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Beyond "Total Noise"
November 7, 2011 3:56 PM   Subscribe

The New Classics: The most enduring books, shows, movies, and ideas since 2000.

Slate's List:
  • “I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas (music)
  • Clearview typeface (typography)
  • Chronicles, Volume 1 (memoir)
  • “The Star Wars Kid” (video meme)
  • “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” (video advertisement)
  • The iPod (gadget)
  • Nowhere Man, by Aleksandar Hemon (fiction)
  • Roger Federer (sportsperson)
  • Mulholland Drive (film)
  • The Ugg (fashion)
  • The Clock (video art)
  • The Wire (television)
  • The High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park (architecture)
  • Avenging Angel, by Craig Taborn (music)
  • “Marlboro Marine,” by Luis Sinco (photo advertisement)
posted by vidur (132 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Too soon!
posted by chavenet at 3:57 PM on November 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Ugg? Really?
posted by litnerd at 4:00 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling"

FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU-
posted by metaxa at 4:02 PM on November 7, 2011 [50 favorites]


Really? We're calling this best of the web?
posted by cyphill at 4:04 PM on November 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


What's the purpose of a list like this, exactly? To increase readership? To generate pointless internet debate? To position Slate as some kind of taste-maker?

Thanks, "The Slate Staff". I'm glad that we can finally close the book on what is and is not a post-2000 classic.
posted by allseeingabstract at 4:06 PM on November 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


Ooh! A list! FIGHT!

My summary dismissals:

* No. Instant dismissal of this persons opinion on ANYTHING for mentioing the Black Eye Peas
* Hipster font nerd bullcrap.
* Whatevs, it's no Kieth Richards autobiography. Aging hipster bullcrap.
* Long forgotten by everyone.
* Mastubatory Apple fanboi crap
* See above. Now, if they'd have said the iPhone they might have had a point.
* Never heard of it
* Don't care
* Um, what? I mean, I kind of liked it but...
* Fuck off
* Never seen it
* God, people never shut up about it. Will probably be remembered a lot longer than most of the rest of this crap.
* Actually kind of cool
* Shrug
* Okay, I guess, but seriously?
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on November 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


I Gotta Feeling really is The Ugg of music: stupidly comfortable, and because of that, reaching the point of supersaturation. It's not so much a bad song, as it is completely lacking reason to be offensive beyond being so damn mundane. They're not bad shoes, but you don't need to wear them everywhere.

"Are you rooting for it not to be a good night?"

Are you complaining that your feet are all cozy and warm?

That's the problem: how can you disagree with the vapid lyrics. And how can you fight against cozy, fuzzy boots? Except they're good in small doses. You don't go around wearing fuzzy boots at all times, that would be dumb. Ditto listening to vapid music: comforting at times, but so damned played out that you hate it.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:07 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you know what will not endure? This article.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:07 PM on November 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


Well, I now dislike Slate. That's an achievement, I guess.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


can anyone link to an article that looks at the historical accuracy of predictions about what cultural artifacts will stand the test of time
posted by timsneezed at 4:08 PM on November 7, 2011


A list. By a guy. On the Internet.... how novel!
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 4:11 PM on November 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


The 90s now seem really fucking awesome by comparison if this mess is the best the 00s could do.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on November 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Might be time to update the definition of "classic" in the OED.
posted by timsteil at 4:15 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can anyone link to an article that looks at the historical accuracy of predictions about what cultural artifacts will stand the test of time.

I really think someone should create a prediction tracking website. It would be amazing for politics and sports, culture would be tough, but equally awesome.

Having read this list, though, I feel like I've been successfully trolled by Slate.

For "I've Got A Feeling," while many of us may not think it's a great song, it has successfully lodged itself into the longterm culture (at least for another 10-20 years at sporting events... like a modern "Whoomp... There It Is"). Along the same lines, "Seven Nation Army" has had a similar level of fame.
posted by drezdn at 4:17 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also The Vengabus. Hmmm...
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, when they come out with "The New Stupid", this list may well be number 1.


“The Star Wars Kid” really???? the word classic does NOT mean what I thought it did.
posted by HuronBob at 4:20 PM on November 7, 2011


Coming soon: "Top Ten Dismissals of Top Ten Lists on Metafilter Since 2010, possibly September of 2011." If we do one FFP per item, that would be perfect!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:21 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


A list. By a guy. On the Internet.... how novel!

A snarky comment. By a guy. On the Internet.... how novel!
posted by allseeingabstract at 4:23 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


> "Yet [I Gotta Feeling] has entered the canon for the simple reason that it will be played at every wedding you will attend for decades to come."

Like other timeless classics such as the Macarena, the Chicken Dance and "Strokin'" by Clarence Carter.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:25 PM on November 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


If, on New Year's Eve 1999, a person from the future had shown me this list, I would have contemplated suicide.
posted by perhapses at 4:25 PM on November 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


Too many marketers have figured out how to game the MeFi system with quid-pro-quo and other obfuscatory tactics. I'd recommend the mods start cracking down on the obvious link bait but they're too Canadian.

I once convinced a Canadian that everyone in her forum should talk about how I believe I'm a zombie because hey, every thread is unique in this richly diverse tapestry of human existence. You suckers.
posted by clarknova at 4:26 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The utter lack of merit is actually quite novel. Normally we can have arguments about what is and isn't a good inclusion, and how things should be moved up and down in rankings, and so on and so forth... this blows all of that up by it's very unworthiness. Our preconceptions have been shattered and we have been left rolling in cognitive dissonance... THAT is the achievement of this crappy list.
posted by Artw at 4:26 PM on November 7, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm judging this list on the metric "would my mom have any idea what this is?". I think the score (generously) would be 4/15. Hell, my score is only 9/15 and I'm not exactly a shut in.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 4:26 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not so much a bad song, as it is completely lacking reason to be offensive beyond being so damn mundane. They're not bad shoes, but you don't need to wear them everywhere.

"I Gotta Feeling" is SO much a bad song.

Uggs are awful shoes. You don't need to wear them anywhere.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:27 PM on November 7, 2011


Interesting concept; stupid, stupid choices. I would still enjoy reading an attempt at identifying some new classics by a person who had actually thought about what they might really be and wasn't just trying to irritate people, but I guess that's too much to ask for from Slate nowadays.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 4:28 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Y-y-y-yeah, under 10 years != "classic". Not even close. 20+ years, maybe...just. But not 10.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:31 PM on November 7, 2011


List composed solely for page-views.
posted by nutate at 4:33 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, OK? Just no. Wedding music is just not where we have set that bar. It is not where we should set that bar. Everything else on this list, meritorious or not, is cheapened by that analogy.
posted by mhoye at 4:34 PM on November 7, 2011


"Strokin'" by Clarence Carter.

I have never heard this at a wedding... Therefore, I must be going to the wrong weddings.*


*When I was a kid, there was a commercial for a CD comp that included "Strokin'." One time, in an attempt to wow my family with my singing "skills"/pop culture knowledge, I started singing it. The thing is, I didn't know it was something dirty. Judging by the righteous vengeance brought down on me, my parents did know.
posted by drezdn at 4:35 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now it's been 10,000 years, Man has cried a billion tears,
For what, he never knew. Now man's reign is through.
But through eternal night, The twinkling of starlight.
So very far away, hey, remember Star Wars kid?

posted by Artw at 4:35 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


okay
posted by Legomancer at 4:37 PM on November 7, 2011


litnerd: "The Ugg? Really?"

I guess they meet the "enduring" criteria - I only recent wore out and tossed the pair I bought in about 1984.

Though that means they fail the "since 2000" criteria.

(Artw, you have no idea how much I hate that song…)
posted by Pinback at 4:37 PM on November 7, 2011


This left me cold and I now feel vaguely squalid.
posted by Specklet at 4:37 PM on November 7, 2011


No, OK? Just no. Wedding music is just not where we have set that bar.

Wedding music, to me, is actually a great way of measuring what will be remembered by the most people, as the music has to be catchy but memorable. "Hey Ya" will still be played at weddings in 10 years, while the "Tootsee Rolls" are quickly dropped from the rotation.
posted by drezdn at 4:38 PM on November 7, 2011


Flagged as "Total Noise"
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:38 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Artw, you have no idea how much I hate that song…)

It is THE BEST song. I rock the shit out of that song at Karaoke.
posted by Artw at 4:39 PM on November 7, 2011


Uggs but not Crocs? hmm.
posted by zoetrope at 4:39 PM on November 7, 2011


I'd agree with The Wire. That would be about it though. I imagine there are classics old and new in a number of the sub cultures we have these days. The Good, the Bad, and the Queen is a classic to me where as I've Got a Feeling is not, but it may be in whatever genre it belongs to.
posted by juiceCake at 4:41 PM on November 7, 2011


Being a reader, I went right for the fiction: Nowhere Man, by Aleksandar Hemon

Huh. Never heard of it, but maybe it is something I should read. "To improve his English, Hemon read Lolita with a dictionary close by, and Nabokov also inspires his stance toward adjectives: “You pile them up until the object is formed completely.” Oh never mind.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:42 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think I would actually trust bearded professors in tweed jackets with patches on their elbows in ivory towers to compile a "new canon", instead of Slate/Salon/blogsophere hipsters or today's youth.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:43 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


“I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas (music)

I choked on my drink. No, I did not comically spray all over my monitor, but I did gag for a good five seconds there. Thanks, Metafilter.

What orifice did they pull this list out of?
posted by Ndwright at 4:45 PM on November 7, 2011


Pretty sure Zager and Evans will be remembered longer than The Black Eye Peas.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hadn't ever heard "I Gotta Feeling". (No, wait.) I'm reaching the stage where instead of trying to argue that this proves my superior taste, I'm starting to fear that it means I'm almost totally disconnected from popular culture. Which I really don't want to be. If only for understanding popular snark.

So I click over to Youtube and give it a listen. And you know what? I think Rebecca Black's "Friday" is better. Seriously. The synths in the Black Eyed Peas sound a bit more inventive, but the lyrics are about the same, and at least in "Friday" they're not coy about turning the autotune up to 11. And Rebecca seems like a nicer person than Fergie.

I'll bet it will even be remembered longer.

Partyin' partyin' Yeah! Fun Fun Fun Fun.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:50 PM on November 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


(Looks at Artw's profile, feels much safer at this distance, but slightly more disturbed than before…)

When I was a kid, I had my father's hand-me-down crystal set. I used to lie in bed at night listening to the one local station - the not-Top-40-but-not-quite-oldies-yet station - it could pick up, with the hard bakelite ex-PMG receiver pressed against my ear.

I fell asleep to that Zager and Evans dirge way more often than was good for a growing boy.
posted by Pinback at 4:50 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Robbing the grave of poor dead Dave Wallace to sell your mealy-mouthed zeitgeisty pablum. For shame.
posted by urschrei at 4:53 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies. Everything you think, do, and say ps in the pill you took today...
posted by Artw at 4:53 PM on November 7, 2011


I always thought in the PC/Apple ads that Microsoft came off as a winner because everyone loves John Hodgman and hates Justin Long.
posted by Ber at 4:53 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Forget "In the year 2525" I'm pretty sure Cleopatra 2525 will have a more enduring cultural impact than The Black Eyed Peas.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:55 PM on November 7, 2011


The absence of Lady Gaga is very disturbing as well. She is the Aristophanes of our age.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:56 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mefi has been around more than a decade--we need a "classic" mefi-centric list. I'd cut off my hand to see such a list, and probably wouldn't agree with any of it.
posted by maxwelton at 4:57 PM on November 7, 2011


For "I've Got A Feeling," while many of us may not think it's a great song, it has successfully lodged itself into the longterm culture (at least for another 10-20 years at sporting events... like a modern "Whoomp... There It Is"). Along the same lines, "Seven Nation Army" has had a similar level of fame.
I'm comfortable with BEP being compared to 1994's whoomp there it is, sort of a pop culture foot note. I've got a feeling has become one of the more forgettable part of my nights. It literally has been one of the first songs played at the wedding receptions I've been too this year, but I didn't realize it till someone pointed it out. Honestly it reminds me more of Party in the USA than it reminds me of... oh... I dunno... Hey Jude? My Generation? Walk this Way? Big Pimpin? Creep?

But everytime I hear "Hey-Ya" I am compelled by forces stronger than will power to Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture. THAT is a classic jam.
posted by midmarch snowman at 5:01 PM on November 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love Uggs.
posted by tzikeh at 5:01 PM on November 7, 2011


I got my threads messed up and thought that list was what Eno had to say about technology and music. Damn.
posted by gwint at 5:06 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Disappointing list. There's a kind of cultural attitude I loathe, I can't quite pin it down, perhaps best described as "standard issue hipster middlebrow taste." I really dislike the fact that you can tell by looking at certain people so many of what their cultural vectors are. Slate's list is an example of such canned, unimaginative taste.
posted by jayder at 5:22 PM on November 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I donno why everyone hates the Black Eyed Peas. I'll grant that "I Gotta Feeling" kinda sucks, but Everybody Poops rocks!
posted by jeffburdges at 5:23 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


> "Strokin'" by Clarence Carter.

I have never heard this at a wedding... Therefore, I must be going to the wrong weddings.


I swear that song was played at every wedding I attended during the '80s and early '90s. In hindsight it's...an odd choice, but at the time I thought it was just one of the things that happened at wedding receptions as a matter of course. It seems to have slipped out of the Wedding Song Canon, though.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:24 PM on November 7, 2011


Iconic footwear of past decades;
Doc Martins
Chuck Taylors
Dingos
Cowboy boots
etc.

Now:
Uggs
Crocs

Ugh. Wikipedia says Uggs were in Australia in the 70’s, and became trendy in the States in the late 90’s. I know girls were wearing them in Tucson (not fashion central) in the late 70’s, early 80’s, and we thought they were stupid and ugly then. I was shocked that that trend came back.
posted by bongo_x at 5:25 PM on November 7, 2011


This would be a good thing to try for the 90s starting about now.
posted by Kwine at 5:31 PM on November 7, 2011


Popularity isn't a reliable indicator of the endurance of a cultural phenomenon.

On one hand, popular musical artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Nirvana have (more or less) stood the test of time, or are at the very least widely-recognizable indicators of their era.

On the other hand, Titanic, and that godawful Celine Deon song from its soundtrack were f--ing everywhere for about a year and a half, and barely anybody remembers them now.

Also, we really did forget about Dre.
posted by schmod at 5:33 PM on November 7, 2011


A list. By a guy. On the Internet.... how novel!

A snarky comment. By a guy. On the Internet.... how novel!


The first comment. By a guy (or gal). On the internet .... ironically is funnier than the PoMo second one.
posted by anothermug at 5:34 PM on November 7, 2011


* “I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas (music)--weird choice
* Clearview typeface (typography)--whatevs (typeface fashion wars are boring)
* Chronicles, Volume 1 (memoir)--a reasonable choice; does anyone think we won't be reading Dylan's memoir 50 or so years from now?
* “The Star Wars Kid” (video meme)--video memes are inherently disposable. This seems like a category error.
* “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” (video advertisement)--a reasonable choice. As much as any ad campaign survives as a "classic" this one probably will. That is, in 50 years people will still talk about this for what it says about contemporary cultural mores.
* The iPod (gadget)--inarguable. Clearly a gadget we'll always associate with this era, like the transistor radio in the late 50s / early 60s.
* Nowhere Man, by Aleksandar Hemon (fiction)--a solid choice. The guy's a MacArthur winner, the book was a runner up at the National Book Awards, it has rave reviews in all the best places (NYRB etc.). As much as one can ever pick a book likely to "survive" it's particular moment, this seems a reasonable bet.
* Roger Federer (sportsperson)--inarguable. One of the greatest players his sport has ever produced.
* Mulholland Drive (film)--a solid choice. A film that is steeped in movie history and has been enormously influential on other filmmakers. Hard to imagine a future where it's not seen as a "classic" of our time.
* The Ugg (fashion)--meh. Hard to see that anyone will care about a piece of 70s retro nostalgia that happened to have a resurgence in the 2000s.
* The Clock (video art)--a solid choice. A stunning work that has pulled of the increasingly rare trick of enchanting a wide popular audience AND winning consistent critical raves. I would challenge anyone not to be mesmerized by it (people pop in to watch for a couple of minutes and find they've stayed for a couple of hours or more). Hard to pick "classics" in the fluid world of contemporary art, but this seems as savvy a choice as any.
* The Wire (television)--inarguable. Clearly one of the great achievements in TV of our era.
* The High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park (architecture)--a strong choice: again, like "The Clock" a work that by and large unites the wider public and the critics.
* Avenging Angel, by Craig Taborn (music)--this seems a bit of a left-field choice.
* “Marlboro Marine,” by Luis Sinco (photo advertisement)--fair enough. The category is not "photo advertisement" but just "photo." It's certainly one of the most iconic images from the Iraq war which is certainly one of the defining events of our era.

10/15 that seem solid-to-indisputable. That actually seems like a pretty high hit rate for a list of this kind. I wonder if this list would have had anything like the same reception here if it hadn't included the Black Eyed Peas one?
posted by yoink at 5:39 PM on November 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


“I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas (music)
-- Don't know what it is.

Clearview typeface (typography)
-- Don't know what it is.

Chronicles, Volume 1 (memoir)
-- Don't know what it is.

“The Star Wars Kid” (video meme)
-- Seriously?

“I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” (video advertisement)
-- Seriously?

The iPod (gadget)
-- I'll give you that one.

Nowhere Man, by Aleksandar Hemon (fiction)
-- Don't know what it is.

Roger Federer (sportsperson)
-- Don't know what it is.

Mulholland Drive (film)
-- Never saw it.

The Ugg (fashion)
-- Seriously?

The Clock (video art)
-- Don't know what it is.

The Wire (television)
-- Never saw it.

The High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park (architecture)

Avenging Angel, by Craig Taborn (music)
-- I have a Craig Taborn album but couldn't tell you whether this song was on it.

“Marlboro Marine,” by Luis Sinco (photo advertisement)
-- Don't know what it is.


Is this how "classics" are to their contemporaries?
posted by Foosnark at 5:40 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uggs?!? I guess so actually. There are pretty good odds our grandchildren will wear them to evoke the retro brand-new-millenium look.
posted by stp123 at 5:41 PM on November 7, 2011


Well, I now dislike Slate.

Only now? That black bean soup I had for lunch yesterday? Totally one of this week's New Classics.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:46 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


vidur: "Slate's List:
“I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” (video advertisement)
The High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park (architecture)


OK, that's kind of hilarious. I made fpp's about both of these. Well, the Japanese version of the mac and pc ads, anyway.
posted by zarq at 5:47 PM on November 7, 2011


I think I would actually trust bearded professors in tweed jackets with patches on their elbows in ivory towers to compile a "new canon", instead of Slate/Salon/blogsophere hipsters

I am a bearded professor, I write for Slate, and I love the living hell out of "I Gotta Feeling."
posted by escabeche at 5:57 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Slate/Salon/blogsophere hipsters

"standard issue hipster middlebrow taste."

GODDAMMIT THAT'S NOT WHAT HIPSTER MEANS oh fuck it.
posted by twirlip at 6:06 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I'm going to defend this list, or at least the concept of this list, for purely personal reasons.

In 2009, I was the features editor for the Georgetown Law Weekly, a massively prestigious assignment, to be sure (it isn't.) But it meant something to me, and I was good at it, and my purview was humor and pop-culture reviews, and we changed editorial staff at the end of the calendar year, rather than school year, so I was able to introduce my successor via a dual column with us giving our "best of the decade" lists. But my idea was that it would not be a definitive list, but rather just examples of things we found to be outstanding.

That's how I read this. Different people giving their personal favorites. Now, choosing, "I Gotta Feeling" over "Hey Ya" based even on the writer's own criteria is fucking crazy, and I won't defend that. But Roger Federer? The Wire? Sure, why not?

And in that spirit of "why the hell not?" here is what I wrote in December, 2009:
For this final issue of the '00s, we have decided to dedicate the Features page to a round up of the pieces of pop culture from the past decade. There's simply too much greatness to try to boil things down to the best example of anything, however – the New Millennium was a watershed for television, a grand leap for games, a new age for music, and for film, well... there were a number of very good movies as well. This article is by no means definitive, but simply a time capsule of sorts for some of the best the past ten years had to offer us.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Dir: Michel Gondry) Film. 2004
After playing with our minds with Being John Malkovich, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman added our hearts into the mix, and emerged with one of the most emotionally true and effective movies in recent memory. The premise itself is heartbreaking – a man learns that his ex-girlfriend has had him erased from his memory, and spitefully chooses to undergo the procedure himself, only to have regrets midway through and struggle in vain to hide away memories of his lost love – but it's Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, cast opposite their normal roles as a impulsive wreck and a restrained, straight-laced homebody, respectively, who bring it home. The climax in a beachside house washing away despite the lovers' best efforts to change their past is one of the most devastating, and ironically most memorable, of modern moviemaking.

The Life Pursuit (Bell & Sebastian) Music. 2006
Belle & Sebastian have a reputation for twee, fragile indie music that is probably well-deserved. No matter, The Life Pursuit answered those charges with gusto, with frontman Stuart Murdoch stretching his ambition and flexing his muscles to prove that he could rock out as well as his contemporaries, and with more artistry as well. Opener “Act of the Apostle” sounds like much of the same that we'd heard before – which isn't a bad thing – but what follows defies expectations, and songs like “Another Sunny Day,” “Sukie in the Graveyard,” “We Are the Sleepyheads.” and “Funny Little Frog” get your toes tapping in spite of themselves. You can practically hear Murdoch smiling through all of them. And then comes “Act of the Apostle II.” When, mid-song, the other shoe drops and the melody from the first iteration comes back in a haunting piano version, you know that this is a fully-formed album of genius.

Lost (Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse) Television. 2004
The final season, set to begin airing next year, has a hell of a lot to answer for, and to tie up everything that's already come will likely prove impossible, but this ABC drama about survivors of a mysterious plane crash and the lives they lived beforehand snagged viewers who have managed to keep up with everything despite the writers' sometimes maddening refusal to answer even the most basic questions. The show probably could not have existed at all in the pre-DVD era, which is the only concession allowing new viewers any entry to the thick and convoluted mythos, but the ensemble, and the writers' love for each and every member of it, creates an emotional hook even when we know as little or less than the characters themselves.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Bethesda Softworks) Games. 2006
You could easily describe it as GTA: Middle Earth and not be too far off, but it's so much more than that. Oblivion is not just one of the most involved and expansive (and gorgeous) console games yet imagined, it's also one of the most involving. After creating a character from the ground up, deciding not just gender and race, but moving through a tutorial designed to ascertain your best skills (among magic, stealth, and combat, but it's oh-so-much more complex than that) it's hard not to feel a kinship with your newly-released prisoner and his or her journey to save Tamriel, the game's world. The trick is that everywhere you go in Tamriel is different, and every individual you meet is unique, so the deeper you get, the more it all feels like a world worth fighting for, even if it's against the forces of hell itself.

A Night At the Hip-Hopera (The Kleptones) Music. 2004
Perhaps the only album more sample-dense than the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, DJ Eric Kleptone's masterpiece could perhaps stymie more copyright law professors than The Grey Album. Not available in stores due to a cease-and-desist order from The Walt Disney Company/Hollywood Records, those who've heard it have found a brilliant reworking of everything sacred in rap culture, all bounded by classic Queen tracks. The album's centerpiece, “Sniff,” shows off all of The Kleptones' skills, mixing Queen/Bowie's classic collaboration, “Under Pressure,” with Vanilla Ice (naturally), Belinda Carlisle, Prince Paul, De La Soul, The Avalanches, Adam Freeland, and Lil' Jon & the Eastside Boyz, creating a track that melds with everything else, while becoming a clear, gorgeous apotheosis in itself.

The Incredibles (Dir: Brad Bird) Film. 2005
How do you choose between Pixar movies? And why, among them, would we choose this one? Ratatouille was smarter, Finding Nemo more emotional, Up more affecting and Wall-E more daring and beautiful. I guess The Incredibles just goes for all of these things, and bursts with humor besides, while taking Pixar's first attempt at a story centered around actual humans and knocking it out of the park. It's subversive, in a way, in its twists on the normal superhero movie: the opening is sneakily about the villain's origin, as a hapless kid, the story centers around the wife and kids rescuing the heroic dad, and the “be yourself” allegory is (controversially) undiluted by the idea that everyone is equal in all they try to do. Add in the subplot of Helen suspecting Jack of adultery, which is handled in a way that would fly over any child's head and yet is distressingly real and obvious to adults, and it's clear why Pixar is leagues beyond everyone else in animation.

Arrested Development (Mitchell Hurwitz) Television, 2003
Hurwitz's long-mourned three-season wonder might have simply debuted five years before it's time. It certainly would've helped people feel more in common with the formerly-wealthy, now-disgraced Bluth family, but would'nt have done anything to help audiences get their bearings among the show's series-long running jokes, alienating characters, and plot points that take full seasons to pay off in ways hilarious to fans and simply baffling to newcomers. This is a show in which a middle-aged man in prison rushes for gang-affiliation, a show in which a car slips on a giant banana-peel, a show in which the chief romantic subplot is presumably incestuous, and most of all, a show that makes you care and root for almost entirely unlovable people. If you haven't seen it yet, for the love of God check it out now, from the beginning.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:14 PM on November 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't know about this other stuff, but I looked it up and that Marlboro Marine really is an incredible photograph.
posted by pts at 6:28 PM on November 7, 2011


Navelgazer, I disagree with a lot of your list (the second-best album of the decade by Belle and Sebastian, a band whose best albums were in the previous decade??) but thanks for implicitly pointing out that Slate did not include a video game in its list of cultural products of the decade, and so Slate is wrong.
posted by escabeche at 6:32 PM on November 7, 2011


Clearview typeface (typography)
-- Don't know what it is.


Clearview's the typeface on new highway signs. So that's kind of a cute choice, I guess.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 6:33 PM on November 7, 2011


“I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas

this is not even the most important thing to happen to The Black Eyed Peas since 2000.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 6:39 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


This list gives me the feeling won't be any enduring classics from the 2000's. Or maybe there will be, but they will be things most of us never heard of.
posted by tommyD at 6:53 PM on November 7, 2011


FWIW, I've never ever heard that song by The Black Eyed Peas before, but I'm poorer for having heard it.

On the other hand I once had a conversation with some friends about what 20th century musicians/groups people would still be listening to 100 years from now. Teh only one we could agree on were, The Beatles, Elvis and Hank Williams.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:53 PM on November 7, 2011


The Wire is so classic I'm still recommending it to people who have never heard of it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:55 PM on November 7, 2011


I honestly think that the picture of Spc. Zachary Boyd, fighting in the taliban in his bright pink "I [HEART] NY" boxers and flip-flops, will be the enduring image of the war in Afghanistan. The visual is arresting, and the symbolism is perfect.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 7:06 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's plenty to loathe in this list, but I have to say that I think a lot of the negative commentary in this thread goes past valid criticism and into a kind of willful ignorance.

For example, the Clearview typeface is interesting in its own right specifically because it's not at all anything to do with hipster typeface snobbery. It's the product of a long and careful engineering process, which some thought quixotic, to produce the best possible highway sign typeface. And once that was done, it was enormously difficult to get highway departments to take it seriously. But now they are, and as the article says, it's likely that this typeface will find its way onto most US highway signs and become emblematic of this era, the way that the old US Route sign typeface was for the middle of the 20th century.

Obviously the iPod will be considering "classic" for this era, just as the Walkman was for the 80s.

Mullholland Dr is an interesting choice, but very defensible. There's no doubt that Lynch will be seen as a classic director, the question is which of his films will be canonized. I think it's Mullholland Dr or Blue Velvet. In fact, I think it will be both.

The Star Wars Kid is tenuous, but defensible. We've not seen the last of random people getting famous for doing stupid/silly crap on video on the Internet and this was the first and arguably the biggest, by quite a margin.

Honestly, my problem with the list taken as a whole is that the idea of looking for classics in the post-2000 era is extremely premature at this point. In artistic contexts, I think it takes at least two and more like three or four decades before you get a sense of what is timeless and classic. But, it should be noted, the different Slate writers who contributed to this list seemed to have differing notions of what classic means.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:36 PM on November 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm with yoink here. It's a pretty solid list, with the exception of the BEPs and the Ugg. As far as music goes, I don't think you could ever have a consensus choice (though "Hey Ya" would have come closest, maybe) as it is the category in the list that is the most divisive. Even so, choosing "I Got A Feeling" was a bad choice, and leaves a bad taste that taints the whole list. The Ugg, though? I must admit, I really don't understand the backlash against the Ugg. I mean, sure Crocs are ugly as hell, even if they are comfy and very useful for certain things, but the Ugg is at least neutral, and in the right outfit can be downright cute. I guess it is just its ubiquity that makes it draw such scorn, but doesn't that mean it is perfect for this sort of list?

I would have gone with Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" or Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" in music and maybe skinny jeans or the keffiyeh in fashion if anyone had asked me.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:36 PM on November 7, 2011


The typeface is the only thing on the list that I know of and like. I'm not really surprised that I'm totally out of the cultural loop. Seems to be what happens as you approach 50.
posted by octothorpe at 7:37 PM on November 7, 2011


escabeche: I kind of agree with you. Mind you, "The Life Pursuit" is my favorite B&S album, but I see your point. Writing it now, I'd want to put the New Pornographers' "Challengers" in it's place, but as that is maybe their least accessible album, I don't know that it would have worked for my intended audience. I still adore "Oblivion" as well, but would probably swap "Portal" in for simplistic genius and longevity, etc.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:44 PM on November 7, 2011


10/15 that seem solid-to-indisputable. That actually seems like a pretty high hit rate for a list of this kind. I wonder if this list would have had anything like the same reception here if it hadn't included the Black Eyed Peas one?
Well, BEP was just the low laying fruit; there are deeper problems here. I'm partial against click-bait lists and pointless, "greatest" list of that rank by some arbitrary unmeasurable quality. Rolling Stone, I feel, is the worst offender. But this is particularly egregious because its completely random in its scope and purpose.

Why is November 5th 2011 the time to discuss this?
Why do we have a category for Typeface for christsakes?
Why did "It's going to be played at weddings" become a measure of a classic song?

The authors have our attention, but even they fail to justify how or why this article exist beyond "I was reading David Foster Wallace recently and..." The most chaffing paradox in this click-bait is the total absence of a unifying... or even recognizable... conception of classic, and what a Modern Classic should be. Other critical outlets have done this, much, much better.

I have a conception of classic that is informed by (a) the dictionary and (b) how it's been applied to culturally accepted classics of the past. I guess I ask myself of each selection, does it have broad, powerful lasting appeal to justify thinking it will be regarded as a reference for future generations. The Smoking Marine photograph? Yeah, it instantly captured the zeitgeist of early war while portending the coming exhaustion, it will be in textbooks, and while other photos might have more visceral impact, but everyone will remember this photo. Mulholland Drive? Even critics admit they don't really understand it, most of America hasn't heard of it, and my friends are split as to whether its worth the effort even now, (a mere 9 years after its release?) to go back and watch it to see what Lynch was doing. So what criteria make it classic again? Oh yeah, not because it's good, or popular, or sensible. But because people talked about it a lot. A lot of people talked about Disney's Song of the South (albiet for much, much different reasons) and it has had lasting cultural impact and was critically well received by some... but is it a classic?

The Wire was the best thing on TV last decade, and that's a fine justification for being a classic, although it may fall short in other measures of being a classic, But is the High Line the best new development in architecture? How is that the best... anything? It's influential sure. It sure has changed the landscape of a locale in a new way that will be talked about (in Brooklyn) for... a while... but what about Rem Koolhaas's CCTV tower? The trend of designer islands in Dubai? People will be talking about the hubris of 1920s America infecting 2000's developing countries for a lot longer. And the criteria to measure a "classic" has shifted already. We're no longer talking about the best, but trends, and influence. But if you wanted to talk about trends in influence in TV, wouldn't you want to mention... the Sopranos? The rise of Cable TV, the increasing serialization of storylines with the advent of DVR, the Godfather influenced smoldering scene chewing and emphasis on writing definitely sparked there and echoed in the decades best series (Friday Night Lights, Mad Men), before the Wire was even in development.

The list definitely gets some picks in there that are hard to debate against; the iPod is THE classic device of the decade, I think "I'm a Mac" will be credited with as much brand defining as the "1984" Apple ad, and UGGs are basically the only fashion piece that both (1) dominated the era while (2) not being a reference to a previous era... though hipster screen print tee's made a late surge near the end of the decade.---

--- But there too is a problem, the strongest choices are in somewhat random categories that seem to be only included to allow the article to make a strong choice. It's like if I came up with a list of 80's classics that included the cherry picked categories of Colorful Puzzle (Rubik's Cube), Arcade Game (Donkey Kong), and Benefit Concert (Live Aid). If someone wrote that list, a reader couldn't help but think those categories are included to cover for the author's inability to pick Thriller as a classic album, Dallas as a classic TV series, and Rainman as a classic movie.

tl:dr - this article is more "lol wat?" than "best of web."
posted by midmarch snowman at 7:47 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Uggs are slippers/house shoes and have been ever since we invented them in the 1930's. Just because 80 years later Americans decided to wear them as shoes doesn't make them fashion. Slate is predicting they will be enduring when they have already endured.
posted by Wantok at 7:49 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just because 80 years later Americans decided to wear them as shoes doesn't make them fashion.

I like the fact that there's now a bunch of ageing Ringwood bogans who can consider themselves fashion pioneers.

Next year: moccas and the battle-jacket.
posted by pompomtom at 7:53 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Quality alone doesn't make a classic, unless there is no difference between "classic" and "cult classic".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:56 PM on November 7, 2011


I hadn't ever heard "I Gotta Feeling"...So I click over to Youtube and give it a listen. And you know what? I think Rebecca Black's "Friday" is better. Seriously...I'll bet it will even be remembered longer.

Now I have an unholy mashup of "I Gotta Feeling" and "Friday" going through my head.

I gotta feeling. That tonight's gonna be a good night. That tonight's gonna be a good good night. Partyin' partyin' yeah! Partyin' partyin' yeah! Fun fun fun fun.

I'll leave it to someone with more creative talent to execute the concept, but I think it would totally work.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 7:59 PM on November 7, 2011


But is the High Line the best new development in architecture? How is that the best... anything? It's influential sure. It sure has changed the landscape of a locale in a new way that will be talked about (in Brooklyn) for... a while... but what about Rem Koolhaas's CCTV tower?

The criterion was "classic," not "best." That is one of the things I rather like about the list. "Best" is a pointless discussion, but "will survive its era" is not-or not entirely.

Also, the High Line is not in Brooklyn and has been talked about in the worldwide design/architecture scene ever since it was conceived. Diller Scofidio + Renfro have been amongst the most talked-about architects in the high-theory architecture world since the early 90s (the "slow house" ring any bells?). The notion that this is of purely local interest is absurd.

As a general comment (not aimed at you, midmarch) I would say that in every one of these categories if your response to the nomination is to say "who the hell is that" you don't follow the field closely enough to have a relevant opinion.

posted by yoink at 8:10 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh crap, cocked up the italics. Classic mistake.
posted by yoink at 8:14 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


What the fuck? Were we running out of history? Who are all these people running around worrying about the dearth of history? QUICKLY, WE NEED MORE HISTORY! SOMEBODY DO A LIST!
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:22 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, yoink, totally fair, at one point I thought I knew a lot about architecture... but then I graduated college and didn't have architecture history professors telling me what opinions to have, so I should probably stop laboring under this assumption. I think High Line's development safely fell in this period. Also coinciding with this was a period of my life living in Chicago and actively trying to ignore New York.

My general point is, the list is muddled because each author uses their own criteria (and often the criteria isn't what will survive the era), and the least random selections are from the more random categories. I think if they'd just avoided the word classic or best, and instead used "neat" or "great" this article would suffer less active disdain... or course it would also be more ignored, which is probably not in line with the editors goals.
posted by midmarch snowman at 8:40 PM on November 7, 2011


Ooh, ooh - I got one for them.

Cialis "Twin Bathtubs in the Middle of the Lawn or Wherever" (advertising motif)
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:52 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I didn't like this article.
posted by polymodus at 8:57 PM on November 7, 2011


then I graduated college and didn't have architecture history professors telling me what opinions to have

Just to reiterate, the thing that is striking about the High Line park is that it has very serious "high architecture theory" cred AND it's a huge popular success--with both locals and tourists from all over the world. So it's not that it's something people need to be "told" that they're supposed to like.

My general point is, the list is muddled because each author uses their own criteria

Yeah, sure. Partially it's an inherent limit of the genre, partially it's because a term like "classic" can't mean the same thing in so many widely varying fields. But asking for intellectual rigor from an internet "best of" or "top whatever" list seems like the definition of barking up the wrong tree. My point is simply that this one seems on the whole to be at least defensible and that the attacks on it in this thread are weirdly disproportionate (because it championed some uncool music, apparently).

And (again this doesn't apply to you), I'm surprised by the weird anti-intellectualism of the "LOL, I ain't never heerd of that person, they must be total losers!" in so many of the responses.
posted by yoink at 9:10 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I find kind of interesting about this is that it only is "important" for a few years. Name anything culturally important--off the top of your head--from the 1900-1910 period. 1910-1920? You can probably come up with one or two things, maybe a fashion trend from the 1920s and the Model T from the 1910s, and Prohibition. But it's doubtful if someone asked you to name the most iconic song of the 1900-1910 period you'd come up with one, or what advertising shaped the decade.

You can probably do better for things within your living memory, or those of your parents, but a lot of this stuff is so very ephemeral.
posted by maxwelton at 9:17 PM on November 7, 2011


Slate doesn't actually turn a profit, does it?

I mean, in real dollars, not internet ones.
posted by bardic at 9:21 PM on November 7, 2011


Screw what will endure. That stuff will sort itself out without any help from freelance journalists. Instead: what's in danger of being forgotten that deserves better?
posted by Iridic at 9:27 PM on November 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


Just because 80 years later Americans decided to wear them as shoes doesn't make them fashion.

That's like saying jeans aren't fashion because miners were wearing them in the 1840s or whatever. The origin of a piece of clothing has nothing to do with its status in the world of fashion.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:45 PM on November 7, 2011


Uggs. Fucking uggs.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:53 PM on November 7, 2011


Mulholland Drive? Even critics admit they don't really understand it, most of America hasn't heard of it, and my friends are split as to whether its worth the effort even now, (a mere 9 years after its release?) to go back and watch it to see what Lynch was doing. So what criteria make it classic again?

Amélie and The Royal Tenenbaums both came out in 2001, are better movies, and are more likely to be thought of as classics.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:05 PM on November 7, 2011


GAHHHH.

Ok, that's better.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:11 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Enduring? Lasting for 10 years is not enduring. Nor is it possible to predict what will endure, because that depends on what the future needs from the past. And that no one can predict.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 10:19 PM on November 7, 2011


I can think of a better piece than The Clock for art: Love Is In The Air (Flower Thrower) by Banksy. It's iconic, was part of an important trend in art, and widely recognized. It's not the greatest work of art of the last decade, but that's not really what we're measuring here.

I also don't know if Avenging Angel will endure as a classic. These are not important times for jazz in popular culture. It could however be a new classic in the jazz world; I have no idea.

The only thing I really agree with on this list is the iPod.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:09 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


maxwelton: What I find kind of interesting about this is that it only is "important" for a few years. Name anything culturally important--off the top of your head--from the 1900-1910 period. 1910-1920? You can probably come up with one or two things, maybe a fashion trend from the 1920s and the Model T from the 1910s, and Prohibition. But it's doubtful if someone asked you to name the most iconic song of the 1900-1910 period you'd come up with one, or what advertising shaped the decade.
I'm with you on this. The list is more a comment (unwittingly or otherwise) on ephemerality than anything else. But the comparison with the teens and twenties is an interesting one. Economically, there are so many parallels between the '00s and the Gilded Age and "roaring '20s" that it's hardly surprising that their artifacts of popular culture should feel eerily similar. Steeped in the ephemeral material culture of their time; hostile to any aesthetic categories that aren't market-based; populist in a "we all know where that was leading" kind of way; utterly hubristic in their failure to see the inevitable crash coming: the '00s and the '20s seem practically interchangeable. And I think future generations will find pretty much all '00s culture—"Hey Ya" as much as "I Gotta Feeling"—about as timeless, classic, and enduring as The Little Ford Rambled Right Along. It's future landfill and we all know it.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:19 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer, that list was great, and I'm sorry that Cruz and Lindehof went and shit the bed in the last season of Lost, making that the only misplaced entry in my eyes.
posted by Aizkolari at 4:12 AM on November 8, 2011


Uggs are slippers/house shoes and have been ever since we invented them

Funny, when my brother went to Germany for military duty he said the Germans told him the same thing about Birkenstocks. I guess we Americans like our slippers.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:06 AM on November 8, 2011


I like how this thread could have been"let's have a discussion about things that we think will be most remembered from the first decade of the 21st century", but turned into a pissing contest about how fucking cool you think you are for not liking a corny auto-tune jam. Really? You didn't like"I got a feeling" and didn't watch the Wire? SO BRAVE. SO SO SO BRAVE.

I think the 2000's will be most remembered for its death of sincerity and the rise of the most cynical, bullshit, hipster-phobic attitudes among 20 and 30 somethings and is slowly dripping down to our children. Fuck the internet sometimes.
posted by windbox at 5:37 AM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't know about this other stuff, but I looked it up and that Marlboro Marine really is an incredible photograph.

It really is once you look at it, and it's not because it just captures the zeitgeist of yaddayaddayadda. There are so many components to that frame that can be taken apart and looked at. It's an instantly recognizable and familiar picture not because of the fact it is a war worn soldier, but because except for the change in hat, that very same pose, gruffness, and 1000 yard stare has been used to sell cigarettes to us for decades. Let me say that again, this exact same picture/idea of an archetypal man has been used as a point of enticement to consumers for a very long time. Except Marlboro Marine makes us confront the very realness of what that idea entails: a young man of 20 in the midst of a firefight in Fallujah. Marlboro Marine is an exercise in irony.

"Hey kids, whether you're wrasslin' steer or killings insurgents, Marlboro are a perfect refreshment to keep you satisfied. Smoke 'em up!"

The kicker? The marine, James Blake Miller, developed full blown PTSD. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:53 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amélie and The Royal Tenenbaums both came out in 2001, are better movies [than Mulholland Dr.], and are more likely to be thought of as classics.

Oh don't you even fucking get me started.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:17 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amélie and The Royal Tenenbaums both came out in 2001, are better movies, and are more likely to be thought of as classics.

Thems trolling words my friend.
posted by Think_Long at 6:25 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]



Mefi has been around more than a decade--we need a "classic" mefi-centric list. I'd cut off my hand to see such a list, and probably wouldn't agree with any of it.


Yes, and the Metafilter Top Ten List has to have at least 1,000 entries.
posted by chavenet at 6:37 AM on November 8, 2011


The list is sub-par linkbait but it did hip me to the existence of Christian Marclay's The Clock, so I'll withhold my snark this round.
posted by whuppy at 7:43 AM on November 8, 2011


Well, they did get The Wire, which not on my Top 10 list, I have to certainly admit makes most people's.

Black-Eyed Peas, The Star Wars Kids, I'm a Mac? Wut? Ephemera.

Roger Federer? Great choice for canonical tennis player of the 2000s, though Nadal's dominance on clay hurts the argument. (Federer's main strength is his dominant performance.)But canonical sportsperson? Hm. Tiger Woods? Brett Favre? Randy Johnson? Lance Armstrong?

Me, it's a toss up between Usain Bolt--in a flat world, there's a lot to say about the fastest man on it, especially when he's so fucking fast--and Barry Bonds. I mean c'mon.

I got to give it to my man Barry, though. Again, c'mon. He epitomizes the decade in sports.

Moviewise, Mulholland Drive is an OK pick, and it does sorta represent the cognitive dissonance of the decade (my pick for song of the 2000s decade is "Time to Pretend"), but Lost Highway is a better movie.

Me, I'd consider There Will Be Blood or The Man Who Wasn't There, and a number of other Coens movies could slip in there too. It seems unfair not to pick one of theirs as the archetype. I agree Royal Tenenbaums is pretty canonical for the decade as well.

My ultimate pick? I ♥ Huckabees. It captures the zeitgeist of the decade well, imo. And I'm contrarian by nature.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:20 AM on November 8, 2011


Name anything culturally important--off the top of your head--from the 1900-1910 period. 1910-1920?

Seriously? Pre WWI, during WWI and immediately post WWI? If you can't name a slew of significant cultural milestones around that period you're just not very interested in such things.

Picasso's "Demoiselles d'Avignon"?
Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring"?
Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?
Henry James's "The Golden Bowl"?
Strauss's "De Frau Ohne Schatten" or "Der Rosenkavalier"?
Klimt's "The Kiss"?

It would be pretty easy to go on (and on and on). It's certainly a fun parlor game to ask what will be so easily memorable from our era in a hundred years. There is, of course, nothing whatever at stake in such a discussion (i.e., whatever choices one makes will at best be fodder for amused contempt at the shortsightedness of the past from the perspective of the future).
posted by yoink at 9:28 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like how this thread could have been"let's have a discussion about things that we think will be most remembered from the first decade of the 21st century", but turned into a pissing contest about how fucking cool you think you are for not liking a corny auto-tune jam. Really? You didn't like"I got a feeling" and didn't watch the Wire? SO BRAVE. SO SO SO BRAVE.

I think the 2000's will be most remembered for its death of sincerity and the rise of the most cynical, bullshit, hipster-phobic attitudes among 20 and 30 somethings and is slowly dripping down to our children. Fuck the internet sometimes.


Participate, don't hate. What are your picks, canon wise?

For books, I'd like to make a case for Inherent Vice, but I don't think I can with a straight face, so I'll take something by Richard Powers, either Time of Our Singing, The Echo Maker, or Generosity. Actually, probably the latter. Contrarian again.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:28 AM on November 8, 2011


Mulholland Drive is a fantastic film and a sure masterpiece, but Southland Tales is the one enduring classic that perfectly captures the cognitive dissonance, vapidity, post-youtube meme culture, and especially the post-ironic mindset of our time. It's so perfectly and bracingly spot-on (unintentionally, in many ways) that none of us have enough distance to properly evaluate it for what it is. But this is precisely the problem with lists like these. We're not removed enough from the times we're living in to accurately figure out what's resonant of those times. This list gets almost everything wrong (yes, even The Wire; my money's on Breaking Bad!)
posted by naju at 9:42 AM on November 8, 2011


The future will identify the Classics...if any.
posted by incandissonance at 9:43 AM on November 8, 2011


(Also, +1 to those who pointed out that video games weren't even invited to the party. Is there a more relevant media right now?)
posted by naju at 9:47 AM on November 8, 2011


Ok, offhand:

• "Toxic," Britney Spears (Pop Music). (Alternative: "Umbrella," Rihanna.)
Disintegration Loops I, William Basinski (Other Music). (Alternative: Ballads, Derek Bailey.)
Gotham typeface. (typography)
Quicksands: A Memoir, Sybille Bedford (2005, memoir). (Alternative: The Grand Surprise: The Journals of Leo Lerman.)
• The Numa Numa Guy (video meme). (Alternative: Honey Badger, One of the many variations of Hitler Loses His Shit, or the Rick Roll. What the hell, it's a video meme!)
• The Ellen Feiss "Switch" ad. 'Cause adorable stoners are funnier than either Hodgman or Young. (Alternative: Verizon's "Can You Hear Me Now?" campaign, or, for their sheer, teeth-grinding ubiquity, Hyundai's Pomplamoose campaign.)
• iPhone. (gadget) (Alternative: Snuggle Blanket.)
The Line Of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (fiction). (Alternative: Austerlitz, W.G Sebald, or Veronica, Mary Gaitskill.)
• Roger Federer (sports). I can't argue with Federer. (Alternative: 2004 Red Sox, Lance Armstrong.)
The Lord of the Rings (Wide-release film). Alternative: Batman Begins.
Volver (Limited-release film). (Alternative: In the Mood for Love, The Triplets of Belleville.)
• Skinny jeans (fashion).
(Tommy-Chat Just E-mailed Me), Ryan Trecartin (video art). (Alternative: 7 Easy Pieces, Marina Abramoviç.)
• The Ninth Doctor (television). (Alternative: Firefly, Veronica Mars.)
• Frank Gehry's redesign of the Art Gallery of Ontario. (architecture)
• The Falling Man (photography).
posted by octobersurprise at 9:53 AM on November 8, 2011


yoink: Seriously? Pre WWI, during WWI and immediately post WWI? If you can't name a slew of significant cultural milestones around that period you're just not very interested in such things.
Not to speak for Max Welton or anything, but I'm pretty sure that he was responding in kind to the nobrow/know-nothing, corporate-mindedness of the FPP. The kind that happily pretends high culture never existed. Hence his limiting of examples to advertising and popular song.
posted by Sonny Jim at 10:07 AM on November 8, 2011


OK, here's my list of "Classics of 2000s", being the things that culture will remember and reference going forward, not necessarily the best of the decade.

TV: The Sopranos (started in '99, so if we are being strict about dates I'll go with The Wire).
Song: "Hey Ya," Outkast
Album: Kid A, Radiohead
Movie: Brokeback Mountain
Sports: 2004 Boston Red Sox
Fashion: Skinny jeans
Gadget: iPhone
Architecture: Beijing National Stadium (the Bird's Nest)
Typeface: Gotham (that's a no-brainer, octobersurprise)
Game: Grand Theft Auto III (it hurts to not give it to Shadow of the Colossus, but it doesn't have the impact of GTA)
Viral Video: Auto Tune The News
Website: Facebook
Blog: Dooce
posted by Rock Steady at 11:10 AM on November 8, 2011


I asked a question a while ago, about avant garde works of today that would be important in the future, and Mulholland Drive was the first answer.
posted by jayder at 11:53 AM on November 8, 2011


Cialis "Twin Bathtubs in the Middle of the Lawn or Wherever" (advertising motif)

My wife and I call that one "the suicide pact".
posted by cog_nate at 12:02 PM on November 8, 2011


WRT Black Eyed Peas; they've been around 15 years. They've been making solid music since then. The group is somewhat modular but nobody here can hand-wave them away claiming they're music hasn't been poignant.

Will this decade be remembered for the Black Eyed Peas music, beyond anyone else? Probably not.

Also, the list was made with the idea that the past decade will be reminiscent of said music, film, etc.. It's not a favorite list.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:07 PM on November 8, 2011


poignant -> popular
posted by P.o.B. at 12:08 PM on November 8, 2011


The group is somewhat modular but nobody here can hand-wave them away claiming they're music hasn't been poignant.

*hand wave*
posted by mrgrimm at 12:18 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, cool beans, but you're just displaying ignorance about who's who. I'm sure someone here appreciates the "yer favrit sux" comments.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:15 PM on November 8, 2011


"yer favrit sux"

I'm reminded that Frank Kogan titled one of the sections of his Real Punks Don't Wear Black, "Our Band Could Be Your Life—But Then Your Life Would Suck!"
posted by octobersurprise at 1:24 PM on November 8, 2011


I had never heard that Black Eyed Peas song until this thread. The video alone was bad enough....
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:03 AM on November 9, 2011


I think the song is better without the video. Give it a try that way and it's a fine enough piece of pop fluff.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:14 AM on November 9, 2011


I'd go with:

The Office (television) - not my favourite show from the 00s but for something that ran two series it's had an awful lot of impact on comedy over the decade that came afterward. Although People Like Us started it.

And the comment about being played at weddings not equalling something being a classic? Very snobby way to look at things, m'dear. It's not a classic if it doesn't soundtrack happy occasions or have enough appeal that your nephew and your gran will dance to it?

Also, the UK version of Mac and PC wasn't great, so I'd go with the Sony Bravia ad with the lovely bouncing balls. Lovely bouncing, bouncing balls.
posted by mippy at 7:10 AM on November 9, 2011


This list gets almost everything wrong (yes, even The Wire; my money's on Breaking Bad!)

The list is "future classics" not "best." Unless your contention is that The Wire will be simply forgotten in the future then it's not "wrong" about it even if Breaking Bad is regarded with the same reverence as Shakespeare's plays in the future.

Heck, they explicitly ask for more suggestions for other "classics" of our era from readers. Nominating "Breaking Bad" isn't "disagreeing" with them, it's participating in the game they asked us to play.
posted by yoink at 9:54 AM on November 9, 2011


Huh? I'm not making some objective statement of fact. If they're choosing The Wire as their one exclusive pick for future classic TV show, I can personally feel that they got the choice wrong.
posted by naju at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2011


But it's not their "one exclusive pick." It's one pick out of what they explicitly acknowledge to be a range of possible options. If you read the actual piece you'll see that they didn't even specify "TV Show" as a category. They just asked each of their critics to name something from this decade that they think in future we'll look back on as a "classic." One guy suggested "The Wire." If someone else had suggested "Breaking Bad" that would be in their list as well (which is why they have two music suggestions, for example).
posted by yoink at 3:11 PM on November 9, 2011


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