Icons of the decade

Yesterday G2 -The Guardian’s magazine – featured their ‘Icons of the decade’. It was a rather ecclectic (‘weird’ would probably be more accurate) mix: David Beckham, Osama bin Laden,The Obamas, Madeleine McCann, Carrie Bradshaw (the one with the long nose from ‘Sex and the City’ for my male readers), Google, Tony Blair, Jamie Oliver, Harry Potter and, er, Britney Spears. I think the Guardian and I differ on the the definition of an icon. G2 must have literally meant the optic aspect of the word. They obviously chose the most depicted people of the last ten years. Whether they have ‘iconic status’ is a different matter. For me an icon represents an ‘important and enduring symbol’. Whether most of G2’s choices fit into that category I have no idea. But hey, this is ‘citizen journalism’,

so let’s try that again:

Fordiebianco’s 10 icons of the decade.

  • Hu Jintao: for turning China into the most powerful nation in the world by skilfully mixing a free economy with an oppressive one party state.
  • Helen Clark: for instilling some sorely needed reforms in this ultra-capitalist country and turning it into a diplomatic powerhouse.
  • Dick Cheney: for turning Washington D.C. into the ultimate evil empire and getting away with it.
  • George W. Bush: for being the moronic posterchild of Dick Cheney’s antics
  • Tony Blair: for squandering the good will of an entire nation and not having anything to show for it in the end
  • Angela Merkel: for proving that female geeks are better world leaders
  • Brian Cox: for proving that you can be cool, sexy and a good communicator with a PhD and a professorship in Physics
  • The Williams Sisters: for dominating a white elitist sport for a decade.
  • The Obamas: for instilling hope into a frazzled humanity
  • Terry Pratchett: for attempting to dissiminate a positive view of humanity and tackling Alzheimer’s in public

A pretty mixed (and depressing) bunch, but then the noughties weren’t a particular ‘good news’ decade. It’s two decisive moments, 9/11 and Copenhagen, will be remembered as the moments when things started to go pear-shaped. It’s hard to be optimistic about the next ten years, but what’s left to do then hope for the better.

So, in the spirit of the season:

Merry bloody Christmas

Good Bye, Helen. It was great to live in your country.

So today New Zealand’s Labour government was voted off. Replaced  by a clone of David Cameron and a gaggle of unpleasant right wingers that make me pine for Michael Howard, the nine years of enlightenment that this small country has enjoyed under the outgoing administration will probably replaced by an orgy of privatisation, relaxation of the already far too liberal environmental policies and the return of stone age racial policies. In a time where America and Australia are electing progressives, New Zealand takes a step back and hands the keys to the country back to John Keys and his moronic neocons.

Janet Fitzsimons, the co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa, probably found the most appropriate words to summarise this election:

“I wonder in 20 years time whether there’ll be people who will look back to 2008 and say “I am really glad I voted for tax cuts rather for the future of our children”

I lived in a New Zealand that started to evolve into a proper western democracy (that saw the role of the state as more important than just to keep the streets repaired and the sewage working) thanks to Helen and her flock of ‘front-bums’ (quote John Tamihere) but is now quite likely to be run again by a bunch of farmers, lawyers and middle class businessmen who have tax relief and profit maximisation as the only important goal on their mind.

It’s going to be a very different country. With more cows. And streets to transport them on.

Certainly not a nicer one.

P.S. ..and the prize for biggest electoral bloodymindedness goes to the Waitaki electorate. They actually re-elected  Jacqui Dean.