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This hasn't been an uplifting decade

By Elizabeth Held
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
| 1 comment

I’m going to be completely honest here: I’ve been so caught up in finals that I didn’t realize the decade was coming to a close.

All of a sudden there were tons of stories on The Daily Show Web site (I was writing a research paper about the relationship between Jon Stewart’s show and Viacom) about the decade in review. And it suddenly hit me that the '00s (or as I like to call them the Oreo years) are ending.

Time Magazine declared the past years as the decade from hell. Andy Serwer writes, “Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post–World War II era.”

You can read the whole article HERE.

Looking at their slide show on the 10 worst events of the worst decade, I find myself saddened and agreeing, that all around it hasn’t been an easy, feel good time. It was a decade marked by Sept. 11, the stock market crash, Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami.

For me, I look at the past decade as the decade I grew up in. I was 10 when it started, and I’ll be 20 when it ends. I was in my last year of elementary school when Bush was elected and my freshman year of college when Barack Obama was elected.

This very well could be the decade that helps to define me later in my life. But I’m not sure what exactly that will mean.

I know that my generation’s “Where were you when JFK was shot?” is “Where were you when the planes flew into the towers?”

I was walking from my math class to my history class in sixth grade when someone told me. I spent my history class with my eyes glued to the TV trying to understand what this meant.

Eight years later, I’m still not sure what it means. I think we’re still grappling with this as a country.

I think we’re not going to know how it impacted us, or how this decade impacted me personally, for years. We’re not ready to look back yet, and even if we are, we’re still too engulfed in it to see it clearly.

I’m curious to hear what you think about the past decade and what decade you think defined you. What does that mean to you?

 
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comments

December 10, 2009
8:07 a.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
grant18 says...

The 50s certainly defined me but the important thing is not WHERE you look back, it's that you ARE LOOKING BACK! Everybody knows Churchill's (& lots of others) saying that those who don't learn from history are destined to relive it. The most amazing thing is that most generations understand this to be true and do make real progress by accepting that change is necessary if we are not to stagnate forever.

 

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