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Acid Tongue 890 - 2007 Retrospective

Author: Nick Jarvis
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Farewell 2007, we hardly had a chance to get to know you before you were taken away from us. Can you feel the fin de siècle pathos as the decade barrels towards its end- How will this year be remembered in television retrospective specials of the distant future- How heartily will our children laugh at our clothing and munted party photos in decades to come- Only time will tell, but I have an inkling.

2007 will be remembered as the year that Australians finally came to their senses, as, in a pratfall of unmistakeable irony, Howard screwed himself out of a job after screwing everyone else out of decent working conditions for theirs. To quote Nelson Muntz, “Ha Ha.” Oh yeah, and how ‘bout that Simpsons Movie- 18 years or so of waiting, and was it worth it- Of course it was…what did you expect, War and Peace-

Elsewhere in the political spectrum Tony Blair handed over the UK’s top job and was also eulogised by unsympathetic voices, while the French elected a Conservative and then protested in typical French style, with some good old-fashioned street rioting. In the USA, too, it’s been a time of historical politics – with the dopiest and yet most dangerous President ever on his way out, the forerunners for his replacement are a woman, an African-French-American and a cross-dressing Italian.

In terms of (successful) major terrorist actions targeting Westerners, 2007 was a slow news year. Sure, there may have been bombings in places like Algeria and daily explosions and rocket attacks in Baghdad and on the West Bank, but unless you watch SBS News then you wouldn’t know, much less care. I’m sure GWB would’ve blamed Hurricane Katrina on Al Qaeda if he could’ve, but it was a bit of a stretch to suggest that Osama controls the weather, so the Christian Right settled for blaming New Orleans’ gays and lesbians instead. Meanwhile, Australia’s very own “Al Qaeda” member David Hicks member was finally returned to Australian soil, thanks to an upcoming election and his giving up his right to a fair trial, his right to sue and his right to complain about torture.

The Americans continued refining their talent for shooting massacres, and not to be outdone, the Finns got in on the action as well. But while North Korea, the US, India and Pakistan all did a lot of sabre rattling, there was little to drag us away from Dancing With The Stars. In fact, it was such a slow news year that the top story was about a little girl disappearing in Portugal. Of course, other children went missing as well, but they weren’t quite so pretty, so they didn’t get their picture in best selling novels. Speaking of best selling novels, the final Harry Potter came out with more high-tech security than Mossad, but it still managed to get leaked online by an industrious culture hacker.

In sport, Iraq won its first Asian Cup football championship, which made a lot of people happy and stopped the bombings for about, oh, twenty minutes. South Africa also won the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and people were glad that at least it wasn’t England.

In celebrity land, 2008 was the year of Britney. Did any other celebrities do anything interesting this year- Who knows- Who cares, really, when every day you’ve got new pictures of Britney driving irresponsibly at 4am with running mascara, saucer eyes and a Popeye jaw, feeding KFC to a three-month old child while shaving her head and flashing her vag.

Halfway through the year and all of sudden not only could we not smoke inside pubs and clubs anymore, but we realised how much our fellow punters reek. Also, footpaths suddenly became the most popular place to congregate for a night on the town. In more encouraging news, Sydney finally decided to copy Melbourne and embrace the radical and dangerous idea of having small venues where you can have a drink, a bite to eat and listen to music. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

In fashion, 2007 will be remembered as the year that skinny girls everywhere went rampaging through vintage stores, looking for high-waisted jeans that their mothers had finally discarded only five years before. For guys, it was the year to dress like either a rock star or a duurrty south rapper, even if you only worked in a jean store in Bondi Westfield. Scratch that. Especially if you only worked in a jeans store in Bondi Westfield. Then, there was fluoro. But let’s not dwell on that, shall we-

The ‘90s started to work its way insidiously back into pop culture, as Luke Perry quiffs and figure-hugging dresses started popping up like former members of East 17 at Essex nightclubs. Strangely, all this nostalgia for the late ‘80s and early ‘90s didn’t manifest itself in a resurgence in the popularity of heroin, and Afghanistan remained a dusty, poverty stricken war zone. Instead, the kids went for ice, a crazy drug for dead-boring times, and the consequences were a disturbing penchant for the aforementioned fluoro clothing and embarrassing meth-psychosis tantrums, while the old schoolers stayed home with their dinner tables lined with rack and reminisced about the heady days of MDMA.

In general, we all got a bit older, maybe gained a bit of weight or a few grey hairs, definitely lost a few million brain cells. 3D was bought by Destra Digital after 18 years of independence, and things stayed pretty much the same. I took a real holiday for the first time in a couple of years. It seemed to rain a whole lot, but not where it was really needed – maybe the farmers should plant crops in my flooded living room. And who could forget Facebook – everyone’s favourite new way to stalk people you don’t know and avoid actually meeting up with the people you do.

Oh, and on one final note, December 7 2007 was the date that the sun aligned so that it shined directly over Uranus. A hearty cheers, and may the sun shine out of Uranus in 2008.