Tuesday, 15 December 2009

It's The Final Countdown... Of Doom

by Rachel Surtees @RVSurtees

It’s the final countdown do do do dooo do do do do dooo. It’s obviously not the final countdown, simply a ruse to get your attention. This is in fact “The Countdown Of Doom”. That’s right, read on and what you’ll find is a little sprinkling of good cheer to brighten up your day… HA!

The Christmas season is now well and truly upon us - it took a while to arrive this year didn’t it? But what every self-respecting telly addict knows is “The Christmas season” is in fact a smoke screen for the “season of incessant end of year list making and countdowns”. Countdown coordinators at television studios around the world will no doubt be in a perpetual state of orgasmic spasms because this 31st December is not only the end of the year, it’s the END OF THE DECADE.

But, while the shiny faces over at BBC Three try and convince us of the highlights and achievements of the Noughties, what I really want to know is, could it really have been any worse? Genuinely, could anything else possibly have gone wrong? And could any of the things that did go wrong have gone any more wrong than the wrongness that they wrongly became?

I have a theory that every generation has a dud decade. 10 years of misery, hatred, chaos and Cheryl Cole. Think about it, who do you know who’s had a good time over the last few years? Incidentally, if you have spent the last decade riding on a merry rollercoaster of happiness, good health and joy, I’m genuinely pleased for you but feel free not to comment.

I’m aware that there are one or two holes in my theory but I will boldly ignore them and plough forward regardless. It can’t get any worse. Can it? It appears that people only become cognisant of how much they’ve been through in retrospect so allow me to bring some of the forgotten miseries rushing to the fore of your consciousness and present the Noughties’ countdown of doom:

2000: George Dubya Bush is elected for his first term.

2001: 9/11 and its immediate aftermath changes the face of world politics forever.

2002: Bali bombings kill hundreds… The first prisoners arrive at Guantanamo Bay… “The Wall” is built in the Gaza strip.

2003: The million who marched are ignored and the invasion of Iraq begins… Heatwaves through Europe kill over 30,000 people.

2004: The year ends with the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

2005: Coordinated suicide bombers strike in London and a week later Charles De Menezes is shot dead in Stockwell tube station…. Hurricane Katrina hits the East coast of America, 1000s are left destitute in New Orleans and Bush rejects an offer from Cuba to send aid and supplies.

2006: Israel launches a military attack on Hezbollah and sends thousands of troops into Lebanon.

2007: Burmese crisis breaks out… Benazir Bhutto assassinated in Pakistan.

2008: The global financial crisis takes hold… Swine flu breaks out… Cyclone Nargis hits Burma and 146,000 people die… The voice and image of Sarah Palin is burnt onto the world’s retina… War breaks out between Russia and Georgia… Boris the Buffoon Johnson wins London’s mayoral elections… Zimbabwe faces one of its worst periods of civil and political unrest in the face of looming general elections.

2009: Brown loses his already tentative grip on the country… Fascists take to our streets and televisions seig heiling as they go… SuBo becomes the biggest selling pre-ordered album on Amazon (yes she has a great voice but don’t tell me that’s why you’re buying the album)…

It is true that lots of amazing things have happened this decade too - most of them Obama shaped - but for every positive thing that you think of, there were at least three soul destroying catastrophes to counteract them.

I rarely manage to answer any of my own ponders but this time I can: no, it can’t get any worse so prepare yourself for a shiny new decade, full of joy and goodwill. And in the meantime allow me to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

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  1. Sorry to p*ss on your bonfire but things are sooooooo gonna get worse...


  2. I’ve personally always believed that proximity seems to imbue events and epochs with a certain kind of self-prescribed importance by the beholder. Having said that, I have to agree with you Rach in that the Noughties were a pretty grim decade overall. I think it could have been a lot worse but the things that went wrong, went very wrong. I’m sure that when I look back on this decade at a later stage in my life, the two things that will stand out will be those two massive towers crumbling rapidly to the ground and the destruction left in its wake by the tsunami. Grim. Hopefully things will only get better from here onward and the Teenies will be a much better decade. I certainly hope so!

  3. Merry Christmas everybody! And may the doom continue into the.....wait, what ARE we calling the next decade? The teenies, as Euclides suggests? (Please god no.) The tenties? The tens? the twenty-tens? And, frankly, who honestly cares what they're called. They will be rubbish too. We should have guessed the noughties would be rubbish when they were named the noughties. What idiot thought that was a good idea. I steadfastly refused to call it the noughties until very recently. And only then ironically.

    In all honesty I should have known the noughties (see, now I'm saying it) would be bad when I found myself stumbling home at 7am on 1st Jan 2000 from an illegal warehouse rave in a disused 12-storey office block Aldgate East wearing only a t-shirt and jeans having discarded my wallet, keys, phone, glasses, jumper, jacket, friends, large parts of my mental faculties and pretty much everything else I possessed. Start as you mean to go on.....

    Speaking of which, where's this NYE's warehouse rave happening? I know just the way to see in the new decade.