Monday, December 07, 2009

My Least Favorite Events of the '00s

Given it being the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and tomorrow the anniversary of John Lennon's murder, it feels like an apt time to recall some of the worst (non-personal) moments and developments of the decade that Time magazine calls the worst ever.

I won't actually rank these, given the disparity in severity--from truly tragic to simply irritating--and the fact that some are specific events while others are happenings over time, but here's what went terribly wrong in the '00s:

- 9/11
- The Presidency of George W. Bush
- The Election Debacle of 2000 (and perhaps 2004 as well)
- The Tsunami of 2004 that killed 230,000 people
- Hurricane Katrina, the subsequent man-made disaster and the devastation that followed
- Worldwide terrorist attacks: Bali, Madrid, London, Mumbai
- The Chinese earthquake and other natural disasters
- Genocide in Darfur
- Recession since Sept. 2008 (+ Wall St. swindling, market meltdown, auto industry collapse, mass unemployment, etc.)
- Abu Ghraib & Guantanamo
- The Patriot Act
- Student Massacres at Virginia Tech and NIU (my alma mater)
- Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
- Steroid debacle in baseball
- Reality TV and the pseudo-celebrity culture
- Illinois Governors Blagojevich and Ryan
- Bernie Madoff
- Cubs Choke in 2003 (see also 2004, 2007, 2008, etc.)
- Bears blow Super Bowl XLI
- Zidane's head butt in 2006 World Cup final

Separately, here are the celebrity deaths that most affected me (some for who they were, others for the level of tragedy)

- George Harrison
- Joe Strummer
- Joey Ramone (and less so Johnny & Dee Dee)
- Heath Ledger
- Johnny Cash
- Paul Newman
- Nick Adenhart, Sean Taylor and other athletes killed in tragic ways
- David Foster Wallace - though I must admit I hadn't heard of him until he died
- Warren Zevon
- Tim Russert
- Natasha Richardson
- Michael Jackson - though not nearly commensurate with the coverage

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