Best of the 00s

In a couple months, it will be 2010. So, I guess we’ll be getting a lot of “Best of the 'aughts” lists. I tried to go for things that affected the whole decade, not just recent events. I was also thinking of things that wouldn’t have been predicted in the 90s. Some of these were around in the 90s, but not as cheap and widespread (like home broadband internet).

Upon retrospect, maybe the title could be “biggest or most noteworthy of the 00s”, but not as catchy, I suppose.

[li] News: 9/11/01. Duh.[/li][li] Politics: Black man becoming president. Regardless of politics, it is pretty remarkable. Although I think Colin Powell would’ve won if he ran in 2000[/li][li] Economy: Upswing of China’s economy. Helped get Wal-Mart to dominate the retail scene.[/li][li] Literature: Harry Potter books; started in the 90s, but generated huge amounts of interest in the 00s.[/li][li] Movies: Lord of the Rings trilogy; showing blockbusters can be well-made enough to earn Oscar nominations[/li][li] Music: MP3s and iPods; changed recording industry… when’s the last time you bought a CD?[/li][li] Technology: Proliferation of broadband for home use. YouTube, Napster, streaming video, photo sites, even Facebook would’ve been near impossible with dial-up. Honorable mention to digital photography. [/li][li] Communication: Widespread use of cell phones and smart phones. Duh.[/li][li] Social: decrease in urban crime. In the late 90s, Times Square and 42nd Street was a no-go. Nowadays, you’re finding luxury condos being built in SoBro (trendy name for South Bronx). I believe Cabrini-Green in Chicago is also getting luxury condos now.[/li][li] Sports: Parity in sports, caused by free agency, salary caps, and extended TV coverage. No real dynasties. See below.[/li][li] Disappointment: Still no flying cars or interplanetary visits.[/li][/ul]

Sports was a little tough, since we talk about it so much, because there are no dynasties (even the Yankees weren’t consistent). Nothing like the Cowboys, Nebraska, Florida State, Bulls in the 90s. Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps aren’t really interest-generating sports. Lakers won four titles, but had some down years between. The Patriots used Spygate for their titles. USC only won one BCS title.

So, I’ll go with a personal note: Red Sox in 2004 & 2007. :grin:
What categories/events can you think of?

Did someone say romantic vampire movies?

This is more of an international issue, but cell phones became commonplace in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the 00s. I think nearly a billion new cell phone subscriptions were made in the developing world in the 00s. You referenced that, but that was a global issue too. The next decade will likely/hopefully see the same thing with internet access.

Energy: The 00s were the decade when wind power became cost competitive and started to grow rapidly. It was also the decade when China started taking environmentalism seriously. Also the oil price spike of 2008 was something I think we will remember. Hybrid cars came into the market and are allowing the segue of plug in hybrid vehicles in 2010. Ethanol started being taken seriously as alternative fuel.

Politics: The election of Bush in 2000 will go down in history due to controversy. The electoral sweeps of 2006 and 2008 will also be remembered, back to back sweeps are fairly rare. The war in Iraq and all the controversy around that. The build up of goodwill to the US after 9/11, destruction of it during the Iraqi war and rebuilding of US goodwill during Obama will also be remembered and wasn’t predicted. Also I think the monks marching in Myanmar will be remembered.

Social: Advances in gay rights. Back in 1999 the concept of civil unions was still controversial. Now this idea is fairly mainstream while gay marriage is controversial.

Medicine: SARS and Avian flu. Advances in robotic limbs.

Yeah I think my kids will look back and think " You and Hannah weren’t able to be married until whenever ? I do think that by 2020 most states will have gay marriage.

You say “the BEST of” but reference 9/11…but sticking with the concept of “BEST”…

  • The fact that the US went from electing Dubya TWICE and then jumping to Obama shows that it might take time, but people do learn from their mistakes.
  • We bought a 36" television, heavy-ass tube style, in 1999 (that we still own, have in the den, and works nicely) for about the same price as our 42" flat screen plasma costs today. (We first saw flat screen plasma’s in Circuit City, in Beverly Hills, in about 1995 or so for $11,000!)
  • We haven’t had a land-line telephone in over five years and don’t miss it an iota.
  • Speaking of phones, by using Skype and their international plan, our costs to call Germany and other foreign countries several times a week, even from our cell phones, has gone from about $90/month or more to $9.95 a month, flat fee. (And no, I do not work for, nor have investments in Skype - just want to let others know.)
  • telling Human Resources at work that you are Gay and have a Domestic Partner doesn’t even raise an eyebrow.
  • the Internet has become a fact of life, and for the most part, a very good one.

I’m about as far as a Pats fan as you can find, but it seems to me that they used great coaching, relentless offense and a stifling defense for their titles, while people who know jack about football used Spygate as an excuse.

Television: Reality TV craze. Reality TV continued to explode throughout the 00s.

Culture: The rise of the documentary. Michael Moore had a huge decade, March of the Penguins was a hit. Even PBS documentaries (Ken Burns Jazz) found surprising popularity.

Arts: The stage was set for movies-turned-musical comedies. Mel Brooks brought out The Producers, followed by Spamalot, Beauty and the Beast, Young Frankenstein, even Shrek the Musical and Legally Blonde.