We have come a long way in ten years. We measure our achievements in generations but have grown fascinated with decades… in the past few decades. The fashions of the 50s, the music of the 60s, the sex-with-random-people of theh 80s and so most of us think in terms of that “age” – the decade – as a clean break, a roll of the numbers from 9 to 10. However, a decade does not act in such a manner. I don’t remember the 1980s ending exactly when the clock stuck 1990. There was still cool music for a few more months. Perhaps a year. Our decade is set to the tune of base 10, but is something we can consider at any time.
If for now, for instance, we are to look back ten years, many of us may be surprised at what we see as well as the things that seem so current are now old and gathering time’s dust. Facebook was launched a decade ago and from that time it has gone from the project of a few rich kids to the venture of a select group of super-rich adults. Our Iraq War was about a year old and now ten years later The Iraq has grown up, learned to crawl as a democracy, walk as a nation on the world stage, and now rises up as a fully formed clusterfuck ready to take down an entire region as was feared that Sadam would have done, had he lived… and used those WMDs he was supposed to have had… had he had them then…. Or ever… As the case seems to be in light of the lack of any WMDs and a very real war re-starting up in The Iraq.
In this author’s own life ten years is a long time. A decade ago of course I was younger, faster, thinner, and richer. We all were. I had just gotten done successfully preventing the war by attending a series of protests. Which I mean, I had just lost all faith in all forms of protest and political participation since the streets of Gotham were packed with at least a million yet the networks all reported a scant few thousands and what did it matter, and what did it matter since protesters are all freaks… even if they are the middle class. The usual gang of idiots the Billery the Burumfieldsh the Powers That Be wanted, needed, lusted after this war. Need to build up the state we have now. I think I was a home owner. I will have to check my receipts. I was able to see 2008 as I stood on my tip toes, but sadly, I was unable to ride the wave correctly as one must do in this age or boom boom party economy. Or boom boom bust as the case may be. I was married. Had a dog.
We all were younger. Smarter. Didn’t drink as frequently or as much or if we did we sprung out of bed since, as I said, we were all younger and could take on the world with one hand. Unless you were in elementary school back then. In that case, I am hoping you did not drink at all. I know we were richer too. The market was up for most of us, what little investments were growing, there was an Asian dragon I seem to remember and those stocks were growing too. We got mortgages on any piece of shit property and then could use that paper to leverage into more paper or to pay off older bills, student loans and such since we were, many of us, just starting our careers and this Great Nation likes to saddle down young adult workers with debt in the form of student loans – I mean how else can you grow if you are not first pruned?
If we look at this span, while the music and film may not make much of a lasting impression… the oughts of this new millennium were quite the ride. The teens seem to be turning out quite the same way. As I reflect on this decade, the span taken at random I am now more impressed with those days we have just lived and loved our way through and those of us still with it, still surviving or perhaps even achieving their own version of success, should pat ourselves on the back, just a little. The Greatest Generation™ we aren’t, but we have lived in our own way, during wartime. And now, we can look back at the period of 2011 – 2014 as our own interwar period, perhaps even our own Wiemar, since we are so obsessed these days with likening one historical event to another as we are obsessed with cultural, social, political movements to change when “9” rolls over one December night to “10.”