Name the Decade – A Poll
There are a little less than 3 weeks left in this, the so far shittiest decade of the 21st century. But bizarrely, no one seems to have settled on a name for it yet. Where the 80s and 90s came pre-loaded with catchy nicknames (the “80s” and “90s”), this, the most futuristic of all decades has struggled when it comes to labeling itself. That’s not to say there haven’t been attempts; a handful of contenders have emerged over the last few years. However, under close inspection, all of them appear to completely suck. Maybe you’ll see what I mean when we have a look together…
Contender #1: The Zeros
This makes some sense numerically, but seeing as the word “zero” can also mean “failure” or “worthless,” the downsides should appear obvious. Sure this has been the decade of American Idol auditions and dudes marrying pillows, but there’s no reason to dwell on that, is there? It’s like naming your kid “Urkel” or “Tobey Maguire.” You’re just setting them up for failure.
Contender #2: The New Millennium
Far, far too vague. This has been the go to choice for people in the media who need a label to attach to whatever ridiculous trend piece they’re working on. They’ve been getting away with it so far, but as the label technically applies for the next nine hundred odd years as well, this is no way for us in the here and now to identify ourselves and our great accomplishments.
Contender #3: The Singles
As in “the single digits.” I’ll go ahead and declare that if you ever have to explain what a label means, then it’s a terrible one. I mean, if we’re going to go that route, why not just say that as the bottom decade of the 21st century, this was The Bottoms?
Contender #4: The Aughts
The “Aughts,” or their cousin the “Aughties,” stem from an archaic word for zero, which fell out of disuse some time around when people started shitting indoors. This name does have the distinct advantage in that it was probably actually used by people in the first decade of the 1900s, so there is some historical merit behind it. But only dictionary editors or mirthless pedants really know what “aught” means any more, and would be the only ones capable of deriving any amusement from such a label.
Contender #5: The Naughties
Tightly related to the “aughties” above, and more popular with linguists who enjoy thinking they’re clever, this label stems from “naught,” another infrequently used word for zero, and one still somewhat popular with English sports announcers (who, it should be noted, do still shit outdoors).
There is some merit in the name, as this was the decade of the wardrobe malfunction, celebrities getting out of cars without panties, and that one Christina Aguilera video. Any of those things would have gotten someone strung up as a witch as recently as the 1980’s, so it’s fair to say that this has been a fairly ribald decade by historical standards. But naughty? That sounds a little too tame. Maybe the Tramp Stamp decade? Or, if we insist upon something shorter, how about The Testes? That one even rhymes with all the existing decades, which should really help when it comes to integrating it in the lyrics of any children’s songs.
Contender #6: The Bush Years
Usually accompanied with a facepalm, this label for the decade is a little inaccurate, in that the first and last year of the decade belonged to different, blacker presidents. For that reason alone it’s a poor label, although there’s also the minor fact that Bush didn’t have everything to do with everything in the decade. The baffling success of Two and A Half Men for example. That’s all on us.
It’s poll time baby!