With the new year approaching it only recently occurred to me that this is also the end of a decade--for some reason the hype of the end of the last decade (also being the end of a century and millenium, unless you were one of those nerds who pointed out that it really doesn't end until 2001 but then if you were one of those nerds you wouldn't be reading this because you'd be busy doing rocket surgery or something) seemed to overshadow hype for the end of the 2000-2009 span.
In this past decade, we've seen the following:
1) George W Bush went from being Texas Governor to a national disaster.
2) Barack Obama went from unknown community organizer to laughably overrated Nobel winner.
3) New Orleans went from a cesspool of crime and filth to . . . a cesspool of crime and filth.
4) Britney Spears went from underage Lolita-esque strumpet to worn-out mother in need of mental help. And we watch because we can't not watch.
5) Netflix has destroyed Blockbuster. The "video store" will be a relic of the past in a few short years.
6) The economy went to crap.
7) China is now our biggest creditor. Mao is spinning in his grave.
8) The Twin Towers are gone and we now are stuck in two third world countries across the globe. We're a very unpredictable people--so Burma ought to watch its back.
9) Goth has been replaced by emo hipsters. Pabst Blue Ribbon would have been a good investment.
10) Cupcakes are the new mocha lattes, as overpriced gourmet versions of things that used to be cheap and plentiful. The next trend will be high end soups.
11) The Simpsons went from longest running comedy to longest running prime-time series.
12) Family Guy came back on the air, and spawned yet more Seth McFarlane shows (at this trend, he'll occupy all of prime time for the entire week by end of next decade). He's like a fungus!
13) The Big Three automakers are for all practical purposes down to the Big One. Chrysler and GM will go the way of Gimbels and Zima.
14) The cost of going to a ball game is now out of reach for those who don't want to sell their kidneys. And Dan Snyder still can't get a team to win.
15) Airfares are still cheap, but with the exchange rate it's not worth going anywhere that doesn't take the dollar. Puerto Rico will be the new Bahamas.
16) It sucks more than ever for new college grads. Those of us who thought we had it rough before have learned to keep our mouths shut. Something tells me these new grads will be as grumpy as the Depression-era generation, telling everyone that they don't know what suffering is.
17) Gasoline was a buck a gallon at the start of the decade. Although it's nearly three times that now, we're still happy it's not four or five bucks a gallon. Hybrid cars still look lame though.
18) Mel Gibson went from hotshot actor to insane fundamentalist religious whackjob. Ditto for Tom Cruise. I'm betting the same for Robin Williams in the next decade.
It's been a rough time but we all went through it together (except you toddlers, you don't count!). Here's hoping the next one is an improvement!