We Just Dug Up a Time Capsule We Buried in 2002
You might recall that, last week, we came across this never-before-seen failed reality TV show pilot trailer about the lives of four young trendoids living in Shoreditch in 2002. As we're currently in the middle of prolonged 10th birthday celebrations, this struck a chord with us. Did you ever think there'd be a point in your life where you'd actually be nostalgic for a time as seemingly devoid of cultural significance as the year 2002?
Before you say "Too soon!", let's face the facts: it's been a decade since nothing particularly important happened, which means it's officially been long enough for us to re-visit the remnants of our past selves and decide which elements we'd like to re-appropriate and then use to coax someone from The Guardian into writing an article that unironically reassesses the irony of it all.
Luckily for you, our VICE UK founders, or the interns they'd just started bossing around at the time, buried a time capsule full of early 00s youth movement artefacts in London Fields. We dug it up and took a look inside to ensure we hadn't forgetten all the stuff we basically still remember.
OLD ISSUES OF VICE
In case you hadn't noticed, VICE UK turns ten this month. So our forefathers shoved some of our very first issues into the time capsule for us to check out so that we could compare how far we've come in our ability to make fun of things.
Back in '02, when our staff was comprised of a two-man bromocracy (one of whom held the now defunct position of "Rap Editor"), the UK version of the magazine helped London's bright young do-nothings forge their own subcultural identities at a time when everyone was still sitting around in Hoxton Square wishing they were cool enough to make low-effort art, play in garage bands, or get AIDS with the cast of Kids in downtown New York.
STACK OF CDS
A selection of the defining songs and albums of the time were also placed into the time capsule. How do they hold up, you ask?
The Libertines - Up The Bracket: Still great. Com'on!
Fischerspooner - #1: "Emerge" is still great, as long as you're fucked.
Sean Paul - Dutty Rock: Still just about acceptable, as long as no one is paying attention to the music or you're at a club night run by white people who are under the age of 25 being ironic.
Polyphonic Spree - The Beginning Stages of…: Still… terrible. WTF? Was this ever in any way not the most embarrassing thing ever?
The Datsuns - The Datsuns: Still hoping someone will explain to me who the Datsuns are? They must have disbanded before Wikipedia got going.
NAG NAG NAG GUEST LIST (FOUND INSIDE A COPY OF SLEAZE NATION)
Electroclash truly did birth a glorious moment in electronic dance music. I feel a slight buzz just thinking of those hordes of young things packed into Trash or Mother Bar with their straightened, two-tone hair and sweaty faces caked in 80s make-up, moving in sync to the sounds of synths, sex noises and women speaking robotically in vaguely European accents. Someone I know who sits on the secret panel of corporations which decides what stuff we're all going to get really into every few years informed me that electroclash is primed for a comeback soon. Get ready to fuck the pain away all over again!
BAGGIE OF MDMA
2002 again reinforced the age old adage of party monstering: Fun is only real when it is accessed via synthetic means. Specifically, drugs which bully our neurotransmitters into throwing up excessive amounts of serotonin all over our brains. Dancefloor-filler Mandy Moore over here always seems to fuck off from the scene for a while, then reappear on the wetted fingers of every new group of budding DJs, fashion students and Jobseeker's Allowance spenders who roll through town and fight the good fight against their gag reflexes like they're the first to have ever think of doing it.
'02 saw a big M-diz revival – rocking your head to "Bad Babysitter" just wasn't the same unless it was accompanied by a gurn.
FIRST GENERATION IPOD
There's no image for this. We forgot to take a photo of it and by the time we realised it had gone missing from the office. What, you've never seen an iPod before?
It's four-inches thick, makes a really loud clicking noise whenever you press the buttons, and weighs about the same as a newborn child. Still, nothing felt as "New Millennium" as plugging one of these bad boys into the firewire port of my family desktop PC and offloading my MusicMatch library full of sweet new LimeWire acquisitions – "House of Jealous Lovers" and that "Strokes/Christina Aguilera" mash-up never sounded so good.
That is, until about a month after I bought it when it stopped turning on because I maxed out the 5GB ram and was forced to switch back to a life of carefully curated 12-track CD-Rs and my Discman. Actually, that Discman still works. Just saying.
A DV TAPE THAT SAYS "D. DARKO - DONT TAPE OVER!!" ON IT
Movie piracy was still a budding business in those days, largely relegated to people recording films on their mini-DV cameras in the cinema, which is an art form whose end product I had always assumed was exclusively sold by Chinese women walking around Leicester Square or the pubs in my neighbourhood.
More important, however, is that this tape contains the first 18 minutes of Donnie Darko, one of the most inexplicably beloved films of the time. I haven't watched it since it came out, but as far as I can remember it involves a time-travelling rabbit monster, a dance troupe of little girls called Sparkle Motion and there's a scene where a pubescent-looking Jake Gyllenhaal touches himself in front of his therapist while talking about Kelly Bundy. Actually, that sounds kind of good.
SOME MAGIC MUSHROOMS
When we buried these in 2002, they were still being sold at shops in Camden as perfectly legal psychotropic vegetables – wonderful on a summer salad or light pasta dish. A decade later and they're now not only very much illegal, they're most likely chock-full of the kind of horrific nightmare visions that can only be accessed by eating something that's spent ten years festering in a bin bag buried in a field. My flatmate has generously volunteered to test their potency, so I've tied a sign around his neck with his name and address and instructions on where to deposit his body once he's finish tripping, probably just in time for our 20th birthday.
2012 TIME CAPSULE
The editorial team here wanted to carry on our VICE daddies' legacy of being prematurely reminiscent about stuff that's still hovering around the collective consciousness, so we decided to bury some things that represent 2012 in a time capsule we're leaving underneath the discarded barbecues and cow-print dumpsters in London Fields, right near where that guy got shot.
Included are: some tufts of this chick who passed out on my couch last weekend's rainbow hair, a Palace skateboard T-shirt, a half-eaten doner kebab from Kingsland Road, a copy of our 10th Anniversary Issue, a home-made "Now That's What I Call Trap!" CD-R, and the same wrap of MDMA from '02 because duh, people still like their brains being overwhelmed with a synthetic replication of joy.
Do you see a sad caricature of yourself manifested in this pile of shit? We do – and even though this is who we are now, we're already feeling a little bit wistful about it. Is being nostalgic for something that's still happening even possible? Is that what the internet is? I guess we'll find out in another ten years' time.
Or a lot sooner, if this dog, which probably comes here every day, returns and manages to successfully dig up the kebab (and the MDMA) this time. Happy holidays, waste cadet!
More stuff we've done to celebrate our 10th birthday: