The 2000's on CNN

Yep, it’s happening. Starts Sunday July 8.

Man. I think in this case “too soon” could be a gross understatement. The whole damn reason CNN could talk about Richard Nixon, the Vietnam War, the JFK assassination, or the Rural Purge was that enough time had passed that the screaming reactionary numbnuts had died, faded into obscurity, or moved on to new ridiculous obsessions. Yes, Bobby, it’s okay to be critical of an endless aimless horrific blood-drenched money-gobbling national nightmare now; the “we woulda won if the government let us” morons are old and feeble enough that we can just tune them out now. Compare that to how The Nineties turned out. I know CNN is the most centrist cable channel, like ever, but so many missed opportunities (which I covered), and all because they didn’t want trouble from the psychopaths who think Rodney King deserved to get beaten or Timothy McVeigh is a national hero or George HW Bush’s face should be on Mount Rushmore. Now they’re going to tackle an era which we literally just emerged from, and, looking back on it…wow. It’s going to be an big, big uphill climb.

For now, a quick look at a few of the big ones sure to come up:

George W Bush. No retrospective of the Aughts is complete without a thorough treatise on him, and…I’m sorry, I’m not seeing how this one doesn’t completely, royally suck. Before he came along, even our worst presidents had the absolute basics down: give a decent speech, follow the party line, keep up appearances. Dubya was just clueless. There was not one day of his administration where he looked like he had any idea of what he was doing. I’m actually somewhat morbidly curious as to just what posture CNN is going to take here. Evasiveness? Whataboutism? Gloss over everything?

9/11/Afghanistan & Iraq. Two good signs: 1. The right wing we-can-now-do-whatever-we-damn-want-forever framing has aged extremely badly, and most of the American right is currently more concerned about irritating everyone on the planet not like them than drumming up support for endlessly military misadventures; 2. Most of the country is so, so completely burned out on treacly pap like praying for the poor innocent souls lost and supporting the troops etc. that it’s unlikely a major news network is going to bang that drum again. If CNN puts the main focus on the military response, in particular how misguided it was and how it blew ALL the goodwill we got from the attack, this could be really good, and there were enough guilty parties that they don’t even have to be that critical of Dubya if they don’t want to. Definitely have my hopes up.

The dotcom bubble. Tech stories have always been a reliable strong point of these series, and I expect this to be very good as well. A major movement with no political baggage that had a huge impact on an industry. Can’t-miss. One thing that it has to include is how it ruined so many lives due to a combination of taking stock options as payment and Alternative Minimum Tax.

Reality TV. Honestly, this one could be hit or miss. Ideally it should get into the real nuts and bolts: What made it appealing to the industry in the first place, how and why it got so huge, why so many people want to be on it, the big controversies. A fascinating subject, but might be too big to adequately handle in 2 hours.

The bank bailout. Speaking truth to power has always been an iffy prospect for CNN, and given that this the era the big commercial banks got the most obscene amount of power in their existence…I’m not optimistic. I expect some coverage of subprime loans and mass defaults, but not much else. Much more likely to be part of an overall economic discussion, if not glossed over entirely.

Barack Obama. Definitely keeping my expectations very, very low. I’ll be surprised it this goes past election day.

Music. I’m intrigued by how this is going to turn out, mainly because between things like ITunes and YouTube, music had become democratized in a way it never had before, and there was no ginormous ubergod the media absolutely refused to ever freaking shut up about. No Beatles, no Queen, no Michael Jackson, no Madonna, no Kurt Cobain. I remember there being plenty of songs I liked, but no one band or singer that I absolutely loved. I’m expecting to like this one a whole lot, and I doubt I’ll be disappointed.

Assuming this series covers the period of 2000-2010, I’d think that the two main threads ought to be 9/11 and its aftermath, and the economic volatility (two major crashes/recessions in one decade).

Everything else kind of tracks with those two things… I guess there could be some mention about the rise of the smartphone in 2008-ish and the effects that’s had on society.
I’d think in terms of pop culture, the most pervasive thing has been that pop culture is sort of stagnant. There hasn’t been any real change in music styles- stuff from 2002 doesn’t really sound old today like stuff from say… 1992 did in 2008, and TV is much the same, with the exceptions of the rise of reality TV and the rise of cable-network TV series as top-notch television.

How about the battles over same sex marriage?

First, some state allowed domestic partnerships

Then, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize SSM
It played a huge role in the 2004 presidential election and very well may have put Bush over the top in 2004 as it was on the ballot in Ohio.

After that, it became common for Republicans to place endless SSM bans on the ballot. I think Texas banned it three times to help Rick Perry’ campaigns.

Then, the 2008 passage of Proposition 8 in California the same night Obama was elected.

After that, the pendulum swung wildly in the other direction. The oddness of Proposition 8, which passed after some couples had already married, plus the weird patchwork of states that you could be considered married in. A couple could be married in one state and not considered married in another. Plus, it was a HR nightmare for companies that had offices throughout the USA.

Plus, I think CNN could also cover the increasing acceptance of gays in the 2000s. Shows such as Queer Eye, Will and Grace, and Queer as Folk seemed to move public opinion far more than Ellen coming out.

Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Beyonce, rap becoming mainstream with Jay Z, Nelly and 50 Cent. Maybe they’ll mention the Americana explosion with Gillian Welch and O Brother, Where Art Thou? that kicked off in 2001, maybe they’ll mention the “retro” rock bands that were big early in the century like The Strokes and The White Stripes.

Another thing they could mention is that period of time where the best golfer was black and the best rapper was white with Tiger Woods and Eminem.

dalej42 - Oh yeah, completely forgot about that. This would seem like a layup; the problem is that you can’t really discuss gay rights without bringing up the broader picture of LGBTQ rights…hey, got it on the first crack, cool :)…and given the recent supernova of hysteria we’ve had over flippin’ inclusive restrooms and preferred pronouns, not to mention the seemingly endless horror stories of crimes against transsexuals, it CNN is almost certainly going to be walking on eggshells. I can very easily see the overall message distilled to “Gays have every right to be unhappy as the rest of us!” Anyway, fingers crossed.

There was no mention of Michael Jordan at all in The Nineties, which I found a bit surprising as he was the archtypical superstar-jock-as-one-man-marketing-empire. Tiger Woods has a better chance since he also broke a color barrier and singlehandedly redefined the image of the world-class golfer.

DrCube - None of them are what I’d call a game-changer or media icon, at least not in the same echelon as the names I mentioned. I do expect them all to get covered at some point. Again, it’s going to be really interesting just seeing what angle CNN decides to take here, and I’d never be so bold as to try to make a prediction.

Treating the 00’s like history?

Man that cuts deep. I’m still driving a car bought in 09.

I guess they can throw us old codgers in the grave. :wink:

For me, the 00’s are totally defined by 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The recession in 08 was scary. A lot of people lost their investment portfolios.

Not much else stands out except the emergence of social media and online shopping.

There were a lot of forgettable reality tv shows and music styles I didn’t like.

But those are issues that would belong on a program discussing 2010-2020. By decades, I’d say the 1970s were the era of gay liberation, the 1980s by the AIDS crisis, the 1990s by maddening incremental progress, Don’t ask, Don’t Tell, DOMA, Barney Fag, but also the slowly growing acceptance as corporations began to sponsor Pride parades and festivals and the two large Marches on Washington.

Indeed. If you’re going to talk backlashes, the Tea Party wave of 2010 would be a good starting point.

I don’t think it should be a major component of a show about the 2000s, but a big part of the 2010s with Obergefell v. Hodges, with the 2000s talked about as a lead-in/preparation period.

Seriously though, 9/11 is THE defining moment for the 2000s. It was the precipitating moment for the two wars, a lot of strange legislation, and social changes that are still with us today.

I just got rid of my 2000. Eep.

They’re handling it by topic instead of by year. The first one (last Sunday) was about TV in the 00s. The rise of HBO-like cable dramas (Mad Men, Nip/Tuck, etc.), reality TV, single camera comedies, HBO (Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, etc.)

The next one is about the aftermath of 9/11, followed by one about Bush’s second term (Katrina). They’re also going to do an episode about the recession, the continued rise of the internet (Amazon, Facebook), Obama’s election (and what happened after), and the changes to the music industry (Napster).

That’s how they always do it. It was the same for The 1960s, The 1970s, The 1980s & the 1990s. The first episode is always about Television.

Ugh. I don’t know about you guys, but The Platinum Age of Television is a thing I do not need to see even a glimpse of again. Ever.

Since this subject has come up before on previous threads I commented on (and at least one I started), I feel that I should clarify what I mean when I say a character is likable. By that I don’t mean virtuous or possessing of qualities I admire in real life. I mean a character that’s interesting to watch, has depth, has a real purpose in the story, and in general is someone I not only give a damn about but want to give a damn about. Take, say, Oswald Cobblepot in Gotham. This is someone who is completely ruthless, conniving, and mentally unbalanced and has done many, many, many very evil things. But he’s a compelling character. He has depth. His webs of intrigue, both his own and the ones he get caught up in, are fascinating to watch. He has pathos; I felt for him when he lost his mother and got his heart broken by Ed Nygma. He puts his butt on the line again and again and always escapes wounded but alive. He can even get really funny (that debacle on the dirigible was one of the comedic high points of the year for me). Bottom line is, no matter how many people he kills or associates he shafts, I’m never turned off by his presence on the screen.

On the other hand, a character can be not especially evil, or even solidly neutral, and be completely unlikable. Remember The Muppets? Remember the dreary, ugly tone it took from day one, how these once-beloved characters were so defiled they were practically unrecognizable, how the show went so off the rails that ABC did an emergency reboot in the middle of the season? No, nobody killed anyone or rigged an election or started a criminal organization. They were still unlikable characters on an unlikable show, and that, more than anything, is what doomed it.

And that was what made TPAOT so hard on the eyes for me. Yeah, it was a bold new era where just about anything was possible, but while the 90’s gave us The Simpsons and Animaniacs and Friends, the Aughts, at least judging by this show, seemed mired in “Hey, characters can cuss and be as repulsive as they want now!” I’ll admit that this wasn’t a TV-heavy decade for me…I was in a deeply troubled post-college job situation for most of it and didn’t have much appetite for frivolous entertainment…but if this is any indication, I missed very little. If anything, I’m glad that audiences wised up and TV can’t get away with garbage like Son of Zorn anymore (this is the last time I’ll mention that piece of dreck, honest! :)). Also, I was always underwhelmed by Steven Colbert’s schtick; I find that John Oliver has a much better handle on this type of “subversive” humor.

Surprised that reality TV got the bum’s rush; given what a force it’s become, it deserved a lot more. Furthermore, I would’ve appreciated more focus on the fun shows like American Idol, The Amazing Race, and Wipeout and less of the “sociopaths yelling at each other” part. If I ever hear the words “Jersey” and “shore” together again, it’ll be too soon.

So…I hated it. That’s all I really got. If you liked it, fine. One man’s meat.

The 2000’s gave us some of the best television shows in TV history.

I don’t think it’s too soon for the 2000s. Man, that feels like 100 years ago.

Just saw Mission Accomplished.

Uuuuugggggghhhhhhhhhhh. :mad:

This was exactly what I feared. CNN too cowardly to offend the reactionary wastes of oxygen who got us into this ungodly mess in the first place, and so EVERYTHING had to be sugarcoated and toned down into near-oblivion. Forty years from now, they’ll be either dead or out-of-touch geezers and we’ll have bigger concerns like global warming making more and more of the planet unlivable, the plastic in the oceans endangering entire species, abortion being deadly, and even more freaking mass shootings, and then we’ll be ready for a stone-cold, unflinching look at the colossal horrific clusterfrag our post-9/11 policy was. Now is not the time, dammit.

I’ve lived through this before. Hell, it was the first 18 goddam years of my life. All the teasing, torment, ostracism, deliberate attempts to enrage me, outright abuse. Not one tiny iota of it justified in the slightest. I never, ever threw the first punch, and I would’ve caught a hundred kinds of hell from my parents if I did. And from beginning to end, every authority figure in my life, the parents and teachers and principals and counselors who had the power and ethical obligation to stop it, they tried to normalize it. “Oh, they’re just rascals.” “Boys will be boys.” “They’re not laughing at you, they’re laughing with you.” “It’s just their way of having fun.” Excuse after excuse, lie after lie. Finally, when it was clear it wasn’t working, they…the ones who weren’t outright ignoring me at this point…turned to their trump card. “Look, Darrell, everyone agrees that there is nothing at all wrong with infantile slimeballs making your life a complete living hell. You are all alone out there, so why not just go with it so we can finally stop pretending to care?”

That’s exactly the bill of goods this episode tried to sell to me. “Emotions were very high!” “At the time it’s something a lot of Americans wanted!” “The number of protestors really wasn’t very much compared to the entire population of the planet!” “The President’s approval ratings went up ten points!” Up is down, black is white, and rancid hot dog is kalua pork. I didn’t swallow this crap when I was a frightened, powerless kid and I’m not swallowing it now.

Just watch Fahrenheit 9/11 if you want an honest treatise of the era from a man with a damn brain in his head.

Yeesh. Really hoping this entire series doesn’t completely suck. We getting to music anytime soon?

Last night’s show really sucked. Anyone who lived through those times already knew everything they showed in the show, and in a lot more depth. It was like a Readers Digest version of 9/11 and Bush v Gore.

Just finished Quagmire. The best thing I can say about it is that it didn’t leave me with as bad a headache as Mission Accomplished. CNN did the best job they could, which wasn’t much. They at least acknowledged that a bunch of really awful stuff happened during Dubya’s administration and he might have handled it a tad better. But there’s still the overpowering need to whitewash, to gloss over his many glaring failings. Folks, I’ve said it before: argumentum ad nauseum don’t work on me. I was there when it happened, dammit, and the truth of the matter is that Dubya was the most unqualified, clueless president in history (at the time, natch). I don’t give a rip that he never INTENDED to turn Iraq into a violent hellhole or make a handful of Wall Street bloodsuckers even richer. It happened, and it happened precisely because he was too much of an ignorant numbskull to do any better.

In a sense, this episode exposed the true danger of George W. Bush: The normalization of stupidity at the highest levers of power. America as a whole doesn’t celebrate intelligence, nor does it truly condemn idiocy. Hell, we celebrate idiocy in numerous instances. The fact that there was never any real widespread condemnation of Dubya for his stupidity, for his incompetence, for his inability to get anything right, was a gigantic red flag. I trust I don’t have to explain the kind of mess Washington is in now.

Other notes:

  • I’m am really, really, super mega ultra sick and tired of men who’ve never seen the elephant once in their lives being called “brave” or “gutsy” for SENDING OTHER MEN INTO HARM’S WAY. If you’re truly courageous, you take the burden yourself. No exceptions. No personal risk, no courage. It’s that simple.
  • The bank bailout was one of the truly disgusting moments in our nation’s history. Big banks, who had been charging outrageous fees for everything for decades, taking out high-risk high-interest real estate loans, and when the defaults came, they take a gigantic government bailout, ostensibly for the purpose of making the homeowners whole again…and then keep every goddam penny and do nothing to help the owners. I’ve heard “privatize profits and publicize losses” bandied about, but I think the explanation is a lot simpler: if you allow the rich to take and take and take and give nothing back with no repercussions whatsoever, that’s exactly what they’ll do.
  • If the fundies want to live in a land governed by myth and superstition, where ancient books written by insular bigots dictate policy and living in constant fear is considered a fair price for satisfying the whims of some invisible space unicorn, they can move to…I dunno, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or whatever. In America, the price of having nice stuff is not being an obstructionist horse’s rear end with delusions of grandeur when other people get to have nice stuff. That was the infuriating thing about the flap over gay marriage. Look, I don’t have a problem with you putting a nativity scene in your front yard or gathering in a building once a week to sing hymns. I have a problem with you trying to deny a right based on the sanctimonious blatherings of some made-up supreme authority figure, which, by the way, goes against the freaking Constitution. How the hell did these unbelievable cretins ever get the power to swing an election?

If you haven’t already, watch Captialism: A Love Story for a more insightful take on the bank bailout. May as well catch Sicko too while you’re at it. Oh, hell, Michael Moore’s entire filmography is good. If sycophantic news outlets like CNN succeed in their whitewash of Dubya, these little bits of unflinching honesty may all we have left.

The i Decade. CNN does what they can with an hour timeslot and does as good a job as could be expected. Never really had any strong opinions about Steve Jobs (from what I heard he was an inconsiderate jerk and disrespectful to his employees, which is very mild for a corporate executive), so just my takes in no particular order:

  • I recently got my driver’s license renewed at a Satellite City Hall. It took about an hour and a half for my name to come up, but I didn’t have to stay there for the duration, and since it was inside a mall I had plenty of ways to kill the time. It’s hard for me to imagine the mentality that would make someone wait several hours just to be the first to obtain a bit of technology that might be good. If it’s good, it’ll be around a month from now, or two months, or a year; if it isn’t, there’s no point in getting it in the first place. I can understand waiting forever to get, say concert tickets, something you already KNOW you’re going to love and are eagerly anticipating, but camping out for an IPhone was a really big gamble. I’d never do it myself, but I salute those with that kind of courage and just hope they apply it to more productive means in the future. :slight_smile:

  • Speaking of courage, whatever you think about Steve Jobs, you have to admire the guts of man who’d release something like an IPhone. You’re supposed to play games on that little screen? And constantly have to worry about someone interrupting you? Preposterous. And a gold mine.

  • Briefly set up a MySpace account for whatever reason; never used it, and of course it’s gone now. After watching today…eh, small loss. That “Top 8 Friends” thing was funny in a slightly desperate, pathetic way, but those kind of gimmicks could never help them survive the Facebook juggernaut.

  • Man, am I ever glad I discovered YouTube after it got stuff actually worth watching. :slight_smile:

  • iTunes deserved more attention (admittedly this episode as a whole was spread a bit thin…how exactly did the Internet generation sweep Barack Obama to victory?). This was a time when Blockbuster Video was in its death throes and the only viable alternatives were Netflix, a hopelessly cumbersome system of factory shipments and waiting lists, and Redbox, which had a tiny selection compared to even the pre-Blockbuster video stores. When iTunes expanded to movies, it provided a real, viable option for easy-order movies after the end of Blockbuster. (I recommend it. :D)

Anyone else still watching this?

See, there’s another huge problem with this other than the need to sugarcoat it for the troglodytes. The Internet. Sure, it existed in the 90’s, but until near the end it was pretty much just a big library. The majority of the pages were either text-only or had simple graphics, and it took a long time to load anything. The main sources for perspective on current events were still the usual ones: television, radio, newspapers, magazines. By 2000, there was a huge breadth of opinions, viewpoints, angles, all a click away, and cable modems (and later DSL) made a much greater variety of content viable for the first time ever.

I not only lived through the Aughts in real time, I learned all about them from Tom Tomorrow, Ted Rall, Michael Moore, Cerberus (Sadly No), August Pollack. Intelligent, passionate voices that pulled no punches, and each with a different angle which gave a different part of a big picture. There’s no way in hell a bland generic rah-rah telling on CNN is going to begin to compare to this.