The New Millennium has been Up, Down and Sideways

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comCongratulations on another anniversary of being Y2K ready.

It seems like just yesterday we were crossing through the 19 on our checks and replacing it with 2000. We’ve seen a lot since then.

Without a doubt, the biggest watershed event of this still-young millennium was the 9/11 attacks and subsequent war on terror. The list of terror attacks around the world since then is long and bloody, underscoring the eternal global clash between cultures. 

We have been subjected to way too many mass shootings since Y2K. Las Vegas is the deadliest and most recent. But we will never forget the Pulse nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Charleston, and seemingly countless others.

I think it’s strange we can all agree we have a terror problem, but we can’t agree on whether we have a gun problem.

Natural disasters are nothing new either, but they are becoming worse and more frequent. A quarter of a million people in 14 countries died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Roughly the same number died in the Haiti earthquake 6 years later.

Closer to home, endless powerful tornadoes and hurricanes have battered the US in the past 18 years. In 2017 alone, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria killed hundreds and caused billions of dollars of damage in the US and Caribbean.

We believe scientists when they tell us a hurricane is coming, but some of us roll our eyes when they tell us what’s causing it. I don’t understand that either.

On the lighter side, the new millennium meant the end for Pluto as a planet, which makes me wonder which other parts of my third grade education will become obsolete. 

Facebook and the smart phone were born since 2000, and the phenomenon of publicly documenting everything from our lunch at Denny’s to the view from our balcony in Panama City shortly followed.

I guess it’s debatable whether those are good or bad things, but in the sake of balance, we’ll put them in the good column.

I don’t think of myself as a techie but my favorite thing of the 21st century so far is google. The mere thought of having the knowledge base of the entire world at my fingertips still blows my mind.

My second favorite new thing is the digital camera. I can now instantly see a bad photo I shoot instead of waiting three days.

Fashion has changed a lot lately. The flip-flop came into its own in the 21st century. Of course, so did crocs. Torn jeans cost more than not-torn jeans; and jeans that look muddy are the most expensive of all.

Tattoos and body piercings became mainstream. It’s not my thing, but to each his own, I suppose.

Streaming video and audio services have transformed the way we consume media. Series like Twilight and Harry Potter got kids in the habit of reading again.

The 2000s have already given us some notable firsts in sports. Michael Phelps won eight gold medals, the Cubbies won the World Series, and Peyton Manning became the first NFL quarterback to win a Super Bowl playing for two different teams.

That’s a lot of stuff for 19 years, and I barely touched on politics.

You see, something good has already happened to you this year.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him:

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