By Thomas Sellers Jr.
When the 2010s began, the hunt was still on for the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Osama bin Laden.
And when the elite U.S. Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group eliminated bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, it would be hard to believe 10 other items could out rank the moment.
But since this decade has proceeded, I have witnessed and experienced moments and occasions that have made a huge impact on people. Almost 90 percent of this decade is in the books, and I will admit this Top 10 is a bit premature.
Not as premature as giving the 2017 Best Picture Oscars to “La La Land” over “Moonlight.” I might be doing my best Steve Harvey impersonation and give the No. 1 spot to the wrong entity. Miss Colombia was temporarily Miss Universe after the mix up in 2015. Then Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines rightfully claimed her crown.
Soon those announcements will be a thing of the past with pageants removing the beauty elements, starting with this year’s Miss America. One day a woman will win on a points system.
Some of the notable names in this decade are Jerry Sandusky, Kim Jong Un, Serena Williams and Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. Joining them in the headlines were the end of the Cuban embargo, Obamacare, Boston Marathon bombing, Occupy Wall Street, same-sex marriage and the total solar eclipse.
This decade is like surfing the Pacific Ocean while a hurricane is off in the distance — a bunch of long highs and enduring lows. And depending on your perspective, the same wave can be interrupted differently.
Good thing we had a pair of royal weddings all the way from the motherland to distract us. Our children kept busy with “Dora the Explorer,” “Frozen” and reboots like “Transformers” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
This column will have reboot in about 16 months with possible additions and subtractions. While the Roaring 2020s is still off into the future, let’s rank the 2010s … so far.
10. Cubs win the World Series
On a picture-perfect Cleveland night in November 2016, the lovable losers became world champions of Major League Baseball. The Chicago Cubs finally captured that elusive title, outlasting the Indians in Game 7 by the score of 8-7. The Cubs ended the Curse of the Billy Goat and exorcised the demons of Steve Bartman to capture their first crown since 1908.
Now the Cubs are beginning to experience hate from other fan bases across the country because they are an MLB powerhouse now. I’m sure all those Cub fans are gladly enduring the hate after winning the crown.
9. “The Daily Show”
The Comedy Central program came to life back in 1996 with host Craig Kilborn. Then the host that would take the show to worldwide recognition, Jon Stewart, took the reins in 1999. When Stewart left the “news” show that poked fun at the biggest stories, politics and pop culture in 2015, “The Daily Show” was a vital part of U.S. America’s political landscape.
Now Trevor Noah is behind the desk weeknights, replacing the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Stewart. Noah is developing his niche on the program while following the formula of attacking news, politics and pop culture.
“The Daily Show” is the Millennials’ nightline. It is how most of them digest news off a television. Viewers of the show read information on their phones or on a computer screen, then go to “The Daily Show” for a recap and “analysis.”
The newspaper industry can move other and make some room for cable. The cable industry is enduring drops in subscriptions as well, because people are flocking to services like Netflix. Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in California.
The way social media thrives by using the content of newspapers and news organizations, Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service, which in the beginning offered only online streaming of a library of films and television programs, now including original programs.
The success of Netflix has given birth to similar services like Hulu, Philo, PlayStation Vue, Prime Video, HBO Now and Sling TV.
As of April 2018, Netflix had 125 million total subscribers worldwide, including 56.71 million in the United States.
7. LeBron James (The Decision)
Back in 2010, the NBA’s best player, LeBron James, conducted a television special with ESPN to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Akron, The Decision. That July night millions tuned in to witness LeBron break the hearts of Cleveland Cavs fans. James joined the Miami Heat, creating a super team with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.
The rein of the Heat brought a pair of championships and four NBA Finals appearances. Meanwhile out in Oakland, the Golden States Warriors were drafting vital parts to a dynasty. James went back home to Cleveland and faced his new nemesis in the Warriors.
Golden State beat the Cavs in the 2015 Finals. Cleveland came back the next year and claimed the title behind an epic block by James in Game 7.
The Warriors, already with three All-Stars, realized they couldn’t beat The King if they didn’t make a major move. So Golden State added the second best player in the league in Kevin Durant. The Warriors are currently back-to-back NBA champions. They are the New England Patriots of the NBA.
But there is only one LeBron James. He’s going to close out this decade with the Los Angeles Lakers and looks to add to his legacy. The debate now for James is simple — Jordan.
Will he be considered the best of all time over Michael Jordan? For most, LeBron doesn’t have a chance.
Jordan is the greatest NBA player ever. But LeBron is the greatest basketball player ever.
The Me Too Movement took off in late 2017 as a way to combat and bring awareness of sexual harassment and assault. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.
The demise of Bill Cosby’s career was prior to the movement. But after #MeToo went viral, several men have had the spotlight shone on their past sins. Several high-profile men have been brought to justice through the court of public opinion and social media.
Now a backlash is starting to take place with men and women asking for due process and an examination of both adults involved in these allegations. But overall, the movement has been a plus to society, making all aware of personal conduct and respect for others. In the long run, both men and women will be grateful for the overall effects of #MeToo.
Entering our lives back on June 29, 2007, the iPhone took over the smartphone world and our daily functions throughout this decade. Apple Inc. created a cultural phenomenon with the iPhone. Whenever a new version of the device would hit stores, thousands of people would stand in line and lose sleep over getting their hands on the phone.
An iPhone can shoot video, take pics, play music with high-quality sound, send and receive e-mail, browse the web, send and receive text messages, follow GPS navigation, record notes, perform mathematical calculations and receive visual voicemail.
On top of that, the iPhone does video games, reference works, and social networking can be enabled by downloading mobile apps. As of January 2017, Apple’s App Store contained more than 2.2 million applications available for the iPhone.
There have been 11 generations of iPhone models, and the device usually finishes on top of its rival, the Android.
4. Going viral
The iPhone and Android assist this entry. Simple recipe to going viral: Download an app like Worldstar, Facebook Live or Instagram Live. Vine used to be the go-to place for a comedy viral video.
Once you have your desired streaming service to reach the masses, press “record” on your device and aim in the direction of the incident happening. My suggest is to please turn your phone horizontally to get a wide view.
Record the action going on, and feel free to give commentary as things unfold. Then have friends share your recording and wait on the views.
The old-fashioned way of going viral was to record something and then upload to YouTube or Facebook. But going live is the quickest way to get this done.
Car accident, fighting, home fire, mass shooting, drownings, child abduction or even murder, simply get that phone out and start recording. Don’t worry about trying to help, prevent trouble or save a life. Get that viral gold so you can get those views. Remember, yell “Worldstar!”
3. Social justice warriors
SJWs have divided the country. Political correction has put the steroids left behind by Major League Baseball players to good use. The usual suspects in the SJW camp are members of Black Lives Matters, feminists, gay rights activists and transgender rights activists.
They are normally vocal, organize marches often and are not afraid to shake the system.
From a sit-down protest on the Hernando de Soto Bridge to Charlottesville, SJWs have made the news for positive and negative reasons.
The #MeToo Movement, NFL anthem protest and Orlando mass shooting have been some of their prominent causes.
While social justice started with humble intentions, the movements have alienated so many and cause backlash. SJWs need to find a balance and healthy middle ground with the opposition.
Neither side is 100 percent right and neither side is 100 percent wrong. SJWs need to realize that when trying to make an adult decision about important subjects.
2. Mass shootings
They have taken place in churches, newspaper offices, concerts, movie theaters and even an elementary school. Some of the notable tragedies have been Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Pulse Nightclub, Sutherland Springs Church, Sandy Hook Elementary, Aurora, Colorado, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, San Bernardino and Navy Yard Headquarters.
These shootings have sparked a heated debate on gun laws, gun rights and gun safety. One thing is clear: America needs to focus on the mental health of why these shooters took these measures to exercise their outrage, pains, demons and broken spirits.
Crazed, broken and torn people kill people. No matter the method of destruction, those assassins wanted to share their misery. Using a gun was the quickest and most effective way to inflict pain.
If I leave a gun on a table and nobody touches it, it will just collect dust. But if somebody suffers, endures insults, gets tortured and cries are ignored, that is a ticking time bomb.
1. Donald Trump
The previous nine items in this countdown have led to The Donald. Our 45th president of the United States is Donald J. Trump. The second man to hold the office and also have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Well, technically have a star.
Businessman, reality-show TV host, former Comedy Central Roast victim, guest start in movies, pageant owner, salesman, Twitter expert and now POTUS.
Like any other president, he’s done some good and some not-so good so far in office. He’s united some groups while managing to divide the country on issues from immigration, race relations and the NFL.
Our president has a strong presence and speaks in a definite manner.
He moves the meter in both directions. He grabs attention whenever he wants, no pun intended.
And Mr. President, this is not Fake News. This is a column, so it’s OK for me to have my opinion running rampant throughout the piece. And Trump is a great way to wrap up my look back at nearly four decades of newsmakers.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for Journal West 10 Media LLC. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to email@example.com.