Friday, December 31, 2010

That's so '00s!

What are the cultural cliches of the 2000s? I don't know if it's the fact that we only just emerged from them or what, but the last decade seemed so much less distinctive than the '80s or '90s. What characterizes the '00s style, if the '80s were all about big hair and bright, flashy excess, and the '90s were dark and droopy and gloomy (grunge and brown lipstick)? I think the decade was defined by 9/11, but what were the ramifications of that, aside from fear and jingoism?

I've taken a stab at forming a list of phenomena we'll look back at as "so '00s":
  • Douchebag comedies (Wedding Crashers, Knocked Up, The Hangover, etc.)
  • Recessionomics
  • Climate change
  • "Hope"
  • Hipsterism/Anti-hipsterism (Williamsburg was our Haight-Ashbury)
  • iPods
  • Folky-twee indie rock
  • Spray tans
  • Fruity florals
  • MySpace
  • Chipotle
  • Mojitos
  • Food trucks
  • Grandpa/shawl-collar/belted cardigans and ugly-chic in general
  • Knitting
  • Competition-based reality shows
  • "Good TV"
  • Lord of the Rings
  • "Fail"
  • "I'm all set"
What else?

I just made a big bowl of Texas caviar, which is like a salad or dip made with black-eyed peas, diced onions and peppers and cilantro in a vinaigrette. Luckily, I really like black-eyed peas. Are there other foods that people eat on Jan. 1 for luck? In El Paso we always ate tamales.

Happy new year!


  1. We would always have porkchop and cabbage, if I remember correctly. But I think that's New Year's Day.

  2. That's a pretty good list, I can think of hardly anything to add. Twilight, certainly. 4chan, digg, reddit, etc. -- web-based forums in general. Old Crow Medicine Show. Pop atheists and Gladwell. Vegetarianism, hopefully! Overhopped IPAs (though this might be more 90s).

    Happy new year...

  3. Oh, you did say Jan 1. Nevermind:)

  4. Ah, yes, 4chan/reddit/etc. are a great addition!

    Yeah I think it's NYD that you're supposed to eat lucky foods on. NYE is regular caviar + champagne.

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  6. You should also add blogs to the list.

  7. Depression used to be the hip disease for artists. Now it's bipolar disorder.

  8. Oprah.

    Celebrity rehab scandals.

    Brett Favre.

    CSI New York, CSI Miami, and similar T.V. cop shows where the lead characters are depressingly serious and the rest of the characters are depressingly smarmy.

  9. Pure '00s--in the realm of design, a little aesthetic I like to call "vector wanking"

  10. Text message abbreviations?

    Martin and I also subscribe to the black-eyed-peas-for-luck-on-New-Year's philosophy and he made some black-eyed pea pate. I've also heard of eating grapes for the new year--one for each month of the year, or something like that.

  11. Francois, I'm thinking particularly of like, Iron & Wine and Bright Eyes and the Juno soundtrack, that type of stuff.

    Blogs! Vector wanking! Thanks for the additions guys.

    My mom reminded me that you're supposed to wear red underwear on New Year's Eve for good love-life luck, but I forgot. Oh wellz!

  12. Red underwear? I didn't know, but I guess I will have a good love life this year.

    Folky-twee indie rock is nice for background music when you're not listening seriously. Supposedly anti-consumerist music co-opted by the consumerist machine. As with everything.

  13. My son calls it That emo candy raver crap.

  14. Celebrity chefs
    Sea salt
    "America's team" (pick your sport)
    Derek Jeter
    File sharing

    ...and we eat blacked peas for luck, cabbage for wealth. Might be a New Orleans thing.

  15. I was tempted to include celebrity chefs and Republicans in my list, but I was a little worried they might be more in the "thing-that-wouldn't-die-yet" category.

    But okay, fine, add celebrity chefs and Republicans to my list.

    Also celebrity financial advice "experts" (Suze Orman, etc.).

    And remakes/revivals of T.V. shows of the past. (What particularly irritates me about the new Hawaii Five-0 is that the best thing about the original show was the opening theme music, and in the new version they've edited the music so it's shorter than the original. They cheated even on that.)

  16. A few more that Martin and I just brainstormed: microbrews, locavores, and bacon-flavored everything.

  17. There were "fudge pigs" at the NYE party I went to (chocolate-covered bacon).

    Sea salt BIG TIME.

  18. I tried a teensy smidge. Pretty much tasted like chocolate, then bacon.

  19. We didn't have bacon at our NYE party, but along similar sweet-savory lines we did have blue cheese with chocolate, which was delish.

  20. That's so much weirder than bacon w/ chocolate.

  21. Combination of my never having heard of it before plus the moldy/fermented taste of blue cheese I guess.

  22. I agree that it sounded strange, but it worked really well. If you like blue cheese.

  23. I like it OK, but it seems to trigger an allergic reaction sometimes (the histamine diet!), so I doubt I'll go out and make blue cheese chocolate fondue.

    On barely related lines, I recommend dipping cheddar into honey.

  24. Cheddar into honey? How did you discover that?

  25. Bacon into everything? How about fried everything?

  26. One night in New Haven Starkey and I made up a big snack plate of apples and cheese and nuts and honey and stuff and every combination worked.

  27. Nice list.

    For me the iconic cultural cliche figure of 2010 is Clell Tickle

    But I'm a huge nerd. It'll probably end up being Britney Spears or Osama Bin Laden in a cave or something.

  28. So "Hit Me Baby (One More Time)" actually came out in the late '90s. Crazy huh.

  29. oh and i never thought white belts would come back for guys!

  30. Of course, I should have thought of that along with LOTR.