And so, another decade dawns as we still wait for the century to fire. Summarising decades past is easy using but a few words: the 1920s were roaring, the 1930s depressed followed by the conflict of the 40s. The 50s were conservative followed by the swinging 60s. Flares and glam rock 70s, bad perms and the poptastic 80s and the drug fuelled Britpop 90s. But then….little of note: how would you classify the 2000s or the recently departed teenies? The highlight seems to be throngs of folk, of all ages, becoming obsessed with staring at screens as they falsely put across the impression that they are the modern-day Waltons. All the while, suicide rates spiral, as does depression and mental illness as we argue our points from behind a computer keyboard and never get out to actually do ‘stuff’.

Sadly, I feel as if the teenies will go down in history as a timely form of nothingness. Cultural icons were thin on the ground bar Obama and Greta, music died a death as fame came to those through excellent PR and an absence of talent. We are aware of names such as Millie Bobbie Brown, but I have no idea what genre box she ticks, and I can not be bothered to Google it to be honest.

So, as we trot into the 20s, we realise that it is coming up to half a century since the 80s and ask what the previous 10 years have taught us? What is its legacy? Well, one can surmise that we like coffee more than we ever thought possible, we have a penchant for all manner of throwaway celebrity, we like to preach but never deviate from our preconceived opinions and the quality of our smartphone has become vastly more important that the content of our character or building friendships in real life settings.

Musically, the teenies furnished us with very little except a foam mattress on which to rest its slim pickings: television has been replaced by monotonous videos of rotund blokes playing Minecraft or cats falling off the back of sofas, cars have gone electric despite that unresolved issue that, bar a trip to Stevenage and back, there is nowhere to charge the blasted thing as you sneak up on unsuspecting cyclists in silence at 70mph.

Politically, we clutch at straws and refuse to deviate our position as everyone is now an expert, thankful for the fact that you can write what you want and be who you want from the confines of a Lenovo laptop.

Kids don’t play out any more as the media strikes fear into every household with never ending negativity and stories of woe, as we continue to wrap the bairns in cotton wool and bemoan their lack of common sense as we again sub contract baby-sitting control to Peter PlayStation and Xavier Xbox.

Yes, the previous decade has been a cultural dearth of little note that will fill the history book with crumbs of substance. Where are the David Bowies, the John Lennons, the Mary Quants and Liam Gallaghers of the next generation? We have no Martin Luther King to whip up feeling and action, instead pinning our hopes on a Swedish teenager who has little in way of constructive solutions to ongoing, and soon to be insurmountable, global problems.

I fear for the next decade. With little of note from the first 20 years, this century is in danger of turning into a Jean Michelle Jarre album as we wait around for hour after hour for something good that never comes as we convince ourselves that, due to spending 15 quid on such tripe, it is really rather good ‘actually’.

We need someone to set fire to this decade, metaphorically of course, as we lounge around on our sofas and console ourselves with one more game of Minecraft to relieve the monotony.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher who lives in London Colney