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Youth quake: Beginning of the end?

December 27, 2009

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It's been a decade since the hype around the Y2K bug plagued the internet. A decade since almost every other pop artist came out with a song on the millennium or one targeting the New Year—case in point Millennium by Robbie Williams or Waiting for tonight by Jennifer Lopez.

Celebrations on December 31, 1999 reached a mass level throughout the globe since the day marking the turn of the millennium was almost iconic for the onset of a changed time. Where some celebrated, others prayed for mankind, some remained rooted on their computers to see whether the Y2K bug—for which millions had invested in anti-bug software to get protection from—really existed or not. It's almost unreal that we've moved ahead a whole decade from the millennium; it almost seems like it all happened yesterday.

There has been a massive shift in pop culture from then and now. Although the internet had been introduced to local users two to three years prior to Y2K, it was in the first decade of the new millennium that it really took off. Instant access to information, people, their lives, changes in the medium of communication and the overall access to people are some of changes that have taken place.

In the world of today's youth, Blogger, Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, Google, MSN, YouTube are a part of everyday jargon. Clicking and posting photographs online to even having your own “home” in the online world (case in point Second life)... today, our mere existence is a whole new world from just 10 years ago.

Not to mention we're eerily moving forward to how the world is in the recent Bruce Willis starrer Surrogates—a film in which every single member of mankind lives in isolation, basing all of their interactions through their surrogate robots, because apparently, it's “safer”. The film was based on a 2005 to 2006 comic book series by Robert Venditti.

All is not lost where the hype concerning 2010 is concerned. There have been references made in literature concerning this year—case in point Arthur C. Clarke's novel, 2010 Odyssey two (published in January 1982) a sequel to 2001 A space odyssey. A popular Puerto Rican group, Wisin and Yandel, also named their compilation album 2010 Lost edition.

If 2010 is termerd as the first boogey-year of the millennium, then 2012 (MMXII) is the second. Also a leap year, according to our interpretations of the scriptures uncovered of the ancient Mayan culture, the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012 (by what? A Y2K+12 bug?).

This statement, however, has been refuted by modern scientists. As was with the hype surrounding the millennium year, the world of global pop has already started generating hype around 2012. There is already a film (predictably titled 2012) starring John Cusack actually showing how the world really will end that year and that the only way to survive was to board modern-day Noah-like arks afforded by the uber privileged.

The year 2010 (MMX) has officially been titled as the Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations. There is also a general debate on how to—get this—“pronounce” the year. Should it be 'two thousand and ten' or 20-10 in the manner the years preceeding 2000 were called out? For example, 1995 was 19-95.

Whatever the official pronunciation, the one thing I know a lot of people are looking forward to on the first day of 2010 is the official release of the epic 3D animated film, Avatar (directed by James Cameron), in local theatres, 10 days after it's official release worldwide. Hugely symbolic of how technology has enabled media today, Avatar is touted to be a landmark film, and after the internet explosion this past decade and the popularity of Second life, such a film seems hugely relevant to our times.