2005 is almost over. That’s six years of this decade. And it hit me last night — we as a society have failed to come up with a name for this decade.
The eighties. The nineties. The … um … “this decade.” It’s almost like when you start to refer to it, you convince yourself you know what to call it, then hesitate and bail out to … “this decade.” It’s cute, actually.
We’ve granted ourselves a free pass because … “this decade” is the first one of the new century. So during the nascent years of …. “this decade” we were able to ride the “new century” and “new millennium” escalator to the pinnacle of hip, young dialogue! Cowabunga.
But we’re almost into the seventh year of this decade, and we have yet to decide on a good moniker for this ten year chunk of time.
So no more pussyfooting around. Let’s do this right now.
• Once in a while I’ve heard this decade being called The 2000s, because little do they realize that this is a horrible name for a decade. We’re going to be in the 2000s long after this decade ends, and people will be all confused.
A historian in the future: “The 2000s was a turbulent decade. So turbulent, in fact, that it lasted a thousand years.”
Likelihood of withstanding the test of time: 5 percent, only because we may invent a time machine that warps us to the year 3000, in which case that decade alias would be accurate.
• If you wanted to go continue on with the standard numbers, The Zeroes would make the most sense mathematically, provided they can work out a licensing agreement with the Houston Texans.
• If a weatherman were to decide the name, he may opt for The Single Digits, for when he (incorrectly) predicts the temperature, he may say “the low 60s” or “the high 30s.” When it gets to severe cold temperatures — the level where nipples turn to the firmness and shape of stale candy corn — your local meteorologist will refer to “the single digits.” Then again, he may not. Instead he may say “the high 80s” just to screw with everyone’s heads.
The shortcoming of this name is that The Single Digits has no suave abbreviation. The Sing Digs? No, those are our friendly neighbors who own that Chinese restaurant. The SDs is way too obscure, plus it’s one stutter away from becoming two nasty concepts — SBDs or STDs.
• For those who want a vintage feel on a new sensation, The Aughts is a popular choice. This name gets my vote of confidence, which in the grand scheme of things means it will never happen. But ever since I’ve suffered from out-of-shape college graduate intermittent back pain and ranted about the days before iPods and TiVo (1999), I’ve taken on the of neo-geezer and began pining on the classic World Series of aught-one, my college graduation in aught-five and the Great Super Smash Brothers Melee Marathon of aught-three.
You’d think with two new Supreme Court judge vacancies to fill this year, one of these Senators would throw a question to either nominee about how they would interpret the official name of this decade.
If you don’t believe it’s within the rights — nay, the duties — of our government to worry about something seemingly frivolous like the name of a period in history, then you’re probably jealous that you don’t get to make laws. Politicians have legislated so much on our people, places and ideas, they got their grubby hands on our time! Yes, they were the ones who implemented daylight savings, a method of manipulating the time of the day! What a power trip!
Write to your local congressperson and have them propose a name for this decade. Because, after all, the minute 2010 strolls around VH1 will be wanting to do another compilation show, and they already have it partially named: I Love The —.
But perhaps we’re not ready to name it. After all, it took a while for the media to come to an agreement on what to call 9/11. “The World Trade Center bombings” wasn’t specific enough. “Terrorist Jenga” was just plan wrong (but descriptive!) And “The justification for the war in Iraq” is — oh shit, the Daily Kos just pinged me. So they simply went with the date it happened. September 11th. Nine-eleven. The digit nine, followed by a slash or hyphen, followed by consecutive ones.
Perhaps that is what we’ll resort to calling … this decade. The years between and including 2000-2009. It doesn’t flow, but it’s rather accurate and unambiguous.
I may have not decided on any fresh young title for our decade, but keep in mind I’m old-fashioned and that’s the way I like it. Now get off my lawn.
Matthew T. “Matt” Sussman is pretty sure The Zeroes, The Sing Digs and The Aughts are all names of garage bands somewhere.