“No tears, no fears
No ruined years, no clocks
She’s a twentieth century fox”
The Doors – “Twentieth Century Fox”
Undoubtedly, the past century was the greatest 100 year stretch in human history. We went from the Industrial Age / Victorian Era, to the Modern Era, to the Atomic Era, to the Information Era. The scientific achievements are mind-blowing. We have made gigantic leaps in transportation, communications, media, astronomy, medicine, and electronics. Unfortunately, not all of this technological advancements have been used for peaceful endeavors. You can argue that the two World Wars were the impetus to many of modern discoveries, but it also the biggest reasons why the 20th century could also be considered one of the worst in human history. We also had countless minor wars (besides the 2 big ones), a Great Depression, one Holocaust (plus a few genocides), a flu pandemic, and worst of all – disco music. And all of the progress we made in civil rights, and Womens’ rights only goes to accentuate the fact that blacks and women were treated, to put it mildly, extremely poorly.
The 20th Century had a generation that has the unmitigated nerve to dub itself, “The Greatest Generation.” All because they grew up under some economic hardship, and fought a war. Of course, everything they did after they reached adulthood had been a catastrophic failure – civil rights (for every minority – blacks, women, homosexuals), Communist witch hunts, drugs, climate change, poorly raising “The Baby Boomers”, and worst of all – disco. But if poverty and winning a war is your only criteria, then the real “Greatest Generation” were the ones that fought in the First Crusade at the end of the 11th Century.
It’s not like the 21st Century has done a good job trying to out-pace its predecessor, but it still has 8-plus decades left. Bottom line, being the best of the worst is no big deal, because every other century was horrible. Don’t believe me? Just remember, even the Amish make some concessions to the modern times.
With all that in mind, here is my list.
The I, Omnibus Top Ten decades of the Twentieth Century
- 10. 1910’s – folks underestimate how awful WWI, and the Spanish Flu were.
- 9. 1930’s – The Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and the start of WWII.
- 8. 1970’s – two Energy Crises, bell bottoms, the Cold War, and worst of all – disco.
- 7. 1940’s – WWII, and the start of the Cold War.
- 6. 1920’s – the epic failure of Prohibition distracted folks from the upcoming Great Depression.
- 5. 1950’s – The Communist Witch hunt, the birth of the Civil Rights movement.
- 4. 1980’s – good video games, underrated music, but really questionable fashion and politics
- 3. 1900’s – the advent of the automobile, radio, and motion pictures. Here by default
- 2. 1960’s – the best music, the Space Race, classic TV shows (e.g.: Star Trek, Twilight Zone)
- 1. 1990’s – the advent of the World Wide Web, relative economic prosperity.