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The Naughties (2005)

The Naughties (2005)

©2005, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2006, Summer). A word from the editor: The naughties. Transgender Tapestry, 108. p. 6.







The Naughties


Over the past century and more, most decades have acquired a name and an identity: the Gay Nineties, the Roaring Twenties, the Swinging Sixties, the Decade of Greed. There’s an exception to this— the “00” decades, the first in their centuries, tend not to have names bestowed upon them. When it comes to the first decade, even the wags seem to come up short in the nomenclature department.

So far as I’ve been able to determine, the present decade is no exception: it has no name. It should— it’s hardly been lacking in events of importance— including the controversial, nation-changing election of 2000, the 911 attacks, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, nuclear proliferation, the gay marriage controversy— but as yet, it has no name.

It’s high time the decade was give a title, and I propose to propose one. Why me, you ask? Why not me? It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

So okay, here goes: I’m putting in my claim early so historians of the future will give me credit for it: I say let’s call 2000-2009 A.D. the Naughties.

Why the Naughties? Well, first, those who are old enough to have learned how to cipher in school will know 0 is called not only zero, but naught. This gives the appellation “the Naughties” an air of arithmatic legitimacy. But there’s another reason: lots of folks are being very, very naughty.

So, who is being so mischevious? It depends on your viewpoint, I guess. Americans say Al Queda is naughty for using terrorist tactics; Al Queda CEO Osama Bin Ladin says (on videotape) America is naughty for more than 100 years of interference in MidEast politics. Americans say France (and other nations, but France is for some reason considered the most culpable) are naughty for not supporting our invasion of Iraq; other nations say America is naughty for starting a war based on fabricated evidence. And why did we start the war in Iraq in the first place? Because Saddam Hussein had been, you guessed it, naughty.

Democrats say Republicans are naughty for proposing an anti-gay marriage amendment; Republicans say Dems are naughty because, well, they’re liberals. The FCC says Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction was naughty and has clamped down on the television industry— but the Desperate Housewives and the Sopranos are still as naughty as they want to be.

Fundamentalists say gays are naughty for wanting the right to marry— although what really concerns them are the naughty things they imagine gays do to one another in bed. Gays say fundamentalists are naughty for interfering with their fight for equality and for being hypocrites who do the very same sorts of things in bed.

Large corporations have been naughty: Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, the United Sates. Politicians have been naughty, for instance Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said a bad word on the floor of Congress (even his nickname is naughty!), and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who, in defiance of state law, married hundreds of gay couples. George W. Bush has a history of extreme naughtiness, even if no one has been able to prove it to the satisfaction of his supporters. Even the Governator, it seems, has been naughty in his demeaning treatment of women on his movie sets.

Celebrities have been naughtier than usual, even icons of good housekeeping like Martha Stewart. Martha was punished for her naughtiness; Robert Blake and Kobe Bryant were much naughtier and got away with it. Another Jackson—Michael— has been naughty with young boys, and is now on trial for it.

Governments around the world are being naughty. Think North Korea. Think any axis of evil aspirant. Even cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants and Shrek II are naughty (if you believe the American Family Association. (I don’t believe AFA; in fact, I think AFA itself sets a high standard in naughtiness!)

Just about everyone, it seems, is being, or has recently been, or is planning on being, or would like to be, naughty. In fact, I get the feeling I’m being just a little bit naughty in writing this.

So there you are: I give you 2000-2009: the Naughties, the Naughty Decade.