Wow wow wow!!! It is the end of the decade… or is it?!?! Apparently when the decade ends is debatable! Anyway, at the beginning of 2010 I had just turned 14 and was in my first year of high school—things certainly have changed.
Before we get to highlights of the past decade, I have a quick announcement: I will be taking a much needed vacation for the next two weeks and will not be posting. Sorry! Regular weekly posts will resume January 19th. Have a great New Year!
Highlights: Wikipedia is the ultimate list; how history will remember the 2010s; when we marched for our lives; the 2010s defining words; the NYT, New Yorker and The Verge reflect on the decade; W Magazine’s top 50 pop-culture moments; the 25 best TV shows of the second golden era of TV; and the decade in memes.
1. Wikipedia: 2010s
There was a ton of shit I wasn’t paying attention to at the beginning of the decade, and reading this page reminded me of A LOT of things I had forgotten. I don’t have a pick of the list, or “what’s missing” for this one because it’s Wikipedia, and it’s all there for you to figure out yourself. I do like this page however, because many of the other lists here focus on America and American culture, and this has a lot of information on what happened all over the world.
2. Politico: How Will History Books Remember the 2010s?
Pick of the list: This list is comprised of paragraphs written by historians of what “they think will describe the 2010s in American history books written a century from now.” You should read all of them. If I had to pick one, it would have to be “We saw how our democracy would end” written by Elizabeth Borgwardt. Not only is the title amazing, but it is well written and I would want to read the whole chapter of that book, not just this introductory paragraph.
What’s missing: There are so many paragraphs here written from such diverse perspectives that most major angles I could think of are covered.
3. BuzzFeed: These Are The Decade-Defining Words Of The 2010s
Pick of the list: “Woke” has become so overused that the word doesn’t mean anything anymore, even if someone is technically using the correct definition. If you are going to use to word woke, please read the history of woke used in political context by Kashana Cauley in The Believer.
What’s missing: Although I’ve only started to hear this term in the past year or so, post-woke needs to be on this list, because that is what a lot of people actually are when they say they are woke.
4. New York Times: 33 Ways to Remember the 2010s
Pick of the list: YouTube had a major cultural impact of the last decade. Not only did it change our understanding of fame as it was one of the first platforms where being an influencer, or in this case a YouTuber, could be a full-time job. It not only signaled a shift in the production and consumption of entertainment, but also in education via countless video tutorials, and gave space to many different subcultures.
What’s missing: This is one of my favorite lists remembering the 2010s, but the one thing it is missing is something about food culture. Foodie culture is a HUGE part of social media, and what food you choose to eat not only has a lot of aesthetic implications, but moral ones as well.
5. New Yorker: The Top Thirty Cultural Moments of the Twenty-Tens
Pick of the list: I would have never thought to look up the date of Christian Marclay’s “The Clock,” a 24-hour dilemma that is “a montage of timekeeping moments from the epic history of screen culture,” but it makes perfect sense that it would begin this decade with its release in 2010.
What’s missing: I think there are a few things this list is missing, but maybe most importantly according to the list’s own logic is Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama. The portrait was groundbreaking and made an impact across cultural spectrums.
6. The Verge: 32 moments that made the decade
Pick of the list: Not only was the iPhone 4 my first iPhone, it also truly signaled the rise of smartphones. Before the iPhone 4, the devices were only available on one cellular network. After its release in 2010, iPhones became available on all major US carriers, and it felt like you could see iPhones taking over the world overnight.
What’s missing: Snapchat is very interestingly absent from many of these lists, including this one. I have never used Snapchat, but what I find most interesting about the app is how many other social media platforms have incorporated some type of post that disappears after 24 hours into their services, potentially rendering Snapchat obsolete.
7. W Magazine: The Top 50 Pop Culture Moments, Milestones and Memories of the Decade
Pick of the list: I do not juul, but over the past few years juuling has become this weird part of my life as many of my good friends juul. It seemed to come into my life out of nowhere, and perhaps it is leaving as I’m beginning to see anti-juuling campaigns.
What’s missing: I’m kind of surprised something about Taylor Swift isn’t on here? I don’t know what exactly she would be on here for exactly but it is interesting that she isn’t.
8. Pitchfork: The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s
Pick of the list: Per my list last week, my favorite album of this decade was Solange’s A Seat at the Table. There are other albums on here that I think are just as good as A Seat at the Table, but I will always play Solange when given the chance.
What’s missing: I am very predictable. Again, per my list last week I would probably add James Blake’s eponymous debut album, just because I love him so much. And the album is one of the most honest albums I have ever listened to.
9. Variety: The 25 Best TV Shows of the Decade
Pick of the list: Now, I didn’t really start watching TV seriously until the latter part of the decade, BUT my picks of this list would be The Good Wife and Orange is the New Black. I have binge watched both of those shows more than once, and each time I see different things. Plus, I love that The Good Wife is a network show (NBC), and although House of Cards ~technically~ was Netflix’s first show, OITNB heralded a new era for the streaming service.
What’s missing: While Jersey Shore premiered in December 2009, the majority of the show aired in the 2010s. Yes, one could argue that it isn’t great TV—that reality TV could never be great TV. Whatever you think, you’ve probably heard of Jersey Shore as the show was INSANELY impactful.
10. BuzzFeed: The 100 Memes That Defined The 2010s
Pick of the list: I had not thought about What does the fox say for years and henceforth that song will forever be stuck in my head.
What’s missing: BBQ Becky emerged in 2018 after a white woman called the cops on Black men trying to have a BBQ in a park in Oakland, California. It is one of my favorite memes as it PERFECTLY captures white women’s desire to be involved in any situation regardless of whether they are needed. It is amazing.
*All images taken from reference articles*
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