Friday, 1 January 2010

Year Zero. And sod the pedants.

So then. 1/1/2010. The first day of a new decade.

The pedants will be out in force today, telling us - no doubt with a slightly adenoidal twang - that it's not technically a new decade yet. It's all to do with the fact that there was no Year Zero, they'll tell us. The first decade ran from 1AD to 10AD, they'll remind us. So the second one started at 11AD, they'll declare. As a result, decades, centuries and millenia all begin with a '1', not a '0', they'll proclaim.

And while they variously carry out all this telling, reminding, declaring and proclaiming, we will all carefully ignore them and carry on celebrating the beginning of a new decade*. Douglas Adams had the right idea.

Do you know what this must mean? For us to be marking 2010 as the official beginning of the decade, not 2011, we must have lost a year somewhere. I think it must have been 2004. Try as I might, I can't remember anything about 2004. Did it actually happen?

Although, thinking about it, the loss may not have occurred in one go. There are quite a few weekends that are, quite frankly, dead to me - perhaps they've finally accumulated into one lost year? It could happen, I suppose.

Anyway, let's assume that the Noughties are well and truly over. (And, by the way, who came up with that as a name? 'Noughties'? Was there a vote?) We are told that the ten years ahead of us are to be called the Teens.

Really? What does the decade hold if that's the case?

I predict the planet to be collectively suffering from immense anxiety as it undergoes confusing physical changes between now and 2013. Then, in 2014, the acne pandemic. What then? Will we all be painting our bedrooms black, listening to really bad music and wearing trousers with the crotch somewhere halfway between waist and knee level? Will there be a lot of heavy drinking from 2015, ahem, 2018, onwards?

Who knows? But it's thoughts like this that keep me awake at night. We might be on the edge of a new decade. But clearly I'm still thinking too much.

*PS - I celebrated the beginning of this decade at the house of one of the few readers of this blog that exist I've met in real life. And as she showed me the bookmark for this blog on her mobile phone with one hand, she operated a breast pump with the other. I should add that she does have a three-month-old baby. It wasn't that sort of party. Ironically, the pump made a sound like a herd of dairy cattle.


Laura P said...

She's not the only one you know who reads these blogs Mr Sawyer - f***ing hilarious a lot of the time - these blogs really deserve a bigger audience!

Lois Lindemann (three-legged-cat) said...

Happy New Decade!

I confess I was oft heard to mutter "It's not even the start of the new millennium yet!" as Dec 31st 1999 approached, but that was a reaction to the sheer over-the-topness of the whole millennium celebration thing. Since millennia/centuries/decades are fairly arbitrary blocks of time, it's really not that important where we start counting from.

Actually I hadn't even noticed that another decade was ending until a few days ago. Time flies eh?

emma said...

it's not just for pedants, it's for us procrastinators too. I'd be perfectly happy to put off a new decade until next year, if that's ok...

Oli_fairenough said...

Can't remember, definitely not a rugby fan then eh? ;-)

fatboyfat said...

Well, England won the RWC in November 2003. I was probably celebrating through most of 2004!


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