Hey, it’s my turn! And it seems only right that much of my research was through Wikipedia, since the site was launched in 2001. Are we sitting comfortably?
Here are the top 5:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- Monsters, Inc.
- Ocean’s Eleven
And a couple of personal favourites: A Knight’s Tale and Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Seeing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone up in the number one spot is causing me to having something of a moment to myself. People often describe themselves as being part of a particular generation, and for me, I’ve always felt like part of the Harry Potter Generation. So for my thirteen-year-old self, the movie of the first book was a wonderful help during the difficult years between the publication of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2000 and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2003. But back to the moment I’m having to myself: the number one movie of 2001, is one that, as I write, my five-year-old is watching. It’s a fact that is somewhat making my brain ache.
As for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, I experienced an interesting collision of movie and literature on this one. A combination of knowledge that the movie was coming and going through the the various bookcases in the house, I ended up with my mother digging out the book for me. I’m really grateful that I did get to read the book first because it made the movie all the more enjoyable.
Monsters, Inc. and Shrek are two films that our family didn’t see in the cinema but did love once they came out on video. As for Ocean’s Eleven, I don’t think it’s particularly surprising that this was a film I didn’t see until some years later. The same goes for A Knight’s Tale and Bridget Jones’s Diary, which took a few years to become absolute favourites.
Hmm. This has proved harder than expected, but from what Wikipedia tells me, 2001 was the year for:
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- Survivior: Australian Outback
IMDb tells me that 2001 was the year of debuts for:
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- Six Feet Under
I have to admit, I haven’t seen most of these shows. The exceptions being Friends, with occasional viewings of Smallville and Scrubs. Friends is one I’ve always loved, from watching it with my mother when I was a kid, to watching marathons as an adult. 2001 was also the year Monica and Chandler married, as well as the year the Rachel became pregnant. Friends: I still adore it. And I’m glad thirteen-year-old me discovered it, as it’s a show I still go back to; I have my comfort books, and Friends is my comfort TV show.
Oh, what a year for music in the UK. Ahem.
The top 5 singles:
- “It Wasn’t Me” – Shaggy
- “Pure and Simple” – Hear’Say
- “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” – Kylie Minogue
- “Whole Again” – Atomic Kitten
- “Hey Baby” – DJ Ã–tzi
It as been many, many years since I last heard these songs and I can still remember them clearly. Perhaps it’s appropriate then that “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” is on the list, too. I’m trying to think of the music I was listening to in 2001. Of what I can remember, I’ll admit to the wonderful Scottish band Travis (of “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?” fame) and Britney Spears (I think we’re all familiar with who she is, aren’t we?).
Apparently the most played song of the summer of 2001: “Sing” by Travis
I’m flitting back and forth across the Atlantic again, and taking the top 5 novels from the U.S. magazine Publishers Weekly.
Top 5 novels:
- Desecration by Jerry B. Jenkins and Time LaHaye
- Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
- A Painted House by John Grisham
- Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
I haven’t read any of these. Hmm. And I’m not doing much better with the most frequently challenged books of 2001, either. Time for a couple of personal favourites, then: Life of Pi by Yann Martel and The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. Both of these books were published in 2001 and I still have my copies that are now slightly dog-eared. Two 2001 books that I didn’t read until my adult years were Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman and American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
September 11 attacks. There’s a part of me that feels entirely uncomfortable with talking about the 9/11 attacks because, being in the UK, I’m detached from the attacks and all they brought, in a way that many Persephone readers won’t be. But here goes. I remember the attacks happening because it was one of those odd days where the twenty-four-hour news channel just happened to be on at home. I also remember my parents’ panic that our family in North America were physically okay, which thankfully, they were. Then it was the constant discussion of terrorism. On the news, at home, at school. And something I remember clearly was the… confusion as to why there was such surprise at the attacks. I’m not quite sure how to explain that notion, other than to say I grew up with talk of terrorism, in particular a few lucky escapes my mother had from IRA bombings here in the UK. Indeed, in the UK, there had been four bombings in 2001 prior to the September 11 attacks, and there was one after. There was no doubt of the tragedy that happened, but I guess I was confused by the reaction. Then again, at age thirteen, I think confusion was probably a reasonable reaction.
War in Afghanistan. Having spoken about the September 11 attacks, it seems only natural to follow on with the beginning of the war in Afghanistan that began on the 7th October 2001. Though what to say? I don’t know. Certainly, it made some school lessons more interesting, but again, there was a detachment from the war at that point; it was all too easy to simply change channels and ignore what was happening. It wasn’t until I was older that I was able to appreciate, if not the war itself, what was going on in Afghanistan and how different life was for me as a teenager in the UK compared to that of a teenage girl in Afghanistan.
Technology. In something of a change from the previous difficult news, 2001 was also the year we were introduced to the iPod (although it would be many years before I had my own!) and Microsoft released Windows XP. 2001 was also the year that NASA’s Galileo spacecraft passed rather close by one of Jupiter’s moons.
Disease. So, back to unpleasantness: 2001 was the year of a foot-and-mouth outbreak here in the UK. The reason this bit of news comes to mind, is that I was a stable girl, and spent more time than I care to remember sloshing myself and my wellies through disinfectant. There was also the presence of the outbreak on the news: there was a lot of culling, a lot of disposal, and an unfortunate amount of coverage of both.
Ah, the thrilling year that was 2001. What do I remember most? That I started my period. I think it was in October. I’ll spare my fellow Persephoneers any more details. When I wasn’t starting my period, I could usually be found on a horse or in the vicinity of one, whether that was scrambling up off my arse having taken a tumble or being knee deep in, well, what stable girls are often knee deep in. I’m pretty sure I could remember more about being thirteen, but those memories are tucked away in boxes under the bed where only our cat ventures these days, I’m not sure if he’s keeping those boxes safe, or making sure nothing escapes them.