Most Memorable Creative Impacts of the Decade

Or…how, in the last ten years, technology has completely invaded our lives.*

2000: The Kingdome is demolished by implosion. It will strongly influence creative types around the city, namely indie t-shirt designers and Mike Daisey, author of 21 Dog Years.

2000: Freaks and Geeks, produced by Judd Appatow, airs its last episode after just one season. Fortunately both the producer and the bulk of the cast will go on to create a generation of romantic comedy’s of the “bromance” oeuvre.

2001: Without explanation, a black monolith materializes in Seattle’s Magnuson Park. A few days later, it disappears just as mysteriously as it had arrived.

2001: Pixar animation studios releases Monsters, Inc, its fourth full-length animated film. Billy Crystal proves he’s still got it.

2001: Apple releases the first iPod, later to be referred to as iPod Classic. It has 5GB of memory.

2001: The popular file-sharing Website Napster is forced to shut down for legal infractions.

2001: Sub-Pop releases the Shins album, Oh, Inverted World. Two singles from the record will appear on the Garden State soundtrack in 2004, which won a Grammy. One could argue, Zach Braff singlehandedly resurrected indie rock music – and antidepressant medication – in the mainstream.

2002: The Museum of Glass and Dale Chihuly’s Bridge of Glass open simultaneously in Tacoma to thousands of visitors.

2002: The first season of American Idol debuts.

2002: The Osbournes launches, a reality TV show depicting Ozzy Osbourne’s domestic life as a parody of Leave it to Beaver, 50s era sitcoms. It will eventually earn the highest ratings in MTV history and pave the way for an entire generation of days-in-the-life-of-celebutantes reality shows, including The Anna Nicole Show, The Simple Life (starring Paris Hilton), Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives, Girls Next Door, Jersey Shore and Sarah Palin’s Alaska…and so many more.

2003: iTunes launches.

2003: MySpace launches.

2003: Futurama (from the creator of The Simpsons) airs its first episode. The careers of voice actors Katey Segal and Billy West are saved. The run of the show will be rocky. But it will survive. A little bit like a cockroach you swore you killed…

2003: Flash mobs are popularized when Harper’s magazine senior editor encourages hoards of hipsters to invade a Manhattan Macy’s department store.

2003: Arrested Development first airs on television. Despite its cultish popularity, it will be cancelled in three years due to low ratings.

2003: Tacoma Art Museum opens in a new building (its current location), designed by Antoine Predock.

2004: The infamous “Numa Numa” video, in which a young man films himself lip synching to a pop song with his web cam, allegedly becomes one of the first internet videos to “go viral.”

2004: 826 Seattle – a nonprofit that helps kids with writing and homework – opens in Greenwood.

2004: Facebook is founded.

2005: YouTube is founded, giving rise to billions of user videos that create stars like Justin Bieber and “David after the Dentist.”

2005: Bellevue Arts Museum reopens after a 20-month hiatus.

2005: Guitar Hero is released.

2006: Seattle’s Empty Space Theatre closes after thirty-seven years.

2006: The Road by Cormac McCarthy is published

2006: James Frey is skewered on the Oprah Winfrey Show for fabricating parts of his so-called memoir about addiction, A Million Little Pieces.

2006: Twitter launches.

2006: Fearless, starring Jet Li, is released.

2006: Nintendo’s gaming console, Wii, is released.

2006: City Arts prints its inaugural issue – a bimonthly print magazine for Tacoma. It will release separate editions for Seattle and Eastside – and increase to monthly circulation – in July 2008.

2007: The first iPhone is released.

2007: The first Kindle is released.

2007: Richard Hugo House launches its unique Hugo Literary Series, in which local, regional and internationally renowned writers are commissioned to read raw and untested works under a guiding theme. Mike Daisey, Lesley Hazelton, Marie Howe, Richard Rodriguez, Marya Sea Kaminski, Aimee Bender and Sherman Alexie are just a few of the writers that have since been featured.

2007: Tacoma Actors Guild ceases operations due to budget shortfalls.

2007: Implied Violence launches the Bridge Motel in Seattle, an exciting warren of performance art that people will talk about for years to come.

2007: Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park opens to the public on January 20.

2007: Randy Quaid stars in “Lone Star Love” at 5th Avenue Theatre. Quaid makes a mess of things and it never goes to Broadway as planned.

2007: SAM opens its new remodeled space downtown, with Cai Guo-Qiang’s nine cars cart-wheeling through the air as one of its signature exhibits.

2008: Frank Sheperd Fairey releases his iconic “Hope” portrait of Barack Obama. Later, he is accused by the Associated Press of lifting a copyrighted image for his iconic HOPE poster of Obama, resulting in a long-drawn out debate over fair use.

2008: Lady Gaga’s first single arrives off her album, The Fame.

2009: The Seattle P-I publishes its last print edition. The newspaper is 146 years old.

2009: Political protests in Iran launch Twitter as the medium of the movement, according to Time.

2009: The Lonely Island music video for their single “I’m on a Boat,” a parody of cliché rap videos, takes the number one spot on YouTube.

2009: Seventeen 3-D movies are released in mainstream theatres, indicating an obsessive craving for dorky looking glasses. Avatar becomes the top-grossing film of all time, pushing Titanic to number two.

2010: Howard House gallery closes after thirteen years of operation.

2010: Queen Anne’s Uptown theatre closes after 84 years of operation.

2010: A movie about the founding of Facebook is released.

2010: Bumbershoot celebrates its 40th anniversary in the summer of 2010 with music legend Bob Dylan headlining.

2010: The rock band Pavement plays several reunion shows in Seattle.

2010: The inaugural City Arts Fest takes Seattle by storm, featuring an eclectic lineup of music and arts performances that make room for Big Boi, Belle & Sebastian, Blue Scholars, She & Him, Eileen Myles and Peter Boal and many more.

2010: Inexplicably, Ugg boots remain insanely popular. I’m wearing a pair even as I finish this article. Perhaps when it is published I will take them off and throw them away. (Probably not though, since I have to walk through the snow.)

2010: “snOMG” is coined as the most popular reference to Seattle’s pre-Thanksgiving wintersnow storm (a comination of “snow” and “OMG”). It is surpassed quickly that day in Twitter trends by “towing.”


*This list is not intended in any way to be comprehensive, authoritative or serious.

Hat-tip to Emily Busey, Corey Kahler, Greg Plumis, Heather Olson and Jonathan Shipley for their contributions.