(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)
As 2009 shuffles off into the sunset, you can’t help but wonder just how the new decade we’re about to dip our toes into will ever be able to compete.
It’s been a busy 10 years: New Zealand started 2000 with its first elected woman prime minister, the United States scored a governator and Barack Obama went down in history as the first black president of the United States.
Technology has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, with everyone wired, connected, twittering, blogging and networking.
We’ve got a new pope, developed a new understanding of just how badly we’re damaging our planet (but for the most part, buried our heads in the sand and carried on polluting anyway) and created a whole bunch of new and exciting words, such as Facebook and Twitter, climate change and moustache-gate.
And while the Y2K bug came to nothing, it was the next year that brought the greatest fears: life changed all around the world after the 9/11 attacks, with international travel becoming just a little more difficult and everyone a lot more paranoid about security.
Reality TV (the good stuff, early Survivor and anything with Gordon Ramsay yelling at people)
Broadband (it should be faster)
Reality TV (the rest of it)
Political correctness (let’s banish it as we embrace the 20-teens)
The Man in Black and the King of Pop,
The Crocodile Hunter and Superman
Possum Bourne and Brockie
Sir Howard and Sir Ed
Terror attacks on United States soil
Terror attacks in London and Spain
Terror attacks in Bali
Kiwis driving fast and dying young
I hope that, unlike the 1500 or so Trade Me users who listed their unwanted pressies on Christmas Day, you got something you wanted under the tree.
It’s been interesting checking out all the “unwanted gift” listings. Not all are Christmas gifts (the weirdly fluffy, pink wooden handbag I mentioned last week is still there) but a lot of them are.
There’s the 32Gb iPod Touch (because really, who would want one of those for Christmas?), an electric potato peeler, a “beautiful bracelet watch” (can’t be that beautiful or they’d have kept it), a plastic pencil sharpener and a USB cable (nothing to go with it, just the cable).
One entertainingly intrepid trader has listed a 450g box of chocolates that was not quite what they had wanted for Christmas: “I thought I was going to get like a NavMan or iPod or even (God forbid) a Wii”.
Hangman the trader goes on to say “As you can see from the photos these are in AS NEW condition. Some haven’t even been unwrapped yet … Pickup only and some may show signs of test bites”.