Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Oldies of the Zeroes

What songs of this decade will become classics?

2000:

Who Let The Dogs Out: This annoying song is already a minor classic
Breathe - Faith Hill: This song will probably become played in the commercials of the 2020s (if indeed there still are commercials then)
The Real Slim Shady - Eminem: A nostalgic reference point for Eminem, circa 2020
Southside - Moby: A 2000 hit made in 1999. Again, will be played to death in commercials in the tens and twenties.

2001:

Fat Lip - Sum 41: an Emo classic
Butterfly - Crazy Town: classic cheese
Toxicity - System of a Down


2002:

The Anthem - Good Charlotte: crappy emo pop
How You Remind Me - Nickelback: very generic, but good '00s rock song

2003:

Headstrong - Trapt: Corny numetal ("I see you're full of SHIT, but that's alright")
In Da Club - 50 Cent: This decade's Billie Jean?
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service: A neo-wave classic. Everything does look perfect from far away.
Tipsy - J-Kwon: A token example of cheesy glam rap

2004:

Toxic - Britney Spears/Pieces of Me - Ashlee Simpson: Token examples of dirrrty pop
Yeah! - Usher: The "Take on Me" of the Zeroes? Uggh, I hope not.
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand: Ahh, British indie rock. Good stuff.
American Idiot/Holiday - Green Day: The band of the Nineties becomes the band of the Zeroes by bashing Bush. That's so '00s.
This Love/She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5: Both of these songs are very "adult" '00s music. Great band by the way.

2005:

Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani - I don't care how much "We Belong Together" was played, this was the most popular song of '05, and is more '00s
How We Do - The Game - Corny '00s glam rap
Grillz - Nelly - The downfall of bling bling?
Sugar, We're Goin' Down - The rock song of 2005. Emo was huge this year.

2006:

You're Beautiful - James Blunt

I don't think any other songs of this year deserve any "potential classic" nominations yet.

The Late '00s

What are the late '00s?

Depending on your definition, the late '00s can be:

2005-2009
September 2006 - December 2009
2007-2009

What will they be about?

March 2006 is the mid '00s, but in the latter half of the decade. We will probably never get any further into this decade, pop-culturally speaking.

2007 and 2008 will be changeful years, most likely. The faux late '90s culture that has contiued so long will finally start mixing with a culture that points towards the Tens.

2009 will be a real change year; it will probably still seem like the Zeroes, but there will be a significant backlash against this silly decade. By 2012, we will probably have a new pop culture, but then again who knows.

In 2008 the United States will be dominated by the Presidential Election. We may or may not get our first woman president.

I predict that a major terrorist attack, smaller than 9/11 but in the same magnitude of severity will occur sometime in 2006. Also, civil war in Iraq will be officially declared, greatly undermining the reputation of the Bush Administration to almost guarantee Democratic victory in 2008.

Toward the end of the Zeroes, the Internet will take a huge step in advancement.

This all may seem far off, but 2007 is less than two years from now, and the new decade less than four years. Let's hope this decade ends on a happy note.

Is the Cinema dying?

Everytime I go to the movies, unless I'm attending a popular remake the theater is almost empty. How did such a big thing become so passe in a matter of mere years?
There are probably multiple factors to the decline of the box office. For one thing, movies in the '00s just suck. 2005 was probably a crappy movie year primarily because there were no more Lord of the Rings books to milk. The end of the year was saved only because of Chronicles of Narnia.
Another reason the box office is suffering (arguably, dying) is the proliferation of home video. Many people, it seems will only go out to see their very favorite movies, and will either buy other movies on DVD after they're released or will download them off the Internet.
Also, the general quality of the theater has declined greatly in recent decades. Food prices are rape, the previews are often half an hour long and the theatres tend to be dirty.
I don't think the cinema will die until home theater systems (and I'm not talking 4-foot screens, I'm talking 10-foot screens) become commonplace and cheap in the home, if that indeed ever happens. Just like the experience of going out to eat can't be replaced by eating at home, watching a DVD on a big-screen TV can not replace the experience of going out to the movies.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I Heart The '00s: 2001

Can't get enough Zeroes? Do you still have that Barry Bonds bobblehead that you keep trying to throw away?

Okay, Ja Rule, take those iPod earphones out; this is I Heart the '00s: 2001!

Ah, 2001: the first "real" year of the Zeroes. '01 was the year everything went South. America got a shrub for a president. The boy bands finally died, but something equally bad came in their place: glam rappers. Bling bling bling. And of course, many people tragically died on September 11.
2001 wasn't all bad though. My favorite movie, Donnie Darko was released in '01. The numetal trend was still producing good music in '01.


Trends in 2001:

The iPod: Was released in '01, although I didn't note its existence until 2004 or '05.

Lord of the Rings: The first LOTR movie, The Fellowship of the Ring came out at the end of 2001, sparking a new wave of Tolkien mania.

Harry Potter mania continues with the Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone movie.

The Music of '01:

Sum 41 - Fat Lip: One of the first popular emo songs. This song was everywhere.

Staind: This popular post-grunge band was everywhere in 2001.

Hanging By A Moment - Lifehouse: Man, boring grunge rock was huge in 2001!

Fallin' - Alicia Keys - This girl broke out big time in 2001.

R&B singer Aaliyah dies. :(

Ja Rule is very popular.

Thank You - Dido: Very popular, um, electronica song?

Ride Wit Me - Nelly: Nellymania continues into 2001, and unfortunately to the present day (as of 2006)

Ms. Jackson - Rare in the Zeroes: an awesome song in the charts.

Butterfly - Crazy Town: Huge guilty pleasure song.

System of a Down were huge this year.

Movies of 2001:

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: see above

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone: see above

Shrek - One of the first "Zeroes" '00s movies. As great as it was, I can't help but think that the now-nonexistent Dreamworks company was just trying to capitalize off Pixar's success

The Mummy Returns - Cheesy Movie of 2001

Ocean's Eleven - Great, fun movie.

Planet of The Apes: A classic worthless '00s remake.

Pearl Harbor - Never saw this, but it was very popular.

This was I Heart the '00s: 2001, but before you go:

ZEROES TRIVIA:

Q: Who played Frodo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring?

A: Elijah Wood!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Those Annoying Hipsters

The Hipster is probably one of the worst plagues upon '00s culture. How does listening to crappy lo-fi music make you have better taste?
I don't care how many "Boogie Nights" lines you know, you're not Einstein. And making money and ACTUALLY BEING A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST does not automatically mean you've "sold out". Yes, the trendoids are tards, they're HUGE tards, but guess what: SO ARE YOU.
Hey you, YOU ... stop drinking your microbrew and LISTEN TO ME. Your Bright Eyes CD does not make you SMART. Stop pretending you're cool and go play some Dungeons and Dragons, nerd.

I Heart The '00s: 2000

What was the year 2000 about?

The year 2000 was either the last year of the 20th Century or the first year of the 21st Century, depending on whether you're using the Gregorian calendar or Astronomical Years.

In a more abstract way, it was the end of the innocence. Clinton was still our president, Bratz dolls were not yet introduced, and it was still (relatively) easy to get on a plane.

Pop culturally, 2000 was more or less a part of the late 1990s, although Zeroes icons Survivor, Eminem, Britney Spears, and Nelly were all around by 2000, and the earliest examples of emo and bling bling can be traced back to 1999 and 2000.

Top 10 Songs of 2000:

1. Breathe - Faith Hill

This song was everywhere. Country was huge in the year 2000.

2. Smooth - Santana

A 1999 song that stretched well into the 2000 charts. This song was probably bigger than Breathe, but is only #2 because it began charting in 1999.

3. Say My Name, Destiny's Child

These girls were huge during the 1999-2001 period. By 2002ish it was all about Beyonce.

4. I Wanna Know, Joe

Is there a more stereotypical R&B song than this?

5. Everything You Want, Vertical Horizon

I don't remember this song, although I remember Vertical Horizon.

6. Maria Maria, Santana

The companion to "Smooth".

7. Bent, Matchbox Twenty

Don't remember this song.

8. Amazed, Lonestar

Country. Bleh.

9. I Knew I Loved You, Savage Garden

Backstreet Boy wannabes from Aussie or Kiwi.

10. He Wasn't Man Enough, Toni Braxton

Don't remember this song.

The Movies of 2000:

Mission: Impossible II: Didn't see this.

Gladiator: Everybody raved about this movie. Never saw it, heard it wasn't that great.

Cast Away: I did see this one. One word: Wilson!

What Woman Want: I'm a man, didn't see it.

Dinosaur: This was the most boring piece of crap I've ever seen. Who cares if it's CG.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas: I don't care if Jim Carrey's in it, it still sucks.

The Perfect Storm: Wait about 5 years. Then they'll be a perfect storm, if a hurricane can be described as "perfect".

Meet the Parents: One of the funniest movies ever. Can't say the same for "Meet the Fockers".

Scary Movie: A very, very Zeroes movie.

Unbreakable: A very, very Zeroes movie by M. Night Shymalan, a very very Zeroes director.

Gone In Sixty Seconds: Never saw this one.

1990s Holdovers

Although the Zeroes are certainly not a '90s clone, many cultural and social aspects of this decade are held over from the 1990s.

In other words, like the 1960s and 1970s go hand-in-hand, the 1990s and 2000s are both more or less the same era.

The best example, perhaps of a 1990s holdover is The Simpsons. From about fall of 1990 to the year 2000 the show was funny, but by about 2001 the show was becoming very tired and stretched out to the point of its existence being an annoyance.

Much of the rock music of the Zeroes is also '90s holdovers, including most numetal, Green Day, Weezer, Nickelback and the Foo Fighters. Maybe this is because Rock isn't all that popular anymore compared to Rap and Hip Hop.

In 2005, Mariah Carey decided that she needed to rule this decade as well as the '90s, proving that musical taste hasn't changed all that much since 1995.

Will we ever let go of our lattes and flannel? Ever?

The Zeroes: The Decade of Rap?

Rap was incredibly popular in the 1990s also, and even in the 1980s to a much, much lesser extent, but the '00s are overflowing with hip hop.
The first "real" rap song was Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang, way back in 1979. By 1988 rap was a household word.
During the early 1990s there was a hip hop explosion. At first, this was dominated by cheesy acts such as MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and Tone Loc, but by about 1992 rap became more hard-edged and controversial. This period, from about 1993 to 1996 was the era of Gangsta Rap.
By 1997, Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Records brought about a new genre of hip hop for the incoming Gen Yers: Pop Rap. By 1999, the term "Bling Bling" was coined, and by 2002 hip hop surpassed rock and roll in sales.
Now, in 2006 rap is everywhere. No matter where you go, you can't escape it. Even little kids listen to it. Hip Hop slang can be heard on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. There is a Bling Bling Barbie. During most weeks of the Zeroes, more than half the pop chart is dominated by rap, hip hop and R&B.
There's even Indie Hip Hop.
Will hip hop continue to be popular in subsequent decades? I think the genre will always be around, but I also think that the "glam rap" of the Zeroes will die during the early 2010s as Generation Z comes of age.
Then, there will be an "Alternative Hip Hop" revolution, and eventually rock and roll will again be King.

The Past, Future, and Present of Emo

From about 1998 to 2001 the most popular form of rock and roll was numetal, a musical genre consisting on one side of boring post-grunge and on the other side rap-rock and speed metal. Beginning in 2002, the genre began to become ridiculed, and "true" metal, "indie rock", "neo-wave", emo, and pop-punk surpassed it in popularity.
By 2005, I realized that numetal was pretty much dead, but there's certainly still remnants of the genre floating around as of March 2006. Thus, I now consider numetal a 1990s holdover.
Anyway, I spent 2005 pondering which genre had taken numetal's place in the realm of rock music. At first I thought New Wave was coming back, with The Killers and Franz Ferdinand storming in, but by the end of the year it was clear what the new trend was: Emo.
Actually, Emo has probably been the prime form of Rock since 2002; that's around when Good Charlotte, Sum 41 and Simple Plan became big. As of 2005-2006, emo is probably at its peak of popularity, and even though it's been around a while I can't even begin to imagine it falling out of style anytime soon.
But what exactly is "Emo"?
Emo is a pretty broad term. Generally, it refers to "alternative rock" or pop-punk that is emotional (in other words, whiny) and has a powerpop or even '80s-like sensibility to it. Green Day, Weezer, Good Charlotte, Panic! At The Disco, Death Cab For Cutie and Thrice have all been called emo, correctly or not.
You know what? If you want to know what Emo is watch the music video for "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies" by Panic! At The Disco. Everything about that song and video screams Zeroes Emo.
I think Emo will probably exist in the mainstream until the early 2010s, but I think by 2008 there will be a considerable backlash against it. I also think that "Emo" will become a term not only for the music it currently describes, but also for a lot of other '00s music and even a lot of non-musical things from the Zeroes.

What are the Zeroes about?

Many people seem to think that this decade has no identity. They think the '00s are just a collage of the 20th Century decades, or a rerun of the '90s.

Not true.

The Zeroes is minimalism. The Zeroes is blank, bare white backgrounds, like this blog. The Zeroes is the iPod.
The Zeroes is Britney Spears. The Zeroes is Eminem. The Zeroes is Emo. Numetal is so early Zeroes. The Zeroes are the decade in which rap went from being a very popular genre of music to completely saturating culture.
The TV of the Zeroes is Reality. The Zeroes is CSI. South Park defines the darkest side of '00s entertainment. The Zeroes is 24 and Lost. And most of all, the Zeroes is Survivor and American Idol. Unfortunately.
The Zeroes is the Blog, the very medium this page is on. The Zeroes is the retro decade, where everybody tries to act like they're from some decade between the 1950s and 1980s.
The Zeroes is the decade of the idiot. The decade of the screw-ups. Take George Bush, for instance. Take John Kerry, who lost to him. Take Kobe Bryant. Take the biggest rock album of the decade so far, American Idiot.
The Zeroes is the decade in which the coffee-drinking, carefree people of the '90s were shoved into a coffee-drinking, disaster filled '00s.
And perhaps most of all, the Zeroes is the decade where it's cool to hate the Zeroes. Nobody watches TV anymore, or goes to the movies (and if they do, they won't buy food there). Screw this evil rap music, I'm turning on good ol' rock and roll. That music's shining with morals and melodies!

Why "The Zeroes"?

We are now in the 21st Century. The ultra-modern age. Arguably, the beginning of the sci-fi era.

But what do we call this decade?

Most people perhaps refer to the current time as "The Two-Thousands". This terminoloy makes sense in 2006, but what about in 2012? Isn't 2010-2019 a different decade, and isn't it also the "Two-Thousands"?

Let's look at the other options:

The Noughties/Naughties: As only a British person could relate to this, this is out of the question. Some people may refer to the decade as this, but it will never become a universally accepted name.

The Aughts: This might work if we were entering the 20th Century.

The Units: Technically, I think this is the best name, but it doesn't sound like the name of a decade, and is rather phallic when you think about it.

The New Nineties: Even though the '00s are in many ways an extension of the Dot-Com decade, only assholes would refer to 2000-2009 as this.

The Ohs - This is a good contender, but the '00s are zeroes, not Os.

The Answer: The Zeroes

Sounds like a decade to me.