Thursday, April 16, 2009

Best of the Decade: Years

When the last decimal in a year ends with a '9,' countdown lists are even more exciting than usual. For the past nine years, we've had annual lists every December. 'Year-end' lists. Our favorite movies, music and whatever from the past 12 months. It's always fun, but like Christmas, it's here and gone too soon.

This year, we have the ability to make lists anytime we want, because we can look back at the entire decade. So this is where it starts. The best of the decade: individual years. It starts off pretty rough, but gets better.

The Top 10 Years of the Decade (2000-2009):

10: 2001

Our country took a hit this year. The hit was so bad, it was enough to define the rest of the decade as the 'Post-9/11 Era.' P.O.D. also released their album Satellite on September 11th. Their song 'Alive' became America's anthem for the rest of the year. It should already be clear, this was the worst year of the decade.

9: 2008

This was the most distracting year of the decade. The only thing people cared to talk about was the presidential race. In the end, it turned out to be a good result, but the process was absolutely grueling. And in the meanwhile, our country fell into recession. 2008 heralded the worst economic times we've seen in three decades.

8: 2000

Y2K didn't happen. Disappointment right from the start. And it didn't look anything like "the future" either. No flying cars, no robot armies. And to top everything off, George W. Bush became our president. It was a very disappointing year. Not a fun way to start the new millennium.

7: 2009

It's possible for 2009 to move up the list before the year is over, but it's not looking good. The economic climate in America is dreadful, but just having Barack Obama becoming President is something to keep this year out of the bottom three. Plus, some people still think that lolcats are funny. Not a good sign... But, this is the year that we'll see Where the Wild Things Are. This movie alone might make 2009 a "good year."

6: 2006

This is the "meh" year of the decade. It's the middle child of the new millennium. Forgettable, unappreciated, mediocre. What happened in 2006? I'm sure it wasn't that bad, but I honestly can't remember anything about it. I did get engaged to Jaclyn that Christmas, and that was cool. But everything before that was just debates about whether Bible college kids should be allowed to watch DVD's in the dorm rooms. What a strange year it was...

5: 2004

Time for the upswing. 2004 signaled a change in the atmosphere. We elected Bush again, which was absolutely bizarre. But this was the year that gave us Arcade Fire's Funeral and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Those two pieces of art should say enough. Possibly the best album of the decade and the best movie of the decade, both released in the Autumn of 2004. Something good happened this year. Our art proved it.

4: 2003

We might have been deluded this year, but it felt like our country was on the right track. We felt united, but we started to question things that were taken for granted before. I think this was a turning point year for America and set the stage for a weird, wild decade.

3: 2005

The main reason I have this year at number 3 is because Sufjan Stevens' Illinois came out this year. It said to the rest of the country: "look out, Illinois is hot stuff." And then a few years later, one of ours becomes President and we put in the major bid the 2016 Olympics for America. Other 2005 highlights: our Illinois men's basketball team had their best year ever and our White Sox won the World Series. This was a solid year. Especially if you were a Chicagoan.

2: 2002

Honestly, the only reason this is number 2 is because I graduated high school in 2002. It was a very good year for me personally. I also began dating Jaclyn this year. I don't know what happened outside of my individual subjectivity in 2002, but if it was this good for me, I'm sure it couldn't have been that bad on the outside. I mean, I'm no solipsist.

1: 2007

The best year of the decade? I guess. I do remember this year as a great one for film. No Country, There Will Be Blood, I'm Not There, Once. It was a very good year for film. And one of the rare years when the Academy Awards got it right. In Rainbows was pretty revolutionary too. One of the landmark moments in rock and roll history for sure. And I think this was the year when we really 'got it' when it comes to environmentalism. Al Gore won the Nobel Peace prize. People started "living green." As annoying as that phrase is today, it really is one of the prouder social phenomenons of the decade. And I got married in 2007. Went to Berlin. Lived in Chicago with my wife. Got published for the first time in my writing career. Yeah. It was a good year...

The Top 10 Years of the Decade. Listed.

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