"Frankly, Mr Shankly, I'm a sickening wreck
I've got the 21st century breathing down my neck"
— The Smiths, "Frankly, Mr. Shankly"
"Is this not the rat age
The demented Photostat age
The time of no room?
We've broken the genetic code
And left it bleeding by the road
Where murderers loom"
— T. Bone Burnett, "The Rat Age"
Sometimes I wish Roger Moore would come back
With an underwater car or some kind of jetpack
Or a hover-gondola and a Union Jack
Forget it, mate, it's not the eighties
He'd rather kick you in the face
We've got a new Bond for the noughties
Because the world's a TERRIBLE place!
— Joe Cornish, Quantum of Solace, the parody song.
"21st century history is not one of my strong points. Too depressing."
— Dr. Bashir, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ("Past Tense Pt. 1")
"The price of petroleum has skyrocketed and the world economy in confusion. The 21st century was expected to be one of chaos."
— Metal Gear Solid, dossier on the Zanzibar Land disturbance
"After Y2K, the end of the world had become a cliché. But who was I to talk? ...Everything was subjective. There were only personal apocalypses. Nothing is a cliché when it's happening to you."
— Max Payne
"The Joker's a special case. Some of us feel he may be beyond treatment. In fact, we're not even sure if he can be properly defined as insane... It's quite possible we may actually be looking at some kind of super-sanity here. A brilliant new modification of human perception. More suited to urban life in the twenty-first century."
— Dr. Ruth Adams, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
"So, what you're telling me, is that the music is about to stop, and we're going to be left holding the biggest bag of odorous excrement ever assembled in the history of capitalism."
— John Tuld, Margin Call
"The public has been lied to, Mr. Kreese. Told all their lives they can have the good life, but no one ever gets it. Every year, they work a little longer, and their house is worth a little less, their retirement fund gets a little smaller. And when the people get upset, they start looking for someone to blame."
— Rockwell, Leverage ("The 10-Minute Job")
"...twentieth century and Second Christian Millennium are saying goodbye. Personally, I thought they'd never go without taking us with them."
— Gore Vidal, Vanity Fair, 1999
"A black man will be elected President of the United States. —I'm sorry, that's in the year 10,000."
— Conan O'Brien, "In the Year 2000"
"This whole subprime mortgage mess is just an excuse for the gunslingers and river boat gamblers on Wall Street to use their tricks to move markets and make money...You can panic if you enjoy being panicky. But this will all blow over and the people who buy now, in due time, will be glad they did."
— Ben Stein says that the economy is fine
"Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing. You are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn't affect two-thirds of the people of the world."
— Jimmy Carter
“The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.”
“I came of age in the Sixties, when there were chances, when it was all there waiting. Now they seep out of school — to what? To nothing, to fuck-all. The young (you can see it in their faces), the stegosaurus-rugged no-hopers, the parrot-crested blankies — they’ve come up with an appropriate response to this, which is: nothing. Which is nothing, which is fuck-all. The dole-queue starts at the exit to the playground.”
— Martin Amis, Money
“I really didn't foresee the Internet. But then, neither did the computer industry. Not that that tells us very much of course—the computer industry didn't even foresee that the century was going to end.”
— Douglas Adams
"Smash TV takes place in the grim, cold future of 1999, only a few short years after the conquest of Earth by the New Order Nation."
—Hardcore Gaming 101
"I’m sure you’re like 'Punk'd? How current. What’s next, a BREAKING story from the set of Pimp My Ride?', but honestly, this story is worth traveling back in time to 2003. Dust off your Von Dutch trucker hat and grab a Pepsi Twist (remember that shit? It was like drinking cola-flavored Pledge)"
—DListed, "And Now For The Time Justin Timberlake Threatened To Kick Dax Shepard’s Ass On The Set Of Punk’d"
"Zuckerberg is a billionaire of the modern age. Call me old-fashioned, but I like men who are able to buy and sell control of my fate to look the part. There's something too humiliating about being inferior to someone who needs to be told not to wear socks with sandals."
— Cracked, "4 Things That Weren't Always This Terrible"
"This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other. We set up our political and social filter bubbles and they reinforce themselves—the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests. We go down rabbit holes of special interests until we’re lost in the queen’s garden, cursing everyone above ground."
— Wired, "I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me"
"Near future prediction is always a rough game... Hence 2010’s amusing double error - the belief that humanity would be on the verge of going to Jupiter and the belief that the Cold War would be rumbling on. Instead the American space program spent 2010 winding down, each of the three surviving Shuttles making their penultimate flights. The Cold War is dead and gone. Indeed, the entire apparatus of the future is long since gone, and has in fact quietly disappeared into the rear view mirror. Time memorably spent the tail end of 2009 declaring the aughts to have been the “worst decade ever,” and while this should be taken as Comic Book Guy style hyperbole with periods after every word, the case was compelling enough. A decade long war on terror culminated in a massive financial crash and the growing realization that electing a black dude President of the United States was not actually going to fix everything."
— Phil Sandifer