorder is so severe that we’re somehow supposed to be entertained and amused by it. It’s gross.
Luckily, Paris Hilton seems to be on the speedy train to “Peace out, bitch”-ville, but those in her wake, the Kardashians, Hills people and all manner of D-list offspring and Playmates, don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. But soon is not the issue. The FUTURE! is the issue, and in the future, we’ll ease back into real scripted television. I say “real scripted” meaning actual plot, character development and story arc, not “Justin calls Audrina and they both stare vapidly as a Paramore song plays.” There’s a special circle of Barton Fink hell for the writers of The Hills.
Oh future, I look to you with fear and love.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.