Friday, 1 January 2010

As a blog purportedly dedicated to the spirit of the times, what could be more fitting than to remember twenty great moments from the last ten years?

2000 Al-Qaeda Summit: held in Kuala Lumpur, it was basically a knees-up for terrorists. The 9/11 plot was hatched over cigars in a lady-boy strip club. True story.

Y2K: The Millennium Bug. Biggest disappointment ever.

Concorde: Air France flight 4590 burst into flame and trailed into a hotel, 113 dead. Concorde was subsequently canned, the first time in history aviation technology has taken a backward step. Supersonic air travel is now a retro thing of the past, which is perhaps the strongest argument that this is not the future after all.

The End of Mir: irreparably punctured by an unknown source, the depressurised space station was pushed into a lower orbit and burnt up: the fiery death of cold war competitive spaceflight.

9/11: Where were you?

The Euro: The thing I will never understand about the introduction of the Euro is why the notes weren’t made of plastic, like the Australian currency. Their wonga is foolproof for forgers, and waterproof for days at the beach. Given the amount of rain and humidity in Europe it would have made so much sense.

Britney + Madonna kiss: the beginning of the end for popular music, one went on to date a boy called Jesus and the other to shave her head and make a habit of walking into public toilets without shoes on…

Columbia: Foam from the boosters dislodged some heat tiles, and rather than send up another space shuttle to help fix the damage, cheapskates NASA decided to risk re-entry. It would have been pretty cool to see two Space Shuttles in orbit at the same time, instead Columbia and her crew of seven were spread over several miles of central Texas.

SARS: you remember that? Before Swine Flu was popular, Avian Flu was supposed to kill us all.

Mission Accomplished: The greatest pre-emptive strike of the decade has to go to Bush, as he strutted in a fighter-jet jumpsuit onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln declaring that the major combat in Iraq was over. This inspired the song Dirty Harry, by the Gorillaz, which as far as I’m aware was the first real anti-war song of my generation –
“Out in the desert, with a street sweeper,
The war is over, so said the speaker,
With the flight suit on, maybe to him I'm just a pawn,
So he can advance, remember when I used to dance,
Man, all I want to do is dance”
Spaceship One: Commercial spaceflight. What could possibly be cooler than that? Of course Branson bought the company…

Smoking Ban: Now clubs and pubs only smell like fart and sweat.

Abu Ghraib: I have nothing to say.

Boxing Day Tsunami: Crazy. Shit.

Liquids and Gels: A very irritating addition to the list of aeroplane “do not’s”.

Iphone: Perhaps the strongest evidence yet that we are living in the future.

LHC @ CERN: Rumours were spreading thick and fast about whether or not the Large Hadron Collider was going to destroy the world by creating a black hole along the Franco-Swiss border. When the machine kept breaking down this led to a group of scientists claiming that people from the future were coming back in time to sabotage the machine, to prevent us from seeing into the origins of the universe. Now being made into a major motion picture.

Obama: What a handsome, tanned man. But while I loved him during the election for not descending to Palin-McCain’s level (name-calling) and taking the moral high hand, now he is president I just want him to stand up for himself.

MJ dies: ‘show us on the doll where the bad man touched you, Jimmy.’ That black/white man/boy was dead to me a decade ago…

December 16, 2009: Astronomers discover GJ1214b, the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist. If advances like this continue it is only a matter of time before we make Star Trek a reality. Cool.

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