December 31, 2009
Environmentally, cross-civilizationally, geopolitically, spiritually, economically, democratically – humanity failed to progress much this decade. And so it’s only fitting that we failed, most basically, to name it. For 10 years the decade has pretty much been called nothing at all.
Now, with the end upon us and the customary decadal summations making the rounds, the only locution we’ve managed to confer upon it is the decade, as in best, worst, biggest, baddest, funniest of the decade.
With just hours till check-out (it’s six pm here), it may seem we can leave our lapse of imagination behind with the room key. Think again. Tomorrow is precisely when the present becomes the collective past and referencing 2000-2009 in digestible, unitary terms takes on a new urgency. For the next 10 years (which it looks like we may face a similar challenge in naming) we could feasibly get away with calling it the last decade. But that is lazy and insensate. And, then, in the 20’s – what? The decade before last? The decade at the turn of the century? *
The Singles, the Double O’s. The O-O’s. The 2000’s. All have been pitched. None have stuck. I’m endorsing the Oh-Ohs. It’s not far from uh-oh, an appropriate response to our collective unreason this decade. And entering 2010 it can’t hurt to have a constant humble reminder.
Happy New Year, y’all.
* Apparently, our English-speaking forefathers were equally uninspired, referring to the first decade of the 20th century as the beginning of the/this century and the turn of the century mostly, according to print records.