Well guys, it looks like another end of the year! But, look, the year that’s ending ends with a 9! That means we have to wrap up the entire decade as well! Gee golly gosh, doesn’t that sound fun?
Hey, if I make sweeping generalisations about this decade, and only pick out a few cool things that happened during probably the most important formative years of my life, will I be cool too?
To clarify, I don’t have that much of a problem with those obligatory roundups that come around every last fortnight of the year, where every single website ever needs to round up the year, preferably in list form. They’re normally informative enough, and have maybe a couple moments where you go “Oh yeah, I remember that now!” as you’re reminded that somebody died/became famous/stopped being famous/is involved in some wacky japes/was elected president/sat and wanked. Also, they tend to lean a bit more heavily towards the latter end of the year, probably because it’s fresher in people’s memory, or like the Videogame industry, life just seems to hold everything cool until the final few months of the year. So like I said, I don’t really mind all that much about “…of the year” roundups.
It’s “…Of the Decade” roundups that can fuck right off where they came from.
Harsh? Certainly. Am I going to explain myself? Sure, why not.
Firstly, I just find the whole idea of rounding up everything that happened in ten years a lot more pretentious, annoying, and infuriating than rounding up everything that occured in a year. About ten times moreso, in fact.
Yes, I’m aware that if I hate them so much, I shouldn’t read them. To anyone saying that, my retort is that you should go fuck yourself, and if you hate that comment so much, you shouldn’t have read it in the first place.
No, no one’s forcing me to summarise my life in a decade, or to summarise everything that happened to me or the world in these ten years by picking out just a few important things and then forgetting everything else. But no one asked everyone else, ever to do it either. I don’t know anyone who’s ever said “Oh wow, someone finally did a roundup of the decade like I was praying would happen! I’ve been looking forward to this forever! This is the best thing ever!“. And if I did, I’d make sure I didn’t as quickly as possible.
I find a lot of issue with that way some of the roundups are done:
Method 1: Round up the decade year by year.
Method 2: Round up the decade as one main event, with a (possibly inadvertant) bias towards the latter end of the decade. In other words, exactly how most roundup of the years are done.
The two methods above are how all of the roundups I’ve seen work, and yet, despite being the only two realistic ways of rounding up a decade, I still can’t find myself satisfied with either outcome. What does this mean? For one, that I seem to be insanely hard to please, but also that I’m probably not going to be happy with a roundup of the decade no matter what. Maybe next decade, I’ll be all for it, and maybe even write one, but this decade, I simply refuse to.
Which of course, leads onto why.
The temptation is for me to just requote the Alternative Opening of the article, and leave it at that, but that’d be cheap, and wouldn’t explain as much as I want to.
So, to explain:
This decade has at this point, taken up more than half of my life. I am 18 years old, and Captain Obvious would like to point out that means that I’ve gone from age eight to eighteen in this decade. I’d also like Captain Obvious to point out that this means I’ve finished Primary School, Secondary School, Puberty, and started University, all in the space of the decade. Though, not necessarily in the order I wrote it. This also means that basically, to make any statements for or against the decade would be to make some pretty heavy, sweeping generalisations against the years which have formed me in more ways than I’d care to know or admit. This also means that anything I read rounding up the decade is then making generalisations about what will probably, for me, be the most important decade of my life. So much happens in a year; friends, music, love interests, games, films, jokes, life. Magnify that by a whole decade, and what I have is me looking over ten of the most important years of my life, and wanting people to go away and leave them alone. This decade to me, is important not just because of the massive changes that happened to me, but the world around me, as well. However, I don’t think any other decade will place anywhere near the same level of importance, simply because this decade saw me change from a child to a teenager to an adult. Every other decade from now on will just be as an adult. Sure, I might learn some more things than I did before, but the majority of my learning, my experiences, and my life so far has just happened in the first decade of this new millenium. Seeing it being summarised to just a few notes just cheapens it all for me. I know I’ll probably never achieve anything, and I’ll never do anything of worth, but this decade was the only real time I could achieve nothing and do nothing of worth, and get away with it. I could make mistakes, and to a reasonable degree, do what I wanted without too much worry of consequences or issues. I simply won’t get that anymore, and I simply won’t have anything like the experiences of life I’ve had from 2000-9 that I will for the rest of my life.
So to conclude: Roundups of the Decade can fuck right off. Why? Because I’m a sentimental sap, and I’m too selfish to let anyone else summarise ten years that have incredible significance to me.
Goodbye, 2009. Goodbye, possibly the most important decade of my life.