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It's tough to say how we'll remember the last decade. The Internet destroyed industries and filled the world with cheap and accessible pornography. The real world was much less full of boobs. Rather than trying to sum up such a complex time period by sharing our favorite things, we asked our staff (Dan O'Brien, David Wong, Jack O'Brien, Michael Swaim and Robert Brockway) to pick the things that were memorably great, awful, weird (or all three) enough to represent the glorious clusterfuck we just lived through.

9
Movie of the Decade

David:

Batman Begins.

The birth of the Gritty Reboot. Either due to post-9/11 cynicism or anti-Joel Schumacher rebellion, halfway through the decade we decided it was time to strip away fantasy and wonder and replace it with bloody faces and angst.

Casino Royale would follow suit, and the trend would continue right up until the final week of the decade with the violent and sexy reimagining of Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is either spinning in his grave, or unable to spin because of his erection. Or maybe spinning despite the erection, creating a hollow knocking sound on the coffin lid.

Dan:

The Dark Knight.

If Batman Begins is where Christopher Nolan floated the idea of a realistic superhero movie, The Dark Knight is where he perfected it. Let's ignore the fact that TDK kicked more ass than we knew was available for kicking. And let's ignore the fact that its Oscar snub was so horrifying that the Oscar committee decided to add five more nominees to the category this year. Dark Knight made a category larger and, as science will tell you, it follows that the category is also now more in charger.

This movie was not only a critical and commercial smash hit, but it also marks the first time in my life where I noticed regular, non-Internet-dwellers caught up in online, viral marketing. Online games designed to build hype used to be simple distractions but, for TDK, it was an event that left the Net and bled onto the real world. For example, if you were one of the lucky ones to sign up for the Joker's Army early, you received a cake, a cell phone and an advanced screening of the first seven minutes of the movie. And everyone wanted in.

Searching for pre-release Easter Eggs and going on scavenger hunts that tie into the movie's marketing wasn't just for Internet geeks anymore. Geekdom had entered the mainstream.

This also marks the first time I tried to fuck a movie.

Jack:

The Bourne Trilogy

In the span of five years, the Bourne franchise managed to do what great franchises like The Godfather, Terminator and Police Academy couldn't: pump out a near flawless trilogy. As Brockway points out, our decade was pretty good at that. (Suck it Time).

However, despite what my colleagues tell you, a film's hero didn't have to wear a ridiculous costume to be relevant in the 00s. Bourne was the perfect metaphor for our reeling, technology obsessed decade. He was recovering from a traumatic event just like the rest of us following the summer of 2001's series of deadly shark attacks.


Never forget.

And while amnesia may be the oldest screenwriting trick other than showing boobs, who better to represent the Internet age than an empty vessel trying to make sense of a non-stop barrage of pure stimulus. Bourne's mood in the face of his strange new world was the same as ours: an inexplicable desire to beat the crap out of everyone he encountered along the way. Bourne's hands responded to this desire as impulsively as ours, moving faster than thought to attack faceless adversaries using pure muscle memory (his balled-up fists of fury get a slight edge over our 70-f-word-per-minute typing hands in the category of badassery).

Robert:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Before Lord of the Rings, if you asked somebody to spend 12 hours of their life with you watching midgets and elves mud-wrestle, you would've just gotten weird looks from every normal person and ended up spending the night with a man who drives a van for a living.

Now, not only is it perfectly acceptable to know what an orc is; you would actually sound kind of stupid if you didn't. Seriously, if you said the phrase "what's an orc?" to somebody now they would laugh in your face, and that's all because of Lord of the Rings. It not only brought the oft-neglected fantasy genre to the forefront, it made the epic a hot property again. And the 2000s were defined by the epic. So much so that three hours is considered an acceptable length for any kind of movie now--fucking Funny People was a three hour long comedy!

That's especially impressive when you consider that the modern epic has to compete with shortened attention spans, video games and the Internet (and all the free pornography that entails). Getting people to sit still for three straight hours nowadays is an impressive enough feat, but getting them to do so on three separate occasions when your protagonist is a doe-eyed dwarf who spends more time staring blankly and not reacting than the entire cast of The Hills... well, that was nothing short of a miracle.

Swaim:

Borat

When I saw the Borat movie at the 2006 San Diego Comic Con, the film floored me. Maybe it was because I was seeing it a month before it came out or because Brian Posehn was in the audience; but as a comedian, as a spectator, I was absolutely enthralled.

And even though Borat hasn't held up to that level of scrutiny, I still think Sacha Baron Cohen made the movie of the decade for a few reasons. Perhaps most importantly, the movie is "real," or at least some of the peoples' reactions are genuine. Yes, a lot was preplanned, and yes, some of the racist rednecks maybe didn't get a fair edit, but be honest: You didn't think about that when you watched the movie. All you thought was "holy shit, did that guy really just say he wants to hang gay guys?!"

It had the reality TV aspect that has driven so much of our media this decade, and the absurdist subversion of it all, down pat. And since most scenes were totally stand-alone, the entire film was, in effect, a series of hilarious YouTube videos. And when you think about it, isn't a YouYube video of a fat ugly naked guy running into a room of businessmen titled "this is why Bush sucks" exactly the sort of thing that could be framed and labeled "2000-2009"?

8
Song of the Decade

Dan:

"I'm Sprung" by T-Pain

You might not even be able to think of how this song goes, but it gets distinction as T-Pain's first single, and you DO know T-Pain. Other artists have quietly used auto-tune, but T-Pain was the first to come out as shamelessly pro-auto-tune, using it as a music tool, an instrument in its own right.

In modern pop culture, auto-tune infected everything. It wasn't just T-Pain and his many imitators that noticed. Time wrote about it, Kanye West used it to make his worst album ever, Jay-Z attacked it in a single that firmly established Jay-Z as the Ornery Grandpa [OG] of hip-hop and an entire Internet meme was created based around the idea of auto-tuning things that wouldn't traditionally be auto-tuned.

Don't believe me? Check out the wildly popular Auto Tune the News series, or this catchy jam that's just the result of mixing auto-tune, Carl Sagan and Stephen fucking Hawking. I said "everything." Don't test me on this.

Jack:

"Hey Ya" by Outkast

I figured one of us should pick a song that doesn't suck. This was not a bad decade for music. If anything, technology did more for music than any other form of media besides the infotainment dick joke. We got unauthorized brilliance like the Grey Album and Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," Panda Bear and Radiohead wove sonic soundscapes perfect for our new headphoned listening habits. The Strokes, The White Stripes and The Walkmen made rock and roll sound like a good night out feels: From the invigorating beer buzz, to the lucid shit talking, to the sobering up during a fist-fight.

But Outkast gets my nod for showing us just how awesomely weird the mainstream was willing to get. After hip-hop and rock spent the 90s awkwardly pawing one another to the strains of Limp Bizkit and Korn, Outkast finally made us believe the two most important sounds of the past 40 years might finally get together and make beautiful, weird love.

"Bombs Over Baghdad" tore out of the gate in 2000 with a furious mixture of gospel, hip hop, electric guitar and what an alien abduction might sound like on LSD. But with "Hey Ya," everything seamlessly came together on a dance floor full of people trying to figure out how to shake their ass like a Polaroid picture.

Robert:

"Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer

John Mayer started it with this song. And yes, that is an official statement of blame. If you know anybody that wears two-hundred dollar slacks but no shoes, it is John Mayer's fault. If you know anybody that brings a guitar to a coffee shop instead of a laptop, it is John Mayer's fault. If you've ever had a girlfriend who has asked to see your poetry, and been disgusted when you had none to show, it is John Mayer's fault. If you've ever had diarrhea, it is John Mayer's fault (possibly).

Before John Mayer, if you told somebody their "body was a wonderland" you'd be arrested for sexual harassment and criminal lameness. Half the music in this decade was about the favorite colors of women named Madison and Jennifer, penned by guys who call everybody "friend," and drink Jack and Cokes "for the street cred." And that was all due to the influence of one man. That man is a son of a bitch. His twitter feed is surprisingly funny, but that does not clear him of Son of a Bitch status.

Swaim:

"My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas

Proving everything Borat set out to imply, "My Humps" represents, in my mind, the moment at which a large sector of society decided to say, "You know what? We don't care about ideas, or thought, and we're not ashamed of that. We just want to dance and take E and buy ices and you can shut the hell up about it. Now let us LITERALLY GET RETARDED IN HERE."

I'd call it a brave coming together of the masses, if it didn't make me so achingly angry all the time I'm awake. The lyrics to "My Humps" are pointless, ugly drivel you can shake your ass to, and I think we're in for quite a long spell of that. On the bright side, by covering the song in a way that showed her intellectual superiority to something, Alanis Morissette finally proved she knows what irony is.

David:

"Have you Forgotten?" by Darryl Worley

In a way, we were all country music singers after 9/11, with our flag pins and bumper stickers, hungry to see America kick ass.

By the time this Iraq War anthem came around and literally asked, "Have you forgotten" that Saddam Hussein attacked the World Trade Center, many of us furrowed our brows, stroked our fake Uncle Sam beards and said, "Waaaaait a second...that doesn't quite sound right."

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7
TV Show of the Decade

Jack:

24

From 2000-2009, TV managed to have both its best and worst decade ever. On the bad side: Cable and Network news mislead us into the Iraq War while E! mislead us into believing we gave a shit about reality TV stars. But there was also The Wire, Mad Men, Deadwood and The Sopranos pushing the limits of the medium. Just as "Rubber Soul" and "Pet Sounds" made albums the relevant serving size for pop music in the 60s, these shows pushed TV beyond self contained episodes into season length narratives as involved and intricately detailed as any classic novel you pretended to read in high school.

But it might not have happened if 24 hadn't exploded onto Network TV in 2001, bringing season spanning story arcs and black presidents to the mainstream. It also turned to shit quicker than Survivor turned into The Flavor of Love.

That's why it's the show of the OOs. Like the rest of TV, it managed to be great and unwatchably ridiculous in the same decade.

Robert:

Alias

Alias accomplished a similar feat to Lord of the Rings: It re-introduced the concept of a serial drama to modern pop culture. And it succeeded too, despite decades of our being preconditioned to expect bite-sized entertainment from our televisions where all problems were to be resolved within an hour, and a wacky freeze-frame was considered a cliffhanger.

Alias introduced the concept of a plot that provided questions instead of answers and, just like Lord of the Rings, that proved something great about humanity in the 2000s: That, despite all odds, we can still pay attention for more than 15 minutes at a stretch and, if pressed, can even recall basic information up to one week after taking it in!

It also introduced us to JJ Abrams, who proved with several successive endeavors that he is a creative visionary and genius... for approximately two seasons, after which point he cracks, panics and starts rambling on about magic instead of writing a fucking coherent plotline.

Swaim:

The Daily Show

I still fondly recall the days when I swore I'd never watch The Daily Show again if they replaced the charming and debonair Craig Kilborn with some schlumpy, failed stand-up. And when they got rid of "Five Questions" and replaced it with insightful interviews with political notables, I almost shit a kidney. But eight years later, and I'd call Jon Stewart's contributions to American culture (including providing an initial platform for Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell) some of the most ball-swingingly formidable of the century, while Craig Kilborn mostly just makes me sad.

In a quiet, unassuming way, this guy from the previous generation has become the symbol of many of the things our generation is all about: logic, skepticism and policitcal change through merciless teasing. And the fact that most of our elders call us "the worst generation" for relying on a comedy program for our news, while we call them "the insanest generation" for creating an environment in which a comedy program is one of the more reliable sources of news, seems like one of the more interesting conflicts of the decade.

David:

Flavor of Love

Television, used to having the whole audience pizza to itself, now is clawing for its one remaining piece. The rest has been eaten by home theater (via DVD), ubiquitous video game consoles, social networking on the Internet, streaming video on the Internet and everything else on the Internet.

As a result, television has had to choose between making gold or crap. They can pay top dollar to make shows like Mad Men and hope to cash in on DVD sales, or crank out dirt-cheap reality shows that can turn a profit even with tiny ratings.

Or, they can say "fuck it" and make a show about dating Flavor Flav.

Dan:

The Absence of Shows

There is no doubt that the 2007-2008 writers' strike had a profound effect on television. At 100 days, the strike lasted longer than anyone anticipated and lost an embarrassing amount of money, ($1.5 billion in Los Angeles alone). Good shows that weren't given a proper chance got canceled, storylines for established shows were scrapped and, for a while, the American people had no new shows to watch.

The strike also, for the first time, added Web content into conversations that normally only included television and movies. A bunch of lawyers got together to say what they'd been avoiding for years ("Let's figure out what we're going to do with this fucking Internet thing."). Writers and producers were starting to take the Web seriously as a major content destination. If, in the future, TV and the Internet end up mixing together in some weird, loud, sticky combination of content (and, it will), the Writers' Strike will be looked at as the first of many steps that heavily impact the entertainment industry for years to come.

6
Internet Clip of the Decade

Robert:

"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley.

"Rickrolling" was the most baffling and pointless fad that has ever plagued humanity. It was perpetrated entirely by idiots who mistake non-sequiturs for wit, and confuse wasting their fellow man's time with comedy.

Rickrolling was how people too morbidly obese to put a bucket on top of a door interpreted the prank. Fuck Rickrolling, fuck everybody who's ever sadly tried to pull off a Rickroll and fuck you if you think it was ever funny.

Swaim:

Star Wars Kid

In a lot of ways, "Star Wars Kid" invented viral video. Now, since this is the Internet, I'm positive someone will correct me, but to my mind, this video of a kid flailing around in his garage was the first YouTube clip to spawn many thousands of remixes, re-edits and parodies. It was the first one I heard talked about at the water cooler I frequent (I work from home, so it's mostly just me leaning against it talking to myself), and also the first one I saw referenced on Arrested Development (the single most important cultural index of our time).

Seeing the clip's meteoric rise was the thing that made all of us struggling sketch comedians mutter, "Oh, so you just film yourself being retarded. That's... that's all the effort it takes. Just a cat or a baby or a retarded kid. The world's most exciting new media delivery apparatus is just America's Funniest Home Videos without Saget." And though we've muttered that into our scotch every night since, it's not yet ceased being absolutely true.

David:

"Charlie bit my finger."

A toddler being adorable for 56 seconds, 140-million views. While the Internet sprang to life in the 90s, it was still for the young and the geek. The 2000s was when your mom joined the party.

Now your grandma is your Facebook friend and grandpa has a Twitter feed and you're getting forwarded pictures of adorable animals five times a day.

Dan:

"Two Girls, One Cup."

This is a threshold-crossing moment. We, as the Internet, hit a milestone in desensitization. I'm [fortunately] old enough to remember a time before Internet pornography. My people were raised on Victoria's Secret catalogs, blurred Cinemax porn and episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Sarah Michelle Gellar wore a low-cut tanktop.

If someone would've asked me at 12-years old if I wanted to watch two strange women kiss and eat each other's shit and vomit--and this is important--erotically, I would've said "No" because I, like everyone else at the time, only needed to see at least one boob to be satisfied.

We have now entered a time where not only eating a shit sundae with vomit sauce is considered a sexual act, it's the only sexual act that can elicit a response of any kind. It's the only kind video on the Internet that can make us feel anything anymore.

Jack:

"Boom Goes the Dynamite"

Cringe humor dominated Western comedy with British and American Office's, Borat and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But nobody executed the art of the face plant as well as the Boom Goes the Dynamite kid.

Named for the Sportscenter catch phrase he spits out 90 seconds after it should've been clear that he'd never be allowed near a teleprompter again, he delivers the most hilariously earnest, two minute long word salad captured on film in this or any decade.

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5
Word of the Decade

Swaim:

"Viral"

This word has become so used over the latter half of the decade, I even used it in the preceding section of this article. It's totally gone viral! Plus the avian and swine flus are viruses, so... there's probably something in there.

The fact that our culture is rapidly becoming a phantasmagoria of disparate niches all linked together into a big undulating quilt makes virality the new way to accomplish pretty much anything- from marketing a product to finding an audience.

Our current trend of embracing virality as an ad strategy is, I think, an unspoken admission that the halcyon days of monolithic media conglomerates dictating public opinion is ending. Now we have a bunch of smaller, edgier companies all secretly owned by monolithic media conglomerates.

David:

"Subprime."

We heard it every hour for a year since the financial collapse of 2008. It describes a phenomenon that apparently has a profound effect on all of our lives, but don't bother asking an expert to explain it.

"So they're bad loans that didn't get paid back? I get that, but haven't some people always failed to pay off loans? It never ruined the economy before."

"Yes, but these subprime mortgages were bundled into credit default swaps that were sold as high yield derivatives on the unsecured securities exchange, often leveraged up to three thousand percent of the XG4 rating on the Greenburg Cromulance Scale. It was a ticking time bomb, really."

We're reminded that even in the information age, our lives are utterly ruled by forces we can't begin to comprehend.

Dan:

"Post-9/11."

It's everything. It's an excuse ("We really can't get away with a violent video game like that Post-9/11Post-9/11 climate?), and it almost definitely showed up in a speech if you graduated either high school or college between 2001 and 2010 ("RHS Seniors fucking rule! Especially Post-9/11.) I've even used it as a pick-up line ("In this Post-9/11 environment, if you don't fellate me, the terrorists win. Think of my boner as the first tower, and your mou- Oh, you're already doing it, OK, awesome.").

Everything this decade has been seen through the lens of "life after 9/11," and some douchey Internet writers are even using it in cheap punchlines for stupid articles.

Jack:

Smart

On December 31, 1999, telling someone you had a "smart phone" was like saying your TV had a good sense of humor when Seinfeld was on. Today, the smart phone isn't just a cute nickname. What was considered smart at the beginning of this decade--having an encyclopedia of knowledge on instantaneous recall--has been outsourced to technology.

The transition between the two conflicting definitions: "knowing information" and "being able to process the information that technology knows for you" gave us books and newspaper headlines fretting about the stupidity of a generation raised on the Web.

The conflict had some more effects as well. Malcolm Gladwell (who would have been my pick if we'd wasted a category on trivial bullshit like thinker of the decade) outlined how the two conflicting definitions of "intelligence" played an integral role in the two biggest American disasters of the decade. After it became clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, our go-to excuse seemed to be that had access to loads of information we just didn't know how to interpret. While that might have sounded like a reasonable excuse in 1999, today I can say the same thing about the phone in my pocket.

Robert:

Green.

It used to be a color. Now it means that you're very concerned about the environment, but only to the extent that you'll spend a dollar more on laundry detergent if it has a tree on the bottle.

Before the 2000s, you could be green with illness, green with envy or green with Irish pride, but it is only after the 2000s that you can be green with pretension.

4
Video Game of the Decade

David:

World of Warcraft

It's the Facebook of computer games. With the WoW generation, we're raising the first humans who will have developed two separate personalities by adulthood: one for functioning in real life, the other for an online fantasy world.

It's one thing to join a forum or social network behind a fake name; it's another to exist for hours a day in a fully separate universe with its own, completely separate societal norms, life goals and measures of social status.

Just like the Internet of the 90s, MMORPGs are still for the young and geeky, but it's just a matter of finding one your mom will play. Hey, did you know there are 72-million people playing Farmville right now?

Dan:

Bejeweled, Etc.

World of Warcraft is fine if you love your virginity, and Wii and PS3 are fun if you can spend the money that keeping up with modern gaming requires (and research shows, you can't), but John Q. Public is playing free online games. Scrabulous, Bejeweled and, if you're me, Sporcle, take up absolutely all of your time. These are the games for your old friends, your mom and other non-gamers who refuse to admit they're closet gamers (for now we'll call them "the mainstream").

It's interesting that, for all the money spent on developing new Halo games and perfecting new systems, more people than ever are excited about playing free games that lack all of the fancy bells and whistles that modern games obsess over. Or, at least I think it'd be interesting if I wasn't so busy taking this extensive quiz on Simpsons characters.

Jack:

Fantasy Sports

The Wii got a lot of credit for bringing gaming to grandparents--not a long road to walk when you consider how grumpy and complacent old people are to begin with.

Fantasy got the last geek hold outs--sports fans--to embrace a form of online gaming as time consuming and nerdy as WoW, complete with a name that made women think you spent your free time playing two hand touch in a Gandalf costume.

Robert:

Grand Theft Auto III

We take the presence of moral ambiguity and sandbox-style gameplay for granted nowadays, but that's only because in 2001, GTA III came out. It was the Braveheart of video games; for the first time in our lives, it showed us what "freedom" truly meant. When you first booted up GTA III, it took you a few minutes to realize that you could actually walk in any direction you wanted.

We were so accustomed to pseudo-3D trickery--where invisible walls and cleverly textured backgrounds gave the false impression of immersive space--that we never stopped and realized how astoundingly restrictive that was. "We can go left," we whispered in awe, and we spent the next 20 hours just wandering the streets in a daze, giddy with the liberty of it all.

Then we found out about the hookers, and it was like we saw the face of God.

Seriously: GTA III finally made it OK to have sluts in games, and we did so all throughout the 2000s. If the presence of whores continues increasing at this exponential rate, by 2020 gaming will be little more than a vast skank simulator, by 2030 it will be naught but a giant virtual vagina that you fill with your credit card information, and by 2040 it will become self aware...

Swaim:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

A big part of me wants to say Dance Dance Revolution, for being the first "unusually-shaped controller beat game" to break into the mainstream, therefore paving the way for Guitar Hero, Rock Band, et al. But since that observation is basically all I wanted to say on the topic, I'll go ahead and choose Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, because you don't get to gut terrorists in DDR (although you totally should).

I'm not interested in CoD because of the controversial aspect, at least not in the conventional "video games are evil" vs. "you're a moron" terms. I'm just interested in the seemingly inevitable creation of a World War III game so realistic and so lifelike that players start to develop PTSD after an Afghanistan speed run.

I mean, at what point does "strangling the life out of a photorealistic man and feeling the controller jerk in my hands as he struggles to free his collapsed trachea" become creepy? And I say that as someone who spent a day only running over pregnant ladies in GTA III.

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3
Gadget of the Decade

Dan:

The Nintendo Wii

The graphics sort of make all the humans look like a bunch of brightly colored turds with sharp edges and hard angles, but the Wii is the funnest and easiest-to-use gaming system on the planet. As a result, non-gamers and former gamers and, hell, your grandparents are using it.

Last year, we said that the spread of gaming into the mainstream meant that the geeks were taking over. We were wrong; this means the end of geeks as we know it. By coming up with fun, easy-to-master games, the Wii is appealing to a much broader market. They've shown that you can make a gaming system that will sell to everyone. How long do you think Sony and Microsoft will hold out when they realize they've only be conquering a fraction of the market they could have conquered?

Also, if you grew up when I grew up, you were either a Sega or a Nintendo kid. Lines were drawn in the sand. Mario led one faction and Sonic led another, and who you followed said a whole lot about your character. There was no gray area, it was Nintendo, Sega or death.

Today, I can play Sonic the Hedgehog on my Nintendo Wii. It's the end of an era, ladies and gentlemen.

Jack:

iPhone

The iPhone symbolized everything that was both great and discretely evil about Apple.

It simplified life by putting everything you needed in one gadget, while force feeding you Apple Approved Apps and Luke Wilson Approved cell phone carriers, actively resisting open source innovation at every turn. Hell, the first model could only be used with Apple Approved headphones, and was priced to deliberately screw over the people who waited in lines to buy it.


Not that we could pick a better group to screw over.

Sure, Apple made the best gadget of the decade, but the more they cornered the market, the more the self-empowered iNames sounded like cynical misdirection.

Robert:

iPod

If somebody told you a decade ago that you would be carrying around every single album you ever owned in your pocket, you'd burn them as a witch (you guys are probably too young to remember, but we were pretty into immolatin' hags back in the 90s. Witch-burning and grunge; that was our bag).

Thanks to the iPod, music became a constant for everyday life in the 2000s. But more importantly, it popularized the idea of digital distribution. The iPod didn't just kill off and replace a previous medium--like cassettes killed 8-tracks, or DVDs killed VHS--they killed off the entire concept of media needing a physical copy. Admittedly, that death is still ongoing (DVDs and CDs are still around) but the end is near.

Maybe physical media didn't actually die this decade, but the iPod definitely shot it in the back, and now it's just hanging around--giggling and clapping its hands--watching it bleed out.

Swaim:

Dolly the sheep, TiVo

It's a toss-up between TiVo and Dolly. But really, they're similar inventions, both designed to allow the user to recreate and re-experience activity that occurred in the past. Also to let you skip past all the boring commercials constantly playing on your sheep.

And both effectively ended eras and started new ones. TiVo put conventional television advertising on the road to obsolescence, thereby giving rise to all the viral marketing I was so clearly dissecting earlier. And Dolly officially ended the era of humanity where we try to pretend we don't play God. I mean, yes, cloning is still taboo, but it's done. It's happened. Does anyone doubt a human clone will exist now, at some point in the future?

As computing power starts to level off because of physical limitations on the atomic level and the fact that most people don't NEED an eight-core 9MhZ CPU with exhaust ports jutting out of the plasma-core, biotech will become a place smart people can go to make real technological progress. I guess what I'm saying is: LOBSTER PEOPLE.

David:

The Bluetooth

Sure, human interaction changed forever with the cell phone, when suddenly it became polite to ignore the person you were at dinner with to take a call from somebody a hundred miles away. But at least we were familiar with phones and knew what it meant when the person was holding one up to their head. But with the Bluetooth headset, you can be looking a dude right in the eyes, and mentally he's elsewhere. You don't know. That uncertainty will define human interaction over the next century, as we get everything from data overlays in our contact lenses to wifi connections in our skulls.

The future is a room packed with people, each one experiencing a completely separate reality from the rest. You're trying to break bad news to a friend, he's looking over your shoulder at porn only he can see.

2
Miscellaneous of the Decade

Jack:

Comic Book Sound Effect of the Decade: "Crash."

The 80s had Wham! and the 90s were full of booming stock markets, thanks to America's dependency ratio finally hitting the sweet spot of the baby boom. As we drove our SUVs into the new millennium with bass booming from the trunks, everyone waited for Y2K to lower the boom on us.

Instead shit got real almost immediately as giant waves crashed in Thailand and planes crashed into buildings in New York and DC. For the first time, America responded to a national tragedy by going online for updates, crashing CNN.com in the process. By the time the markets crashed a few years ago, everyone longed for the days when headlines didn't sound so realistically chaotic.

Culturally, a movie titled Crash demonstrated how far apart critics and audiences were for most of the decade when it became possibly the least watched movie to ever win the Best Picture Oscar. Kanye West became a star with a song about a car crash. But we weren't really interested in musicians unless they were impersonating slow motion train crashes, a trend Kanye was able to stay out in front of by crashing awards show stages.

Robert:

Robert Brockway of the decade:

...Daniel O'Brien.

What?! This is bullshit! It's rigged. All this crap is friggin' rigged! Fuck your corrupt, bourgeoisie competition! Down with the reigning elite! Down with the editorial staff and their stupid, exclusive year-end picks where only the ruling class is allowed to particip-

Wait... why am I on this article? Am I an editor now? I am?! Holy shit!

Nevermind about all that revolutionary garbage. The editors are infallible; the editors are benevolent; the editors are your gods.

Swaim:

Most Conspicuously Missing Category of the Decade: Books

I'm fairly certain Wong will use this as yet another forum to plug his book, but apart from that, I think this is probably the first decade countdown list where you wouldn't even think to discuss the literature that came out. That's ten whole years of books apparently having no impact on us at all. Wow.

Studies I won't bother linking to have shown that globally, reading is increasing, but less and less of that time is spent reading books. What with a Facebook wall, Twitter feed, texts, blogs and stupid comedy lists to read every day, most of us have reached our word limit by the time we go cruising the library for sad-looking women. I don't think books will ever really "die," but aside from anti-books like Twilight and Anna Nicole Smith biographies, they're certainly not hogging the spotlight these days.

David:

Horror Novel I Wrote of the Decade: John Dies at the End.

Has any novel so perfectly embraced the role modern horror plays in our culture, specifically, the ability for me to buy gas for my car?

Dan:

Person of the Decade: Tila Tequila.

I know, I hate her too. But listen: According to recent studies, more children today than ever before aspire to be celebrities. Not actors, or artists or entrepreneurs, mind you, but celebrities, and all the vague nonsense that that implies.

Meanwhile, with the rise of blogs and Twitters and social media, more people than ever before are succumbing to an aggravating kind of narcissism that promotes the idea that everyone has something important to say, that people care about what you have to say, even if what you have to say is total and complete bullshit. Go to Facebook. You've got six-million fucking people all addressing an audience that isn't even there. So, what happens when you cross our decade's "desire to be famous" with its sense of narcissistic entitlement? Tila Tequila.

The first celebrity of the decade who is, somewhat paradoxically, only famous because she's famous. Finding out how she became famous is like one of those chicken and egg things, except the chicken is a brainless Internet-tramp who took her clothes off for attention. Also the egg is, too.

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Photo of the Decade

Robert:

Swaim:

David:

Dan:

Jack:

Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.

Be sure to check out the most glaring list the guys missed: The Top 10 Secret Celebrity Scientologists. Or check out the top articles from this year.

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