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Zeroes, naughts, aughts - reflections on the decade

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On December 31, 1999 my biggest worry was Y2K. As the clock struck midnight I held my breath along with the rest of the world and waited for the computers to crash, bank accounts to freeze and imminent global annihilation -we were 281 million citizens scared to death. Life would never be the same.

As my feet touched the floor on January 1, 2000 I gazed at my seven-year-old daughter, made breakfast, watched the Rose Bowl and waited for my husband to come home from work -the terror predicted had been averted - it was same old - same old. Y2K became a blip on the trivia score card and the world went on.

The decade began -Bush Jr.was going to the White House and Mr. & Mrs. Bill Clintonwere moving to New York. The memory of the blue dress, “Travelgate” and a host of other Clinton scandals receded like yesterday’s tide.

The country wasbarely out of diapers in 2001, when the world changed forever as suicide bombers decided to take out the World Trade Center on a balmySeptember 11 morningand life as we knew it would never be the same again.

The tragedies continued through the decade with the incidents atColumbine, Virginia Tech and the Amish school house in Pennsylvania andthe Gulf War. Canada and the US experienced communication meltdown with the great Northeastern Blackout of 2003. Mother Nature fought back with devastating tsunamis and earthquakes.

The financial world had its meltdown with the crash and burn of the stock market, bankrupt banks and trimmed hedge funders.Americans also learned aboutnew worlds, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, new forms of terror,Racine and Anthrax poisoning,and suicide bombings.

Our sensibilities and way of life had been assaulted -Hollywood and TV Land came to the rescue and provided us with new forms of entertainment -the birth of theReality Show - the genrethat spawned an entire culture of celebrity wanna bees -ordinary folk who would do almost anything to get their 15 minutes of fame or the chance to win $1 million dollars - Survivor; Project Runway;the Mole; and The Great Race.

Reality continued withThe Gosselins, (Jon & Kate Plus Eight); The Duggars (18 and Counting);Growing Up Gotti; Octomom;The Nanny, Housewives of New York, Orange County and everywhere else,and a slew of medical re-enactment shows (yech). We watchedretiring rock stars still in spandex, platform boots and makeup, think Ozzy Osbourneand Kiss front man Gene Simmons.

Not to be bleak, there was also a slew of innovations and strides in science -the Space Station opened for business, complete with toilet problems, cloning pets and body parts.

My Space, FaceBook and Twitter debuted changing the way we keep in touch. Texting introduced us toLOL, IDK, GTG, BRBand now the English language WNBTS, (will never be the same).

It’s December 31, 2009 and my biggest worry isNYC going bankrupt, my computer getting an incurable virus, global annihilati­on,(2012),­and yikes, my daughter getting her driver’s license -Happy New Year.

JDelBuono@cnglocal.com.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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