I know what you people want. You want someone to tell you what a tough year it was and what brave little soldiers you are for getting through it, wacky election and all. Or maybe you're expecting cute little phrases to sum things up, like, "The Dawn of the New Millennium" or "History in Our Hands" or "The Year Anne Heche Went Nuts in Some Poor Woman's House." Well, I'm not going to help you. You came to the wrong place.
The truth is, you had it easy this year. It wasn't supposed to be this pleasant, and in the end it wasn't supposed to be this much fun. After an endless barrage of millennium-eve, Bruckheimer-intense previews, what you got was a 180-min. Robert Redford-directed golf film with a surprise ending.
This wasn't the way the script read. Remember how everything was going to go kooky when all those zeroes lined up in a row? We were promised a global computer shutdown, a stock market crash, a Blade Runner world. But the lights never went out, and the sun came up in the morning. Then John McCain was going to win the nomination, the Red Sox were going to win the World Series, Marion Jones was going to win five gold medals and Tommy Lee was going to win Pamela Anderson's heart back. No, no, no and no. Even when it seemed like something happened this year, it didn't. Elian looked at Disney World and went back home. We kept our Miranda rights. Those missing top-secret computer hard drives at Los Alamos were behind the copy machine. Nobody, it turned out, married a multi-millionaire.
The Microsoft breakup? Not yet. Middle East peace? Not hardly. The Oxygen network? Jack Welch's retirement? Heck, Jesus was supposed to show up.
What we got instead was a year so copacetic, Neville Chamberlain could have handled it (at least for the first 10 months). The year was, until November, so boring that people across the globe staged protests over higher gas prices and trade-group meetings.
This was our own fault: we had put way too much pressure on the new millennium. We'd been getting geared up for the year 2000--a year so special we put the phrase "the year" in front of it--for a long, long time. It was 1982 when Prince released a song predicting nuclear armageddon or a really good party--depending on how you read it--on New Year's Eve, 1999. It was 1993 when Conan O'Brien started his "In the Year 2000" segment ("In the year 2000 Roger Ebert will be so overweight and out of shape, he will no longer be able to lift either thumb."). Everyone was getting all hot and bothered. Even castrated people were getting so excited that, by 1997, a whole group of them in California decided they couldn't wait any longer and left our soon-to-explode planet early. By 1999, Pat Robertson was selling tickets to seminars where people were taught how to store beans and corn in separate barrels sealed with nitrogen packs. He apparently figured God had traded in fire and brimstone for the more subtle New Year's computer bug.