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January 01, 2020

Finally A Decade With A Name Again - "The Twenties"

Well here we are – at the end of a "20-year decade." When decades don’t have names, we don’t get the normal 10-year identity for measuring the timeline of life, and we haven’t had a named decade since “The Nineties.” Some of us tried to make “The Aughts” happen for 2000 – 2009, but it never caught on. If people refer to that decade at all - and they rarely do - it is referred to as “The Two Thousands.” The current decade is completely nameless. “The Teens” would have worked, but that would seem to exclude 2010 through 2012. So just like in December 2009, no one is doing retrospectives of the preceding decade. As I recall, there wasn’t even a sense of there being a new decade in 2010.

This “20-year decade” started with Y2K on the calendar, culturally started with 9/11, featured the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars, saw a communication revolution with the iphone, a black President was elected (which somehow made the left even angrier about what an awful racist country America is), and ended with the Trump revolution. Along the way, every losing Presidential candidate abandoned the precedent of losing with dignity. Instead, each losing candidate (Gore, Kerry, McCain, Romney, Hillary) has embarked on a bitter path of score settling, denial, or vindictiveness. Say what you will about GHWBush, Dukakis, Dole and Mondale, but at least they didn’t try to punish their adversaries or tear the country apart out of spite just because they lost a Presidential election.

When I think about how I perceive decades of the 20th Century, 1900 - 1919 also run together. In my mind that “20-year decade” starts with the Wright Brothers, then Henry Ford brings cars to the masses, and then it ends with WWI. The other decades stay confined to their 10-year spans. (e.g. – Prohibition and Flappers in the Roaring Twenties; Depression & Dustbowl in the Thirties; WWII in the Forties; Bobby Sox and Rock & Roll in the Fifties; Surfing and then Vietnam, Hippies & Woodstock in the Sixties; Watergate & Disco in the Seventies; etc). If lumberjack beards and hipster clothes are the defining look of the decade that is now ending, my advice to hipsters would be to change appearances soon. You didn’t want to be the guy still wearing leisure suits in the 80s, and I’m guessing that the lumbersexual look will be similarly subject to parody as we move forward into the Twenties.

One other thing we need to retire at the start of this decade is naming years “Two Thousand something”. The new year will be “Twenty - Twenty”, not “Two Thousand - Twenty”, then the following year will be “Twenty - Twenty One,”not “Two Thousand - Twenty One.”

Finally, a big year-end thanks to Ace and the Cobs. I discovered this blog around 2010 and it has been my favorite ever since. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every post since then, something I cannot say about any other website or publication. I’m grateful to be able to contribute a little to this unique forum. Happy New Decade!

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