Monday, December 21, 2009

On the Metaphorical Journey of the Decade

I'm kind of loathe to admit it at this juncture, but the first blog I read on a consistent basis was Gawker. Back then, in the early 2000s, in the era of Strokes hair, in an age when hipsterdom conquered all, Gawker, in its nascent phase, came across as fresh and snarky and unbeholden, a kind of inside joke for all those striving media types who arrived in New York dreaming of glory and then crammed themselves into $1500, eighty-square-foot studio apartments on the seventh floor of an East Village walk-up. And maybe it's still that way for an aspiring generation of twenty-somethings who are just now realizing they chose the wrong major, but today--by accident, actually--I wound up on Gawker, contemplating their list of nine candidates for "Hipster of the Decade." And I had heard of two of them, though only vaguely. The rest were strangers, their personas seemingly based almost entirely on bloggy insider hipster memes, which made me realize two things: A.) This is the decade I officially "got old"; and B.) Gawker has gone from something I kind of found amusing, to something to I openly loathed, to something that now is only relevant because it succeeded in accelerating the seamy underbelly of modern media.

And this is the prototypical metaphorical journey of the aughts. This is what happened with Tiger Woods and George Bush and Britney Spears; they were promising, and then they were embarrassing, and now they are largely relevant because of the messes they created. So we will remember The Aughts, the decade nastiness finally went mainstream.

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