Dec 29, 2009

Saying a Weary Goodbye to the Decade of the Aughties

As I left Costco this afternoon with my wife, the receipt-checking employee scanned our items and wished us a "Happy 2010." It was at this point that it dawned on me that the end of the decade is almost upon us, and I started to ruminate about the period that may become known as The Aughties.

The BBC, by the way, has been pushing for wider use of the term "The Noughties," but this is a bit too cheeky for my liking. As something of a traditionalist (at least in terms of historical continuity), I prefer The Aughties to stay consistent with the trend at the beginning of the twentieth century.

This has been a difficult decade for most people on the planet, as the numerous wars and a severe economic downturn were among the most significant components of the decade. Add to this some killer hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and viruses, and there is much that is worthy of leaving behind in this decade.

To this 45-year-old, the decade seemed to travel at an almost blindingly rapid pace. I spent almost the entire decade working full-time on my academic endeavors, while simultaneously working 40-60 hours a week and raising a family. The rare down time was usually spent on vacation, leaving little time for rumination on the significance of The Aughties.

In short, I lived it, man.

Yet even my moments of enjoyment and accomplishment seem overshadowed by the specters of unending wars, painful recessions, and natural calamities. I find it difficult to locate and focus on the positive developments of the past decade, and I look forward to the next decade if only for a change of pace from what has been a 10-year period of widespread death, catastrophic destruction, and diminishing returns.

Oh, and before anyone crows too loudly about The Aughties, I want to utter just two words: Lady Gaga.


Anonymous said...


Ben Overmyer said...

No matter how bad the '00s' may have been for us Westerners, consider this: the Japanese bubble economy blew up in the 90s, and they're still trying desperately to recover.

That, and Africa is still in its own special hell.

Everything is relative.

Tom said...

What decade hasn't seen widespread death and catastrophic destruction? Such is the norm.

microdot said...

I listened to Katie Couric being interviewed on BBC World Service last night and the interviewer kept trying to make her say "The Noughties" and she started to giggle uncontrollably each time.
Katie was speaking about her interviews with Sarah Palin and it made me think that though we've lived through stupid times before...the noughties seem to have been much stupider anything I have seen before...
But, I am an optimist.