The Decade of the Awful Aughts
Excepting one thing, the last decade will not be fondly remembered by many people. Some truths became more self-evident: selfish greed blew up in our faces, just like we knew it would. War and strife has become the norm, with little or no justification other than... selfish greed? Politics, always questionable at best, has just become ineffectual, any change is thwarted by... selfish greed?
But one trend of the "Awful Aughts" which actually was positive was the rise of personal, international blogging. If there is anything thing on the internet with potential to redeem us, it is this ability of people all around the world to directly communicate with each other. Thinking back to the 90's, the internet was a crude and sometimes even hostile place. "Bulletin Boards" and Forums existed, but were limited in scope. The existence of free, world-wide, communication hadn't really taken off then. Now, this humble blog gets regular visitors from around the world. Some of that attention is puzzling: who is it in Guayaquil, Ecuador, that keeps dropping in? (please leave a comment!) Or the person in Greece who searches for "The Flippism is the Key Blog" again and again? Lately, in what I take as a very good omen, several different people from China have have ended up here after googling lines from the Halldór Laxness novel Salka Valka!
The toughest thing for me has been the recent Iceland situation. Since the very beginning, FITK has had an Icelandic component, I've written about it more than any other subject, sharing my enthusiasms for the place and its culture, and finding many "kindred spirits" who have joined me along the way (Rose! Jon! Cellar! Mary! Annie! Auður! Wim! Heiða! Kristín! Alda!) sharing their experiences as well as living mine vicariously. Iceland was an escape for me as well, both figuratively and literally. Now, Iceland is suffering, and things look as if they are only going to get much worse. It's as if a loved one had contracted a horrible disease, and there is nothing one can do but watch. Here's hoping that things get better there in the next decade.
I've had a lot of fun here in the last six years, those of you who have put up with my occasional whimsy and poetry(?!), I thank you. Those of you bloggers who, through your own blogs, have widened my outlook, I cannot thank enough (Comica, Reshma, Munkay, Tykho, Mitsui, Caroline, Some Chilean Woman, and many, many more.) To those of you who have "retired", I understand completely. I have some other projects coming up, any one of which might mean I would take a little different approach to FITK in the coming year (decade?) I'll still be posting, but perhaps not on such a regular schedule.
Today I received an email from Karen Heathwood, the creator of Sharon Spotbottom, one of the most inspirational blogs I've ever seen. It is a Christmas card, expressing joy in a way I wish I could:
Play on! More music! Life is for the living, so we should act accordingly. Our lives are compromised in so many ways that we should be grateful for this outlet for expression, a good thing that came into its own in spite of the "Awful Aughts."
See you next year!