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PostSubject: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:55 pm

10 pop culture trends that defined the decade

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The 2000s: THE DECADE IN POP CULTURE

Everyone's a celebrity

This was the decade when everyone became a celebrity. Well, almost everyone.

The past 10 years didn't invent the concept of celebrity; they just broadened the definition of the term to a ridiculous extent. More people than ever have achieved some minor level of notoriety. As the film The Truman Show shrewdly predicted back in 1998, voyeurism and technology are the twin engines that propelled this shift.

Just ask Richard Heene, now-famous (and infamous) father of the "balloon boy." His story a twisted amalgam of reality TV, fame-whoring, all-news channel coverage and breathless tweets couldn't have happened in quite the same way 10 years ago. The lines between entertainment, personal narrative and news have become irrevocably blurred.

Here are 10 pop culture trends that shaped the decade.

1. Reality TV

Before Y2K, we'd never seen fame-hungry nobodies devouring bugs or getting fired by a guy with a bad comb-over. So-called "reality programming" transformed TV and produced some of the decade's highest ratings. Compared with one-hour episodic dramas, these social experiments and glitzy talent competitions are dead cheap to make, so they won't go away anytime soon.

Sneer if you will, but some of these shows (The Amazing Race, Dragon's Den, the first few seasons of Survivor) are as compelling as anything on the tube. Then again, the genre is also a cesspool of egotism, prurience and voyeurism. Exhibit A: A drunken Verne "Mini-Me" Troyer urinating on a living room carpet on The Surreal Life. Now there's a visual that's impossible to erase from your memory.

2. YouTube and the art of the viral video

It's hard to believe that YouTube has only been around since November 2005, when three former PayPal employees in California created this video-sharing site. It was a quantum leap forward, making it remarkably easy to post footage online. The enterprise took off immediately; by the end of '05, several videos including the SNL digital short Lazy Sunday had accumulated millions of views and prompted the phrase "going viral" to, well, go viral. Now, of course, YouTube is a sublime repository for archival clips and the go-to URL for conspiracy theorists, scatological experts, pop culture commentators and unsigned musicians looking for their big break. Watching video online has become a central part of our culture. YouTube is the global town hall that helped make it happen, a star-making machine for micro-celebrities.

3. Celebrity gawking, 21st-century style

Celebrity scandals have always attracted an audience, but during the past decade, many stars learned the hard way that the scrutiny had intensified, thanks largely to technology. Would Michael Richards's career have imploded if the website TMZ hadn't posted the cell phone video of his repugnant response to two black hecklers at a comedy club? Probably not. A whole new level of tedium became standard digital cameras treated us to the endless spectacle of C-listers leaving restaurants, heading into their rides and zipping away. Thanks to Gawker, you could find out where Alec Baldwin was downing a latte in Manhattan, if you considered that to be essential information. Perez Hilton became the self-appointed judge and jury of the celebrity world and, naturally, attained celebrity status himself.

4. The iPod killed the CD star

The iPod was launched in 2001, and its massive success over 220 million sold so far helped turn the once-hip compact disc into a relic. The iPod's sleek design and even sleeker ad campaign became ubiquitous symbols of the decade. Of course, the birth of iTunes in 2003 and music downloading's runaway growth didn't help the CD, either the latter format never elicited the affection that vinyl did, and the funeral march for "physical" music has been playing for several years. Digital music will continue to grow in the coming decade, while sales of CDs no matter how many Beatles re-releases we see will continue to plummet.

5. Newspapers in jeopardy

At the dawn of the decade, employees at Denver's Rocky Mountain News were probably confident that their professional lives would be pretty much the same in 2010. After all, their paper had been around since 1859. But the Colorado daily shut down in February of this year, another victim of the mass audience migration to the internet. The Halifax Daily News, Baltimore Examiner and Cincinnati Post have also gone under, and in October, after almost 200 years of paid circulation, the London Evening Standard became a free handout. There are countless stories like this; the website Paper Cuts covers the devastation in the U.S. print industry. In the coming decade, surviving newspapers will have to figure out how they can remain relevant while achieving profitability a tricky task, indeed.

6. Auto-Tune

If one stylistic tick defined the decade in music, it was Auto-Tune, the audio-processing technology that can both correct a singer's pitch and/or make that person sound like a robot. It's the perfect sonic accoutrement for an era when image often trumps musical talent in fact, Auto-Tune has the potential to take talent out of the equation altogether. The floodgates opened after it was featured on Cher's 1998 hit Believe; artists ranging from Britney Spears to country music act Rascal Flatts have reportedly embraced it, although, understandably, many artists don't exactly brag about it. Rapper T-Pain relies on Auto-Tune the way Bob Dylan relied on his acoustic guitar in the early 1960s, and it's become a central element of Kanye West's sound of late. Ironically, West recently contributed vocals to D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune), a track by Jay-Z that criticized over-reliance on the technology.

7. Twitter, Facebook and the explosion of social media

Are Facebook (conceived in 2004) and Twitter (tweeting since 2006) valuable modes of communication, or just more evidence of a culture drunk on narcissism? Probably a bit of both. The 140-character limit restricts the depth of the message, but Twitter has become a valuable journalistic tool, especially when it comes to breaking news. This year's Hudson River crash, for example, saw countless pics and info transmitted via that social network. But do we really need up-to-the-second reports on Ashton Kutcher's fast food cravings? Both Twitter and Facebook experienced lightning-fast ascendance the world of Web 2.0 is in constant flux, and given the relatively short reigns of Friendster and MySpace, it's clear that other forms of social media are on the horizon.

8. The rise of U.S. cable dramas

Not all American TV this decade involved voting unpopular people off an island. In fact, the ingenuity and quality of many U.S. cable shows put the more established networks (CBS, NBC, ABC) and even the movie industry to shame. Take a look at AMC's Mad Men, FX's Damages, Showtime's Weeds or HBO's The Sopranos and The Wire all beautifully acted, intricate shows that require attention spans longer than that of the average mosquito. Like reading a great novel, you can bathe in the complexities of these shows. (It's also acceptable simply to admire the genetic gifts of Mad Men's Don and Betty Draper.)

9. Guitar Hero/Rock Band

The music industry doesn't shift as much product as it used to. The gaming industry, on the other hand, still has the power to create cultural phenomena. Since it debuted in 2005, Guitar Hero has sold more than 25 million units worldwide; Rock Band launched a couple of years later, and its sales now exceed 13 million. Both games are cleverly designed, and capitalize on a central truth: everybody wants to be a star, even if it's just in their rec room.

10. The rise of "fake news"

News parodies stretch back almost to the dawn of television, but they've never been as popular as they were this decade. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report received tons of media coverage for their Bush-bashing; some fans even argued that these Comedy Central programs were more informative than CNN. Add to the mix Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" (which feasted on Sarah Palin last season), The Onion, The Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes in which fake reporter Geri Hall was ushered out of a Stephen Harper press conference after professing her love for the PM and it's clear that in these dire economic times, political satire is one industry that's thriving.

*********

My favorite comment reply to the article. Laughing

Quote :
Cascader wrote:
Posted 2009/11/05
at 5:51 PM ET

When we were kids we played with rocks and sticks and we liked it.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:32 pm

I think they did a good job on creating that list. Every time I try to think of what our decade will be known for my mind tries to think of fashion though, because every other decade has had a distinct fashion, and that's one of the main ways people distinguish between them. All I can think of for this decade is the rise of emo and scene clothing, but I wouldn't really consider that "pop culture..."
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:34 pm

^^I'm glad that list does not involve vampires that sparkle
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:36 pm

deadcoldgothgirl wrote:
^^I'm glad that list does not involve vampires that sparkle

clap clap clap

I'm still in denial about this decade - I'm happy living in the 80s with small visits to the late 70s tongue

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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:13 am

I am a huge fan of "fake news"
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:30 am

I wish that digital music won't reach the point where it will completely overshadow actual CDs.
I personally love the band photos, artwork, and lyrics that are included in CDs, and it would be awful if the majority of people didn't buy them anymore.
Plus, lesser-known bands would suffer because their music isn't "popular."
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:16 pm

^^Actually, digital music is what allows lesser-known bands to put there music out there and become popular without the evil of a record label. Say, if you and I wanted to make some music but didn't have money for studio time or image pressing, or CD production, we could just sit at home and sing/play into our Mac and upload it to MySpace. I've found so many great artists via digital media that I never would have just browsing through Tower.

Plus, manufacturing CDs takes a huge toll on the environment.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:53 pm

^^Maybe once the music industry implodes we can finally get back to bands and acts with talent.

Too bad the fashion industry, news industry, and over all intellect of the nation wouldn't implode.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:50 pm

Whooop Guitar Hero & Rock Band heart headbang

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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:01 pm

What is all of this then? An Ipod? Auto-tune? Newspapers in jeopardy? Reality TV that is not a documentary? I am so far behind in the times. Cool

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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:50 pm

Vampira132 wrote:
Whooop Guitar Hero & Rock Band heart headbang

Those games are fun, but they've kinda' degraded the actual music scene a little. Instead of kids picking up a guitar and learning it they're picking up the controller and playing those games. sad or frown
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:03 pm

nsanelilmunky wrote:
Vampira132 wrote:
Whooop Guitar Hero & Rock Band heart headbang

Those games are fun, but they've kinda' degraded the actual music scene a little. Instead of kids picking up a guitar and learning it they're picking up the controller and playing those games. sad or frown
I loved the guitar hero south park episode.

http://www.rodostube.gr/video/4fe0f5f08b4ae56/south-park-guitar-hero
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:34 pm

nsanelilmunky wrote:
Vampira132 wrote:
Whooop Guitar Hero & Rock Band heart headbang

Those games are fun, but they've kinda' degraded the actual music scene a little. Instead of kids picking up a guitar and learning it they're picking up the controller and playing those games. sad or frown

It will encourage kids to play the guitar/drums/bass etc....

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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:36 pm

SweetVervain wrote:
I wish that digital music won't reach the point where it will completely overshadow actual CDs.
I personally love the band photos, artwork, and lyrics that are included in CDs, and it would be awful if the majority of people didn't buy them anymore.
Plus, lesser-known bands would suffer because their music isn't "popular."

I have a fondness for cd's too for the very same reasons you have listed.
And although I do enjoy listening to some music via the net as well as being able to access literature also by this means, I still adore old books and records.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:18 pm

^I may or may not be alone in this, but I buy CDs from bands I love- like Voltaire or The Raveonettes. But guilty pleasures... well let's just say I don't want to approach the counter in my favorite record store with Lady Gaga in hand.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:47 pm

cynfullov wrote:
SweetVervain wrote:
I wish that digital music won't reach the point where it will completely overshadow actual CDs.
I personally love the band photos, artwork, and lyrics that are included in CDs, and it would be awful if the majority of people didn't buy them anymore.
Plus, lesser-known bands would suffer because their music isn't "popular."

I have a fondness for cd's too for the very same reasons you have listed.
And although I do enjoy listening to some music via the net as well as being able to access literature also by this means, I still adore old books and records.

I feel the same way. I love the art, lyrics and liner notes of traditional CDs.

Emmature wrote:
^I may or may not be alone in this, but I buy CDs from bands I love- like Voltaire or The Raveonettes. But guilty pleasures... well let's just say I don't want to approach the counter in my favorite record store with Lady Gaga in hand.

Yeah, that's generally been my policy too. Though the Mister would sooner have most things digitally, and is trying to convert me. Not happening anytime soon.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 pop culture trends that defined the decade   Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:16 pm

Hmm I would agree with Celeb culture and facebook and utube but not most of the others... I'd pop the explosion of Emo and Scene on there.
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