30 December 2009

Fin de siecle

As befits a rubbish year, the end of the decade has felt something of an anti climax. In fact, I didn't even realise it was going to be a new decade until last week. Yet before we know it, we'll be having Noughties Nights at nightclubs, when people can dance to Girls Aloud wearing Ugg boots, drinking bottle of blue WKD.

I wonder when we became quite so self-conscious about bundling up the years into neat packages to be consigned onto certain shelves, as though on New Year's Day 1980 we went from being striking punks to greedy Spandau Ballet fans. I suppose the idea of the Roaring Twenties was the first, with the Wall St Crash to put clear daylight between the delicious abandon of 1929 and the sobering depression of 1930. Looking back on this first decade of the 21st century, what will we say were defining themes? And looking forward to the next, what on earth will we call it?

The Noughties sort of stuck in the absence of anything better, but how will we collectively refer to the years 2010-2019 when we come to look back at the end of the century? The Teens? Teenies? The Wunies? All horribly twee and silly - too much so for what looks set to be a serious time.

If the aforementioned 1920s can also be known as The Jazz Age, then I suggest the next 10 years hereby be known as the Teen Age. First, because we are about to go through a horrible transformation, where our comfortable existence is turned upside down, the lack of money will make us collectively grounded, plus where everything will seem so unfair, what with taxpayers subsidising bankers' bonuses. And by the end of it, we may just be able to afford to buy our own drinks.

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