Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Denial Decade

Apparently, consensus has not been achieved on what to call the past ten years.

While I, myself, sort of like the “Naughty Aughties,” I can see why it hasn’t captured the public’s imagination; for one thing, it sounds too much like something out an old-time melodrama, and who wants such a big chunk of history depending for its identity on the availability of a guy in a top hat and handlebar moustache, right?

I’d like to suggest, therefore, that the moniker given to the time span from January 1, 2000 (or 2001, if you want to be a stickler about it) to December 31, 2009 be the Denial Decade.

Or not. I never said that. The press has misquoted me. Mistakes were made, but I take full responsibility for my role, although it’s not what you think, and you are doing a heckuva job there, Brownie.

Think about all the stuff people have studiously managed to overlooke since the end of the Nineties:

Try to find someone, for instance, who’ll admit being taken in by the whole Y2K hysteria. From there, it’s just one thing after another people have tried to rebuff: any connection between American foreign policy and the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001; any lines drawn from the cronyism of the Bush administration to the debacle of Katrina’s aftermath; any relationship between the failed war on drugs and the economic might of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

And this doesn’t even include some of the more notorious society-wide denials: that our petroleum-based economy is doomed; that the vast national deficit we’re running is unsustainable; that our consumerist lifestyle depends on economic and environmental injustice; that in spite of some progress, the U.S. remains a fundamentally racist and sexist society; that healthcare is a basic human right; or that many organized religions are oppressive, divisive, and even unhinged.

Conclusion: it’s hard to deny that this has been the Denial Decade; but, believe me, we can and we will.


Anonymous Peter said...

I feel as if "Naughty Aughties" is the perfect name for the decade. At the basest level, it actually includes a reference to what years occurred--booth "naught" and "aught" refer to zero, as in, two-00-x. A name such as "The Denial Decade" has absolutely nothing to do with the years, it refers to how you would like to think about the years. In the future, how do you envision people looking at these years? I have, for example, heard the term "The Bushwhacked Years," which is just as foolish as any other term. In the first place, a Bush was president during the eighties, nineties, and the "Naughty Aughties." Very few people nowadays realize that the 1920s were the years of the presidency of Warren Harding, yet his administration was plagued by even more scandal than now (such as the Teapot Dome). Instead, we call them "The Roaring Twenties." Much in the same vein, we should stay away from the liberal hype and keep to the numbers, and the "Naughty Aughties."

11:47 AM  

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