Monday, 21 December 2009

Big fat decade

People like familiar things. They like patterns and regularity and congruencies and they enjoy treating things that are alike in a similar fashion. This is a common; if not universal, phenomenon within human nature through all of history. It is, therefore, almost unknown within the hereditary caste that our political class is evolving into.

Now that we are moving out of them at last, I recently heard our masters’ cultural shamans discussing what to call the block of ten years between 1999 and 2010. This discussion was on Radio One, and took the form of a series of deejayly responses to what used to be called a ‘Think piece’ in the magazine trade - except that this was on the BBC.

Playing Name That Decade is an example of that commonplace love of the familiar which has been so cruelly abandoned and vindictively assaulted by the people who were, prior to the Credit Crunch, Lisbon and Copenhagen called our our ‘rulers’, but who now might more accurately be known as our owners. Simple folk, it seems, want a name for the last decade to add to the list as they use it both within and with reference to popular culture. People think of, and talk of, the 1950s, the 60’s, the 70’s and 80’s and sometimes even with new-found nostalgia, of the 90’s. We had proper nostalgia back in my day, let me tell you.

Of course, these denominations don’t bear much scrutiny and are more often than not wildly inaccurate. Take the 1960’s. Please. In fact, pop culturally speaking, the 1960’s were really only two years long. Up to 1965, there was merely an extension of the cheerful and still largely tradition-loving 1950’s; only with better haircuts for the men and worse for the women…and shorter skirts. Yey, for shorter skirts. 1967 to 1969 were in fact the vanguard of the 1970’s as the Aquarian Age and Flower Power and rock music that had ceased to roll spread across the Western world and began to destroy it. 1965 and 1966, however: they were Swinging London and Carnaby Street and white knee boots and the British Invasion. Maybe a football match here and there. That’s the way it seems looking at it from here and now. And if the 1980’s really started in 1979 in Britain, well, that was all to the good, or mostly.

But The Noughties never really caught on.

This is partly because, I suspect, that nothing’s really ‘naughty’ any more because nothing that our jailers permit or encourage is ever really nice, either. It’s difficult to imagine the thrilling frisson one might feel when joyfully rebelling against the moral constraints of a society that doesn’t have any moral constraints. Or a society, for that matter. If there were any of the old taboos left over to break, then Noughties might have fit the bill, but as the Long 1960’s and 1980plc and The Greater Metropolitan Nineteen-Nineties killed them all off, and brought only the new taboos of political correctness with them - and there is absolutely no official recognition of the right to test, break, or downright violate those taboos. Freedom of speech just doesn’t happen in our proprietors’ minds. No Goon Show or That Was The Week That Was or Monty Python is going to spoof the racial profilers of the General Medical Council, or run a skit of a lesbian outreach worker begging to join the Illuminati or the Thule-Gesellschaft. No assimilated Muslim comedians will be allowed to leave sexual taunts on the answer phone of any member of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain and keep or later regain their lucrative jobs.

So rebellion doesn’t hack it for the glories of the past ten years. No Naughty will stick to this dying decade as Swinging did with the Sixties, and tackiness did to the Seventies, or ‘greedy’ to the 1980’s. Al Gore’s carbon billions, anyone? Jonathan Ross’s pay cut to ‘only’ £3,000,000 per year.

I have noticed an idea, however; should the history books need an appellation for the 3650 or so days in this earthly paradise from which we are only just emerging.
In fact, it’s all over the Internet as the clear winner, which probably explains why the BBC didn’t know about it as their journalists famously don’t have Internet access at all.
It perfectly symbolizes the ways in which we are legislated for and led. This is true at the macro level in terms of taxation and expenditure; of public and private indebtedness; and of carbon dealing and the Royal Mint’s printing activities. It is also rich in overtones of the intelligence, decency and humanity that are possessed by our rulers in parliaments and bureaucracies worldwide. It also echoes quite closely this nation’s reserves of money, spare military capability, and international respect, and its economy's chance in Hell. Ladies and gentlemen, may I humbly draw your attention to The Zeroes?

6 comments:

Bugger said...

The French call a dummy, as in eejit, a Nul.

It was the decade of Nul, by and for the Nuls.

Says it all

James Higham said...

I have noticed an idea, however; should the history books need an appellation for the 3650 or so days in this earthly paradise from which we are only just emerging.

What about the leap years?

North Northwester said...

Welcome Bugger,and thanks for your comment.
If only we could nullify the awful changes of the past ten years: but how, short of getting feisty with the Russians and letting the get all Terminator Three on us?

James, '3650 or so'. I'm not Dominos pizza, and was too lazy yesterday to do the maths.

James Higham said...

Then Merry Christmas to you is all I can say, NNWer and to your family.

Anna Raccoon said...

E-mail for you North....

Utterly brilliant post too.

North Northwester said...

James, a Merry Christmas to you and yours, too.

Anna, thank you and reply is on its way.

 

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