Thursday, December 29, 2005

It's a 10-year cycle, really

There's no escaping it -- 2005 is coming to a close, and with it a 10-year cultural cycle.

The move from the first half of the decade to the second signifies a major cultural shift. Sure it's easier to divide cultural eras into decades (witness the "I Love the __'s" shows on VH-1), but the dividing line between trends is rarely a year ending in 0, but more often one ending in 5.

For example... Don't 1988 stalwarts "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and prozac line up better with 1993's Beavis and Butthead and Jurassic Park, than with the A-Team, Scarface, and "Just Say No," all from 1983?

Much the same way the highlights of 1998 (There's Something About Mary, Monica Lewinsky, and Viagra) seem closer to the present than they do to 1993's Where's Waldo and Where's John Wayne Bobbit's, well, you know.

So what will I miss the most about these last 10 years? The American Pie movies, reality television, or maybe the opulence of the Internet boom, writ large in $12,000 Sub-zero refrigerators and secretaries who were millionaires on paper.

Maybe the arrival of 2006 means the big goodbye to the culture wars, the northeast's beyond ridiculous run-up in housing prices, and -- dare I say it -- Britney.


Anonymous Pn said...

Good call. Trend transfer and culture vibe (words I did not learn but decided to make up and officially coin) totally shift in years that end with 5. But unfortunately, I don't see reality TV going anywhere soon. The only thing I think that could stop that trend is a giant boom in non-linear TV-- like Tevo and On Demand. And of course a 24 hour repeat of a childhood movie.

December 30, 2005  

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