Enzo Titolo

Politics, Paranoispiricies, neologisms, diary, creative, ruminations

Friday, March 24, 2006

What to Call This Decade: THE NAUGHTIES

In the late 1990s I 'joined' a group of New Yorkers naming this, the next decade, "THE NAUGHTIES." At the time we hoped it would be a continuation of the good fun we'd been experiencing since the mid 1990s. Heck, this was the decade in which the first time the word 'blow job' was used in polite politcal parlance among the general populace. And I liked it.

It was the first decade since the death of RFK in which young people had hope for the future, and the first time since the 60s that young people had hope of making a good living, doing better than their parents. English majors and Programming Geeks were kings of the new economy. And I liked it.

Continuing the good-hearted fun only seemed the natural innocent inclination. Naughty had come to mean mischievous or sexy, transgressive. Women were wearing school girl skirts in basement nightclubs, loving it when guys bent them over, spanking them on a bar stool telling them, 'you are so naughty!' We hadn't had naughty fun like this since AIDS shut down Plato's Retreat in the early 1980s.

Plus, even though the first two decades of the Twentieth Century were quite important, they are largely forgotten due to the lack of a catchy name for that era. The closest we come is 'the 'Aughts' or something like that. It was based on zero being before a number, like nineteen-aught-eight. But I don't know anyone who refers to that era as the Aughties, like the Twenties or the Thirties, etc. More likely, if one is conscious at all of the black-&-white era, then their consciousness usually begins with the Twenties.

But as the 1990s waned things quickly took a dark turn, as naughtiness' namesake kicked into gear. Naughty originally derives from nothingness or void. Void is the anti-stuff that the Lord filled-in 'in the beginning' ...of Genesis. And that was Good. Naught is also what the debauched grasshopper was left with after his summer of naughty merry-making in comparison to the hardworking thrifty grasshopper from the allegory. The good grasshopper had a store of food to get him through the winter, and the naughty grasshopper was left with nothing but memories and fear.

In late 2000 the naughty alcoholic Boy King stole the Presidency from the diligent Gore. What is worse than a good thing happening to a bad person, and a bad thing happening to a good one?

For over a month we stared at the tube as 'the Brooks Brothers Rioting' Republican-Youth-thugs (mostly House Staffers and now many in the Bush Regime) were shipped to the Palm Beach Board of Elections' offices, shutting them down and banging on the doors, terrorizing vote counters so that those votes would never be counted. And those votes weren't counted as the Florida bureaucrats called it a day, leaving it maybe for manyana. John Bolton showed up in another county and said he was there to stop the vote count. Naughty, naughty!

Bush won the US election by one vote: Antonin Scalia's. Word has it that his wife greeted him at home with a Martini. The Supreme Court decision was deliberately naughty, as they stated that their decision not to count the votes was not a precedent. That is, nothing could be based on it. And being further naughty, they used the one-man-one-vote rationale to 'justify' this decree, even as blacks' votes were not being counted and hundreds of thousands of blacks and Democrats were already purged from the voter rolls by Katherine Harris and the King-to-be's Brother Governor Jeb. My understanding of one-man-one-vote is empowering individual citizens equally, so this twistedly ironic use of the principle is, well, naughty.

We have a President who uses 'morality' and religion for political purposes and to hide mass killings. What is more cynical and naughty than that? When the devil shows on a recruitment drive, he won't be dressed like the devil, but he'll be wearing a suit and a smile, making you feel comfortable and good about yourself. Or maybe he'll come off as a 'regular' guy that you'd like to have 'a' beer with. Certainly he won't sound like the singer from Panterra. It just wouldn't be a good way to "market a new product," like the war in Iraq.

After stealing the election these Naughties stole Haiti, a few Central European countries with the 'color' revolutions, and they've been trying with varying degrees of success to steal Venezuela, Afghanistan, Iraq, the 2004 election, and post-disaster New Orleans. They are stealing our tax money, our nation's good will, our futures...

And what comes of all this theft? Naught/Nothing! At least for those of us left holding the empty bags and wallets and bank accounts. These guys are only good at coups and fleecing the public through their privatized government service providers like Halliburton, KBR, CSX, BlackWater, Bechtel, and Fluor, while the taxpayers' kids and economy tanks and tanks and tanks. Avast ye Pirates!

What else have we got this decade? Where there were proud Twin Towers we have a hole. Where is that Bogeyman, Osama? In a cave?! Where is our Constitution? In the garbage.

Where there was Fortune's "most innovative company" in the world for years on end, Enron is a big void, but only after stealing thousands of pensions and ripping off the stock market in general, and only after they precipitated an energy crisis in California over nothing, fleecing million$ from them.

Accountants, including the once highly respected Arthur Andersen, are now cheaters that we are supposed to keep an eye on. Accountants are naughty in the Naughties. Priests have been buggering boys, sometimes in their parent's homes. And to 'top' that, Bishops and Cardinals have been covering it up and quieting it down, by shifting these predators to different parishes again and again. They use their parishioners' donations to settle the lawsuits for millions and millions of dollars... I think Jesus would clearly not approve were he striding in front of the Vatican.

The moral of the story: be careful what you wish for, and now that it is the Naughties be careful and beware.

Once again, now more than ever, this decade is the Naughties.

Credit for the Naughties meme goes to the folks behind this site http://www.guruadrian.com/

Here Come 'The Naughties'

NEW YORK -- What comes after Y2K?

If we avoid the Big Meltdown, and the fin de millennium turns out to be less than apocalyptic, one of the first tasks we'll face will be to name the decade after the 90s.

Just doing the math won't help. Tags for the zero-laden next decade floated in popular magazines in recent weeks have included such ungainly -- or outright depressing -- monikers as the Zeroes, the Singles, the 2000s, the Double-Os, the Oh-Ohs, the Y2Ks, and the Millies.

Futurist Faith Popcorn is billing the next cultural growth-spurt as the "EVEolennium," an era of marketing influenced by the growing economic clout of women that will launch the "e-lennium."

If none of those names ring your chimes, you're not alone.

A cheeky Silicon Alley-based arts collective called Foomedia has come along with a grassroots campaign to encourage the widespread adoption of its own idea as the buzz phrase of the decade.

In the past few days, posters and stickers have appeared on walls and in phone booths all over downtown Manhattan. "The coming decade has a name," they declare. "Naught = 0. Naughty = Fun."

Goodbye, '90s. Hello, "Naughties."

Over the weekend, Foomedia launched the online arm of its campaign to spread the Naughties meme. Visitors to Project Naughtie headquarters at Naughties.com are invited to register as "naughtie boys and girls," and to download posters and stickers emblazoned with the grinning face of the campaign's mysterious figurehead: a toothy, cowlicked, not altogether innocent-looking boy named "Guru Adrian."

Guru Adrian is the jaunty "non-prophet" alter ego of the mastermind behind Project Naughtie, artist David Wales.

"Who wants to live through 'the Zeroes?'" asks Wales. The catchier moniker came to him in a moment of inspiration on the subway, he says. He remembers giggling out loud.

"That's how I know it's a good name -- everyone I've told it to has laughed."

The Project Naughtie team hopes that, by christening the decade with a name that suggests creative subversion, they'll help jumpstart the next millennium with 10 years of irreverent innovation.

Predicting trends is more than just a hobby for Wales, whose day job is keeping an eye on the Zeitgeist for Toyota. The car manufacturer employs the Australian-born artist as a "cultural forecaster." Recent research included clocking the contents of messenger bags, backpacks, and purses of New Yorkers attempting to lug their increasingly mobile offices around on straps across their shoulders.

"When people ask me what people are going to be wearing in five years," says Wales, "I tell them, 'Computers.'"

To launch the Naughties campaign, Wales hooked up with Matt Frost and Geoff Seelinger, whose two-person startup, Foomedia, has done print advertising and Web design for scrappy online destinations aimed at teens such as Planet Kiki and a do-it-yourself DJ site called the Dollhouse. Seelinger says he likes the Naughties tag because "it implies innocence and mischief. It's about extending boundaries in a playful way."

Frost sees an inherent optimism in the sharing of ideas and resources on the Web that encouraged the team's ambition to coin a catchphrase for the next decade. The team has no commercial interest in the Naughties tag -- they just want to see their snappy, upbeat name catch on.

The campaign is being run out of the Foomedia studio, which is located on the site of a former brothel on Third Avenue. More Web projects and a Naughties dance track for MTV are in the works, and Frost and Seelinger plan to use movie projectors rescued from a local dumpster to screen Naughties graphics on the huge wall outside their studio. A pair of trendy gift shops called Alphabets have volunteered their windows in January in service of the cause, and a window-dresser at upmarket Bergdorf-Goodman is considering highlighting a Naughties exhibit early next year.

The Project Naughtie team is decidedly psyched about the future. Jaded New York-style irony and cynicism are "so 20th century," Wales quips.

Seelinger, who studied post-Structuralism in college, adds that "perhaps we needed a critique of everything at the end of the century. But it's time to move on. It's time to make good with what we know."


Post a Comment

<< Home

FAIR USE NOTICE:: This site contains images and excerpts the use of which have not been pre-authorized. This material is made available for the purpose of analysis and critique, as well as to advance the understanding of political, media and cultural issues. The 'fair use' of such material is provided for under U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Section 107, material on this site (along with credit links and attributions to original sources) is viewable for educational and intellectual purposes. If you are interested in using any copyrighted material from this site for any reason that goes beyond 'fair use,' you must first obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.