Twenty years ago, Prince made hits and people partied their way into the 21st Century. At midnight tonight, we are going to a new decade, but there are no songs, no anthems to celebrate the number.
People really don’t seem to give a shit. Prince is dead, and he took the new decade party with him.
Maybe it’s the number — 2019 doesn’t rhyme with a thing. Can’t make a cool song out of a number that falls on the ear like a rusty anchor.
Maybe people are just fucking exhausted with turmoil and chaos. More likely, I’ve become an old fart and have no idea where the parties are anymore.
Even if you are still young and plan to drink and do Molly, flipping this decade from the teens to the 20’s is just… “meh.”
Historians may look back on 2019 and 2020 as a huge turning point. With impeachments and populism dominating politics, and the struggle of democracies to tamp down the steps toward tyranny around the world. Look at Turkey, India, and the UK… it’s not just the US caught under the power of propoganda and the “US versus Them” bullshit. 2020 could be the reaction that restores “normal”.
Or it could be just another year in this world wide wave toward nationalism and authoritanism. Anyone remember the election of 1920? Women got the vote and the pundits said they elected Warren G. Harding because he was “good-looking”. Ever see a picture of this fucking guy.
Proof that pundits are generally full of shit. Maybe 2020 will be like 1920 — just a footnote.
In 1999, we were worried about our technology falling apart (remember Y2K?). We were living in the tech bubble, powering the economy through “productivity” and thinking we were headed toward life as the Jetsons — with flying cars and push-button everything.
We danced, and we drank in the new millennium. Well, I didn’t. I went to a Mormon party with our 10-year-old’s neighborhood friends. It was fruit punch and snacks, that all managed to taste exactly like Wonder Bread, till 10 p.m. when we all went home.
At the start of this century, hardly anyone saw the real threats — the terrorists in the caves with a few razor blades and a plan. Who knew it would be 20 years re-living Alexander the Great’s failure to “civilize” Afghanistan. Or we would invade random countries in the Middle East only to hand control over to Iran or Russia or both.
Maybe 2020 will be the same. We are worried about propoganda, dictatorship, and our “democracy”. But maybe it doesn’t need to be restored. It could be the orange putin puppet is just a blip and things will go back to “normal” whenever we get that fat clown off the stage. It could be a whole new threat will appear and take all of our time and attention through 2030. (China, climate change… anyone?).
Andrew Yang says that threat is automation. It’s not the Mexicans, it’s the computers and robots that are “taking our ‘obs.” Drivers will be replaced by auto-ubers, and we won’t need people to drive trucks across the country… or maybe even “need people” anymore. (Soylent Green anyone?).
Or it could be China will take over the world economy. The US will follow in the footsteps of France and the UK as a “former empire” and shrink to a role that reflects its actual population and economy.
Kids say climate change will kill us all. Maybe. I have my doubts. Weathermen have trouble predicting rain for tomorrow let alone what will happen to the planet in 20 years.
But I’m not a denier or think CO2 is not a problem. I’m pinning my hopes on economics.
Solar Power is cheaper than coal. It’s getting so cheap and prevelant, Arizona is thinking about converting the largest nuclear plant in the Southwest to a giant hydrogen battery — just to be a back up when the sun don’t shine. Electic cars are getting better.
To help combat sea rise, it’s realtively easy to flood land that’s below sea level in the American West and the Sahara desert in Africa. When Miami, New York, London and Hong Kong start flooding, people will start digging those canals.
Don’t get me wrong, climate change already sucks, and will probably get worse. But who knows if it will be the threat that defines the 2020’s?
People never pay attention to the good things. Global poverty, hunger and wars have been going down for 75 years. It’s likely those trends will continue. Crime rates in most of the world are also dropping — let’s keep that shit up.
Maybe we will look back at 2020s as the start of a successful society that put us on the path to the ideal future painted in Star Trek — where everyone is young, smart and fit, and the biggest threat is how much we are ruled by our emotions rather than logic. (Just don’t be the new guy in the red shirt…)
Probably not. More likely Skynet will become self-aware, and we’ll all end up being batteries in the Matrix.
Yep, with my head full of all this bullshit, tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 2019 — meh…