The Long 20th Century

March 21, 2021

I’ve always been suspicious of the 20th century. I mean, I never saw it, so I can’t be 100% certain that it ever existed. But even if I assume for a moment that it did (there are several people who claim to be eye witnesses), there’s something not right about it.

For a start, there was not one, but two World Wars. In one century? Highly doubtful. And those two World Wars were out of the way, apparently, before the 20th century was even half over!

And then there’s the two longest-reigning British monarchs of all time, in the same century. I don’t know, but it smells fishy to me.

And once we leave politics behind for a moment, apparently 500 years of slow, laborious cultural evolution was no longer the done thing and jazz suddenly appeared. But of course that wasn’t enough and so, in quick succession, we got rock and roll, soul, glam, metal, hip hop, jungle, drum and bass… and only then did we think it was about time to close off the century and start a new one. I say again, this all seems suspicious.

What was really going on between the year they call 1899 and the one they call 2000? Because it damn well wasn’t a century now, was it? It would make no sense.

And apparently they had this thing called a Leap Year. Don’t get me started on that kind of time-cheating.