And good riddance to the 'aughts'

| It's a new year and a new decade, and I doubt there are many sorry to see the old one gone. It was a decade of wars — as in 'on terror', in Iraq, in Afghanistan — and pestilence — anthrax, SARS, N1H1 (aka 'swine flu'). It was a decade of leeches, as in the bankers and financiers of Wall Street who sucked the blood out of the economy. And it was a decade in which great numbers chose deliberate ignorance and irrationality over science and reality — as in the Palinites, the Religious Right, and most of the GOP. The decade of the aughts was one in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended lower than it started. Frankly, I can't find much good about the decade past, except my retirement from HP with lovely parting gifts.

My father used to say that he was born in "nineteen aught one" (1901), but the aught terminology never caught on in the twenty-hundreds. First it was "Y2K" and then the year became dryly mathematical: "two thousand one" and so on. It remains to be seen whether this year will be referred to colloquially as "twenty ten" or "two thousand ten." In any case, I don't think MMX will catch on, except that it will make reading the dates at the end of movies easier.

With any luck, 2010 will be the year the United States joins the rest of the civilized world in recognizing medical care as a basic human right, not just for those who can afford it. It remains to be seen what will eventually emerge as "health care reform" but it will be better than nothing, notwithstanding Dr Howard Dean's opinion.

If we're really lucky, 2010 will be a year in which more of the rascals in politics are voted out. I'm not holding my breath, but if ever there was a time when a great housecleaning is needed, it is now.

Here's to 2010 — can we all try just a bit harder to get it right?

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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