A lot has changed over the last ten years. Looking back now, the world of 2010 seems almost quaint. At the start of this decade, who could have predicted the rise of MirrorVision, the spectacular death of Elizabeth the Second, or that Nick Griffin – once a figure of hate – would become one of our most beloved celebrities? Perhaps most importantly, few in 2010 could have foreseen that we would end the decade living far beneath the earth’s uninhabitable surface, ruled by the world’s first totalitarian lexical dictatorship. In many ways, 2010 seems like a simpler time.
It’s impossible to talk about the past decade without talking about the rise and fall of David Cameron. Upon winning the general election in 2010 with a majority of just four seats, Cameron immediately embarked on a right wing legislative offensive, with the emphasis on offensive. The move succeeded in uniting the Tories, and not all of the policies that came out of the period were totally disastrous: The re-introduction of the death penalty reduced both the prison population as well as the population as a whole, the reinstatement of the poll tax revitalised the flagging baton and barricade industries, and the invasion of Europe went about as well as could have been realistically expected.
There was very little public outcry over these putative reforms partly because politics is boring, but also because 2011 saw the advent of MirrorVision. MirrorVision was described by its creators, Endemol, as “A devastatingly imaginative social experiment which provides real time content over a hybrid social and classical media paradigm.” In English, 2011 was the year everyone got their own show.
MirrorVision conquered all. For a small/ridiculous fee, you too could have a camera crew, make-up artist and director follow you around 24/7, splicing, editing and adding narration to your life in post production, turning your existence into a glitzy, high concept and totally unwatched TV series. MirrorVision quickly spawned a whole new generation of hyper-celebrities, and none flew higher or sunk lower than Duncan Souch.
Souch became famous for a week long MirrorVision binge. For seven days, Souch lay in his pants on the sofa, literally watching his own life slip him by, narrated live by a man with a pretend Geordie accent. What Souch didn’t know was that his immobile vigil of self-worship was also being watched by millions across the world on his MV channel. By the time he eventually emerged to buy some milk, he was an international superstar, hounded by paparazzi on his way to the newsagents, and hailed as an everyman symbol of the shiny new auto-digital age.
The appetite for news about “Couch Souch” was insatiable, and soon his MirrorVision channel was soon being watched by 200 million people. SouchVision was relocated from a dingy south London bedsit to a brightly lit LA studio, where Souch continued to lie around in his pants only this time on a much more expensive sofa.
It couldn’t last forever. Souch soon began to feel cramped by his onscreen persona, unconvincingly arguing that there was more to his personality than lying motionless for hours on end, watching himself do nothing. Souch started branching out into charity work and political activism, wearing pants he had bought from the NSPCC shop and occasionally muttering dark comments about assorted politicians under his breath. Analysts began to speculate that spending an average eighteen hours a day watching himself watch himself might be provoking some kind of deep-seated existential crisis.
Soon, the backlash began – pundits declared “Slouch Souch” was a self absorbed, lazy twat, and an extremely poor role model for the nation. As quickly as he had been placed on his pedestal, Souch was cast back down into the muck. Editorial after tabloid editorial decried him a nonentity, a fuckwit, unspeakably evil, and a portent of the coming apocalypse. On the third of December, 2012, in full compliance with the Anti-Social behaviour act of 2012, Duncan Souch was burned at the stake.
But the rise and rise of MirrorVision could not insulate Cameron’s controversial government forever, and in 2013 he made his fatal mistake. In response to a parliamentary question, Cameron claimed that “Chav Hunting is part of modern British culture, and it symbolises that once and for all we have moved beyond the misrule and muddled thinking of the Noughties, forwards into the bright new future of the Tweens.”
The comment was highly controversial, both inside and outside of the party. Conservatives were unsettled by Cameron’s suggestion that Britain was going forward into the future, a move they wholeheartedly opposed. Meanwhile, the media and masses became obsessed with Cameron’s flippant use of the word “Tweens”. In a debate which never fully fell out of fashion, pundits and public alike went into total meltdown over what to call their decade. At one point, every post on twitter was tagged with either #tweens, #teens or, #eleventies. The argument became symbolic of everything from the breakdown of the family unit to the rising price of Frisbees, but it ultimately coalesced around one point: Cameron had to go.
Despite a valiant attempt to regain the support of his Cabinet with an emergency bill banning the use of public transport, David Cameron was forced to resign on the third of March, 2013.
Across the pond, dastardly hopemonger Barack Obama won a second term in office, but lost control of Congress. The Republican party blocked his every attempt at reform, and passed several pieces of legislation that went against everything Obama believed. After being forced into signing the “No, you can’t!” act of 2014, Obama was found lying face down on the floor of the oval office, silently mouthing the words “despair and stagnation” over and over again. It looked as though Obamamania was over.
Then, on April 5th, 2015, a series of terrorist attacks in major cities around the globe gave life, meaning, and most of all, public support to Obama’s flagging administration. After weeks of intensive debate on both sides of the Atlantic, the United States unilaterally invaded Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Sudan. Britain also invaded the Middle East, but insisted that it was just a coincidence and it definitely wasn’t only copying America to look cool in front of all the other countries.
The war with a huge success, killing hundreds of thousands of people who looked a lot like terrorists, and, totally by accident, as an added bonus, securing several major oil fields. Despite continued, and indeed intensified, atrocities, Obama was lauded for winning the war on terror, and collected a second Nobel peace prize.
Unfortunately, the war was not without its costs. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, insisted on going to the front lines herself to fight, where she predicatably died in the first few hours of the conflict in a parachute drop over Tehran, and was buried in eight separate coffins. At that time, few could have predicted the severity of the constitutional crisis that her passing would provoke.
Events began to spiral out of control when, noting Obama’s newfound popularity, and acting on misguided advice from his father, Prince Charles blacked up for his own coronation. The outcry was unequivocal from across the spectrum. Charles the Third would reign for just three days before abdicating in favour of his son.
But William would never sit on his father’s throne. Before taking the crown, the young prince issued an ultimatum to his Kingdom: He had fallen in love with the glamour model, actress and Booker Prize winner Katie Price. Britain would accept her as their queen, or he would not rule them at all. They were both burned at the stake in a quiet ceremony, shortly before dawn.
Finally, Prince Harry was declared “inappropriate” because of that thing none of us are supposed to talk about, and the situation reached crisis point. By this stage, Britain had been monarchless for almost three weeks. Across the country, school fetes went unopened, parades went unwatched, and swans went uneaten. It was pandemonium. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had little choice but to dissolve the monarchy. Surviving members of the royal family went on to make ends meet in the dying reality TV industry.
The dissolution of the monarchy demanded a new constitution and fresh elections. In an effort to be modern, Boris Johnson introduced e-voting, to be conducted entirely via the comments on Youtube videos and the Have Your Say section of the BBC website. The BNP was returned with a landslide majority of 174 seats.
At the start decade, Nick Griffin had been a figure of public revulsion, but an appearance on the final series of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here in 2013 changed all that. Nick delighted the nation with his pratfalls and faux pas and audiences up and down the country squealed with glee as a horrified Griffin was forced to swim through a pit of centipedes, swallow a live gecko and shake hands with a black person. By the time he became Prime Minister, Griffin was a household name, presenting his own chat show, cookery program and The Daily Politics on BBC 2. With all of these media commitments, Griffin had little time to govern, and outsourced the day to day work of his office to a Polish labourer, who did a thoroughly excellent job at a very reasonable price. In late 2016 Griffin resigned the premiership entirely to become the new host of Top Gear, triggering the third election in six years.
By this time, most BNP members had become disillusioned with politics and the party had all but disbanded. Successive victories for “lol n00b” and “fagzzzzzzz” highlighted the shortcomings of the internet based electoral system, and it was decided that Britain should institute a system of proportional representation. Literally everyone stood in the election of 2016, with the most popular 646 parties each receiving a seat. The years since have been complete legislative deadlock, with the bi-monthly reintroduction and repeal of the fox hunting ban being the only laws consistently passed.
On the 19th of August 2017, President Murdoch of the United States and acting Prime Minister David Chubbs, of 26 Handell Way, Chorleywood, both received a phone call. It was the head of the International Association of Careless Bankers, Michael Froth, phoning from the Bahamas. While on a morale boosting corporate jolly celebrating the banking sector’s record 2017 profits, the heads of world’s seven biggest banks got a little tipsy, placed those record profits in a big pile, gathered around in a circle and set it on fire. The banking sector urgently needed $1.8 trillion for re-capitalisation, bonuses, and plane tickets home.
It was agreed by politicians that this was no time to play the blame game. World Leaders declared that a financial crisis of unimaginable magnitude was facing the global economy, one that nobody could have predicted. When World Ordinary People pointed out that it could have been very easily predicted just by looking at what had happened before, World Leaders replied that, while it might seem like that, the one thing nobody expected was for the exact same thing to happen to the global economy twice. Decisive action was taken: World Governments borrowed the money they needed to give the banks from the banks they were giving the money to, temporarily solving the crisis. A few months later, after failing to keep up repayments, World Governments were repossessed and sold to the Chinese.
One of the few pieces of good news of the decade came when, after accidentally turning on location services on his iPhone, FBI agents finally caught up with Osama Bin Laden. The fugitive terrorist mastermind admitted to a long list of atrocities but, curiously, not the 2015 attacks which had precipitated the Western invasion of the Middle East.
The real culprit was soon unmasked. Beneath the surface of society, an increasingly atomised cultural diaspora had become irrevocably detached from the rest of civilization, spiralling into a topsy-turvy world of skewed significances, factionalism, and urban warfare. On March the 25th, 2019, #eleventies became the first twitter hashtag to test a nuclear weapon. It was followed in the next few hours by #tweens and #teens.
It is often said that the resulting atomic conflict had no real winners. I disagree. After the last few remaining Tweensters and Teenites were captured and summarily executed, it seems pretty clear that the Eleventies have won. Other winners include cockroaches, producers of canned food, and the only celebrity to survive the nuclear holocaust, Nick Griffin, whose vast melty face is glaring down at me as I write this from the mess-hall telescreen in the abandoned sulphur mine I now call home.
Indeed, 2010 was a simpler time. If only, knowing what I know now, I could somehow go back to before all this terrible business started, to those bright, clear days populated by naive creatures, blissfully unaware that they stood on the very precipice of destruction. I could play the lottery or something. I’d be well rich.
All hail the one, true #hashtag!