When people were afraid that the world was going to end | Trending Viral hub


In reality there was a time when we didn’t need social media to cause mass hysteria, and the new HBO documentary film Time bomb Y2K is ready and eager to take us back there. This gorgeously edited tour through premillennial anxieties is a time capsule of archival footage (no narrator, no talking heads, no new interviews) from the years and days leading up to the year. 2000 That left millions of people afraid that a computer glitch could lead to a government takeover, a nuclear catastrophe, dogs and cats playing together, and every other kind of chaos you can imagine. People was scared. And fear has rarely been so fun.

Some of the names and faces you may remember. Like Peter de Jager, the bearded computer engineer who appeared on seemingly every talk show on the planet to explain why we should all be worried (but would probably be fine if we took his advice). Many of them never left. a fresh face Matt Damon expects nuclear weapons to be properly blocked. Busta Rhymes doesn’t say anything will happen, but something will happen does happen, we should not be surprised. Bill Clinton and Al Gore are excited about the expansion of high-speed Internet, as are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and a young man named Jeff Bezos. Both Rudy Giuliani and the Backstreet Boys They are ready for anything. And Montana Militia founder John Trochmann says they’re coming for your guns. Because of course.

Directors Brian Becker and Marley McDonald (the latter also edited alongside Maya Mumma) keep it all humming, from 1996 to the early days of 2000, when we realized everything would be fine, at least on the computer. front failure. Meanwhile in New Years Eve In 1999, real news was developing. That was the day Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation as president of the Russian Federation. His successor? A guy called Putin. And here we were, worried about how a couple of numbers could cause chaos in international computer systems.

Y2K Time Bomb It serves as a reminder that opportunism needs little momentum to skyrocket. We visited a “preparation expo” where guns, knives, camouflage, and other survival products were being sold like there was no tomorrow. Gun sales were booming in the days leading up to the year 2000, as hard-working citizens planned ahead to meet the threat of violence with…the threat of violence. Fundamentalist Christian stations were also on fire. One warns that “Satan could certainly take advantage of such a situation.” But who would ever want to do that?


But in the movie it’s not all street vendors, all the time. It’s also a vivid flashback to the heady days of the early Internet, when the idea of ​​one email for everyone was truly mind-blowing. We see a man marvel at being able to store a movie on his hard drive and watch it on his computer. Going back further, we spent some time with computer pioneer Grace Hopper, one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I, who explains that people were once afraid of electric lights and telephones, too. Hopper died in 1992, which is a shame; She would have liked the year 2000.

Y2K Time Bomb It works mainly because it keeps a straight face, acknowledging that, even if much of the hysteria seems silly now, anxiety was quite real back then. It was a more innocent time, before the flowering of surveillance capitalism and the days when other countries used the Internet to interfere in American elections. Imagine what the Y2K panic would be like now, when the means to spread anger, lies and conspiracy theories are much more efficient and accessible. In this sense, Time bomb It could provoke a feeling that seems inappropriate but perhaps inevitable: nostalgia.


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