I imagine “future generations” will consider the decade to begin with the contested election of 2000 and end with “man, they messed up the country so badly, people were willing to vote a black guy president.” Maybe they’ll take 9/11 as the thematic starting point instead. Whatever. What I’m saying is, I think the decade’s outward/historical manifestation is The Bush Years, but I’m hard put to understand what my inner/hysterical manifestation of it is.
As the decade progressed, I found myself writing less about politics, finance/business and international relations, and more about my own life. There was no changeover moment; it must’ve occurred to me at some point that there are plenty of other blogs to turn to for commentary on those topics. I still care deeply about those fields, and spend a lot of time reading up on them. Maybe it was my time with Montaigne that taught me about the value of looking inside to get a perspective on the outside. As far as I know, no one else is writing about my love, my dogs, my travels, my friends, my photos, my work, etc., except for my wife, and she focuses much more on my eats. So I’m my niche and welcome to it.
(Also, there’s less chance I’ll offend someone with an, um, off-color joke like the one in the first sentence of this post.)
Still, with all the decade-mania going on, I thought it would be interesting if I wrote about movies, books, comics and music for a “decade-retrospective” post. Trying to assemble my own lists for each category â€” “favorites,” mind you, not “bests” â€” was more daunting than I expected. I keep a running list of the books in my life, but not those other art forms, so much of this has to be painted from memory.
(I considered adding TV as a category, but realized that the drop-off from The Wire to whatever came in second was too steep.)
Compiling lists â€” fun though it is â€” hasn’t helped me reach a deeper understanding about what this decade “meant,” but I’m fine with that. I’ve spent almost seven years writing here and maybe that’s the story in itself: digital distribution has transformed the way we experience/consume all forms of art and how we share our thoughts with others. I’m not going to wax rhapsodic or elegiac about Facebook, Twitter, Kindles or iTunes (okay, a little about iTunes), so much as writing about some artworks that were created or published in the past 10 years and why I like them.
Welcome to my Virtual Memories. On with the show!