Here is the first instalment of TevyTown’sTwoThounsandsTranscripts with my take on the year 2000.
In the year 2000…. In the year 2000!!! (So they would say on Late Nite with Conan O’Brien)
We all know about Y2K, George Bush and Al Gore, Elian Gonzalez, the Rams winning the Super Bowl etc. Personally, I recall the hullabaloo made when Pope John Paul apologized for all the wrongdoings of the Church (including the Crusades… sure). Most Canadians will recall the sight of Simon Whitfield winning the gold medal in the triathlon at the Sydney Olympics. But they’ll also remember when two national icons – Pierre Trudeau and Maurice “Rocket” Richard were laid to rest.
As a sports fan, I recall having a Maple Leafs hangover after they lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils in the second round. But it was Vince Carter reinventing the slam-dunk at the all-star game that stands out in my mind. Quite possibly the best display of basketball I’ve ever seen. And he followed it up with that dunk in the Olympics. You know, that one we all know about. Even though the Raptors lost in the first round of the playoffs against the New York Knicks, the calendar year would end with great optimism, paving the way for that 2001-playoff run. As a Bar Mitzvah gift, I got to see 10 games that 2000-01 season, including the Lakers a day after my birthday. It was definitely a good year to be a sports fan.
But it was also a good year to become familiarized with politics. Not every 12-year-old has the awareness to know what’s going on in the world outside of school and entertainment.
Not this twelve-year-old. Besides student council elections, which are really just popularity contests (too bad for Gore ;), there isn’t much to learn unless you find out about it yourself. And that’s what I did (with a little help from my grade 8 Social Studies teacher, Mr. Balofsky… I hope you’re reading this!)
We all know about Bush and Gore and the USA but here in Canada, or should I say Toronto, Ontario, we got a triple dose of elections, in addition to the US coverage. Coming off a 1999 Ontario provincial election, which saw Liberal Dalton McGuinty take office after some ugly years of Conservative rule of Mike Harris, Canada would also have a Federal election in 2000 along with a Toronto municipal election all in November.
With all this going on, I was compelled to figure out what was going on. And this would probably be the beginning of wanting to be a history and politics buff. I was already a geography buff (thank you Carmen Sandiego) and a sports trivia nutball but I was also intrigued by what was going on the world. I guess you could say that besides my previous interests, that 2000 was the year that may have prompted me to learn about the things that would eventually lead me on the path of journalism. Writing was another story, but following, covering and learning became very appealing at the young age of 12.
In those elections, federal incumbents Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party won convincingly over the new Canadian Alliance Party and the rest. The first social studies class after the election taught me that the big losers were Progressive Conservatives and the Alliance, since the latter was a combination of ex-PC members and Reform members, (what the Alliance was before the election) in an attempt to overtake the Liberals who had been in power since 1993. No chance. As for the PC party, they only managed to get 12 seats, the minimum for official party status. Hardly the same party as the one led by John A. Macdonald, John Diefenbaker and Brian Mulroney.
As for Toronto, Mel Lastman also won re-election convincingly with 483,277 votes compared to 51,111 for the second place candidate.
For me, 2000 was a year I became a teenager (or should I say spent the year as a 12-year-old cause of the Dec birthday) and I guess you could say began to see the world for what really was.
Oh yeah… No.
Being a Hebrew day school student, grade 7-8 meant one important thing: Bar and Bat Mitzvah season. I knew that since I was born late, I’d probably be the last to have it, but to me it’s just saving the best for last (which you will read about in 2001’s post).
But as I recall and maybe it was more obvious than simply because I was a regular participant in these things, but something tells me that having a Bar Mitzvah (and you know I’m talking about the party, cause us conservative school kids didn’t care too much about the actual Torah reading – I can at least speak for myself) or a Bat Mitzvah during that time was so much better than it was now.
I’m talking Britney Spears, *N SYNC, Backstreet Boys, 98 degrees, Christina Aguilera and all those dance songs that were actually worth listening to at a party with old people around. I don’t know how you can get away with Lady Gaga and Katy Perry at these parties nowadays, but I guess that’s the digression of society.
But even though I could care less now, those parties were quite memorable. Besides being happy with your classmates, it gave us all a reason to dress up nice, stay up late (which meant annoying our parents with getting us there and back), and dancing with music, and yes… getting a chance to slow dance.
Today the slow dance makes me laugh, but if you got one, than good on you. Here you are, in the middle of “I do, cherish you,” “I Turn to you, “This I promise you”, and the guy has his arms around the girl’s waists, while she has her arms around your shoulders. And they’re standing at least two feet away from one another. Can you say awkward?
But once Larger than Life, or It’s Gonna be Me comes on it, than the fun starts all over again. And I’m talking about choreographed dancing, courtesy of the DJ’s dancers. While the DJ is telling y’all to get on the dance floor, everyone (and certainly all the guys) have their eyes on the two female dancers leading the way with dances. I recall watching my Bar Mitzvah video and laughing at everyone cause, they’re trying hard to keep up with the girls.
Then comes the line dances like Cotton Eye Joe, Dr. Jones, Macarena, a conga line…
But yeah, those were fun, and seemingly innocent times.
(Funny how all the slow dance songs are about “you”, except for “I want it that way”… wait a second no no no – “you are… my fire…”)
Thank G-d I’ve come to senses with all that. Probably tells me why I don’t like nightclub dancing, I guess.
At least there was Carlos Santana. Now that’s what I call music.
And then there’s Vince 🙂