Another decade ends and another decade begins. The march of time just keeps on ticking and tocking. Looking back at this decade requires a lot of pain, suffering, and sunglasses. There were some bright spots, some low spots, and some really low spots. But what will the 2000s be remembered for? Here is a list of the ten most memorable events of the decade so far. After all, things do change along with our perception of them. Who knows, in ten years, these could all change and our view of the decade along with it.
10. The Economic Meltdown – brought on by a lack of regulation, extended debt, high gas prices, and variable interest rates, the economy of the US, and most of the world, almost went in the dumpster in the fall of 2008. Huge bailouts have stemmed the tide for the time being, but many consumers and savers are still wary.
9. Social Networking - Blogs, Twitter, Facebook have changd how we perceive the news and get the news. in 2009 alone, the riots in Iran and Michael Jackson’s death showed that the world is more connected than previously thought.
8. Google – Who knew a little search engine would become one of the world’s fastest growing companies in less than ten years. It’s new phone and diversification have brought Google to behemoth proportions.
7. iPod/iPhone/Apple – No other cultural event changed the daily lives of people more than Apple products. Starting with the iPod, then the iPhone, Apple has been on a roll since a month after the iPod debuted in the fall of 2001.
6. Patriot Act – In rural America, the Patriot Act doesn’t get much play. However in urban America, it was everywhere. From libraries to government buildings to transportation systems to traffic security cameras to sporting events, the heightened sense of security pervaded the landscape of the American city.
5. Afghanistan – Eight and a half years later and there is no end in sight. Still no Osama and now Dick Cheney is commenting on Obama’s lack of leadership on the war. What was Dick doing for eight years? Oh, that’s right, he was shooting people in the face here at home. Anyway, as 30,00o more troops arrive in the coming months, new tactics and strategies to deploy these soldiers are needed as the Taliban and Al Qaeda are resurgent not only in Afghanistan but as well as in Pakistan.
4. Iraq – However, with Iraq, the end is in sight. American troops will most likely start coming home this summer with Iraq maintaining it’s own security thereafter. For the first 4 years of the conflict, that didn’t look like it was going to happen. Mismanagement of the war from the Pentagon to the White House to the State Department sullied all the goodwill the US had gained after September 11. Luckily, General David Patreus brought in a new strategy in 2005 and a surge and helped to lower the violence.
3. A Black President – 250 years of slavery – 100 years of segregation. A man of African descent is elected President of the United States and he doesn’t get the top spot? It must have been a really bad decade.
2. September 11 – In most decades, a terrorist attack on the United States would have been number one. In the US, this is the number one event of the last ten years. The events following both united and divided a nation. From the War in Afghanistan to the War in Iraq, everything came back to this point in time. Some justifiably, others not.
1. Tsunami – in 2004, over 230,000 people were killed when a tsunami hit Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and other Indian Ocean nations. The lack of a warning system,like that in the Pacific, doomed most of the victims. While having a short term severe economic impact on the region, the psychological and environmental damage still continues. This once in a lifetime natural disaster changed how we look at the power of the sea and how we truly are at the whim of mother nature.
All in all, it was not the best decade. As I enter my sixth decade on this rock, the 2000s would have to rank at the bottom of those decades as they pertain to the state of the world. Who knows, in time, these events will slide up or down depending on what happens in the next decade.
Other events considered…
The 2000 US Presidential Election, Hurricane Katrina, Landing in the Hudson, Blagojevich, The Detroit Bailout, Health Care Debate, The Sarah Palin Phenomena, The Politics of Hate and Fear, The Red Sox Win the World Series, Michael Phelps 8 Gold Medals, Iran, Halo, Wii, Enron, Blackouts, Human Genome, Climate and Weather, Digital TV, High Definition TV, Texas Hold ‘Em, Death of Newspapers, News as Entertainment, Obama Nobel Peace Prize, Rubber Band Wristbands, Harry Potter Novels, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and the sudden death of Michael Jackson.
Send me yours…and Happy New Year!