Another decade has come and gone, and it feels so surreal. I remember the 90’s very clearly and the 00’s was such a blur. So many things can happen in a year. What I have decided to do with this post is to do a quick look back of the news events that were important to me. I want to write about things that I paid attention to the most. Where is the fun in commenting about things that I didn’t care about? Let’s cut to the chase and here we go!
The Death of Charles Schultz
In 2000, Charles Schultz retired from writing Peanuts comics in the newspaper. This was big news to me because I was such an avid reader. The Daily News stated that they will print older strips since Schultz was writing for decades. However, the real shocker was hearing about his death. It’s very weird to retire and then pass away a few months later. Also, the death of such a talented man is always terrible. This is the guy who brought us A Charlie Brown Christmas. He is gone but not forgotten.
Runner up: Elian Gonzalez
I couldn’t believe how much attention was given to this story. There was no way I could avoid it. The poor kid’s face was plastered all over television. I think what brought it even more attention was all of the internet parodies of the situation. I was an avid reader of Newgrounds.com and some psycho made an Elian parody with the Wazzap commercial. You can see it here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/266
Year I met my wife
At this time, I was frequently going to raves in New York City and would meet new friends all the time. Back then, most online communities would connect through electronic mailing lists. I’ve chatted with my wife online through the “NYC-Raves” list but never met in person. In August of that year, there was a big party at the Amazura in Queens, NY and everyone was going. I met her there and quickly became friends. After that, we hung out everyday, and a romance eventually grew from a friendship.
And then she gave up the ass.
Runner up: 9/11
Yeah, I know. How does the deaths of about 3000 people fall under the runner up? Not to be a jerk or anything, but meeting my wife affected my life more. Even though I saw the smoke come from the towers with the naked eye, I now have a family because of my wife. I had to struggle with this choice for a week. However, it’s not like I’m writing public policy…it’s just a blog that maybe five people read. I do get angry when I’m near ground zero and see the towers missing. WTC was pretty cool and I’ve only been to the top once. I hope the new tower goes up soon.
The Beltway Snipers
In 2002, two clowns were driving around Virginia and shooting innocent people in the head. Everyone in Virginia was scared, and rightly so. One of my cousins was living in the area where the shooter was killing people at the time, so we were nervous as well. Eventually the two guys were caught after killing ten people and injuring three. What was shocking is that it was a man and a boy. That’s not the kind of advice a growing boy should be getting.
Runner up: Daniel Pearl Beheaded
This story was something new that America has not seen. Innocent people getting their heads cut off on the internet because of war. The new (sort of) technology of the last decade showing this poor guy getting a machete in his neck while he was just reporting the news. Those guys win the “Assholes of the year” award.
The Northeast Blackout
On August 15, 4:15pm, a massive blackout has covered the entire city. Later I found out that eight states were affected by the blackout. This really sucked because it was a very hot day and my future wife and I were sweating balls in our apartment for the whole day. I remember looking outside my window during the day and hearing people spread rumors that it was the terrorists who did it. I don’t know why but I didn’t believe that. I just figured that it was just too hot. Apparently, it was some trees in Ohio that was the culprit. I hate trees.
Runner up: Space Shuttle Colombia explodes upon reentry
I usually follow what NASA does because I’m a fan of space travel. I guess it’s all those visits to Space Mountain and Epcot Center. Because of this, I was watching the reentry of the shuttle. Man, I couldn’t even imagine what the astronauts were thinking as the shuttle fell apart. Space travel is always risky and they’re brave souls for risking their lives in the name of progress. I salute them.
On December 26, the day after Christmas, an underwater earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused a massive Tsunami. That wave hit fourteen countries and killed almost 230,000 people. That’s 230,000; way more than a shitload. Even reading about it today is still a sobering fact. The earthquake was so strong; it literally shook the entire planet. Obviously, some places felt it more than others. The good thing that happened after was the strong support by most countries around the world. Everyone was giving some sort of donation to these countries. They’ve got so much supplies, some of it went to waste. It’s good to know that so many people cared for them.
Runner up: The Madrid Attacks
On March 11th, a coordinated attack on Madrid’s transit system killed 191 people and injured 1,800. One fact that I thought was wild was that this was done on one train. I didn’t know that a train could carry 1,800 people. I remember that the media was calling this attack “Spain’s 9/11,” which is bull to me because I don’t think it even compares. Don’t get me wrong though. It was a terrible event and helped chalk up 2004 as a crappy year.
Yeah, does this need much explanation. I remember that I was in the hospital the day before it hit New Orleans and I was watching it on the news. Of course, there were those reporters who were always getting knocked around by the wind and debris while screaming into the camera. These guys always look like clowns. I didn’t know that almost 2000 people died from this storm. It also caused $100 billion in damages. Hurricanes are no joke.
Runner up: NYC Transit Strike
The crackhead unions for the MTA didn’t like their contracts, so on December 20, 2005 the entire MTA went on strike. No busses or trains were running in NYC for two days. It affected holiday sales because most people went to shop online during that time. I remember this because I was stuck at home for those days. The thing is, the MTA is never reliable. I hope they got their money’s worth, cause nobody in the city is going to take that shit again.
Dead miners in West Virginia
On January 2nd, 13 miners were trapped in a cave after an explosion trapped them. They were stuck in there for two days. What is most memorable about this situation was what happened with the media. When the miners were released, all of the news outlets received wrong information and stated that 12 miners were saved. In reality, only one miner survived the ordeal. This is a situation that no family member should ever go through. What a bonehead move.
Runner up: North American E. coli Outbreak
This was kinda crazy. Earlier in the year, there was E. coli in lots of spinach. I remember that all of the bagged spinach was thrown out from my local supermarket. Later on in that year, everyone was afraid to eat in Taco Bell. It was being reported that the green onions had E. coli as well. Later on, it was discovered that the lettuce actually was contaminated. It was funny because nobody wanted to eat at Taco bell. I heard that another place called Taco John had the same problem, but I never heard of that place.
Chris Benoit and family found dead.
In late June, police were sent to Chris Benoit’s house because no one has heard from him and WWE management was worried. Benoit was scheduled to win the ECW Championship belt on a pay per view. The next day, the police discovered the bodies of Chris Benoit and his family. Apparently he killed his wife, drugged his son, strangled his son, and then hung himself. When writing this, I discovered that he had brain damage and suffered severe dementia. I found the article here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3560015&page=1
I was such a fan of Benoit, and it really sucks what happened. I don’t really know what else to say about this.
Runner up: The Virginia Tech Massacre
Ever since columbine, everyone has always been afraid of students carrying guns in secret. It’s obvious that everyone let their guard down in the Virginia Tech situation. This maniac killed 32 people on the campus. I always wonder what would happen if someone went on a rampage at my campus. Not cool, man.
The 2008 Super Bowl Champions are the New York Giants!!!
I’m a big fan of the big blue and even I’ll admit that it was an upset. I really think that the Giants were more hungry for it. I heard countless stories of how the New England Patriots totally dismissed New York and thought they had the victory in the bag. I guess it’s true what they say, “God don’t like ugly.”
Runner up: First U.S. black president elected.
Regardless of what political affiliation you belong to, it was a momentous occasion that a black man was elected president. It shows how far the United States have come with racial issues. The country isn’t perfect, but what country is?
The King of Pop is dead
On June 25th the news spread quickly through text messages and twitter that Michael Jackson has died. I was watching TV at home alone when the news reports interrupted regular programming. I couldn’t believe what was said. It was like a punch in the chest. His music was basically my life soundtrack. Rest in peace, Moonwalker.
Runner up: Death of Analog Television
From signing up to get converter vouchers, congress postponing the digital converting date, to shopping around for the best box, the switch to digital was a significant change in American life. Although people with cable did not have to do anything, I was surprised with the amount of people I knew that had to get digital boxes. What’s funny about it is that it’s a pain to get signals because of living in the city and having reception blocked by other buildings. If the building doesn’t have an antenna on the roof, most people living there will be SOL.
Wow, I had no idea that writing about this decade would be such a bummer. If I ever do this again, I’m going to write about good things. I think this past decade was better than the picture I painted here. The music sucked, but overall the 2000’s had it’s good points, and heck, I’m alive and healthy. Let’s see what the teens will bring. A new decade brings a new fresh start. Everyone make the most of it, and Happy New Year!!
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