In 1999, the doomsayers predicted the end of the world as we know it - in the form of computers all over the world crashing because of the so-called millennium bug. It never made sense to me, I mean if it were a problem, couldn't you just change the date ?
I spent the New Year's eve in Vietnam, away from civilization. The next day, nothing changed. Not even an incident. All that scare were for thing. But it wasn't all for nothing, the Y2K bug inspired quite a few things - among them, music, televisions, and books.
WHO'S AFRAID OF Y2K?
geometrid.co.uk ♥ myspace.com
There was a period when I tracked down all the projects that were related to Belle & Sebastian, including The Gentle Waves/Isobel Campbell and Looper. Looper was was basically B&S's Stuart David and his wife, Karn, who actually met via penpalism (as told by their song, Impossible Things).
They did garner a bit of fame through "Mondo '77", a really great catchy "binary"-video gamey song (it's been featured in Vanilla Sky, video games, and anti-drugs commercials). But unfortunately, their third (and final?) album, The Snare did not have any really catchy songs. The ruder and darker themed album was due to David's book The Peacock Manifesto (whos character also appears on the cover and songs of The Snare).
Anyway, in 1999, Looper released a double A-Side called Who's Afraid of Y2K? and Up A Tree Again, which I picked up, among other singles, at a Flaming Lips show (Looper was opening up for the band).
Both are excellent songs, although there were two remixes of "Up A Tree Again". I normally don't like remixes, but these were pretty different from the original album (which actually sounds pretty stale compared to these upbeat mixes). The "singles mix" of "Up a Tree Again" was interesting to say the least, focusing mostly on the "la-na-na-na" section and DJ-scratches, while the Chocolate Layers remix was pretty much only the "la-na-na-na" section.
Looking back, I suppose "Who's Afraid of Y2K?" song was a bit of novelty. Ironically enough, the song was awashed in electronic quirks and beats - all the things that Y2K would've destroyed supposedly.
Currently, Looper's on hiatus. I haven't heard much in terms of a new David novel or Looper release. Most of the recent releases were made free on their website, geometrid.co.uk.
BRAVE OLD WORLD
I thought the concept behind this William Messner-Loebs-written Vertigo mini-series was interesting enough: a group of computer hackers working on a solution to the Y2K bug at the end of 1999 - only to find themselves in 1900.
The series explored some interesting concept, like what would you do, if you had all this computer/understanding of technology, only to be trapped in a world that still operated via candlelight? The women in the comics had it worst, let's face it, women didn't exactly have freedom back then. And if you were doing something strange, you're a witch and killed, etc.
So what's the group to do to try and back to 2000? They had to build a computer, by "inventing" their own technology.
Like I said, a very interesting concept. It sort of got a bit boring towards the end (by the last issue, I didn't really care for the characters so much).
Vertigo comics has yet to collect this in a trade, I suppose after the Y2K fiasco, it probably wouldn't be worth reading. I mean, we all know as fantastic as going back in 1900 would be, it didn't happen - just like the Y2K didn't happen. Still, if you want to re-live what it was like, or what Messner-Loebs was thinking back in 1999.
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR Y10K
Chances are, I'll be dead, so I wouldn't care so much what would happen. Wikipedia thinks it's a problem, but I suspect by the year 10,000, that our computing technology would be so advance, it wouldn't amount to anything.
Until then, have a great New Year. Take care of each other. I'll see you in 2010.