Trends of the 2000s

The fads and habits that this faux-goth, ultra-green, cougar-filled decade brought upon us.

PHOTO COURTESY DARA KUSHNER/INF

PHOTO COURTESY DARA KUSHNER/INF

Rebecca Lang

1. Commercialized angst In the âÄô90s, angst was somewhat sincere. Kurt Cobain’s music made it cool, and his tragic death made it all too real. Then at the end of the decade, âÄúAmerican BeautyâÄù proved that rich white people could feel bad for themselves and be taken seriously for it. But once Good Charlotte began spinning on everyone’s Walkman and Hot Topic (now a successful public stock with the ticker HOTT ) opened its doors, suddenly kids in all 50 states were cutting themselves and wearing ironic Rainbow Brite wristbands to hide the wounds. 2. Food yuppieness When Americans have to solve a problem, we think, âÄúHow can I solve this by eating?âÄù Thus, the green movement led to localvores, pesticide-phobics and worshippers of the organic. But before subscribing to the religion of yuppie eating, keep in mind what activist Raj Patel told GQ: âÄúOur snobbery makes us think that low-income people canâÄôt possibly enjoy food the way we do, as if their taste buds have been ruined by McDonaldâÄôs.âÄù 3. The end of privacy When âÄúSouth ParkâÄù depicted Britney Spears as a beheaded camel toe killed by paparazzi, it became disturbingly evident that privacy was dead. Celebrities might hate being captured in poses âÄúJust like us!âÄù but our generation has found benefits to sacrificing privacy. Twitter and Facebook may get a few athletes busted for dishing their weekend antics, but as Facebook exec Mark Zuckerberg pointed out, social networking creates a more accepting society that’s willing to confront reality. 4. Hot aging: Rise of the cougar There is hope for the world: It’s possible to age and still be hot. No longer do women need to turn 40 and chop off their hair and move their social life to craft sales. Now they can take Capoeira and date Justin Timberlake. 5. Quirkiness Wes Anderson (see best films) is this decade’s priest in the path of the quirk, with his legions of films featuring plenty of well-detailed and styled oddballs, colorful Futura fonts and plenty of charming neuroses. Then there was Diablo Cody’s âÄúJuno âÄú and her brand of slang-filled Cody-speak and Kimya Dawson (see best albums) story-singing soundtrack. But hey, in the land of 10 million McDonalds, a little idiosyncrasy doesn’t hurt. 6. Nostalgia 2.0 Nostalgia literally means âÄúhomesickness ,âÄù but in our culture it means, âÄúYou liked âÄòRecessâÄô too? Let’s be best friends and reminisce.âÄù Now that the Internet is archiving every facet of culture that can be digitally captured, all the media from our childhoods will soon be streaming from sites like Fancast.com, and no episode of âÄúBeverly Hills, 90210âÄù will be forgotten. 7. Product placement The invention of TiVo got advertisers nervous that commercials would be fast-forwarded through, and a shot of Beyoncé (see hot list) talking about hair dye might be missed. Content slowly packed up and moved into shows. Then âÄú30 RockâÄù was born to make fun of product placement while still cashing in on it. 8. The âÄúregular guyâÄù Thanks, Seth Rogen ; it’s now cool to eat too many Hostess products and smoke pot all the time. Judd Apatow, the man who penned everything from âÄúFunny PeopleâÄù to âÄúKnocked UpâÄù (see best films) is probably the real superhero of the âÄúregular guy.âÄù The acceptance of how men are beneath their James Bond gallant exteriors is most likely also connected to trend No. 3. 9. Prescription drugs Listen closely children. There used to be something called a personality. Some people were moody, some angry, some studious, some hyper. Attention deficit disorder used to be called boredom, and happiness used to be found by fulfillment rather than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Imagine the barbarism! For more info, watch âÄúGarden State.âÄù 10. âÄúRealityâÄù Despite all post-enlightenment philosophers who question the idea of shared experience or concrete meanings, it took shitty television for the word âÄúrealityâÄù to gain the quotes that surround it. Hopefully this trend won’t carry into the next decade now that the Internet allows for selective watching, as opposed to the passive tuning into whatever’s on. Let’s not bring Bret Michaels into the next decade.