I heard the editor of Time talking on some show about this “Decade from Hell” issue, and he basically said that what made it so hellish was that we entered it with such high expectations, and it basically did nothing but screw us again and again. 9/11, two quagmires in the Middle East, Katrina (both a natural and man-made disaster), a huge tsunami, financial meltdown, the coming-of-age for radical violent Islam, the U.S.'s loss of being the world’s top dog financially.
I think we went into this decade partying like it was 1999, seeing that the future we had looked forward to since we were all kids was finally here (OMG, it’s the 21st century! Bring on the robot butlers and flying cars!), but then things really were sorta shitty. It’s like going to a party with extremely high expectations that it’s going to be the best bash ever, lots of hooking up, drinking, socializing, but then having a bunch of fights break out, less people than expected show up, there wasn’t enough booze, the beer was sorta skunky, you don’t hook up. Maybe it wasn’t the worst party ever, but because we were expecting it to be so great, it really did feel like the “party from hell.”