Online Only: Your Aughts Silver Linings

Monday, December 28, 2009

As we've been reviewing the 2000s, we've focused on some of the lowlights from what some are calling the "worst decade ever." But now we want some silver linings. What did you like about the 2000s? What went right this past decade? Comment below and we'll follow up later this week!

Comments [33]

Kate Birmingham from Manhattan

More bike lanes in NYC!

Dec. 31 2009 02:26 AM
Tiffany from NYC

Brian ! Shame on you for your disparaging remark about Susan Boyle ! I'm sure you would NOT have made such a remark IF she were a beautiful woman. Since you can NOT deny her talent, I can only conclude that your remark was based on her appearance. I'm disappointed that you are so sexist. Boyle is a shining light in the mire of the P. DooDee-SnoopDoggie "music" out there.

Dec. 30 2009 05:02 PM
Michele from Forest Hills

The advancement of the discussion of GLBT rights, despite all the setbacks and struggles.

Same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian relationships, adoption, discrimination, economic inequality, serving openly in the military, gender identity and transgender lives all became normal, everyday topics!

I can't believe this was NOT mentioned at all on the radio segment.

(At least I'm glad to see another FoHi resident weigh in on this!! Thanks!)

Dec. 30 2009 01:31 PM
Rosanna Giannuzzi from Dyker Heights, Brooklyn


Dec. 30 2009 11:54 AM
Gawain from White Plains

The first openly gay bishop in the history of Christianity, Gene Robinson.

Dec. 30 2009 11:53 AM
Cabell from New York

In general, the last decade was as revealing to us as a peek at the picture of Dorian Gray. The real consequences of our politics, policies and behavior are now visible and demand our attention. The bright side is that our collective reaction has the potential to motivate us to make changes for the better.

Dec. 30 2009 11:24 AM
margot sheehan from Midtown

Brian, you're rushing things. The decade has another year to run. The century and the decade began with 2001, literally and figuratively.

Dec. 30 2009 11:18 AM
susan from new jersey

The aughts may be remembered in the long run as a time of progress in transcending gender as well as racial bias. Not only did the 2008 presidential election put our first African American in the White House; it brought us very close for the first time to electing a woman president. It was also the decade that gave us our first female Speaker of the House and third female Supreme Court justice.

Dec. 30 2009 11:15 AM
john from Annandale, NJ

I agree with Greg. We are in the midst of a musical Renaissance. The oughts have been great for pop and electronica (and the merging of both) and 2009 has been an especially fertile year (even if the best stuff isn't being played on mainstream radio). The Avett Brothers, Metric, Muse, Paper Route, Mew, Doves, Faunts (among others) have put out their best albums this year. Here's hoping for more in the same direction!

Dec. 30 2009 10:40 AM
Oded from Manhattan

Does anyone remember Y2K? The decade began with our relief that civilization did not end.

Dec. 30 2009 10:35 AM
Daniel Kurz from Monroe, NJ

The Bush Administration ended. The Obama Administration began.

Dec. 29 2009 09:54 PM
Michelle McCabe from Fairfield, CT

This past decade marked the beginning of a long-needed food revolution. Thanks to Michael Pollan, Alice Waters,Eric Schlosser, Michelle Obama and films like Food Inc, Fresh, and Super Size me, the idea that our food has to be sustainable, whole, and healthful is finally gaining traction. People are recognizing the health risks of processed foods,returning to the kitchen and going to farms and farmers' markets for locally grown foods. As someone working to change the school lunch program, this past decade raised the level of awareness.

Dec. 29 2009 04:04 PM

Communication technology-- email, internet phones, and cell phones-- blossomed. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon from 2003-2005 noting how Cameroonians and other Africans were using these technologies for business, education, and culture.

Dec. 29 2009 01:39 PM
Robert from Manhattan

Brian, Brian Brian ...

There is no specific place to comment on this particular matter, so I'll use this space.

You are terrific, but when you were asking this morning for contributions to WNYC (a worthy endeavor except for funds that go to that subpar show the Chaseaway, but that is another post ...), you asked listeners whether "you are one of those people who MAKES end of year contributions"(or something to that effect). That is commonly used sentence construction, but it is dead wrong. The verb needs to be MAKE, as in ... there are people who make end of year contributions. Are you one of them? If you turn the elements of those two sentences around, then the question you asked MUST be "are you one of those people who MAKE year end contributions." To me it is painfully obvious.

Simple logic dictates that this is the correct way to construct such a sentence. So does The New York Times:

So did the late William Safire in his column a number of years ago.

Indeed, he was one of the many people who CONSTRUCT this form of sentence correctly.

Thanks, Brian, for becoming one more.

As for good things about the '00's, the departure of Bush was the obvious one, and the election of Obama was another. Those two events are actually related. People who resent the election of someone with Obama's hue can blame it (or those who think correctly can credit it) on Bush. If he had not sunk so low and made the need for significant change so obvious, there might never have been a President Obama ... at least not so soon.

Happy New Year.

Dec. 29 2009 12:42 PM
griffin from brooklyn

1. The marriages of gay and lesbian people in the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Norway, Sweden, and Argentina were granted the same rights as those of straight people. In the US, the same happened in the residents of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachuetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Washington D.C.

2. In 2003, an openly gay man was elected to be a bishop in the Episcopal Church. An open lesbian was later elected in 2009.

3. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America made it possible for gay and lesbian ordained pastors to be in relationships.

4. Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be a serious contender for the president of the US.

i believe that these are all good news...

Dec. 29 2009 07:48 AM
Tommy from Brooklyn

Thank you and agreed, Tony from Santa Clara. This can't even come close to being the worst decade in living memory. As Tony points out, the thirties saw the Great Depression, Fascist Europe. The forties saw world War II. In the fifties we had Stalinism, the Iron Curtain and the seeds of Mutually Assured Destruction. The nineties gave us the "Gulf War" which we are still fighting almost twenty years later rebranded as the Iraq War. And that's just living memory. The Great War, The Civil War, both much worse than what we face.

Maybe this past decade should be called the most apathetic ever. We seem to be unable to see past ten years ago and are so self-involved that we think our current raft of problems problems could be worse than the boatload listed above.

Dec. 28 2009 07:09 PM
DL from NYC

1. Video delivered over broadband. It went from an empty promise in the dot-com bubble in 2000 to a casual reality in '09.

2. Delivery of audio and video files with podcasts and streaming. It is so easy to keep in touch with radio stations, audio programs, lectures, etc.

Dec. 28 2009 02:25 PM
O from Forest Hills

I meet the love of my life and we got married and are very happy together. This decade has been a time of personal growth all around for me and I am doing my part to make the world a better place and encourage other friends and families to do as I do, to respect all persons regardless of race or religion, sexual orientation and to correct friends that make homophoebic comments about Lesbian Gay or Transgender people. I think 10-15 years ago it was more acceptable to treat these groups with disrespect but now more people are preaching tolerance, live and let live and respect for all. We don't have gay marriage yet which I think will allow equal civil rights and we continue to work for that, but never have we encouraged respect for all more and regarding marriage, it doesn't matter if you are heterosexual or gay, if you love someone and are committed to them in your heart, then that marriage is a piece of paper, that feeling of love and commitment that exists between two people whether they are same sex or heterosexual, is real and binding commitment for the two people, that is part of the beauty of human psychology I have discovered this past decade and opening myself to the Universe and God of love and light and all the beauty, abundance, joy, peace, prosperity and love and happiness, no joy, words can't express the prosperity and happiness and abundance I have found.

Peace and Love to everyone and happy new year to all.

Love and light in 2010

O from Forest Hills

Dec. 28 2009 02:09 PM
Halley S from Boston, MA

The Ipod and smartphones! Not only do they provide information and entertainment wherever we go, but we gain a free pass to ignore the world around us just by sporting those tell-tale earbuds.

Dec. 28 2009 12:09 PM
George from Bay Ridge

Don't forget the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that were supposed to last 90 days in 2004 but have been running ever since.

Dec. 28 2009 12:01 PM
Greg from Greenpoint

Music has made amazing leaps in the last decade, particularly the Brooklyn music scene. Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, the National, and TV on the Radio have all put out amazing albums the past couple of years, and other bands such as the Antlers show a lot of promise to break out soon too. These bands have learned to integrate new technologies, complex rhythms, and novel instrumentation to make beautiful music. Bands have been able to circumvent the major record labels and not been forced to sacrifice musical integrity by using the internet and self-promotion. The growth of music festivals and music blogs have helped increase awareness and allowed more people to discover great bands.

Dec. 28 2009 11:49 AM

1. Expansion of electronic global communication via, e.g. YouTube and Twitter. Note how the situation in Iran is being broadcast as it happens via these tools.

2. The growth of the Internet, period. We're in a global culture; our kids are playing computer games with kids in Bejing. This has to have good effects, politically, socially, ethically and economically, in the long run, because people who play, work and chat with one another don't bomb one another (at least not as often).

3. The Green movement, which might save the environment, but is making people healthier (better food) and has exposed the corrupt American farm food indusry (Food, Inc; anything by Michael Pollan).

4. The campaign and election of Barack Obama, which brought so many kids into the political processs -- hopefully, to stay.

Dec. 28 2009 11:22 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

Definitely Obama! Also, Greg Mortenson's herculean efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Not much else positive on a big scale. On a personal note, I'll always see the 00s as the time when I got both my BS and PhD, and for those reasons, it's a positive time.

Dec. 28 2009 11:11 AM
tom from qns

POLITICS AND ART overcoming the conservative (and rising southern growth) in power. the conservative wave going back to 1980 an R. Reagan is over, spent and discredited. In my profession, fine art, the insane auction house frenzy has passed. In art and politics, there is hope for positive new developments.

Dec. 28 2009 11:07 AM
Tony from Santa Clara, CA

Come on, "worst decade ever?" Worst than the 1930's and the Great Depression, worst than the 1940's and WWII?

Dec. 28 2009 11:05 AM
Charles Philp from NYC

re: the silver linings of the 2000s, have to agree with krugman on this one; "The Big Zero". this last year yielded the beginnings of some hopeful reversals in economic and foreign policy, but there's a long way to go to get back on the right, fast track to progression. cwp

Dec. 28 2009 11:04 AM
Yosif from NYC

As a raging liberal, the only good thing to come out of the 2000 election was NOT having Lieberman as VP, and of 2004 was it allowed Barack to get elected.

Dec. 28 2009 11:04 AM
Jay from Norwalk, CT

I agree with Judy from NJ. The election of President Obama was the highlight of the decade for me. Connected with this could be the signing of the heathcare legislation. The jury is still out on its effect but this is something that many administrations have tried to do- for several decades. On the environment, I believe that we as a society have a more conscientious view of the environment compared to our view in the 90 and beyond- even though we have a heck of a long was to go. Lastly I would say the Yankees getting no. 27 world series win for 2000's in 2009.

Dec. 28 2009 10:59 AM
Freddy Jenkins

The good stuff was more on a personal level: I got married, had a son and I started listening to the Brian Lehrer show.
As for the rest, I can only think of constant dread.
I think the decade comes down to the personal whether it be the rise of iPhones and Twitter feeds or yoga crazes. It's not "US" but "I".
Guess the 70s never died....

Dec. 28 2009 10:55 AM
Patrick from Ironbound in Newark

Either the glass of the last decade was half empty or it was half full. What's ever happened to looking and walking on the sunny side of the street?

Dec. 28 2009 10:52 AM
Judy from NJ

The election of President Obama and the hope that I felt and still feel will be the ONLY wonderful part of the 2000's. The 2000 election, the events of 2001 and the reigning Bush years define the most distrubing and saddest years for this nation.

Dec. 28 2009 10:44 AM

In 2008, the New York Giants beat the undefeated New England Patriots in the Superbowl.

Dec. 28 2009 10:35 AM
Robert from NYC

Absolutely NOTHING except getting rid of Bush... at least in part.

Dec. 28 2009 10:30 AM

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