Popdust's Time Machine series will take you on a journey through the best, worst, and most nostalgia-inducing pop culture events of each year of the past decade. This is not a definitive or comprehensive report; instead, it's a trip down memory lane as we near the onset of our own roaring '20s.

Ah, 2010.

"Tik Tok" was on the radio, we were all obsessed with Sarah Palin's family and Snooki, and Obama was president. It's hard to believe that all happened a full decade ago; so much (and somehow so little) has changed.

Where were you back then? Take a moment to close your eyes and let yourself remember. Can you hear it—a mosquito's whine? It's getting closer… Wait, that's not a mosquito... It's the sound of a prepubescent Justin Bieber singing his heart out in harmony with a million vuvuzelas. Welcome back to 2010.

2010: The Year of Oddly Violent Yet Playful Pop Music

In 2010, pop music was generally rather terrible, and a 16-year-old named Justin Bieber was dominating the charts. Bieber rose to prominence around 2008, but by 2010, he was one of the first supermassive social media success stories.

Justin Bieber - Baby ft. Ludacris (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

That same year, another, very different star named Adele released a song called "Rolling in the Deep." Robyn also released the iconic "Dancing On My Own," a glitter-covered party girl named Ke$ha released a banger called "Tik Tok," and Rihanna also released her Eminem collab "Love The Way You Lie," a song that still slaps but probably wouldn't be acceptable in 2019. Another great collab, Hayley Williams and B.O.B.'s "Airplanes," soundtracked middle school dances everywhere.

Adele - Rolling in the Deep www.youtube.com


Ke$ha - TiK ToK (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

"Like A G6" inspired incredible aggression in middle school volleyball games (can you tell I was in middle school then?). Cee Lo Green had everyone alternating between "F**k You" and "Forget You," and Willow Smith dropped "Whip My Hair."

Cee Lo Green - Forget You www.youtube.com

In 2010, Janelle Monae dropped her first LP, The ArchAndroid, and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream topped the charts. Kanye West joined Twitter and unleashed the magnificent My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on the world, and music was never the same. The same year, Taylor Swift found a stadium-filling pop audience with the release of the album Speak Now (and all this while from her 2009 confrontation with Kanye West was still reverberating through the faltering blogosphere).

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream (Official) www.youtube.com


Kanye West - Runaway (Full-length Film) www.youtube.com

Television Gets Queerer and Even More New Jerseyfied

On TV, Glee reigned supreme, giving us heart-wrenching moments such as Kurt's rendition of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and Archie's "The Safety Dance." (Remember when a simple queer declaration of love felt almost impossibly subversive and inspiring to your younger, gay heart?)

GLEE - I Want To Hold Your Hand (Full Performance) HD www.youtube.com

Fringe, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, and Madmen were also airing, and the surreal animated hit Adventure Time debuted its first episode. 2010 was the year Lost ended, and American Idol lost Simon Cowell after crowning Lee DeWyze, one of the most forgettable Idols ever. Snooki dominated our collective imagination thanks to the success of Jersey Shore, and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien aired its last episode. Steve Carrell announced he was leaving The Office and Oprah announced her departure from late night TV.

Jersey Shore cast along with Nicole aka Snooki explains THE PUNCH on Entertainment Tonight 2010 www.youtube.com


Conan's last "Tonight Show" Monologue 1/22/10 www.youtube.com

2010 was also the year of the undead. The Walking Dead and the Vampire Diaries were successful 2010 debuts about undead folk, one bunch far sexier than the other.

Movies Obsess Over Vampires, Cryptids, and Superhuman Heroines

In addition to dominating TV, vampires lit up the silver screen in 2010. That year, Twilight Saga: Eclipse totaled $300 million in sales. (What was with our collective obsession with vampires?)

Twilight Eclipse Battle Vampires & Wolf Pack Fighting Scene www.youtube.com

Another kind of cryptid, Mark Zuckerberg, became even more famous when the film The Social Network hit theaters. (He was also crowned Time Magazine's Person of the Year). Another franchise installment—gloomy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I—hit theaters. Emma Stone won us over in Easy A, and so did Chloe Grace Moretz as the little girl in Kick Ass. Inception had us all questioning reality; the film Precious was an indie hit. Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Winona Ryder starred in Black Swan, Toy Story 3 and Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World sparked cult followings, The Hurt Locker took the Oscar, and 2011's Oscar winner, The King's Speech, debuted in November.

Easy A (2010) - A Pocketful of Sunshine Scene (1/10) | Movieclips www.youtube.com

People Still Read Books

People still read books in 2010. Amazing, right? That year, two franchises starring very powerful women dominated the public's imagination: The Hunger Games and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Jonathan Franzen's Freedom also garnered high praise, but Patti Smith's Just Kids won the National Book Award.

Tech Goes Hands-Free and Becomes More Eerily Invasive

Technologically speaking, social media was well on its way to becoming an election-altering superpower. Facebook reached 550 million users, and Twitter also became forebodingly powerful. Fun fact: The top 10 Twitter Trends of 2010 (via blog.twitter.com) were the Gulf Oil Spill, FIFA World Cup, Inception, Haiti Earthquake, Vuvuzela, Apple iPad, Google Android, Justin Bieber, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, and Pulpo Paul.

In terms of gaming, Angry Birds, the game that was all the rage, and PlayStations were everywhere. Hand-free gaming systems like the Kinect and the XBox 360 created new visions of what was possible with gaming. The iPhone 4 dropped, escalating the smartphone wars, and the iPad was introduced in January 2010. Not everyone was happy about technology's rapid intrusion into our personal lives; Net neutrality and online privacy were some of that year's most enduring and prescient buzzwords.

Everyone Loves Betty White

In 2010, America fell hard for Betty White, who starred in a now-infamous Super Bowl Snickers ad. Tiger Woods apologized to the public and made his return to golf. The Demi Lovato/Ashley Greene/Joe Jonas love triangle dominated teen magazine covers, and Lindsay Lohan's shenanigans were plastered all over grocery store tabloids. The video "Bed Intruder" went viral. Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the VMAs, and Prince William proposed to then-plebian Kate Middleton. Bedbugs took over New York. The population of Greenland dropped from 3 to 2. Sex positivity was all the rage. The word "hipster" became universally loathed.

Betty White Snickers Super Bowl Commercial 2010 www.youtube.com


Lady Gaga Poses in the Meat Dress www.youtube.com

Overall, it seems the general critical consensus on the American pop culture landscape in 2010 was that it was a year of much noise and very little substance. "In popular culture, 2010 was an elephant's call unmodulated, a bleat, a squawk, a low-level blare," wrote Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune. "You put your fingers in your ears, and you still couldn't block it out. 2010 was a vuvuzela, all tone, no rhythm, the operational definition of unearned attention."

We had no idea what was coming, did we? Still, looking back, it seems that by 2010, the seeds for what social media and even politics would become had already been sown, though the pop culture landscape was oddly wide-eyed and innocent, even ignorant and uncritical. The political remained quite separate from the personal, at least in terms of mainstream media coverage, and the Internet was still something that was separate and less important than reality. How times have changed… or have they?

Satire

To Donald Trump: 5 Ways You're Actually a Flawless Being Doing a Beautiful, Unbelievable Job Right Now

You could resign if you want to, but then who will keep America so GD great?

With Donald Trump making a visit to Bangor, Maine today, the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald issued an op-ed calling for President Trump to resign.

The harshly critical piece entitled "To President Trump: You Should Resign Now" was framed as an open letter to the president and got straight to the point with this opening plea, "We're sorry that you decided to come to Maine, but since you are here, could you do us a favor? Resign."

In recent days even George W. Bush has been critical of President Trump's response to protests, so this new piece quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. Obviously this is another baseless attack from the lying news media—AKA lügenpresse. Considering how delicate our president's ego is—he's our special little guy—we can only hope that Donald Trump didn't see the letter; but just in case he did, it's worth writing another one to lift his spirits. So here's our best attempt—with lots of pictures and flattery to keep him reading:

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Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week we have Avengers: Endgame. Let's be honest, you don't care about anything else.

WIDE RELEASE:

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame - Official Trailer www.youtube.com


When Marvel released their first Iron Man movie in 2008, nobody could have foreseen how drastically it would shape the future of Hollywood. While "nerdiness" still reeked of negative stigma, earlier comic book adaptations like Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins proved mainstream successes at the box office. But the concept of a "cinematic universe"––a series of interconnected movies where vast numbers of standalone entries contributed to a massive overarching narrative––had never been done before.

Marvel's formula was wildly successful, turning every movie into an "event" that needed to be witnessed in order to partake in the larger narrative. The best entries turned obscure titles into household names ( Guardians of the Galaxy). The worst entries (Thor: The Dark World) were just small bumps on a longer road. All of it promised to culminate in a massive battle between Marvel's greatest heroes and the intergalactic supervillain, Thanos.

Avengers: Endgame is the conclusion of that battle, the result of all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that came beforehand. Today's movie market may be oversaturated with superhero fare, especially considering every other company from DC to Universal wants a cinematic universe of their own, but Avengers: Endgame is different. It's not a copycat. It's the original, the real deal, the biggest movie of the decade.

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame | “To the End" www.youtube.com

Normally, I try to use my totally unnecessary film degree to inform you, dear reader, about what movies are coming out over the weekend. I painstakingly comb through trailers on YouTube to bring you the very best viewing recommendations. That means Chinese-language dramas, Bollywood farces, documentaries, and, of course, spooky boys. But this week I got nothing for you. Nobody wants to release their movie the same weekend as Avengers: Endgame. You're either seeing it or you're staying home.

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame | “Found" TV Spot www.youtube.com


At this point, I'm just attaching random trailers for Avengers: Endgame in order to hit my minimum word count. Is this the one where Hawkeye shoots an arrow? Or the one with a closeup of Nebula looking angry? I don't even know anymore. I attached them randomly, and to be honest, they're all kind of the same. But are you hyped? I'm hyped. All your favorite Avengers are gonna be there––Thor, Spider-Man, Aquaman, Ms. Marvel, Hulk. Maybe Loki will be there too.

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame | "No Mistakes, Kids" TV Spot www.youtube.com

I have a confession to make. For a long time, I was really gung-ho about attending every Marvel movie premiere. I midnight screened with the best of them, believe me. I still have those stupid Hulk IMAX 3D glasses that were only given out during the first screening of The Avengers. But I'm just burnt out on superhero movies now. So here's the truth. I didn't see Ant-Man and the Wasp. There, I said it. I'm a giant fraud, and I'll be watching Endgame this weekend with only 21/22 pieces of the necessary information.

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame | “Awesome" TV Spot www.youtube.com


I don't know if I have enough time to see Ant-Man and the Wasp before Endgame. I really messed up, okay, I admit that. I should have seen it when I had the chance and now it's too late. IT'S TOO LATE. I have a doctor's appointment tonight, so unless I take off work on Friday and watch it in the morning, I literally don't have time. What are the chances that the events in Ant-Man and the Wasp will heavily factor into Thanos's affairs? Does Thanos even care about Ant-Man? Thanos is a space titan with the power to bend time and space, and Ant-Man is just Paul Rudd in a dumb suit. Ant-Man is a pretty lame hero, honestly.

Frankly, I'm freaking out here. I'm at my wit's end. I know, I KNOW Ant-Man and the Wasp probably doesn't matter, but what if it does? What if End Game's climactic scene involves Thanos killing all the other Avengers and then Ant-Man and the Wasp get really small and beat him up and Ant-Man says, "Hey, Thanos, remember (insert reference to events of Ant-Man and the Wasp)?" and I don't understand it because sorry, I had other plans when my friends wanted to go see it?

I tried to read the Ant-Man and the Wasp summary on Wikipedia but it was super boring and I couldn't make it through. So if you're reading this and want to help, PLEASE SEND ME YOUR BEST ORIGINAL ANT-MAN AND THE WASP SUMMARY. Send it to info@popdust.com RE: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP SUMMARY. I will straight up publish it on our site and give you full credit, and you will be a published author please help.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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