They’ll Remember These Names

I think I’m going to keep using the rest of this year to reflect on this decade. We tend to remember things in eras and decades anyway. So I think it could be a good way to look back on what was.

But today I think I want to take a look at the people. The trends and the events are always interesting. But what tends to sear its way into the memories of people are, well, the people. You look at the 60s and you think of Martin, Malcolm, JFK and RFK. In the 80s, you tend to think of Michael Jackson, Madonna and so forth. So here are six people I think will be remembered as major pieces of this decade.

1. Tiger Woods. For everything you knew about him before Nov. 25, 2009. He’s arguably the greatest to ever do what he does, and he was, in a sense, trained to do it since childhood, which makes it that much more amazing considering how many child prodigies flame out. And he’s done the majority of it this decade (see: Tiger winning a major on a broken leg).

2. Katie Couric. Might be a stretch for some, but she’s the face of CBS Evening News. That sentence alone is enough considering how rare it is for a female to hold down a national nightly news anchor desk and she’s won two straight Edward R. Murrow Awards for best newscast for her efforts.

3. Beyonce. Y’all know I’m not a huge fan, but she’s undeniable because of her reach and appeal. She’s been in most of our faces since she was a teen and she’s made an unmistakable transition from lead singer of a girl’s group to superstar solo artist to a “business, man” as her husband might say. She’s become the premier player in her industry.

4. Kanye West. You probably can blame the hip hop skinny jeans movement on him. But he proved that there was room in the hip hop world for more than just the wanna-be thug. He’s actually extremely talented at what he does best — produce music — and has penned a few thought-provoking verses. Plus, he had the fortitude to tell the Dubya that he didn’t care about black people. Then again, he #kanyeshrugged Taylor Swift, too.

5. Steve Jobs. Sure, he’s been around for quite some time. But this decade? iPod. iPhone. iTunes. iThis. iThat. And oh, he was CEO of Pixar until 2006. Jobs and his minions are the innovators of our time. I’m just waiting for the app where you can shake your iPhone and it will tell you your weight. That’s when I’ll cancel my Sprint contract and buy one of Jobs’ toys.

6. President Barack Obama. Obviously.

Your additions? Thoughts?

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14 responses to “They’ll Remember These Names

  1. I agree with the names you put up. I just have a few more to ad to the list.

    1. Osama Bin Laden – Prior to 2001 no one outside of the government knew or even cared who he was. Now he is a household name synonymous with terrorism.

    2. Lebron, Wade, Carmelo – 2003 draft class will go down as one of, if not the best draft class in NBA history. And these three lead the class.

    3. Mark Zuckerberg – If not his name, at least his creation. Facebook was the go to social networking site when it hit web. Although Twitter has stolen some of it’s thunder it still has a large, loyal following.

    4. Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey – Again if not their names at least their creation. Twitter has become the new Facebook

    5. Seth Rogen – New funny man who is still riding a string of hit movies that he has written for and/or starred in. (40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, Drillbit Taylor, Pineapple Express, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, Observe and Report, Funny People)

    6. Tyler Perry – Not a huge fan of his work, but his impact is undeniable. Plus he’s revolutionizing the way movies are made by maintaining complete ownership of all his movies.

    • @tjackson: When I looked back at the list after I finished it, the one I kept thinking about was Osama. He’s like a ghost of sorts, might be America’s most hated enemy since Hitler and no one can find him.

  2. 1. Oprah – She’s been the media Queen for a while but I feel like over the past decade her power has continued to grow.

    2. Sarah Palin – While I don’t feel she is worth remembering, she is the disaster that could have been.

    3. Stephen Colbert/Jon Stewart – They’ve changed up the political news game by adding a unique comedic twist to it.

    -I’m sure I can come up with more but I have a meeting to go to…..

  3. What you failed to mention about Steve Jobs is that he was also the Founder of Apple. He Got Fired by his own company in the 90s, went out started Pixar, blew up off of Toy Story. Apple started tanking in the late 90s, they call Jobs begging him to come back. He comes back & first thing he launches is iMac (those multi-colored Mac computers that look like TVs) & Boom! Apple takes off once again. He then sales Pixar to Disney for $4Billion.

    Dude might not be richer than Bill Gates but I would say that he’s a ton more business savvy.

    • @Oates: I was speaking specifically of this decade. This decade is when he took all of that stuff to the next level… The iPod dropped in 2001, not that long after iMac, which was the beginning of Apple’s resurgence…

  4. Simon Cowell. He completely changed the music and entertainment game (after the iPod, of course). There have been duds (Taylor Hicks, anyone?). But without Simon, there would be no Fantasia, no Carrie Underwood, no Kelly Clarkson, no Clay Aiken, no Leona Lewis, no Jennifer Hudson. Say what you will about his methods (and the unfortunate firing of Paula Abdul), the man has a gift for finding talent, even if America occasionally likes to choose cruise singers over potential stars (again, Taylor Hicks).

  5. The one I co-sign the most is Beyonce. We’ll look back on the 00s and remember Beyonce for sure.

    There’s a laundry list of random political figures we’ll remember from this era but in about 15 years, some of us won’t remember why. People like Governor Sanford, Mike Huckabee, Senator Harry Reid, Maj. Leader Pelosi, etc…

  6. I know you did a post about this guy already but he should definitely be remembered. Although reality television was popular in the late 90’s it did not take on a life of it’s own until this last decade. There are many different networks with many different reality shows, but Mark Cronin has been the spearhead of helping reality trash keep getting recycled. I’d like it all to nicely fade out in the twenty teens…

  7. Hey, y’all.

    @damon: Great list.

    @everyone else: Great additions.

    I’d add:
    – Michelle Obama & not just because Barbara Walters chose her as this year’s most fascinating person.

  8. Oh, & maybe Anika Noni Rose’s name will be remembered as Disney’s first black princess & black princess doll.

  9. the kid who came up with napster.com

    that site singlehandedly made it easier to “obtain” music. which brought down the RPAA controversy. which again changed, or at least attempted to change the way people “obtain” music.

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