Nine of the wildest events that helped shape the last decade

A new decade is just around the corner. Which means we're basically living in the future. It hasn't all been smooth sailing, which is why we've highlighted the failures, dramas and controversies that you've already forgotten from the previous decade. 

1. Gangnam Style

K-Pop conquered the world in the 2010s. But it took a short, stocky man whipping an imaginary horse to break open the floodgates. Psy's global hit was the first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. It did so without a word of English, and changed pop-music forever in the process. Was it dumb luck? Google algorithms? A catchy song? No one can say for sure, but Gangnam Style was everywhere in 2012, and a harbinger of the Asian Century that's still unfolding. 

See also: Lil Nas X and Old Time Road.

2. The Arab Spring

For a moment it looked like social media could bring down crooked despots in the Arab World. Coordinated by Twitter, mass protests took place in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain demanding regime change. That initial optimism was soon replaced with military crackdowns, coups, civil war and the rise of ISIS as power vacuums pushed the region into chaos. Eight years on, Tunisia is the only country to replace its former ruler with a democratically elected government... and Twitter is a toxic cesspool. 

See also: Hong Kong in 2019.

3. Google Glasses

This was supposed to be the future. And it sort of was for about two weeks. Then two things happened in quick succession. 1. The public decided that the glasses were the aesthetic equivalent of a middle-aged man with a Bluetooth earpiece and, 2. Having random strangers surreptitiously filming everyone was deemed super creepy. So that was that. 

See also: Google+ social network.

4. American Apparel

American Apparel's half-naked, controversy baiting ads helped prop up the alternative blog-sphere in the early 2010s. But as the decade rolled on, and the sexual harassment lawsuits against founder Dov Charney mounted, and the #MeToo sentiment began to gain momentum, American Apparel's "edginess" was not long for this world. 

See Also: Terry Richardson.


5. Kony 2012

We were all so young and innocent back in 2012. So when a YouTube documentary about an African warlord started doing the rounds, we feverishly shared it. I still have no idea who exactly Joseph Kony is, but I do remember Jason Russell, the guy behind the video, ended up running naked through the streets after suffering a mental breakdown like before being arrested by the cops. You'd think we would have learned something from that fiasco, but the proliferation of online content farms in Russia, China, etc al, suggest otherwise. 

See also: Slacktivism and the latest cause célèbre.

6. Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen began the decade as the world's highest paid actor on the world's highest rated TV show. Which is why everyone ignored the 'substance abuse' claims for as long as they could. By the time he was fired from Two and a Half Men in 2011 Sheen was in the grips of a full-blown meltdown and rambling about "tiger blood" on late night talk shows. Which is what happens when you combine a weekly pay cheque of $1.25 million, a massive cocaine addiction, a harem of porn stars, and zero accountability. 

See also: Kanye on TMZ in 2018. 

7. Health Goth

If you've walked past an international school in recent years you may have noticed groups of Korea students wearing a uniform mix of black leggings, black shorts, black sneakers and back sweaters. The term you're looking for is 'health goth', which is a ridiculous way to describe mixing black athletic apparel with street style to create a (very 2015) 'aesthetic'. It's since been watered down and adapted for international audiences. 

See also: sea-punk, steam-punk, norm-core, etc., etc. 

8. Planking

Planking originated in Adelaide. And if you've ever been to Adelaide you can maybe understand why lying face down for a photo is a viable thing to do. What's less obvious is why this local export went viral, and saw people who should know better replicating the feat in ever more ridiculous scenarios. The inevitable conclusion was a bunch of people falling to their death after planking on balconies. At which point we all moved on the next dumb fad: 

See also: Ice bucket challenge, that one with the Tide-pods, something about sculling a beer, etc.,

9. Upworthy

Launched in 2012 to put a positive, progressive spin on the news, Upworthy rose to fame with its distinct, click-bait headlines. You know the type, "I didn't think a homeless meth dealer had anything to teach me, then I listened." This nonsense worked wonders on social media, and Upworthy became the fastest growing website in history. Which meant that everyone else soon adopted their terrible, click bait approach to the news, and the internet was ruined forever. 

See also: Huffington Post, the demise of Gawker, Mama Mia.

Any other relics of the former decade that are lost but not entirely forgotten? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.