Lesson Transcript

Alisha: Hi everybody! Welcome back to English Topics. My name is Alisha, and I'm here with...
Michael: Michael. Hello!
Alisha: Today, we're going to be talking about "Things that were Cool in the 00s." The 00s refers to from the year 2000 to the year 2010. So, let's discuss the things that we thought were cool in this period of time. My first item is "boy bands." Boy bands as a junior high school student during the early 2000s to mid 2000ish years, I was very loyal to one boy band in particular. If you recall, during this period of time in America, there were a few boy bands. There was NSYNC, there were the Backstreet Boys. My personal favorite was Hanson. I really had my walls just covered in Hanson posters. That was a big thing for me. Did boy bands factor into your adolescence at all?
Michael: Yes and no, again, I had three older brothers to punch me and say, "Hey, don't listen to boy bands. Boy bands are for losers. Don't be a loser." So, I never got into it, but I definitely knew that was a thing. You would see the binders in school and they're really shiny, laminated, maybe, 98 degrees, this and that. So, speaking of music, I think this one's pretty good is "Napster," and this was right before 2000. It started I think ‘99 and got in a lot of trouble. The owner got in a lot of trouble. It's been that first peer-to-peer sharing, they call it. So, people peers and you share it, so I send you a file directly. That was the first time that came out. So, I remember a lot of people didn't think about the moral implications. Is this illegal, is this bad, the internet was starting to bubble up and become really popular. So, I remember my relatives and friends, everyone did it until all the sudden they said, "Whoa, you're stealing music. Don't do it." There were a couple people got arrested, fined millions of dollars and stuff. So, they started to die out and the new ones came. So, for me, I think after Napster, Kazaa, and LimeWire. there are all these different programs and a million. Basically, it was before torrent and all that.
Alisha: Yeah, that's a great point though because those sorts of peer-to-peer applications really did change media. That's huge. Good one. I like that topic. Wow, okay. Nice one. I guess I'll go on to the next one for me, this is also media-related. This is something I think probably most teens in our generation used at some point in time and it's "Instant Messenger." Instant Messenger, I was partial. Me, I like to use AOL Instant Messenger, A-I-M. I also had MSN Instant Messenger. Did you use an instant messaging service?
Michael: Yeah. AIM.
Alisha: Yeah, AIM. So, this was before--maybe I think cell phones were becoming more and more common but, at least in my case, I didn't get a cell phone--a mobile phone for my own personal use until high schoolish maybe, I don't remember, till maybe 17 or so. I didn't need one, really. But, to talk to—who did I talk to? To talk to my friends, I suppose, I don't know. I used Instant Messenger to talk to people in other parts of the world. I would have a pen pal in a different country, or I remember I exchanged music a lot with a guy who lived in a different part of the United States. I don't remember where he was from. That's true. This is a true story. He sent me Muse, I remember that guy, and I liked it.
Michael: Secretly, a 40-year-old guy in his basement. "Electronic and Hip-hop Acceptance." So, for me I remember for the longest time, we made fun of this stuff. We would say there was a stupid phrase that everyone said, "Rap is only one letter away from crap. That's how you know it's bad." Or like, "The electronic music, anybody can make that music because it's just a computer, there's no skill. [beatboxed] Man I hate…" We would all say that kind of stuff for a lot of kids did. And right around that, that's when people slowly, one-by-one started to convert and it became more and more mainstream to where a lot of the famous artists. It just became like everyone loved it. I think by the end of the 2000s, it was anybody and everybody, any demographic loved electronic and hip-hop. It became a very popular thing.
Alisha: Yeah, maybe so. Hip-hop really gained momentum there and early 2000s mid- 2000s, didn't it? Because up until then, it was kind of sweet, pop almost or rock music was really popular. But, yeah, electronic and grunge, too. Grunge was a thing like Nirvana. Nirvana was big in the 90s, no late 80s maybe. Wait. When was Nirvana popular?
Michael: Yeah, it was ‘90s. But I don't remember exactly. I mean he was gone by the end of the ‘90s.
Alisha: So, then, rock was really popular. I feel like rock was very, very mainstream. Country as well, country-western was big. But, I think, you're right, hip-hop really gained a lot of momentum there, late ‘90s early 2000s or so. And electronic, too. Okay, my next item is "Harry Potter." Harry Potter finished in the late 2000s. Harry Potter was a huge, huge series and I think it was really important – not even so much because of the story, of course, the story is widely known around the world by this point in time. But, I think it was really important because I think it got people reading. Young people, adolescents, older people. it was one of those stories that could be enjoyed by anybody, any age group. I was super into Harry Potter. I loved reading fantasy books and at any rate. But, Harry Potter, I think was really popular, was really fun. It was one of those things that kids could enjoy and parents didn't have to worry about. I don't think it was like the kids were reading something scandalous or whatever. It's just this sort of heartwarming fantasy story about a couple of kids growing up together in this strange situation. Did you ever read Harry Potter?
Michael: Yeah, I read a little bit of it. I remember mainly watching the movies. But, I remember two things about that. I think it's funny you said it's heartwarming and I think most people agree with that. but I remember there was a small group of people who protested and said it celebrated witchcraft and it's not religious and a good Christian shouldn't read Harry Potter. And then the second thing is, I remember that it was number one, I don't know exactly, don't quote me on this. But, I remember it was really high for adults on Amazon.com and children. It was like a best-seller for both adults and children, and that was kind of a first. I think it's pretty groundbreaking.
Alisha: Yeah, I think so. And, I mean, of course, the movies came out and that was a different sort of popularity that happened because of the movies. But, I think, having a series of books that could captivate and got into such a huge audience interested, it's possible, maybe there's another series or another book that they had a similar influence. But again, going back to your point about the internet, I think because of the internet, and because of that exchange of information, Harry Potter had just the perfect timing and the perfect story for it to just spread like wildfire, meaning it spreads so quickly and with such like ferocity that it was like a super story. Right. So, I think Harry Potter was a really, really big part of that time period, from the end of the ‘90s. But I think it was huge in the early 2000s.
Michael: Absolutely. "MySpace"
Alisha: My gosh.
Mic MySpace, that's for sure. This seems like a relic something so old now because websites come and go. But MySpace was--for those of you who don't know, you probably do--it was Facebook before Facebook. And before MySpace was something a little before my time, but I guess called Friendster. And there's all these different websites, these are just different social media. But one thing I noticed that was different about MySpace versus Facebook is there's unsaid internet social etiquette with Facebook. You didn't add strangers on Facebook. Some people do, it depends on the country, blah, blah, blah. But, typically, it was only your close friends, right. Whereas, MySpace, I remember meeting just strangers. you just go on and see a girl that's cute and you add her and you say, "Hey, what's up. I like your pictures. You want to meet?" And it was kind of like a chat room thing, it was a weird in-between. Until it became more of a personal thing, right.
Alisha: Right.
Michael: My Facebook wall or whatever versus—
Alisha: Well, Facebook initially started out of-- it was from college actually. When you went to college, a lot of colleges would have something, a physical book called a Facebook to my understanding. And, it was like a yearbook, but before you started the year, so you could see who your classmates were. I think that was what the deal was. And, initially, when Facebook started, you had to have a college, a university email address in order to join Facebook. So, at first, it was only college students who could participate in Facebook. And then, it became open to the public. Now, of course, Facebook is popular all over the world.
Okay, so those are a few things that we thought were cool in the ‘00s from the year 2000 to 2010. What was cool for you in your country? I'm really actually kind of curious to hear. I mean these are things that were big in America, but I have no idea of what was--well, not no idea but I have very little concept of what was interesting in other countries at this time in history. So, please share, if you have something that you thought was really, really outstanding from this time. That's all for us today. Thanks very much for watching. Please be sure to subscribe to our channel if you haven't already, and we'll see you again next time. Bye!