How Much Of (The New Yorker’s View Of) The Decade Do You Remember?
December 11, 2019 12:26 AM   Subscribe

WARNING EXTREMELY NEW YORKER
Culturally speaking, the twenty-tens were an age of abundance—of proliferating streaming services and “peak TV,” of Twitter and Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. And it wasn’t just new media: books are as abundant as ever, the supposed death of print be damned. All of this may test our cultural recall: How can we make sense of an era that we struggle even to remember? Here’s an actual test to get you started.
AGAIN YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
posted by Going To Maine (85 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
I approve of making one answer in every 'who tweeted this' question Dril.

It did not help me: 19/34.

The key to the review portion is, apparently, thinking of what subject would make the snippet the most insufferable.
posted by Merus at 12:44 AM on December 11, 2019 [15 favorites]


I have to admit i feel good for scoring 19, and none of that coming from their books section.
posted by cendawanita at 12:46 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


i knew a few of them but still only got 8/34 which Is less than a quarter, which means the ones I didn’t know I had pretty darn bad luck on
posted by aubilenon at 12:46 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


i gave up at 14; got two right, only one i actually knew. as a mentally ill person in their 20's (26), realizing things i thought were recent are three years old felt bad; but being told things i thought were not that long ago, but were in fact from 2012/2013, and having to reckon with the fact that i am so far outside things that are supposed to mark time for normal people that at 26 i don't know 2018 from 2013... maybe i could say something about "crip time" but i found this too depressing so i'm going to sleep instead
posted by LeviQayin at 12:52 AM on December 11, 2019 [11 favorites]


I do think part of the point of these quizzes is to be boggled that X amount of time has passed! Please don't think that discovering something actually happened in 2013 is at all uncommon for any of us! Unsettling, yes, but less uncommon than just uncontemplated.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:06 AM on December 11, 2019 [21 favorites]


12/34 and some of those were blind guesses. I've been out of the loop for like 10 years apparently.
posted by fmoralesc at 1:16 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


I got fifteen, and most of those were semi-educated guesses.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:06 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


Was surprised to find that I got 17 right considering I don't read the New Yorker or live in the US.
posted by Gotanda at 2:12 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


Guessed on over half; got 16. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:14 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


14/34. All the books, none of the music (even bricked on the video from Lemonade which I knew and loved). ID'd DJT's tweet, had never heard of the incident with Mnuchin's wife, which is hilarious (in the forehead-hitting-desk kind of way).

Spoiler: two of the answers are Drake.
posted by chavenet at 2:21 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


20/34! Can't believe I forgot about that Sean Spicer tweet.
posted by saladin at 3:47 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


Everything before 2016 might as well be the nineteen-teens for the degree to which I can remeber things about it.
posted by Miko at 3:49 AM on December 11, 2019 [9 favorites]


12/34

Just call me Tig Notaro.
posted by jeremias at 4:25 AM on December 11, 2019 [19 favorites]


I had no idea for any of the tweets, so I answered Dril for all of them. It felt right.

(13/34)
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:26 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


11/34 and literally all 34 of them were total guesses. I've never even heard of several of these people.

I should write a quiz about the nerdy stuff I actually paid attention to in the last decade.
posted by Foosnark at 4:36 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


I'm sure I'd do just as poorly in a test like this for any other decade because this test is so New Yorker.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:44 AM on December 11, 2019


"Can you recognize the font that was used on the cover of some editions of a book that you probably read on your ereader if you read it?" Is not a useful or interesting question about cultural literacy.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:52 AM on December 11, 2019 [20 favorites]


21/34.

(I avoid Twitter like the plague)
posted by thivaia at 4:54 AM on December 11, 2019


18/34

Was doing pretty good until I got to the book covers.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 4:57 AM on December 11, 2019


22/34 with my hits and misses pretty evenly spread among the categories.
posted by nicwolff at 5:13 AM on December 11, 2019


18/34. I'm cancelling my subscription to the New Yorker and plan on reading old issues of Mad Magazine instead. That'll show Nixon!
posted by Fizz at 5:16 AM on December 11, 2019 [11 favorites]


i got 11 right and a solid half of those were guesses
posted by affectionateborg at 5:26 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


I mean, it's cute, but it's a bit silly to say "I an adult should mark time by remembering exactly when one multi-season television show among an exponentially increasing number of such shows started and ended; also I should be able to identify the covers of mainly middlebrow fiction from a pixelated image". Even if you really, really think that something profound emerges from heavily focus-grouped and lavishly-funded media, surely remembering meaning is what you're going for?
posted by Frowner at 5:29 AM on December 11, 2019 [29 favorites]


Like, surely "making sense" of an era comes from content, not whether something started in 2011 or 2012?
posted by Frowner at 5:30 AM on December 11, 2019 [4 favorites]


It's a meta-test to see if you take clickbait quizzes personally. The real answers are here on metafilter! (You all passed, by the way. *scribbles ominously on clipboard*)
posted by phooky at 5:36 AM on December 11, 2019 [6 favorites]


10/34, Slightly better then random!

And honestly, I have never felt better about being almost completely disconnected from all forms of contemporary pop culture.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:45 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


The book-cover questions were kind of funny - I actually do read current books and would have had a decent shot at identifying books by a sentence or paragraph, but I got my first e-reader in 2008 and have not looked at a book cover since then, except in a half-inch square black-and-white image.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:47 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


I got 12 but the only answer that wasn't a guess was the Lorde lyric.

That Chuck Grassley tweet one was pretty funny:

Windsor Heights Dairy Queen is good place for u kno what

When asked to unpack his tweet, the Iowa senator explained that “u kno what” is a common euphemism for “eating Dairy Queen.”


I don't know if I ever knew this story but I'm going to assume that "u kno what" is not "eating Dairy Queen" unless that is code for something else, which it definitely could be.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:48 AM on December 11, 2019 [8 favorites]


12 but most of that was just random chance.
posted by octothorpe at 5:52 AM on December 11, 2019


The book covers are particularly annoying; I don't buy, or even see, American editions of anything.

As for the others, well, perhaps I should have read that tottering stack of New Yorkers in the bathroom.
posted by jrochest at 5:56 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


Look, Time is a flat disc, I know all these things I just can’t be expected to know what order they occurred in as we live in the terrible and unchanging Now.
posted by The Whelk at 5:56 AM on December 11, 2019 [4 favorites]


Reading the responses to this post alongside the ones in the Under a Rock post is such a hilarious distillation of Metafilter's userbase.

"LOL I don't know any of these pop culture figures either! I could totally host this show!!!"

*high-brow magazine publishes difficult pop-culture quiz*

"I ONLY GOT 1/3 OF THE ANSWERS RIGHT AND I AM FURIOUS AT CULTURE AND ALSO THIS MAGAZINE"
posted by saladin at 6:04 AM on December 11, 2019 [7 favorites]


Also, 16, but they were entirely guesses, except for Beyonce, Drake, and Chuck Grassley.
posted by jrochest at 6:06 AM on December 11, 2019


I really enjoyed the section where you try to guess the media based on a line from the review
posted by Think_Long at 6:06 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


11/34; ironically, the easiest one was about the Avengers, because Anthony Lane is such a predictable hater. Knowing precisely which TV show ended first is among the most pointless trivia questions, as if one keeps a mental calendar in which all these dates are marked, and I marked all the tweets as coming from dril. In other news: New Yorker very concerned about its relevance in today's world, doesn't make a great case for it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:29 AM on December 11, 2019


jeremias: "Just call me Tig Notaro."

Ooh ooh ooh, like that extremely popular song on the radio all the time now!

"I love it when you call me Tig Notaro"
posted by chavenet at 6:31 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


4/34

I feel like stabbing myself backwards in time at every point when I bragged about my test taking abilities.
posted by MiraK at 6:35 AM on December 11, 2019


Apparently I don't pay any attention to the cover of books? And I still shop in a real book store and still buy books based on nothing more then uh, randomly picking it up off a shelf?

Although, if I'm honest, most of those books featured look like they aren't for me so I don't feel bad just picking my favorite book from the options provided.
posted by zenon at 6:43 AM on December 11, 2019


Which happened first: 2/6
Who is this: 2/4
What work of art does this review describe: 1/6 (my absolute least favorite section)
Who sang this: 3/6
Who tweeted this: 1/6
Which book cover is this: 2/6, though when I saw a Little Life I really felt like I should have gotten it
posted by andrewesque at 6:49 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


15/34 I know and care nothing about pop music, got zero on the book covers.
posted by Ber at 6:50 AM on December 11, 2019


18/34. Did terribly on pop music and book covers. Decent elsewhere.
posted by 2ghouls at 6:55 AM on December 11, 2019


I got killed by Kanye's Tweets and the New Yorker's reviews, but I'm calling 18/34 a success, anyway.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 7:00 AM on December 11, 2019


13/34. My brain almost exploded when both dril and horse_ebooks were options.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:02 AM on December 11, 2019


I got 11/34, but a considerable number of those were blind guesses. My actual score, for questions I actually knew the answers to, should have been about 6.

I read the New Yorker and don't feel like most of these would have actually been in past issues, which is probably why I scored so low.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:06 AM on December 11, 2019


It turns out the main thing I remember about the past ten years is song lyrics. 18/34 overall, but 100% on the lyrics section.
posted by capricorn at 7:17 AM on December 11, 2019


I got 20/34. I got really, really close on a few of the 'which came first ones', and almost completely blanked both book categories since I don't really read modern "literary" fiction. Everything on Twitter being terrible and ludicrous made that section especially hard. Altogether it's an interesting idea for a quiz, but I don't really like guessing relative dates, nor book covers, so I wish they'd had other stuff in those places.
posted by codacorolla at 7:25 AM on December 11, 2019


I stopped at the puppy, and didn't finish the quiz.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:50 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


20/34, and at least half my correct answers were wild-ass guesses.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:51 AM on December 11, 2019


What does it even feel like to be able to answer the "which came first" questions? To me they read like a grotesque parody of picture arrangement tests with all the causal links stripped out. If you can solve them, is it because you remember dates? Or can you take yourself back to the world you were living in when X happened, and "look around" in that world to see whether Y was true?
posted by aws17576 at 7:51 AM on December 11, 2019


"You got 4 out of 34 correct!"

I would say there were 2 or 3 I should've got, but I felt like they were trick questions so I picked answers that didn't seem so correct as the obvious one. Still, I am extremely not New Yorker. Some of these questions were real whack, though. The whole semi-censored book covers is silly, no guarantee everyone even saw the same cover even if they had read those particular random books.
posted by GoblinHoney at 7:54 AM on December 11, 2019


I got 16 and Drake, Rihanna, and Beyonce are the reason I scored that high.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:55 AM on December 11, 2019


I only got the “which came came first” questions right cause both 30 Rock and Mad Men were ending around the same time and the 30 Rock finale had a joke about it as part ofboth shows’ late run mutual riff off.
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 AM on December 11, 2019


If it was just pictures of famous people and song lyrics I would have aced it but I don't read the New Yorker so the review quotes were lost on me and I think Twitter should be incinerated in the sun so both those sections sank my score.
😐
posted by fiercekitten at 8:17 AM on December 11, 2019


10.

My incorrect answers did absolutely nothing to motivate me to learn more and try again. I'm perfectly happy letting the twitterverse pass me by.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:20 AM on December 11, 2019


Really, the most useful thing about this quiz is discovering which sections you care about and which don't even matter. I'm bothered by my mistakes on the Twist portion since that's what I've paid attention to recently. On the rest my mistakes don't bother me so much.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2019


Which of these TV shows you don't watch started first? NFI.
Which of these TV shows you don't watch ended first? NFI.

0/2. Quit.
posted by panglos at 8:36 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


I almost posted this quiz yesterday because I failed it and I wanted to see MetaFilter fail it as well, but then I thought that might be a little mean.
posted by betweenthebars at 8:47 AM on December 11, 2019 [4 favorites]


To be fair, I have spent the past decade watching British character actors solve each other's murders and they didn't have any questions about that.
posted by betweenthebars at 8:49 AM on December 11, 2019 [8 favorites]


I think the only reason why I can answer a lot of these is because I turned 18 in 2010 and so the entire last decade has been my slow decay from an optimistic youth to a dead on the inside 27 year old, and a lot of that information just gets stuck to you as the years go by. Cheers.
posted by yueliang at 8:59 AM on December 11, 2019 [4 favorites]


I got 21. The relative timing section and book covers killed me but I made it up pretty well on the others. I am totally prepared to say it's because the sections I didn't do well on are arbitrary and unfair, whereas the parts I did really well on were great and should have made up the whole quiz.
posted by Copronymus at 8:59 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


15/34. I'm mostly shocked at how well I did in the music round despite guessing at nearly everything. (I definitely do not know the lyrics to song containing the cereal line but come on, that was an easy guess.)

I cheesed at least one of the book cover ones by guessing which section was likely to contain the author's name, but then got stuck later when the quiz writer apparently figured out you could do this and came up with several titles that were all plausible fits for the cover. Also the book section is EXTREMELY NEW YORKER so I didn't feel bad about that part at all.

I am sad at the number of answers that turned out to be dril.
posted by chrominance at 9:09 AM on December 11, 2019


I did very poorly... I guess my last decade was experienced very differently then the New Yorker. Mind you, I did spend most of my year watching movies from the 30s and 40s and reading Feminist genre novels from the 60s to the 80s so I may not be the target audience.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:31 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm deeply out of touch, I gave up about five questions to the end with a score of eight. Knowing stuff like "which show ended first" is ... of extremely limited value to me. Sort of seems like an annoying crossword clue.

Modern music in the form of Drake, Kanye, etc. holds almost no interest to me. (I cannot say "no" interest, as I'll pay attention to things that interest my partner's kids. One of them played some Kanye at us this summer, laughing about how bad his "Lift Yourself" track's lyrics are.)

I still do pretty well on the quizzes from Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, so I feel pretty good about that.
posted by jzb at 9:36 AM on December 11, 2019


... this thread is taking a very 'I don't even own a TV!' turn, which is actually very 2010's mefi and I'm appreciating the throwback.
posted by Think_Long at 9:39 AM on December 11, 2019 [7 favorites]


I stopped at 15 because I hadn’t scored any at all. Obviously, I wasn’t streaming pop culture because streaming wasn’t around then like it is now and I can’t remember how I got my infusion of pop culture then.

In fact the only thing I remember from the ‘10s is Mofi and my cat. Makes me wish I’d done more drugs or something.
posted by drivingmenuts at 10:08 AM on December 11, 2019


... this thread is taking a very 'I don't even own a TV!' turn, which is actually very 2010's mefi and I'm appreciating the throwback.

For that you really want the Tig Notaro thread, it's two blocks to the south.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:16 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


0/2. Quit.
posted by panglos at 11:36 AM on December 11


Similar results here; sometimes the only winning move is not to play.
posted by TedW at 10:39 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


9/34
posted by Morpeth at 10:41 AM on December 11, 2019


18/34.

I think the point of this test is that NO ONE is supposed to do well on it because time is broken and we are on the worst timeline. I don't think it's meant to be judgy (I know, that's unusual for the New Yorker).

For example, I am truly surprised that Game of Thrones premiered before Orange is the New Black, because I remember OITNB being touted as one of the first original Netflix shows, and that seems like a really long time ago.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:52 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


Similar results here; sometimes the only winning move is not to play.

Me too, yet for some reason I’m still here, not really sure what I expected to find...
posted by SaltySalticid at 11:00 AM on December 11, 2019


21/34 mainly because: a) still not exactly sure which one is Kylie and which one is Kendall, b) didn't know a Justin Bieber lyric, c) confused a Kanye tweet with a dril tweet (understandable) and d) don't know anything about book covers.
posted by mhum at 11:06 AM on December 11, 2019


21/34! I nailed all the book covers, which I guess proves that I spend too much time staring at the covers and not enough time reading the insides.
posted by zeusianfog at 11:16 AM on December 11, 2019


I just realized: I only read the New Yorker for the occasionally funny cartoons.
posted by drivingmenuts at 11:52 AM on December 11, 2019


I actually saw "Hail, Caesar!" in the theater! I participated in culture! (although I forgot the movie's title, and like, what happened)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:25 PM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


12/34, huh.
The only music lyrics one I got right was Rebecca Black...
Basically I didn't know any of the book covers (never really see those anymore due to e-readers) or music (I listened to a lot of new music in the 2010's, but none of it in the genres they seemed to cover here...).
posted by thefoxgod at 1:38 PM on December 11, 2019


13/34
I read a lot of dead tree books and watch that Channing Tatum clip sometimes when I'm feeling down.
posted by momus_window at 3:47 PM on December 11, 2019


I think this is actually scored like golf, isn't it? Lowest score wins. I'm pretty sure that's how this works.

I knew 4 of them (Lourde, Rebecca Black, Megan Amran, and that stupid Pepsi thing) , so hey, not too shabby.
posted by glonous keming at 4:23 PM on December 11, 2019


Ew, gross.
posted by eustatic at 6:12 PM on December 11, 2019


?
posted by Going To Maine at 6:45 PM on December 11, 2019


[mysterious old lady flips tarot card revealing a dude who looks exactly like me flying a hot air balloon into power lines 15/34]
Me: is that good
posted by ckape at 7:40 PM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


I got 13 and I was familiar with just about all the content except some of the books. This quiz is just really hard. I got one wrong cause I didn't know one thing came out in October 2013 and another thing was in June. Nobody should have that level of memory.
posted by bleep at 7:43 PM on December 11, 2019


18/34. I surprised myself by getting all the books right, even though I hadn't read any of them. (I read a lot about books, though.) I did fairly well with the tweets and and the music, though now I've got a Lourde song stuck in my head.

Weirdly, I used to work in TV, I know all sorts of useless things about TV, but figuring out the order in which shows premiered or ended was impossible; TV lives, for me, in one of three categories: before now/now/not yet." All shows from the past are still happening in my head.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 8:19 PM on December 11, 2019


I got 5 /? because I stopped.

Yeah, I don't need to be reminded how out of touch with popular modern culture I am. I'll stay happily in my subcultures.

I don't know 30 Rock? Sweet. I bet The New Yorker doesn't know anything about Neckbeard Deathcamp, so I'd say we're even.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2019


I gave up after getting 2 out of the first 10 because I'd never heard of, seen or recognized just about everything on this list.
posted by Chuffy at 5:54 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


The first two were specific to TV shows and I don't GAF and damn near popped my monocle closing the tab.

Fucking middlebrow as an art form, the New Yorker.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:36 PM on December 15, 2019


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