"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 29 December 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.


It was a simpler time. As Americans embraced their deliverance from the dreaded Y2K scourge, a nation drove sport-utility vehicles triumphantly across the newly-liberated land. Times were good. Everybody seemed to be an internet millionaire, and "Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men blared from Napster-driven speakerphones in every household. It was a time when no one had ever heard of Dymertk the Obdurate, and The Anathema was still just an obscure political cult in Quebec. It was a golden age of "cel" phones, big-budget Hollywood spectacles, political activism, and exciting developments in nanotechnology. New sex drugs were liberating our libidos, and new lifestyles were changing the way we procreated. It was a time of peace and plenty, before the Clone Wars would destroy America's innocence — forever.

As 2000 dawned, America was awash in a spicy melange of hot salsa music, swing dancing, triple-penetration streaming videos, and celebrity gossip. America was the most powerful nation in the world, and times were good. Stock market prices seemed like they would stay high forever, as "dot-com" businesses popped up everywhere. And despite news stories about a certain Scottish sheep that had been genetically reduplicated, we felt science could be nothing but a good friend to us as we conquered nature the way we had Russia and polio. Confidently staring out the tinted windows of our Lincoln Navigators, or lingering over a cup of mocha-flavored cappuccino, we wondered whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would make a better president, and whether the exile of little Elián González would haunt us in the years to come.

It was the last year of the first millennium, with an electronic soundtrack engineered by producers like Moby and Beck, a Brave New World of shattered monopolies and dreams of global peace. America was looking forward, yet at the same time looking backward. It was the year of autoerotic asphyxiation, newfound racial harmony, and plans for the best, safest New Year's Eve ever. Almost no one realized what lay in store. Those who did were dismissed as crackpots. But in the closing weeks of 2000, Americans, who enjoyed such unprecedented peace and prosperity, went on in our untroubled way, making plans for the new year, scarcely realizing how many would not live to see it, or would live on a few tortured weeks, dreaming of America's last, best year.


courtesy of The Sucksters


pictures Terry Colon