Thursday, December 17, 2009

The People Who Ruined the Decade

The Guardian has compiled a very interesting list of dubious characters who've contributed to the first decade of the 21st century in a negative way.

Dan Brown

If conspiracy theorists didn't have enough fuel this decade what with 9/11 being an "inside job", the non-arrival of the millennium bug and the possibility of Jedward being a situationist prank, along came a man looking like a bad Whose Line Is It Anyway? panellist to convince millions of airport novel-reading simpletons that if only they pushed the right stone in the floor of the Louvre, the roof would open revealing irrefutable evidence that Jesus was a blood-sucking alien in cahoots with the Freemasons.

Rebecca Farnworth

In 1948 loony lefty George Orwell imagined a Britain wherein novel-writing machines banged out indistinguishable works of soft porn for a nation of hopeless proles. Crazy bastard, right? Then again, in September 2007 Katie Price's Crystal, ghost-written by Rebecca Farnworth – a former radio producer and magazine writer – outsold the entire Booker Prize shortlist. Farnworth hadn't published a single book at the time of agreeing to write Price's works, and Price herself said she wasn't keen on reading them. Yet these setbacks never prevented the pair from machining the kind of "sassy" prose that set gender equality back 40 years, nor did it stop them from using the kind of celebrity marketing strategy that had already reduced the music industry to a cash-poor game of Celebrity Squares.

The others make for good reading too. What's your opinion? Was it a good decade or a bad decade? What was good about it? What was bad?

Another entry on the Guardian list reminded me of one of the best things that happened in these years, The Wire.

DAVID SIMON For ruining any TV drama that isn't The Wire

At first, The Wire seemed like a cop show. Then it felt like a really good cop show. Then we realised we were watching David Simon pulling apart the very fabric of late American capitalism with a forensic, Dickensian masterpiece and pretty much everything we've watched since just seems a bit, well, unambitious.

I'm sure there were other things that happened in this closing decade. For me, letting go of my wishful thinking about Obama was like breaking the final thread securing me to the optimistic and hopeful side of life. But the bright side is there's still a lot to discuss.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Very amusing. They trashed the Mitchells whilst I have been trashing another refugee from Eastenders, Tamzin Outwaite. I am not sure what it is about Paradox...

    The take on Al Gore was pretty good as well.

    I was surprised that Ben Elton was on it, but a lot has changed since the Young Ones and Blackadder.

    The list will fly over the heads of most of your readers. As will things such as "Frankie Boyle made jokes about the Queen's fanny".

    That has a different meaning over here:

  2. Was it a good decade or a bad decade?

    Here's my 5-word answer:
    George Bush and Dick Cheney!

  3. Yeah...the Dan Brown novels pretty much set the trend for the decade.
    I admired them as paranoiac formulaic, hysterical trash that turned garbage into gold...for Brown.
    I couldn't read any more of the trash after Angels and deamons...I never got to he DaVinci Code...
    Religion and violence...that's the ticket!

    Like what's his face from the decade before...uhh...the guy who wrote, oh you know, the CIA...President Ryan or someting or other...they made a bunch of movies from his books...Tom something or other....????

  4. Sebastian said, "It's been an exhausting decade."

    You can say that again. You know what I'm most exhausted over? Getting my hopes up about Obama about a year and a half ago only to realize lately that he's just another puppet.

    Now I'm back to my cynical self.

    Getting to know you on the blogs has been one of the good things, Sebastian.