Forget the new millennium…

As we hurtle fast towards mid-year, it’s hard to believe we’ve almost left behind the first five months of 2019 already, let alone almost the first 19 years of the millennium. For millennials of course, it’s no big deal. If you’re Generation X, like yours truly, you’d remember there was a time we would calculate how old we’d be by year 2000, called the turn of the century Y2K and thought that was cool, and feared that at the stroke of midnight civilisation would shut down and planes would fall out of the sky due to computer systems resetting themselves to 1900. The stuff of absurd comedy!

If you’re of my generation, it is probably equally unfathomable to you that one minute we were struggling to write 2000 in the diary on the first day of the new millennium, the next it is 25 May 2019. If that’s not proof one’s getting old, I don’t know what is!

Yet, as far as we’ve come, it also feels like we haven’t made much progress… In fact, in parts, we seem to be regressing. An idle social media scroll in the noughties meant cute cat videos and the humble beginnings of today’s ever viral memes. Nowadays though, an mindless social media scroll is anything but mindless. We are bombarded with drama – the sort that has risen its ugly head from Civil Rights America, from Nazi Germany, from the early ‘80s Gaza Strip, from the seventh circle of hell, the sort that should have been thrown in and locked up in the last century, and the keys thrown away. Only a quick scroll tonight and the bewildering bouquet of flagrant forms of abuse, discrimination and erosion of human values are as such…


In 2019…
In Alabama, USA, a 12-year-old girl raped and impregnated by her father must carry the baby to full term, or be thrown in prison for life.Top investment bankers are still busy African countries, as in the case of a Credit Suisse banker who plead guilty $2 billion fraud and money-laundering scam tied to loans to Mozambique that were used to pay bribes and kickbacks.

A 10-year-old immigrant girl becomes the sixth child to die while in US custody.A perfectly just and legal local election in Istanbul, Turkey gets cancelled when the ruling party’s mayoral candidate doesn’t. The opposition is accused of stealing votes with no evidence found to date.

Teens spend hours on social media following the latest influencer feud between Tati Westbrook and James Charles.Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting.

An all-white jury in Kansas just sentences a black male, Albert N. Wilson, because three years ago the now 23-year-old, then 20, met and ‘made out with’ a white teen, then 17-year-old, in a bar for adults 21 years or older.

Still in the US, anti-abortion Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy resigns after a report surfaced earlier this week that he had asked an extramarital lover to end her pregnancy.Hundreds of EU citizens hoping to cast their ballots in the European elections have reported being turned away from polling stations.

Need I even mention the palaver that’s Brex(sh)it? Or the international joke that is Trump?Forget the new millennium; it’s like Middle Ages 2.0.


In this article:
Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo
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