As Lisa Simpson said to Professor Frink’s Dad when he was brought back to life in Treehouse of Horror XIV, ”Sir your son has brought you into the twenty-first century. It’s a lot like the twentieth but everyone’s afraid and the stock market is much lower.”
For those of you my age you’ll start to find the odd warning sign in your brain that getting older has suddenly stopped being a positive thing, and that if you posses the sufficient brain-cells to absorb the culture and society in which you live, you can start to notice changes that have taken place around us in our twenty years or so.
Yes I’m talking about reflecting on a time when if someone said to you “9 11″, you’d say “You missed 10″. These are the differences between the year 2000 and the current day.
In the thirteen years of this millennium we’ve seen so far we’ve seen changes, some of them great, some of them small.
The invention and growth of social media, not to mention the stage where MSN and MySpace were cast aside for Facebook and Twitter. A few years back I thought Twitter was only a thing celebrities with so little substance to what they were saying they could fit it inside 140 characters. Seriously? 140 characters? The Simpsons has more characters than that.
Here in Australia we had drought years, which altered the mindset and behaviour of how we lived. I to this day feel uncomfortable when someone leaves the tap on while they brush their teeth, or see an ethnic older chap watering the concrete on his property for no apparent reason. Thinking about the ethnicity of the guy who does it on my street, his name could very well be Con Crete. Or at least Con Creteadopolous.
In Melbourne we’ve seen M-Train, Hillside, Connex and Metro. We’ve seen them everyday as we sit in our cars at level crossings around the city wondering why there aren’t more bridges and tunnels.
We’ve also seen the obsession with stupid names for products we use like ‘Myki’ and anything beginning with a lower case ‘i’ in an attempt to jump on the Apple Macintosh bandwagon. I’m including Vegemite’s iSnack 2.0 in this category.
Not to mention we’ve seen the push towards everything green and eco-friendly. We watched ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, then we heard the sceptics argument. Then nothing has happened for ages. Gee I hope I can read this in 30 years time without being underwater.
Surely I’m not the only one who has been so exposed to the most shocking statistics like ‘half of the animal species on the planet will die due to climate change by 2050′ that nothing shocks you any more.
The frustrating thing is how society only takes action after the fact. If we go back to 2001, the ‘war on terror’ that took place throughout the next decade was a response after the fact. And the fact that some glacier on the arse of the world is moving a millimetre a year simply doesn’t terrify those who control the big processes in the world enough to make any real change happen.
Everyone will feel differently about this, so I’m not going to force any opinion on you, you’ve already made up your mind.
Not every opinion of ours now would be different to those in 2000, that outfit Cathy Freeman wore when she won the gold medal was ridiculous.