I Love The '00s

In the comments thread of another post, a guy named Dave who apparently REALLY loves the ’90s turned a discussion about graffiti into an argument about whether or not this current decade is the worst decade:

Seriously, the 00s have got to be the worst decade in modern pop cultural history. From reality TV to what passes for music on the Billboard Top 100, to those geek pillow fights, to “deejays” displacing real musicians, and ultimately to these low rent dorks flying around the world to tag buildings and take the pictures home to show off with.

Starts here, but he goes on to impugn Amy and Kelly and the entirety of an era that I pretty much just love.

I mean, Back to Black, Sounds of Silver, Blood Visions, Discovery, Love & Theft, Is This It, Wedding Crashers, Ghost World, YouTube, Christian Bale, Do’s and Don’ts, The Sopranos, Zooey Deschanel, East Bound & Down — I can’t remember anything in the ’90s as good as any of that. Plus, that was just off the top of my head. This decade rules.

He might be right about the geek pillow fights though.

14 Responses to “I Love The '00s”

  1. sangroncito says:

    I read the interview here with Caleb Neelon a day or two ago. I have to agree with the above. Any white boy gringo who flies around the world tagging buildings in other people’s countries and cultures deserves a stay in the local jail…doesn’t matter what decade he does it in. I take photos of street art in other countries myself…but it’s street art done by the locals, not some self-absorbed white boy.

  2. jimbeam says:

    Again with the identity politics. Do you want to live in a culture where one’s identity determines one’s limits? It’s the ugly underside of multiculturalism in liberal societies. Everyone must always act in accordance with identity that’s defined by the dominant culture. Fuck that.

    And, in other news…

    The 00s are where we’ve seen the internet mature. For better or for worse, things that were super nerdy, dorky, etc. in the 80s and 90s have become mainstream. A majority of high school students would now rather be smart than athletic or popular. That sounds pretty rad to me.

    Pop culture has always been shitty, there just hasn’t been an easily accessible counter-culture to compare it to. Maybe you think New Wave is cool, but I guess that would be the shitty pop culture when you compare it to Rites of Spring, Minor Threat, etc. Now, at least, there’s some decent TV, some decent music, some decent clothing that’s really accessible to anyone and everyone. But maybe that’s what you find so negative.

    It does suck that most of the counter culture has become so consumer/image driven, but that was the dominant culture in the 80s and 90s. At least now there’s an emphasis on sustainability and cheapness as opposed to expensive clothes and expensive cars.

    Oh, yeah, and the whole internet thing, the thing that allows us to have this enlightening dialogue, has pretty much come to a certain sort of maturity in the 00s. This has certainly influenced the culture and vice versa.

    Ok… so back to the stuffy guys complaining about graffiti as if it’s their god-given right to own a flawless piece of property on this great earth.

  3. sangroncito says:

    Long live graffiti, Jimbean, and down with flawless pieces of property! But urban hipsters going into third-world slums with their crayolas rubs me the wrong way.

  4. tk says:

    I don’t want to speak to pop culture as a whole, but the aughts have been a KICKASS decade for music.

  5. zinzin says:

    “back to the stuffy guys complaining about graffiti as if it’s their god-given right to own a flawless piece of property on this great earth.”

    “down with flawless pieces of property!”

    um, sorry, i don’t understand this at all.

    guys, the revolution is not about keeping things gritty and lauding punk-ass taggers because it makes us feel like things are still comfortably gritty and nothing’s changing….

    that train has left the station and it’s a losing battle. if all we do is look backward, you can count on it….the neighborhood we know and love – what’s left of it – will be gone, and all we’ll have is yuppie condos and paxton fucking gate.

    unless there’s an inclusive and forward-looking voice, money will always win. it’s just a matter of time.

    the revolution is about making the neighborhood safer and better for everyone, and improving everyone’s quality of life.

  6. dude the 00′s were the best. i feel so blessed to be young now.

  7. chyllo says:

    A small point. “Ghost World,” the trade, as well as the serialized issues are from the 90s. Daniel Clowes himself would probably laugh about niggling such a bit of trivia.

    Both decades suck, don’t kid yourself.

    BTW, since when has graff and taking flix been a 00′s phenomenon? Doesn’t that go back to the 70s? NYC up in here?

  8. dave says:

    Wow, Alan, that’s the GOOD list for the 00′s? It’s even more dire than I thought. I haven’t even heard of some of those things. I’ll give you the Sopranos, and Ghost World, which as has been pointed out is actually a product of the 90′s. There was a great interview of Daniel Clowes by Neva Chonin in the Guardian sometime in the 90′s about Ghost World. The only East Bound and Down I care about is the great Jerry Reed theme song to the great Smokey and the Bandit…that’s a 70′s movie btw. See, even the good stuff of 00′s is derivative.
    As far as youtube and the “maturing” of the internet, I did specifically say that the improved internet technology is the real star of the 00′s.
    And I don’t recall saying that I really love the 90′s, but in my four decades of decade watching, it was probably the most interesting and affirming. And to be accurate, the 90′s started going bad around 95 and kept getting worse with each year.
    It might have had something to do with the early 90′s being a time of lowered expectations after a greed fueled economic crash and the excesses of Reaganism. Bad economies yield good art. Conversely, beginning with the IT boom of the late 90′s and continuing through the 2000s, life is just too easy, entertainmentwise, people have everything all the time, and hence the art is more shallow and vapid.

  9. Allan Hough says:

    Dave, you’re wrong about EVERYTHING. The late ’90s had Eyes Wide Shut and Fight Club and Office Space and HOMEWORK. And 1995 had HEAT for god’s sake.

    Jerry Reed does rule though. In my iTunes, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” comes on right after the first Jenny Lewis album, and I LOVE that transition. But don’t get me started on the ’70s. I love them through and through.

    The truth is, I love all decades. They’re all CHOCK FULL of great stuff. I really just took issue with your saying one particular decade wasn’t any good. THEY’RE ALL GOOD. LIFE IS GOOD.

  10. Allan Hough says:

    Oh, and like rijker points out, Sexpigeon (the best blog in the world) is a product of the ’00s. So I win.

  11. guero says:

    The stuffy guys? hahahaha…dude. I’m glad you are so forward thinking that you seem to revel in a neglected neighborhood. I know some come here not to live but instead play out their adolescent fantasies in what they think is their own little “god-given” urban playground. It’s not graf-art, it’s dogs pissing and marking their territory. To say tagging is anything more than that is a lie. You want to rationalize it? Fine. Then go somewhere else and “stick it to the Man”, who thinks he can own property. Go to Hillsborough , Milbre or Pacific Heights. No…they won’t tag there. I wonder why then they feel they should have a greenlight to vandalize the Mission. They do it because they are just taking advantage of bad situation. I’m tired of those who defend tagging and end up sounding like those poorly written hippie characters from those Dragnet episodes on TV Land. For Fuck’s sake! Perhaps some would prefer the Mission to be more like LA where the taggers spraypaint kids.

  12. jimbeam says:

    As was said in another thread… I’d rather live in a place with more social experimentation than less. And yes, whining about graffiti makes you stuffy.

    Honestly, I don’t usually care much either way, but the fact that people get so annoyed by graffiti is ridiculous. As I’ve said…what about the billboards?

  13. dave says:


    First of all, one truism I’ve picked up in the 00s is that any time someone says “it’s all good”, the one thing for sure is it definitely isn’t all good. Secondly, “life is good” is the mantra you repeat when the germans come to take your children away to death camps.

    If that’s just you doing your Stuart Smalley impersonation, then hats off. But if that’s really you talking, it only highlights the problem with not just the 00′s but dare I say also with the “new San Francisco”. Sure, there’s always been tensions between newcomers and natives here, but for the most part they both shared an understanding that life is gritty and not all fun and smiles.

    It’s a shame to watch what’s happening to SF now that it’s a place that has well paid jobs for generic 20 somethings with IT degrees. Until very recently if you were a 20 something bohemian/whatever, you came here despite the lousy job market. Now the city attracts the kind of people who want good jobs right out of college. The difference may seem trivial, but it’s not.