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In fact, there was a time when you didn’t need social media to stir up mass hysteria, and HBO’s new documentary Time bomb Y2K Ready and eager to get us back there. This masterful compilation of pre-millennial anxieties explores the years and days leading up to 2000, when millions of people worried that a computer glitch would lead to a government takeover. It’s a time capsule of archival footage with no narrator, no talking heads, and no new interviews. , a nuclear disaster, dogs and cats playing together, and every kind of mayhem you could imagine. people were scared. And horror is rarely this funny.
You may remember some names and faces. A guy like Peter de Jager with a beard who has appeared on every talk show on the planet to explain why we should all be worried (but that if we follow his advice we’ll probably be fine) He is a trained computer engineer. Many of them never went away. Fresh-faced Matt Damon wants the nuclear to be properly sealed.Busta Rhymes didn’t say nothing would happen, but if something did do Don’t be surprised if it happens. Bill Clinton and Al Gore are passionate about promoting high-speed internet, as are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and a young man named Jeff Bezos. Both Rudy Giuliani and the Backstreet Boys are ready for anything. And John Trockman, founder of the Montana Militia, says they’re coming for the guns. Because of course.
Directors Brian Becker and Marley MacDonald (Marley MacDonald also edited with Maya Mumma) started in 1996 and ended in early 2000 when they realized everything was fine, at least on computers. I keep humming everything. Front glitch. Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve 1999, the real news came out. It was the day Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation as President of the Russian Federation. Who will be his successor? A man named Putin. And here we were concerned that some numbers could cause confusion in international computer systems.
Time bomb Y2K This is a reminder that opportunism requires little impetus to shoot through the roof. At the Preparedness Expo we visited, guns, knives, camouflage, and other survival gear were selling like there was no tomorrow. Gun sales were at a fever pitch in the days leading up to Y2K, as hard-working citizens planned in advance to respond to threats of violence with threats of violence. Fundamentalist Christian broadcasting stations also came under fire. One person warns: “Surely Satan could take advantage of such a situation.”But who would want to do it? that?
But the movie isn’t always about con artists. It’s also a vivid flashback to the heady days of the early Internet, when the idea of providing email for everyone was truly shocking. A man is amazed that he can save movies to his hard drive and watch them on his computer. Going back even further, he takes time to talk to computer pioneer Grace, one of his first programmers on the Harvard Mark I. He explains that in the past, people were also afraid of lights and telephones. Hopper he passed away in 1992, which is a shame. She would have been thrilled in 2000.
Time bomb Y2K works primarily because it allows us to keep a straight face, recognizing that while much of the hysteria seems silly now, the anxiety was quite real at the time. It was a more innocent time, before surveillance capitalism blossomed and other countries used the internet to interfere in American elections. Imagine what the 2000 Panic would be like now that the means of spreading anger, lies, and conspiracy theories are much more efficient and accessible. In this sense, Time bomb It can provoke an inappropriate but perhaps inevitable emotion: nostalgia.