Best of the decade 2000-2009
December 9, 2009 2:12 PM   Subscribe

The Noughtie List. A meta-list of "best of" lists for the 2000s decade. A similar meta-list for best of 2009.
posted by stbalbach (59 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, but is there a list of the best lists of "best of" lists? That might be useful.
posted by demiurge at 2:16 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was reading the Rolling Stone "best of the 00s/2009" issue the other day. My first impression was surprise that I'd kept up with this stuff as well as I had given that my focus has been pretty much elsewhere since 2004, my second impression was that they sure do like U2 a hell of a lot more than I do.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nought means zero apparently, so Noughtie's means "the 0's"... had to look that one up, thought it meant it was the decade where we all misbehaved (also would have worked IMO).
posted by pwally at 2:18 PM on December 9, 2009


Even with 10 years to decide, still no name for the decade.
posted by stbalbach at 2:29 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


ArtW,

I like U2. I like their music and I like their activism.

Different strokes I guess.
posted by Mephisto at 2:40 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I bet you don't like U2 as much as Rolling Stone do. They really, really like U2.
posted by Artw at 2:41 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Best Things Sitting On My Desk of the 2000s:

4. Half-empty bottle of soda.

3. Pair of headphones.

2. Bottle of soy sauce.

1. Pencil sharpener/toy Stegosaurus that walks around after you sharpen a pencil.
posted by brundlefly at 2:52 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Liking U2 is part of the RS philosophy--specifically, the part that says there's no such thing as selling out or getting old.
posted by box at 2:56 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Headphones is way better than soy sauce. Seriously dude, WTF?
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on December 9, 2009


(and don't even begin to pretend that half empty bottle of soda being on the list was anything other than tokenism)
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on December 9, 2009


WTF? When did it stop being the 1990s?
posted by weston at 3:02 PM on December 9, 2009


Even with 10 years to decide, still no name for the decade.

*rolls eyes*

Honestly, people act like this is the first time we've ever had to deal with a new century.

We'll refer to this decade the same way we refer to the first decade of any other century: "the early 2000's" or "the turn of the century." There's no need to get cute about it.
posted by designbot at 3:09 PM on December 9, 2009


Headphones is way better than soy sauce. Seriously dude, WTF?

You are clearly unfamiliar with my feelings about soy sauce.

(and don't even begin to pretend that half empty bottle of soda being on the list was anything other than tokenism)

Would you feel differently if I characterized it as half full?
posted by brundlefly at 3:12 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm still holding my breath for the Top 10 Years Of The Decade list. That's gonna be huuuuggge.
posted by mannequito at 3:12 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I navigated to the Best Books section, found many I agreed on and of course others I detested.

Then tried to link over to the UK list of 100 Best Books and became royally pissed that skipping to page 17 (the top of the list) was impossible. Have to go page by page, and even putting page = 17 into my browser didn't work. Ugh.
posted by misha at 3:14 PM on December 9, 2009


I disagreed with several items on this list. Definitely one of the 10 worst "10 worst of the decade" lists.
posted by muddgirl at 3:14 PM on December 9, 2009


A least they got the math part right, i.e. 00 - 09 = 10 years, which is really a decade. Not like that Y2K bullshit.
posted by fixedgear at 3:17 PM on December 9, 2009


If I'd known ahead of time that this decade was going to be balled the 'noughties', I'd have acted totally differently.
posted by gurple at 3:23 PM on December 9, 2009


I bet you don't like U2 as much as Rolling Stone do. They really, really like U2.

Yes. Yes they do.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:28 PM on December 9, 2009


The Decade in Seven Minutes — rewinding the first 10 years of the new century, reminding you of the best, worst, and unforgettable moments.
posted by netbros at 3:28 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Some people really like U2's music though...

they're so inspirational
posted by scrutiny at 3:56 PM on December 9, 2009


1. Pencil sharpener/toy Stegosaurus that walks around after you sharpen a pencil.
brundlefly, that is without a doubt the greatest invention since the turn of the century! Who would have thought such a thing existed?

It is now my purpose in life to buy one - nay, two! - of those before Christmas ;-)

(Unfortunately my gf is a coeliac, so I have to substitute tamari for soy sauce @ #2.)
posted by Pinback at 4:02 PM on December 9, 2009


Remember when Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary of the Nobel Academy, said that American writers and readers were simply too provincial? I found that a fucking stupid thing to say at the time, but then I read lists like these.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:04 PM on December 9, 2009


The odds of a future President (Br/C/H/J/K/P/Z)(a/ae/ai/ay/ey)(d/t/l)(a/e/i/o/y)n are very large indeed. Brace yourselves, America.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:30 PM on December 9, 2009


I've got that Rolling Stone issue on my lap as we speak (hey, I'm at work). The top 50 albums of the decade? Three Kanyes, three Radioheads, two U2s, two Bruces, two Dylans, blahbity blahbity.
posted by box at 4:37 PM on December 9, 2009


(Br/C/H/J/K/P/Z)(a/ae/ai/ay/ey)(d/t/l)(a/e/i/o/y)n

That looks like some kind of kink code.
posted by box at 4:38 PM on December 9, 2009


Pinback: "It is now my purpose in life to buy one - nay, two! - of those before Christmas ;-)"

Here it is!
posted by brundlefly at 4:39 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


That looks like some kind of kink code.

That would explain its popularity, I suppose.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:48 PM on December 9, 2009


The best "Best Comics of the Decade" is probably the one Douglas Wolk wrote for Barns and Nobel.
posted by Olive Oil at 5:25 PM on December 9, 2009


Final Crisis? fuck off.
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on December 9, 2009


My decade goes up to 11.
posted by armage at 5:28 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


netbros: The Decade in Seven Minutes — rewinding the first 10 years of the new century, reminding you of the best, worst, and unforgettable moments.

Something about the breezy delivery of a litany of mostly terrible events is really, really disturbing. Also disturbing: The nagging feeling that I just got RickRolled.
posted by Kattullus at 5:58 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


This business about what to name the decade is ridiculous. Given that everything geopolitical went utterly sideways after 1999, like, sideways to the point that it's completely obvious to even the most casual observer that we've slipped into a Mirror, Mirror alternate universe[1], it's clear that the way out is to change the numbering system so that the 90s never ended, and thereby get out of our grimdark cyberpunk dystopia and back to the good real universe. Who cares what this ridiculous fake "2000s" decade should be called, when really it's 19919? [2]

[1]: I mean, come on, a universe where Al Gore wins the popular vote but doesn't become Preisdent? And then grows a beard?!
[2]: that's pronounced "nineteen-ninety nineteen."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:36 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm still holding my breath for the Top 10 Years Of The Decade list. That's gonna be huuuuggge.

Here you go:

1. 2005
2. 2004
3. 2008
4. 2001
5. 2006
6. 2002
7. 2009
8. 2007
9. 2000
10. 2003

Man, 2003 sucked.
posted by Rangeboy at 6:47 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


It seems like we should be doing the year-end lists first, and then do the year-decade, or uh, decade-end lists next. We're not even half way through december. The way this decade has just absolutely sucked massive blue whale cock, who knows what kind of horrible, awful thing will happen in the next few weeks.
posted by jefbla at 6:48 PM on December 9, 2009


Dumsnill: Remember when Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary of the Nobel Academy, said that American writers and readers were simply too provincial? I found that a fucking stupid thing to say at the time, but then I read lists like these.

There's quite a bit of American literature where you have to care about American TV in the 70s to like and these writers will probably never speak to me. There are some good ones, though. In New York Magazine Sam Anderson crowned The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the book of the decade and while I don't agree I can't really disagree with it either. I can't think of a better American book published this decade and those novels that came out in the last ten years that affected me more profoundly are objectively better, they just hit me exactly at the right moment in the perfect way. It would still probably end up in my top 10.
posted by Kattullus at 7:19 PM on December 9, 2009


1. 2005
Seriously, is there anyone* who didn't have a rockin 2005? That was some year.

*yeah OK your cat/dreams died that year. Not you
posted by bonaldi at 8:01 PM on December 9, 2009


I bet you don't like U2 as much as Rolling Stone do. They really, really like U2.

Yes. Yes they do.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:28 PM on December 9 [+] [!]

Is this the newest version of the rickroll? I freaking LOVE it.

Ka-CHOOM.
posted by nosila at 8:08 PM on December 9, 2009


Oops...itallics should have happened. Whatever.
posted by nosila at 8:09 PM on December 9, 2009


Is this the newest version of the rickroll? I freaking LOVE it.

Ha! You wish!

Alas, no. (The money shot is fifteen seconds in.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:14 PM on December 9, 2009


Holy HELL, I can't believed I never noticed who was on that cover. Mother Winslow, say it ain't so!

And I do wish. I wish so much that I'm going to pretend it's true.
posted by nosila at 8:43 PM on December 9, 2009


I'm still holding my breath for the Top 10 Years Of The Decade list.

10. 2003
9. 2000
8. 2001
7. 2002
5. 2006
4. 20051
3. 2007
2. 2008
1. 20092

1. 2005 ROCKED. Some of my dreams died, but they were stupid dreams that deserved to die.
2. In many ways fucked, but the good outweighed the bad. The most interesting by far which makes up for everything.
3. Fuck you 2004. Fuck the fuck right off.

posted by little e at 9:04 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


In New York Magazine Sam Anderson crowned The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the book of the decade and while I don't agree I can't really disagree with it either.

Interesting article, thanks for the link. Which one (or ten) would you pick? I don't read enough contemporary fiction to make a meaningful judgment. I did listen to Oscar Wao as an audiobook and believe it's an entirely different experience than reading, more so than other novels. Might even say it's incomplete as text only, the audio narrative completes it. It's because of the style of writing that San Anderson talks about in the NYM article. There is a multi-media-ness to it, even though it's still grounded in traditional textual narrative. This seems the future.
posted by stbalbach at 9:14 PM on December 9, 2009


stbalbach: Which one (or ten) would you pick?

Oh gosh... I should've known I was gonna get asked that question... I really have no idea... however, off the top of my head, here is my favorite novel originally published this decade that I've read plus 10 runners up (with the caveat that this list will probably change completely next time I consider this matter):

11. The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
10. My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey
9. At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill
8. Höfundur Íslands (Iceland's Author) by Hallgrímur Helgason
7. The Effect of Living Backwards by Heidi Julavits
6. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
5. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
4. The Half Brother by Lars Saabye Christensen
3. The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
2. Yosoy: af líkamslistum og hugarvíli í hryllingsleikhúsinu við Álafoss (Yosoy: Of Bodyarts and Derangement in the Horror Theater Near Álafoss) by Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir

1. 2666 by Roberto Bolaño

Some notes

Two of these novels, The Last Samurai and The Effect of Living Backwards, I find extremely frustrating on some levels, and I could probably talk all day about what I would change about them, and yet I've found myself thinking about them more than most other books I've read this decade.

Due to how long it can take books to be translated between languages some of my favorite novels first published this decade in a language I read competently were published long ago in their original language (e.g. Wandering Star by J. M. G. Le Clézio). I decided to exclude them to make it easier for me to construct a list. It is for the same reason that I limited myself to novels.

2666 is a great novel and I'd probably place it at the top of my list anyway but I have a personal debt to Bolaño in that during a particularly depressing part of my life I had stopped reading and writing fiction. I was killing time and wandered onto the New Yorker website and found the story The Insufferable Gaucho. I read it and immediately wanted to read more by Bolaño (though it is probably my least favorite Bolaño story... something about the end doesn't work for me). Luckily my local library had his short story collection Last Evenings on Earth. I read that through. A friend of mine owned The Savage Detectives and I borrowed it from him and read that. And then I started writing again. So just for that Bolaño is my writer of the decade. But yeah, 2666 is amazing.

Yosoy and Iceland's Author are both great Icelandic novels that haven't been translated into English. Yosoy is about a teenage boy who gets involved in a strange theater that puts on shows designed to shock and also about a man who gets sent to write a report on the troupe. Iceland's Author is about an old novelist who dies and wakes up in his most famous novel.

Honorable mention: Pattern Recognition and Spook Country by William Gibson. I couldn't include them because, as much as I love them, they feel like two thirds of a completed work. Before I can pass full aesthetic judgment on them I'll need to read the third book in the Hubertus Bigend series.

I'm almost positive that I'm leaving off some novel that I absolutely love that I just can't bring to mind. Also, the number of worthwhile novels published this decade that I haven't picked up is functionally infinite. No list of this kind is authoritative and mine's especially far from any authoritativeness.
posted by Kattullus at 10:38 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Pencil sharpener/toy Stegosaurus that walks around after you sharpen a pencil.

I got one of these in my stocking last year! It's awesome! Though actually quite hard to sharpen pencils with.
posted by alasdair at 1:48 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been compiling my list of the top ten days of the top ten months of the top ten years of the last decade by using my amazing wonder fingers.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:52 AM on December 10, 2009


Kattullus , thanks for your list. The only one I read there is 2666 - I was perplexed. It's good and interesting and I'm still trying to untangle. I learned recently that magic realism started in Germany before migrating to Latin America, which makes the arc of the novel more clear. Still there are entire sections and scenes that make no sense, and I have no clue if there is some big mystery which has an answer buried with clues. I'm not a fan of mystery or crime novels, though 2666 is obviously more.
posted by stbalbach at 6:43 AM on December 10, 2009


This "top ten years of the decade" thing is totally going to be a facebook meme by the end of the month. It's got that great kinda-emo "I don't want to do this, I mean, it seems faux-deep and self-reflective but actually maybe it is kinda genuinely deep oh what the hell I'll give it a try" feel that shows up in all the best memes.

So, from worst to best:

10) 2008
9) 20091
8) 20062
7) 2001
6) 2000
5) 20023
4) 2003
3) 2004
2) 2005
1) 2007


[1]: Yes, yes, poor me, but it looks like, barring unforeseen events, 2010 is gonna be some kinda awesome.
[2]: The "Awesome awesome awesome AUGGH SUCK SUCK SUCK" year.
[3]: Thus ends the "meh" years
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:50 AM on December 10, 2009


Best of the 2000s: Sandwiches

Top Ten People I've Made Out With of the Decade

2000-2009 Greatest Naps

10 of the Most Significant Places I've Urinated This Decade

2009 in Review: 100 Most Badass Things on Fire

posted by little e at 6:41 PM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh yes, I had forgotten about this. It's the end of the decade, so we must have lists. Of course. And the retrospectives. The dead celebrities. The "most influential" people/cars/inventions/websites, etc. Wake me when it's over, please. Thanks.
posted by mnb64 at 7:18 PM on December 10, 2009


The Turn of the Century: Innovations in Protective Eyewear
posted by little e at 7:29 PM on December 10, 2009


stbalbach: I learned recently that magic realism started in Germany before migrating to Latin America, which makes the arc of the novel more clear.

I hadn't thought of that angle. I've been thinking of excuses to read it again and thereby neglecting my large stack of unread books and this might do the trick. Though I suppose I'd have to go read some magical realism first, which I've had a hard time getting excited about.

Still there are entire sections and scenes that make no sense, and I have no clue if there is some big mystery which has an answer buried with clues.

I like its randomness. It makes it feel very real to me. Very often when I read novels I can see the gears of narrative turn, which I appreciate when done well but it's very refreshing to read a book where I never get that sense. At least on the first read. I had a similar experience reading Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle for the first time, though the second time it's epic qualities (as in the genre) became somewhat evident to me.
posted by Kattullus at 8:24 PM on December 10, 2009


20 Best Science Fiction Books Of The Decade

Weirdly my biggest quibble with this is that I wouldn't have included the Banks book...
posted by Artw at 11:50 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dumsnill: Remember when Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary of the Nobel Academy, said that American writers and readers were simply too provincial? I found that a fucking stupid thing to say at the time, but then I read lists like these.

For what it's worth The New York Times' 10 Best Books of the Year is equally parochial and embarrassing. 10 books, 5 fiction and 5 non-fiction, and not a single one wasn't published originally in English. And of the 45 works of fiction on their 100 Notable Books list only 2 are works in translation.
posted by Kattullus at 12:17 PM on December 13, 2009


Okay, so that I'm not just talking out of my ass I went looking for French best books of 2009 lists and found the list L'Express selected. It's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison (i.e. they're both fruit but in other ways very different) as L'Express has a number of categories instead of just a top 10 list. L'Express, incidentally, is the Time Magazine of France, so this isn't some esoteric literary rag. Not only are there special categories for foreign books but the book of the year is Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin (which I almost bought earlier today... maybe I should go for it). Perpahs the best example of the list's cosmopolitan bent is the fact that the culinary category is won by an Englishman, John Dickie, writing about Italian cooking.

NEW YORK TIMES YOU SHOULD DO BETTER!
posted by Kattullus at 2:34 PM on December 13, 2009


Nah, just proves that english speaking folks are best at everything.
posted by Artw at 2:35 PM on December 13, 2009


If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everybody else.
posted by Kattullus at 7:02 PM on December 13, 2009


Top timeshifted programs of 2009 (With a high degree of crossover with "top programs discussed on MeFi of 2009")
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on December 14, 2009


To give credit where credit is due, NPR has a fine Best Books of 2009 feature, including a top 5 translated novels.
posted by Kattullus at 11:11 PM on January 1, 2010


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