Goodbye to the worst decade ever

Thursday, December 31st, 2009 · 40 Comments »

Here in the Smoking Lounge we’re seeing in the New Year with a bottle of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut and a Lindt 70%-cocoa chocolate bar. We’re also bidding farewell to the old year and the old decade, which totally and completely sucked.

Noteworthy features of the decade which we are happy to see the back of:

  1. The worst president ever, George W. Bush.
  2. The worst election ever — the one that brought us George W. Bush.
  3. The worst fashion ever, namely low-rider pants. It is ironic that in an era when women are obsessed with being thin, the signature fashion statement should be something that makes everyone look fat. You could be 8 feet tall and weigh 90 pounds, and a pair of low-rider pants will make you look like a tank. Even worse are low-rider pedal pushers, which make you look like a tank with stumpy legs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I don’t think it’s the look most people are going for. Also horrible: open-toed boots, four-inch stiletto heels, and polyester paisley that looks like leftovers from the wardrobe department of Sanford and Son.
  4. I bet you’re going to comment on the fact that I hardly said anything about George W. Bush but went on for years about fashion. My bottle of Freixenet says fuck you.
  5. The worst terrorist attack ever (in our nation’s history, that is).
  6. The worst war ever — well, not really the worst, but the stupidest. We were attacked by Saudi Arabian nationals working out of Afghanistan, so what did we do? Invade Iraq. Brilliant.
  7. The worst breakdown in American civil liberties and basic fucking human decency since I don’t know when. Between Abu Ghraib and the Patriot Act and all the yahoos who enthusiastically voted for both, America went from the land of the free to the land of the fascist freakazoids.
  8. This was more fun when I was talking about fashion.
  9. The worst tsunami ever. A quarter of a million people died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, maybe more.
  10. The worst natural disaster/government clusterfuck in American history: Katrina.
  11. The worst outpouring of public misogyny in my lifetime: the 2008 election.
  12. The worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Speaking of depression, Jesus. More Freixenet! More fashion!

Anybody wanna add anything to the list?

Filed under: Holidays · Tags:

40 Responses to “Goodbye to the worst decade ever”

  1. Sheryl Robinson says:

    Okay, you’re right – it sucked. But if Rush Limbaugh dies before midnight, I’d feel somewhat vindicated.

  2. Violet Socks says:

    Ooh, is he gonna die???

  3. Sheryl Robinson says:

    Maybe not, but I’m putting on my dancing shoes, anyway. Because I’m an optimist.

  4. bluelady says:

    Many things do indeed suck, but there ARE bright spots scattered here and there.

    For instance, your line(which went something like this)-
    “Holy shit, the Finns have found me!”
    had to be the funniest blog comment I saw all year.

    Happy New Year anyway.

  5. Hedgepig says:

    You are so right about low cut pants. Designed to expose as much nether flesh as possible, thereby making the arse and pubis look as accessible as possible, they are also just plain unflattering for 99.9% of female bodies. For years there was no alternative, as every fucking pair of pants in every clothes store in the western world was barely skimming the upper pubic hairline! And for the first painful few years of this despicable phenomenon it was also impossible to find anything other than crop tops to go with them.
    This has scarred a whole generation of women. When slightly higher cut jeans became discoverable (if you searched really hard), I persuaded a friend a few years younger than me to try on some hipsters (so, slightly higher than the pubesters that had prevailed for so long). Her entire teenage and adult years had coincided with the horror of low-riding pants, so when she tried on a pair that actually came up to an inch below her navel she said “But they come up to my armpits.”

  6. propertius says:

    I hate to break it to you, Violet, but the decade (like the century and the millennium) didn’t start until 2001. We’ve got another goddamned year to go.

  7. Violet Socks says:

    I hate to break it to you, Violet, but the decade (like the century and the millennium) didn’t start until 2001.


    Look, bro, I understand all about the 10th year and all that. And I disagree. We’ve had this argument! The whole calendar is just made-up arbitrary counting anyway, and it feels more right to consider a decade as including the first year with that number.

    Now, are we going to have to fight about this again like we did in 1999 and ruin Mom and Dad’s holidays?

  8. Violet Socks says:

    For instance, your line(which went something like this)-
    “Holy shit, the Finns have found me!”
    had to be the funniest blog comment I saw all year.

    Ha! That was exciting, wasn’t it? Thank you for reminding me. I couldn’t recall exactly when that happened, so I searched the blog and found it:

  9. lambert strether says:

    13. Worst court decision ever: Bush v. Gore.

    14. Worst operating sytem ever: Windows Vista

    15. Worst Christianist travesty committed to celluloid: Passion of the Christ

    15. Worst medical diagnosis: Bill Frist, of Terry Schiavo, via remote video

    16. Worst optics for the son of a Presidential candidate: David Huckabee kills a dog while a Boy Scout

    17. Worst piece of corporate marketroid weaselry: “Hope and Change…”

    Just getting started…

    Just getting started…

  10. Scott Williams says:

    Good work. Love the site. You’re needed.

    As are we all.

    Linked over here from Corrente. Your site was the best.

    All the best for 2010.

  11. caseyOR says:

    I have been thinking that this was the Worst Decade Evah, but then I started to think well, maybe I’m wrong; maybe I have no perspective. Was this worse than the rigid conformity of the ’50s? Worse than the 60s with Vietnam and the assassinations and the riots? Worse than the 70s with Nixon and Whip Inflation Now? Worse than the 80s, you know, Reagan? The 90s weren’t perfect, but they did seem like a bit of a respite. Anyway, those are all the decades in which I have been alive. The aughts seem like the worst of my life, but what if my decades sample is too small?

    So, I asked my mother who was born at the very end of the 1920s and grew up during the Great Depression and WWII. Those were pretty rough years after all. Mom’s assessment? The aughts were the worst ever. Worse than the 30s and 40s combined she said.

    Why? Well, there was FDR. Even though everything seemed to have fallen apart, FDR gave people hope. He made them believe that they were all in it together, and that together they would all prevail. And he did things to help people. He did things that made that made their lives better. He made them believe that everybody counted. He delivered, and not just for the few at the top.

    Mom’s right. We don’t have that shared sense of whatever anymore. And right now there doesn’t appear to be anyone who can, or even wants to, pull us together.

    Okay, now I’m a little depressed. Must open bottle of wine.

  12. Aspen says:

    Wellstone plane crash. :”(

  13. monchichipox says:

    Me and a bunch of my friends have an agreement this year. From each of our house, when the clock strikes midnight, we are going to stick our heads out the window and scream “FUCK YOU 2009″ It’s just been a shit stain kind of year. I seriously couldn’t find anyone who wanted to do anything even slightly social this New Year’s Eve.

  14. propertius says:

    Now, are we going to have to fight about this again like we did in 1999


  15. merciless says:

    18. The worst idea ever…

    …that has become conventional wisdom.

  16. Kookaburra says:

    monchichipox – I have to work tonight, but my friends tell me their New Year’s Eve party theme is “2009: KILL IT WITH FIRE

    I must say this seems like an appropriate sentiment to me.

  17. purplefinn says:

    Thanks for including #2 and #13! I will never forget. It’s when the idea of democracy in the U.S. started to crumble for me. Too many people don’t have a clue as to how important those travesties were. They brought us #1 also!

  18. RKMK says:

    You’ll love this, guys:

    While its mildly gratifying to be nearly two years ahead of the curve, I find playing the role of Cassandra rather cold comfort indeed.

  19. RKMK says:

    (Via Digby.)

  20. lambert strether says:

    #18 Re the OFA: I was wrong on this. I pictured bright young Obama fans showing up at my house with clipboards, asking my views and wanting to “help” me. No thanks… But for once, fortunately, I was too cynical. It never occured to me that Obama would just throw OFA away when he was done with them. But that’s just what he did.

  21. Violet Socks says:

    By the way, everybody: Happy Hangover Day. Keerist.

  22. monchichipox says:

    RKMK I love Casandra too. I wonder if anyone watches Heroes. A great show where a more than middle aged woman who was supposed to be a supporting charachter took over the show because of the strength of the actress and is now pretty much the lead. She spoke exactly how I felt about the last election.

    “And when I awoke, I tried to warn everyone, but no one would listen. Why would they? Why should they? I was Cassandra, screaming that the sky was falling, but when they looked up, there wasn’t a cloud in sight.”

    and that link is sad to read. But we all knew what they were writing alreday didn’t we?

  23. SedonaRock515 says:

    Don’t forget Katrina, which provided the template for all future disasters, not to speak of displacing thousands of people, who will never return. “Government is bad”, we don’t need to fix those levees or bridges.

  24. Sasha, CA says:

    I would add the general increase in casual misogyny, the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots that puts us on course to becoming a third world country, and especially the rapidly accelerating environmental devastation and destruction of wildlife habitat that our politicians seem completely uninterested in doing anything about.

    Gotta disagree with you about #3 though. I look totally hot in low-rise jeans! :)

  25. janicen says:

    I would add that it’s been the worst decade for the middle class. There’s an interesting article in the WAPO titled, “Aughts were a Lost Decade for US Economy”. Here’s a part of it…

    There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.

    Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 — and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

  26. Adrienne in CA says:

    I’m just grateful that everyone’s admitting the decade was truly awful, and not miraculously redeemed by the Historic Election of His Majestic B-Plusness.


  27. Topper Harley says:

    @25 While take home pay may have stagnated compared to productivity, one might argue that prepaid medical care provided by one’s employer (colloquially known as “health insurance”) has made up the difference.

  28. Marsha says:

    OK – now we need to get moving on your Third Party plan.

    What’s first? (Or maybe I should say second, since you’ve already outlined some initial thinking!)

  29. Kiuku says:

    I personally like low cut pants, because they are way more comfortable. I hate clothing. The less I have to wear of it the happier I am. However this decade has marked the emergence of the see-through shirt and some of the most expensive clothes for women that is made out of the most crude and tasteless and inexpensive fabric; see through, as well; tight and see through. Women’s clothing for the most part is designed to make women uncomfortable in it. I hate most of it. Especially bras and see through shirts. I could be naked if it weren’t for men.

  30. Kiuku says:

    I don’t think there is a shirt that I paid $40 for that didn’t completely fall apart within a year. Of course, I still wear them, because I refuse to buy anymore. Well, when you think about it $40 isn’t that expensive for a casual shirt, but when they are as shitty as they are, it is expensive, and especially compared to what men have to spend on clothing, virtually nothing.

    Is there anything men have to spend money on? Is it not a Patriarchal conspiracy to keep women poor and men with money so men can “take care of a woman” (own her)

  31. Kiuku says:

    I like functional clothing. The only time I will wear fashionable clothing that is not functional is when I have to go to a public place and look respectable, and I dislike it. Since men decided to destroy our ecological niche several 100 thousand years ago, and use clothing, which they developed I am convinced out of shame for only haveing a penis, we have had to wear clothing. Most of the time it was functional, but then it became status. Well, bras are obviously constricting torture devices designed by men born out of our victorian era of corsets. This decade also had a resurgence of the corset..what the hell is that ungodly thing called that makes you ..oh yea SPANX.

    Ridiculous that anyone could tolerate that. I can’t tolerate bras but I have to wear them because of stupid men everywhere. On top of that you’re supposed to have all these different kidns of bras depending on which type of see-through shirt you are wearing.

    All hail the mighty penis.

  32. LandOLincoln says:

    Kiuku, the smart women’s magazines have for years been advising women to buy as much as possible from the men’s/boys’ departments, if you must buy retail in the first place. The clothes are generally much simpler (and therefore more elegant), better made, and way cheaper.

  33. Kiuku says:

    Land, true. I couldn’t be respected in men’s jeans, though (truly). So I still have to buy $80 jeans atleast for the days that I want to look normal. Because of style, I would have never bought UGGS. For me, ugg=uggly. Well, someone bought me a pair of UGGs and MY GOD, are they comfortable and practical. They are the most practical and comfortable of shoe wear I know of, because I didn’t know they what they were actually made out of. So that is all I wear now. You don’t even have to wear socks with them, because they do what clothign is supposed to do, keep you warm in cold weather, and cool in hot weather. All weather shoes.

    Most of the time I wish I could dress like a Viking.

    But oh well. It’d be nice if men could be rational and not look at my body as if it doesn’t bleed once a month and grow and give live birth with lots and lots of blood and placenta. Thank whoever the genius was who 100 of thousands of years ago decided to tell men what their penis did. They were happy enough with their sexual impulses and pregnancy was just something that happened to women, until some genius decided to tell them their contribution to pregnancy. Ever since then he’s been tromping around calling himself the seed and destroying everything because he’s the fucking seed.

  34. Kiuku says:

    They destroyed our ecological niche and our technology, which was both amazing and beautiful, in pursuit of dominance, and moved us into the desert; the dawn of Patriarchy and the historical record as we know it, and all of the crude and destructive technology that you see today.

    I’m certain of this as the absolute truth. So how do we reverse this? Perhaps by telling men the truth that their penis is not the seed. We are both the seed and their Earth.

    Men, your sperm only makes placenta. And we can reproduce that in a lab. That’s right men. You’re not the seed. Your sperm makes PLACENTA.

  35. Kiuku says:

    You will never possess in your body enough DNA to make a living being or anything that might survive in health for more than a generation. You’re a man. Your sperm makes PLACENTA. It doesn’t divide the egg. It doesn’t even touch an egg, ever. There is no competition between sperms to get to the egg. It makes PLACENTA.

  36. Kiuku says:

    alright maybe it divides the egg in a test tube, and even if it divides an egg in real life, thats just so two eggs can recombine in the PLACENTA that your sperm does and only makes.

  37. Topper Harley says:

    @30 Is there anything a man won’t waste money on? A home stereo with $1000 speaker wires, a $5000 computer for bragging rights among the gaming crowd, a $100K Corvette (aka plastic fantastic penis extender).

  38. Gayle says:

    Adding to your list:

    The pornification of freaking everything, including exercise classes (see above).

  39. Gayle says:

    Oh silly me!

    I thought the military wives were participating in stripercise classes, like the ones they offered at my old gym. Not true. “Operation Bombshell” doesn’t even bother with the pretense of fitness.

  40. DancingOpossum says:

    You are entirely wrong that the low-rider pant is the worst thing in fashion. That honor goes to the harem pant, a horrendous item that is now reemerging from its dank grave and inflicting fresh horror on us all.