Call-In: Your Aughts Silver Linings

Wednesday, December 30, 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. Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review and the Week in Review section and author of The Death of Conservatism, talks about some of the bright spots of the past 10 years. What did you like about the 2000s? What went right this past decade? Comment below!


Sam Tanenhaus

Comments [60]

Violetta from New York, NY

...and don't forget digital cameras & HDTV

Dec. 30 2009 04:46 PM
Violetta from New York, NY

Technology, technology, technology!

MP3s & Napster,
PDAs -- especially the Blackberry and iPhone, the iPod,
the Kindle,
social media, especially Facebook,
Flat-Screen TVs!!!

Dec. 30 2009 04:44 PM
Erin from Park Slope

Exactly Katheryn, and this is why I don't read or buy the NY Times in the 21st century: unrepentant sexism of editors like Sam Tanenhaus.

Dec. 30 2009 01:16 PM
greg caulfield from New York

This deade ,has been hard and nice . i was a best man at my brother wedding , I was a sperm doner. father.

Dec. 30 2009 01:05 PM
Lenore from Upper West Side, NYC

The Rise of the Philadelphia Phillies!

With Roy Halliday, we are just waiting for a rematch with that other team next fall.

Dec. 30 2009 12:16 PM
Nick Alder from Manhattan, Hell's Kitchen

Even though we've not yet reached the tipping point, all the advancements in gay rights throughout this decade.

For a decent timeline:

Dec. 30 2009 12:15 PM
isa kocher from istanbul turkey

1. after more than ten years, i finally got my VA disibility for PTSD and for head injuries
2. thge internet and PTSD resources it provides for disabled people like me to fight hate prejudice incompetence bureaucracy palinism cheneyism and crony republicanism
3. the crash came mobnths before it was scheduled before the election not after
4. w2
5. yoo, gonzales, DoJ disgraced and Sotomayer appointed
6. first non-white us president and his Nobel
7. kurdish rights recognized in turkey
8. mars robots
9. discovery of pre-chimp hominid line, mominid fire and tool use 500k years earlier, discovery of the earliest known flute, DNA genome map of humans and others, pacman genes in humans and fruitflies proven interchangeable, fruit fly and human sleep cycles based on the same genes, magnets in bird neurons, and generally the engineering applications of darwin general theory biolgy to health climate energy environment textile manufacturing and a whole range of practical applications. experimental verification of the general biolgy theory, the general relativity theory and other science despite republican science denial running the government for ten years.

as well as a host of life affirming life enriching life validating science in every sphere from mathematic to exobiology

Dec. 30 2009 12:12 PM
Paul Meyers from Jersey City - formerly Manh, before that Brooklyn, and first seven years of life on Upper West Side

One of my grandmothers used to like to say that everything works out for the best - and everything meant EVERYTHING!

So through that lens, 9/11, as horrible as it was, can be seen as a wake-up call to our head in the sand removal from the rest of the world - how are we connected to what goes on elsewhere? What are we doing and what have we done elsewhere that we should not be proud of, and how can we do better, etc?

And perhaps we can see Katrina (our government's terrible response) and Iraq ( our government's terrible response - same folks?) and the financial meltdown (same folks?) the same way - at least hopefully in the long run, if we can grow up and see self indulgence, greed, disregard and willful ignorance of our actions elsewhere - as things we need to move beyond - and perhaps we're already seeing it - the "base" of the republican party which to me represents the core of these outlooks, lost the presidential and other elections.

This is long view, and not at all assured that we'll move steadily (or even unsteadily) towards a more healthful world, but I remember grandma....

Dec. 30 2009 12:11 PM
Erin Finnegan from New York, NY

In this decade I met the love of my life and we got married in 2009 - in zero gravity! You can look it up on youtube. For us, the rise of private space travel was the news of the decade. It was our own personal space race to try and beat other couples attempting to getting married in space. Richard Branson might marry couples in space in 2010, but Richard Garriott married us under space-like conditions in 2009.

Dec. 30 2009 12:04 PM
Camille from Brooklyn

Spiritual awakening and blossoming artwork.

Dec. 30 2009 11:58 AM
Grateful from New York, NY

Personally, this year has been full of great negatives and positives and for me they seem to go hand in hand. Although I have lost a sister, cousin, uncle, and 3 grandparents, as well as being greatly affected by 911...I have gotten sober, chose happiness, found love and managed to keep it all. And of course, there will always be OBAMA, our country's greatest accomplishment thus far! It seems we are headed in a positive direction. Happy New Year!

Dec. 30 2009 11:57 AM
Katherine Jackson from lower manhattan

Hey Sam!

How about mentioning some WOMEN writers! Check out the list you just gave -- NO women!!??!!

Dec. 30 2009 11:56 AM
Patricia Crawford Berg from Staten Island

As troubling and traumatic as this first decade has been for world peace and the economy, they have been for me filled with amazing grace. I regained a long-lost son, saw the marriages of said son and also my daughter, thereby gaining also beloved son-in-law and daughter-in-law as well as the accompanying in-law extended family. On a less personal level, but no less gratifying, I discovered and became a part of a living breathing progressive element in - yes, Staten Island, in particular Peace Action Staten Island. So I bid the 2-oughts farewell with mixed emotions, and hope on a global level for peace in the 2-teens.

Dec. 30 2009 11:56 AM

thanks for this show!

Dec. 30 2009 11:56 AM
nkbah from harlem

i became a vegetarian.

Dec. 30 2009 11:55 AM
Upper West Sider

I fell deeply, madly, passionately in love, which when you're in your early 60s is totally unexpected. Although the relationship foundered, the experience was transformative.

Dec. 30 2009 11:53 AM

I grew up a bit

Dec. 30 2009 11:53 AM

The fact that the US has begun to correct itself after a dangerous 8 year slide. I say "begun" because we have a very long way to go, but I was beginning to wonder if we were getting to the point of no return.

Plus Obama's election was truly historic.

BTW, why the dig at Susan Boyle.

Dec. 30 2009 11:52 AM
Paul from Brooklyn

The rise of the cupcake!

Dec. 30 2009 11:51 AM
Meg from Upper East Side

Dare I say this on a NYC show?

The Red Sox WON the World Series!!!

Dec. 30 2009 11:49 AM
Brian from Brooklyn

Science! The human geonome was completely mapped, Cassini explored Saturn and it's moons, Mars was explored by rovers, and the Hadron Collider was completed and (so far) successfully tested.

Dec. 30 2009 11:49 AM
jason from brooklyn

Gay Rights! Let's not forget Lawrence v. Texas and marriage rights in many states.

Dec. 30 2009 11:49 AM
alex from NYC

The best thing about the 0's is that they're over.

Dec. 30 2009 11:48 AM
Yosif from NYC

Serato - this program let's you scratch mp3's on vinyl. This helps DJ's travel without breaking their backs with tons of vinyl. Unfortunately it will be the death nail to vinyl but convenience is key!

Dec. 30 2009 11:47 AM
Yosif from NYC

Podcasts and Avatar. I listen to podcasts in the lab and it's like a second education in politics and science. Avatar stepped up the game. I call it the iPhone of movies!

Dec. 30 2009 11:46 AM
B from Brooklyn

The rise of the middle class in China and India, which represents the largest growth in quality of life in human history.

Dec. 30 2009 11:46 AM
Angela from Brooklyn

Tough times have a way of highlighting what is important - individually and collectively we can take this time to decide what we want, and what we don't want, surrounding us.

Dec. 30 2009 11:46 AM

NYC got a non-clown mayor! Someone actually competent.

Plus, the world now knows how rotten NY State legislature is.

Dec. 30 2009 11:46 AM
Caitlin from NYC

OH - and quality programming from HBO - while the Sopranos and Sex and City started in the 90s, Six Feet Under is my absolute all time favorite series ever, and I cannot imagine having never seen it!

Dec. 30 2009 11:45 AM
hjs from 11211

BHO and HRC show us that former rivals can work together

Dec. 30 2009 11:45 AM
Stacie from westchester county

My husband of 30 years, a lifelong Republican, voted Democratic for the first time with his vote for Obama.

Dec. 30 2009 11:45 AM
CJ from NY

You are providing social media pr executives the opportunity to prop up their products and get a free plug on the air!!!

Dec. 30 2009 11:45 AM
Laurie from Tribeca

I was younger than I will ever be again.

Dec. 30 2009 11:44 AM
Robyn from NYC

The real estate market crashed which allowed me to afford to buy my first house (although I realize how tragic the crash was for others).

Dec. 30 2009 11:44 AM
Caitlin from NYC

Social media - especially Facebook, changed the way we relate. As someone who got Facebook in college, much of it was for the better, as it helped me forge stronger connections, turning Facebook friends from school into real friends, as I had a network to work with in a new city.

Dec. 30 2009 11:43 AM

Human genome project

Mars rovers

Dec. 30 2009 11:43 AM
Dennis from Manhattan

Election Day 2006

Dec. 30 2009 11:43 AM
Jay from Norwalk, CT

On a personal level, I became a licensed Architect.

Dec. 30 2009 11:43 AM
George Hahn from Manhattan

Instead of what everyone else did or didn't do FOR ME...

I got sober (8 years now) and started my own business.

Dec. 30 2009 11:42 AM
Jay from Norwalk, CT

The decade is not over yet. Right?

Dec. 30 2009 11:42 AM
Chris B from UWS

The implosion and then re-emergence of the greatest band ever - Phish!

Without their much needed break they wouldn't be playing as well as they are now.

Here's to another 10 years!

Dec. 30 2009 11:41 AM
Steve from Brooklyn

Thanks to the failure of the Bush presidency, the idea that the president should reflect anti-intellectualism of the culture, has been undercut. I believe this is a Reagan era idea, and I don't miss it.

Dec. 30 2009 11:40 AM
Vincent Naman from Warren, NJ

My beautiful wife gave me two beautiful daughters. 2002 & 2006. Thank You my Love!!!

Dec. 30 2009 11:36 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

Hi Eric, glad to see you're a BL fan too! Happy New Year.

Dec. 30 2009 11:16 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

I retired in 2005 after 35 years with the National Archives (across the street from WNYC on Varick Street). I miss the Village, but not the 3 plus hours of commuting from NJ. I now have a great part-time job as the archivist for Union County, NJ. I’m also on the Planning Board and Historic Preservation Commission in my small town, and volunteer at the USGA Golf Museum. Retirement is GREAT!

Dec. 30 2009 11:13 AM
KLC from NYC

The rise of affordable digital cameras. Although I miss the richness of black and white film, I love that with digital cameras people take a ton of pictures and can share them instantly.

Dec. 30 2009 11:07 AM
Jess from Maine

Just now at the end of the decade, the populace is beginning to rediscover frugality, self-reliance and a rational level of consumption, something the hedonistic easy money 90's made seemingly impossible. Thank-you to the Dark Side previous administration, robber barons give us new perspective whether we enjoy it or not.

Dec. 30 2009 11:07 AM
Liane from Brooklyn

Movies! The best decade for popular cinema since the 70s - Brokeback Mountain, No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, The Departed, There Will Be Blood, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Wall-E...and on and on.

Dec. 30 2009 11:05 AM
Eric from Fanwood, NJ

Although, this was generally a bad decade (9-11; financial crisis; tsunami in Indonesia; Hurricane Katrina, etc.) there were several wonderful things that personnally happened to me that I'll remember the most about this decade - Getting married to my wonderful wife (2001), having two beautiful daughters (2004, 2006), finally getting my Ph.D (2009), getting two very good jobs (2003, 2009), and connecting with alot of lost friends on Facebook (2008).

Dec. 30 2009 11:04 AM
Elle from Harrison Westchester

For me personnaly this was a wonderfull decade:
I was married on 2000 and gave birth on 04, 06 and 09.
Almost every year had great inventions like:- Alcohol level test for breast milk.- Nursing fashion. No label baby clothes. - Very efficiant elctric breast milk pumps.- More effordable organic food and many more.

Dec. 30 2009 10:52 AM

The rise of Linux. Linux went from an obscure hacker OS most people scoffed at to running in everything from giant datacenters to cell phones and everything in between like TiVos and synthesizers. What's so great about that? Linux is open source so no one owns the code, it belongs to anyone who wants to be part of the community.

Also the rise of MMA has ushered in a golden era of martial arts. Sure, it's probably a little to violent for some NPRists but likely results in fewer concussions than football. It's a great global sport where people from different traditions can all compete against and learn from each other.

Dec. 30 2009 10:51 AM
Harriet from Upper West Side - NYC

In this past decade we experienced one of the most historic elections in our history. The front-runners for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008 included a woman and an African-American. The election and inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the US was one of the most inspiring moments of my lifetime, which spans over 6 decades.

Dec. 30 2009 10:41 AM
Joe from Inwood

Local community boards continue to be an overlooked, unsung success story for NYC in this decade. I think they're great community resources and help people interface with the City and get things fixed in their neighborhoods. Better than calling 311.

Dec. 30 2009 10:39 AM
Daniel NP from Boston, MA

I was living abroad in early 2000's - Americans were highly disliked because of the 2 wars we were (and are) waging ... the one redeeming defense I had to demonstrate our Society is civil was the fact nothing more than harsh words came out after the Presidential Election was decided by the Supreme Court. No violence. This matter makes me proud to be an American.

Dec. 30 2009 10:39 AM
suburban_woahs from newark, nj

"hey ya," the genre-crossing feel-good song of the
decade. thank you, outkast. thank you.

Dec. 30 2009 10:36 AM
Talia from UWS

Eighteen million cracks in the glass ceiling!

Dec. 30 2009 10:34 AM
Mark from Maplewood, NJ

Bruce Springsteen!

The 2000-2009 decade was a great one for old and new fans of Mr. Springsteen. Highlights:
E Street Band reunion, "The Rising", his early call to "Bring 'Em Home" (that is, the troops), when performing on a televised awards show, exploring new musical styles in solo and "Seeger Sessions Band" albums and performances, and his increased political activism - culminating in being able to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with Pete Seeger himself, celebrating the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Bruce had a pretty good decade.

Dec. 30 2009 10:30 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Recognition of community organizing and community organizers. The U.S. elected a "community organizer" as president, despite the mockery of the phrase at the RNC. In fact, by giving it prominence, they forced the phrase into public use; though the right used it derisively, there are many independents and people who are inactive politically--or newly active politically--who heard the term for the 1st time and heard it defined. Formerly a phrase used only among those of us in the field, it now has a degree of recognition not known before.

Dec. 30 2009 10:18 AM
Ed from Larchmont, NY

9/11 could have been much worse: 3,000 people were killed, but if the buildings had fallen over, hundreds of thousands would have been killed or injured.

Dec. 30 2009 09:16 AM
George from Bay Ridge

Dick Cheney is no longer president.

Dec. 30 2009 08:37 AM

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