I don't like the new millennium.
I want the old millennium back.
This millennium stinks.
It's hard to put into words. But I have the sense the new millennium will be just like the last millennium--only more so.
But, Tony, it's only been a week.
Yeah, well, I've seen enough.
I'm still getting Harry and David catalogues. Ivana Trump is still here.
What's new about this new millennium? Maury Povich hosting "Twenty-One"? Please.
Sure, there are 40 billion TV channels now. But we somehow still run the risk of seeing Tori Spelling.
Everything interesting was already done in the old millennium.
Printing press. Done.
William the Conqueror. Done.
Bubonic Plague. Done.
(My friend Mike is troubled by the glut of products spawned by the old millennium. He told me about an exhaustive record collection, "The 1,000 Greatest Songs of the Millennium." At No. 264 was Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 7, edged out by 263, which was "Aqualung.")
I'm looking for a breakout thing, something different in this millennium--the appearance of a new giant bird, for example, or a new continent; a brand-new number, say, between 6 and 7; some lost episodes of "Seinfeld"; Elvis emerging from a pile of frozen catfish filets in somebody's carport freezer.
My friend Nancy feels the same way. "The old millennium had edge," she said. "You never knew what to expect. In one century, you had the Dark Ages. In another, you had Same Day Blinds."
So far, it's all style and no substance.
(Tell the truth: When you were looking at the ball drop in Times Square, didn't you hope that just as it hit "2000," all of New York would go dark? Bam! Total blackout. I didn't think I was asking for much. I'd have settled for Peter Jennings falling off the roof. It was such a drag when nothing happened. Have you any idea how long it's going to take to get through all that tuna fish?)
The old millennium had great inventions.
Toast. Butter. How are they gonna top that?
Air conditioning. I rest my case.
Man About Town Chip Muldoon thinks I am being too hasty in slamming the new millennium. He says, "Your prized invention of air conditioning came 930 years in. It takes a while for the personality of the new millennium to establish itself. It'll look a lot different when Larry King's contract runs out."
But I don't buy it. Nothing will be invented in the new millennium. Things will just be "upgraded."
We'll spend our lives being retooled and rebooted, like Windows 95.
Nancy is already feeling crowded in the new millennium. "Too many people came into the new millennium with us," she said. "I thought some people would stay behind."
"Yes," I said. "Like Celine Dion and Kevin Costner."
That's why Russia's Boris Yeltsin should be everybody's hero for quitting on the last day before Y2K. Bo knows.
(Unless . . . maybe Bo doesn't know, or at least doesn't remember knowing. Maybe he woke up the next morning and said, "I what? The last thing I remember is doing a couple of Jell-O shooters with that hot little Miss Minsk.")
Remember how great the old millennium was? It had Beanie Babies and the Visigoths. This one has. . . well, it has virtually nothing. We're supposed to be excited by a dip in the Nasdaq? Unseasonably mild temperatures? We haven't even had a decent war in this millennium!
The last millennium had George Bush and Al Gore.
This one has George W. Bush and Al Gore Jr. It's so derivative.
Unless we dodge a bullet here, we're going to end up with a Bush-Dole ticket!
Speaking of political couples you don't need to hear from again until Y3K, I couldn't help but notice that the first lady has moved to New York. At first I wondered if the White House was undergoing renovation or if the British had burned it down like they did in 1814. But it turns out she simply moved away to seek employment.
I don't want to sound overly traditional, but in the old millennium the president and the first lady tended to live in the same house. I sort of liked that. I'm not saying every first couple got along; it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Zachary Taylor's wife took one look at his mutton chops and said, "Zack, bubbeleh, until you shave those bad boys off, you're sleeping on the couch." But it's disconcerting, having the president in Washington and the first lady in New York. It's a marriage, not a network news show.
The trouble with this millennium is it has no sense of history. Any schmo can go to court to contest a traffic ticket and declare it "The Trial of the Millennium."
The biggest problem with this millennium, though, is that none of us are getting out of it alive. Look to your left/ Look to your right/ We're all going toes up/ In that long good night.
Yes, even Cher.