A whine: the defining sound of the noughties
AS the decade ends without really finding a proper name (no one says ‘noughties’ outside of TV commissioning meetings), what better opportunity to sit down and watch a bunch of self-styled comedians take a mirthless look back at the cultural highlights of the decade. This week’s offerings were particularly depressing, starting with Channel 4’s Greatest Songs of the Noughties, perhaps the most fraudulently-named broadcast since Bobby Davro’s Rock With Laughter. These ‘great’ songs were compiled not from record sales but from a poll among viewers, the introduction reassured us. The producers were so pleased with this conceit that they showed some of the hilariously naff songs which sold by the truckload, like Unchained Melody by Gareth Gates, before kicking off their own cutting edge countdown with a song by, er, Will Young. Yeah, that’ll stick it to those reality TV tyrants. The rest was largely a procession of turgid indie anthems from the likes of Coldplay and Snow Patrol, which could only lead us to conclude that the defining sound of the decade was a long, depressing whine. Equally challenging was The Most Annoying People of 2009 on BBC Three, a channel which seems to cater purely for people who can only communicate in misspelt text language. Stunned by the lowly placing for Hazel Blears, I carried on watching to see if they had really managed to find 20-odd people who were more annoying (they hadn’t). The programme was also a moral minefield, with some of the entrants going beyond the realms of mere irritation. For instance, the Irish twins known as ‘Jedward’ (by the sort of people who also say ‘noughties’) made it to the lofty heights of number three for the crime of singing out of tune on the X Factor, while R&B artist Chris Brown could only manage number 24 for his wellpublicised attack on former girlfriend Rihanna. The moral of the story: domestic violence is bad but flat topnotes are even worse.