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Recently, Time named the 00s the worst decade ever. This is clearly ridiculous when you consider their comparison set includes decades featuring things like "The Atmosphere is Made of Pure Sulfur" and "Romans Fed My Hippie Flesh to a Fucking Lion." But what if we narrow the criteria to the last 100 years, instead: 1910-2009. How would the 00s stack up? Would the 20s kick its goofy ass? Could it travel back in time like Marty McFly and give the 50s a massive wedgie? We'll see, as we count down the top 10 decades of the century, in ascending order:

10
The 1930s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

The literature: The Hobbit, Of Mice and Men, The Big Sleep, all classics. Whereas the 00s have Twilight, The Da Vinci Code and He's Just Not That Into You. Politically, FDR kicked so much ass his legs stopped working, and he still rolled his way to three more terms, making him possibly the most beloved president ever. We, on the other hand, had this guy:

What Was Worse?

Well, there was that whole Great Depression, where millions of people ate bread made out of dirt and stabbed each other for an opportunity to pick peas 12-hours a day at 10 cents an hour. In the years immediately following 2001, everybody worried about some sort of economical apocalypse. Well, it pretty much happened in the 30s. And that's not even taking into account the dissolution of the League of Nations, the Rise of the Nazi Party and the appeasement of said party by Neville Chamberlain leading to WWII starting. From the starvation to the pre-cursor of the holocaust, the 1930s really buckled down and earned their place as the worst decade of the century. They even beat that decade with the hippies, so you know that's saying something. Speaking of...

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9
The 1960s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

I'm sure a lot of you are up in arms right now. After all, the 60s saw the best house party in the world happen in upstate New York, while some of the biggest advancements in civil rights unfolded down South after interesting ideas regarding public seating proved to be successful. This one pastor gave a couple really cool speeches, including one about climbing mountains, and another about lucid dreaming. And women, inspired by all this social upheaval, asserted their rights by removing their bras and throwing them in the trash in the name of feminism, becoming the only public protest in the 60s where men with hoses would have actually improved the situation.

What Was Worse?

So what the fuck am I thinking, right? Well, let's look at what happened to all those beautiful dreams: A) They turned out to be wildly unrealistic because the world was still ass-backwards at the time and B) the dreamers got filled with bullets and bled out in front of a national audience. John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers: The 60s had a real boner for just up and shooting optimists. The 00s threw shoes and did walk-by smack talk. I'm pretty certain Dr. King would rather have dodged a Doc Marten (the official shoe of racism) or two than gotten shot to death.

And if Iraq was largely deemed an unjust action, Vietnam was a soul-rending clusterfuck of epic proportions. Trust in our government didn't just erode in the 60s, it completely imploded. And on top of all that, everyone assumed the Russians were going to melt our eyeballs out of our skulls with atomic rainfire at any minute. So what was the government's idea of reassurance? Telling us climb under a goddamn desk. The 00s gave birth to the meme "(insert name here) raped my childhood," but the 60s shoved a rocket launcher up the ass of innocence and pulled the trigger until it went "click."

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8
The 1910s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

The art was pretty stunning. Picasso, Matisse and Duchamp got the world used to accepting hilarious pretension and babyish douchebaggery on a massive scale, just so long as the art was sufficiently mind-bending. And we couldn't even call these people mercurial fuckups with severe depressive disorders, because nobody knew what that was: Medicine was still in the stage where doctors prescribed a teener of coke for a toothache. So we just shrugged and said, "Sure, he's acting quite peculiar, but look! He drew the nose where the ear should go, and the eyes are on the chin... HE IS CLEARLY A GENIUS!"

What Was Worse?

The Great War isn't brought up much anymore, mostly because it's harder to mythologize than it's "Great" nephew. It was uglier, filthier and nastier than WWII and, in the end, it didn't even really fix anything. In fact, it acted more like the fuse on a timebomb set to go off in the mid-30s--a bomb that would eventually lead to the rise of Hitler. While the modern world pisses their pampers over the Swine Flu and its horrifying payload of "feeling uggy" and "slightly puky," the Spanish Flu killed up to 100-million people in two years. The October Revolution killed 20-million, deposed the Tsar and installed a communist dictatorship in its place that enjoyed a decades-long reign until Patrick Swayze and C. Thomas Howell punched it in the balls in Red Dawn, thus ending the Cold War forever (Thanks, Swayze!).

Also, a ship sank in the Atlantic. There's a movie about it, I guess.

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7
The 2000s

What Was OK?

The overwhelming sense of unity and goodwill that most of the free world shared shortly after 9/11 was fantastic. Science got awesome again: We bombed the moon and found water, built a bunch of robots to fight wars for us and they haven't risen up to claim our flesh for their own (yet). We finally edged closer to the future the Jetsons have always promised us with hi-def TVs that hang on walls like paintings, touchscreen personal communication devices, electric (but not flying) cars and video games. Politically and socially, the 2000s made a couple leaps nobody expected: Barack Obama got elected. Whether you agree with the man's politics or not, virtually nobody expected a black man to make it into the White House for at least another 20 years. Also, gay people were allowed in some states to practice the soul-eroding, dispiriting and grueling tradition of marriage, which they somehow regarded as a huge win.

What Sucked Hard?

Terrorists suicide bombing the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, and the U.S. never catching the guy who paid for the attacks, even though the motherfucker lives in depleted cave rubble and is tied to a dialysis machine like Dr. Venture. The Earth also went apeshit and decided to go after the humans crawling its crust like a dog gnawing at a flea-bitten patch of mangy fur: Cyclones in Myanmar, The Boxing Day Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Rita combined to turn New Orleans into a backed up toilet.

Other things that were mostly ruined include:

The Economy (Global Recession)
Comedy (Carlos Mencia, Larry the Cable Guy)
Star Wars (The Prequels)
Sex (Furries)
Italian-American culture (New Jersey)
Basic Communication (texting/comments sections/you're shits all retarded nd u talk like a fag)

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6
The 1970s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

The Vietnam War finally ended, and ended definitively. The Movie Brats took over Hollywood and, with all respect to the 30s and 40s, were responsible for the single best decade in American movie history. Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, Scorsese, Carpenter, Friedkin, De Palma and more took their film degrees and somehow conned Hollywood into handing a bunch of bearded nerds the keys to the kingdom. They made some of the most adventurous studio system films ever produced. And that's just at the high-minded end of the scale; in the gutters of low culture, the splatter-flick and exploitation cinema unapologetically wallowed in gore and zero social redemption, making people like Quentin Tarantino possible ... for whatever that's worth.

What Was Worse?

Goddamn we were ugly as hell. Everything about the decade was covered in an orangey/brown sheen, from RVs, to Station Wagons, Butterfly Collars and Paisley print Pants. The women all looked like Charlie Chaplin with an eagle molting on top of their heads, and the men were swarthy bags of chest hair barely contained in a periwinkle leisure suit. We roller-skated unironically, for the love of Christ.

The 70s were littered with psychotics: Jim Jones ruined Kool-Aid's sterling reputation in Jonestown; Idi Amin ate his enemies; Pinochet got a little help from the CIA to become dictator of Chile; Pol Pot inspired the Dead Kennedys to become impromptu travel agents; and Black September turned the '72 Olympics into a nightmare of anti-Israeli terrorism.

And then there was Nixon.

Nixon dragged his big-ass feet getting the troops out of Vietnam, and of course, famously quit due to Watergate, thus damaging America in a multitude of ways; detonating what shred of faith we had left in the government after the 60s, and guaranteeing that anytime any celebrity does ANYTHING wrong, our idiot media will tack the suffix "-gate" to the end of it.

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5
The 1950s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

Call it superficial, but holy shit we looked good in the 50s. Of course, this was also the decade where America perfected silent repression, but what better way to bottle up all those frustrated emotions than with a smart fedora and a gray flannel suit? It's easy to be a conformist when it makes all men look like Don Draper and all women look like Joan Holloway.

Rock and Roll scared the hell out of the world, while Rhythm and Blues sat back and nodded at the carnage with a slick smile on its face. We bought TV dinners and hula-hooped and dreamed of going to an actual Magic Kingdom that the Mouse-Guy put in southern California. But that was nothing compared to the opening of our skulls by Science Fiction. The genre never was as alive or as respected as it was in the 50s, partially due to the optimism and "Golly-Gee-Whiz" attitude of your typical American, and partially because we had no way to gauge how cheesy and corny some of these stories really were. Giant, rampaging Lizard Things farting atomic fire? Malevolent, giant ant swarms? Martians with fishbowls on their heads falling before the might of superhero scientists with iron jaws and perfect teeth clenching a corncob pipe with Patricia Neal clinging to his calves? Fuck yes, said the 50s, we'll take seconds, please.

What Was Worse?

Over 30,000 Americans died trying to fix things for Korea, and by the time the conflict was halted, nothing was (again) really resolved. The conflict also ensured the eventual rise to power of Kim Jong-Il- the bespectacled, malignant, non-sexual equivalent of Prince. Joe McCarthy was also busy getting his Salem Witch Trials on in the Senate. People think Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are bad, but their combined Wonder Douche powers would be but a dim glimmer in the white hot glare of titanic asshattery Joe McCarthy perpetrated on America's sanity.

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4
The 1980s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

Peace broke out on a global scale: the Berlin Wall fell, the Cold War ended after Gorbachev decided that the decades-long dick measuring contest had gotten old and Superman threw all the world's nuclear weapons into the sun so we wouldn't have to worry about World War III ever again.

So why did everyone stop with the communism and start playing nice with America? MTV. Back when it played music videos, there was no better way to indoctrinate the world with our stubbled, sportscoated, no-socks-havin' cool than to let people watch Duran Duran videos for 24-hours a day. Everyone wanted to eat cheeseburgers, ride purple motorcycles in acidwash jeans and the moonwalk was the entire world's preferred method of locomotion. America was crazy and drunk on its own culture, dancing topless with a lampshade on its head, and everyone wanted to hit that ridiculous shit.

What Was Worse?

A lot of our crap broke at really inopportune moments: Chernobyl melted down, the Challenger blew up and the Exxon Valdez vomited black gold all over the Alaskan coast. Also, we weren't all that nice to gay people. The gay community wasn't exactly welcomed with open arms in previous decades, but homophobia was never as mainstream as it was in the 80s. The popularization of the term "gay" as a negative happened here, casually ostracizing "fags" right out in the open much like our grandparents would casually drop the N-word without so much as a change in pulse. There were advances made for the cause, but the President basically ignored AIDS for the entirety of his two terms, opting instead to focus on the futile "War on Drugs" that needlessly overcrowded prisons and kneecapped the justice system. The War conveniently ignored the cokeheads buttfucking the stock market like Patrick Bateman (but without even the basic courtesy to lay down some Visqueen first,) but that's all right because Reagan was like the Picasso of the corporate bailout. Obama might as well be fingerpainting with his own turds in comparison.

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3
The 1920s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

Women finally got the right to vote. Black people not so much, but the Harlem Renaissance exploded on the scene, unleashing Nora Zeale Hurston and Langston Hughes on an unsuspecting public. White writers got their drunken funk on too: Henry Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway drastically changed the face of fiction and became legendary figures in and of themselves, setting a bar for two-fisted, naked masculinity that most pencil-neck typewriter addicts would give their left nut to approach. Hemingway was slaughtering bulls off a fifth of rum in his free time. Meanwhile in the 00s, James Frey is getting cuckolded on Oprah for making up a memoir to sell to couch-bound hausfraus.

The 20s were also the first decade in American history where more people lived in the city than in the country. History will say this had something to do with the amazing growth of industry, but it was really because the 20s are when America learned how to fucking party. The war was over and money was rolling in, so we got dolled up, hit the club, danced like maniacs and got blitzed like 1940s Britain. There was a metamorphosis that occurred in the 20s, a solidification of America's identity, and a cutting loose that resulted in one of the most vibrant artistic periods in American history. We were simply too rich, too happy and too drunk to really pay attention to anything else. The hangover of the 30s was a motherfucker, but the party was almost worth it.

What Was Worse?

Prohibition: One of America's biggest failed social experiments. But in keeping with the overall tone of the 20s, even that turned into a party. Little kids play cops and robbers to this day because of the way the 20s mythologized criminals. It's easier to have a heart for the bad guy when he's the one responsible for getting your goddamned whiskey after a hard day's work. Nevertheless, America's major problems with organized crime, and all the heartless, cold-blooded murders that went along with it, started here, all thanks to prohibition. And like any proper rager, it all ended abruptly and severely. The 20s came to a horrific close on Black Tuesday, when the stock market crashed, and it was raining men on Wall Street. The failure was so complete and so devastating that it took the worst war the world has ever known to restart the economy.

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2
The 1990s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

We got rich, bitch! The decade began with a recession, and ended with the biggest surplus in American history. Personal incomes doubled over the course of the decade, and the DOW topped 10,000 for the first time in recorded history. Apartheid finally ended in South Africa, and Nelson Mandela was set free and made leader of his country. Germany unified, and the Soviet Union finally broke apart. Hell, even Ireland finally agreed to stop bombing the hell out of itself, and just got bombed at the pub instead.

What Was Worse?

For as ugly as the 70s were, at least it was earth-toned and relatively subdued. The 90s were full of day-glo vomit that people proudly wore with no irony. We were fanny-packed and heat-activated; we wore condoms on our backwards Starter jerseys and kept the tags on our Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls so everybody would know just how much we'd be willing to pay to look like an extra from a Will Smith video.

The World Trade Center got bombed, Oklahoma City got bombed, The Unabomber became a punchline on Jay Leno and yet we were still concerned more with Bill Clinton's dick and Jennifer Aniston's hair. In a similar lapse of good taste, the reality show jammed its foot in the door of public consciousness, thus legitimizing fame-whoring for the sake of fame-whoring and suddenly making blowjobs a legitimate qualification for stardom (we're looking at you, Paris Hilton. Which is probably all you've ever wanted, come to think of it).

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1
The 1940s

What Was Better Than the 00s?

WWII.

"Wait," you might say, "that was a giant WAR. There was a Holocaust, atomic bombs--people MELTED, man."


It was a different time.

All true, but as far as U.S. involvement goes, it was justified. And we won. WWII is basically the reason people still like America, even after Michael Bay made Pearl Harbor. The war also gave us legends like Eisenhower, MacArthur and Patton. WWII could apply for a patent on masculinity and it would be granted. But when you get down to it, any decade that features a bullet entering Hitler's head is a great decade.

What Was Worse?

Stalin was kind of a monumental dick. The aforementioned Holocaust clearly sucked. Also the war that claimed the lives of millions upon millions of young men and women fighting against the worst crimes man has ever attempted to perpetrate on his fellow man. But mostly the 40s sucked because the soldiers that did come home immediately started banging their wives like rabbits on a strict Cialis diet. That doesn't sound like such a negative... until you realize that their children became the insufferable hippies of the 60s, the Junk Bond trading vampires of the 80s and, finally, the confused, worthless old farts wearing teabags on their liver-spotted, croaking, froglike faces in the 00s. But still, we can probably forgive all that; because without the influence of the Greatest Generation, Indiana Jones would have nobody to fight and roughly half the first person shooters ever made would be oddly anti-climactic. Plus there was that whole "saving the world" thing, too.

So there you go: The 40s were probably the best decade of the century, and while the 00s weren't exactly the prettiest girl at the dance, at least they weren't the buck-toothed, acne-scarred, she-male suckin' dick for bus-fare behind the gym like the 30s.

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