President George W. Bush addressing the media at the Pentagon

Pop Culture in Review for the Year 2001

Pop culture is a combination of art, sports, music, news, inventions, trends and lifestyle. The year 2001 proved to be a game changer year in US geopolitical position in post 9/11 Era. Technological revolution observed with Apple) store launch. Microsoft XP launched and outclassed all existing operating systems for networking as well as standalone computers. In Hollywood this unique year witnessed highest gross earning movies.

Here is synopsis of year 2001:

Film

The Year of Highest Worldwide Gross Earning Movies  

A Beautiful Mind

Year 2001 witnessed 2 highest worldwide gross earning movies Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ($978 M worldwide) by Warner Bros&The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring  ($880 M) by New lines. The classic Biopic of mathematician John Nash, starring Russell Crowe   A Beautiful Mind embraced critic and viewers’ praise as well. The Fast & Furious also proved a good revenue generating movie in youth.  A few other good movies were Ocean’s Eleven by Warner Bros, World war II movie portraying Japanese attack ” Pearl Harbor ” by Disney, adventurer sequel “ The Mummy returns ” and “ Jurassic Park III ” by Universal Pictures. American Science fiction film “Planet of The Apes”  by Fox earned $362.21 M and “The Hannibal” by MGM/Universal earned gross $351.69 M.

Animated cartoon movies

Shrek poster

Animated movie based on the book of William Steig, Shrek by dream works proved highest gross earning animated movie of the year ($484.4 Mil) whereas its budget was $60.00 Mil. Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz were vocalist for main characters. It premiered at Cannes festival.

Monster Inc. poster

Another animated hit of the year was Monster Inc.  Movie jolted the box office under the banner of Disney, earning gross $577.4 Mil whereas its budget was $115 Mil. It left Shrek way behind in gross earning, won the academy award for best original song but lost Academy award for best animated feature to Shrek.

Film World Mourns Anthony Quinn

Versatile actor and civil rights activist Anthony Quinn at the age of 86, passed away in June 2001. He was the face of Mexican-American Ethnicity in Hollywood. Anthony was more famous in Muslim world due to his outstanding performances in “Lawrence of Arabia “ , “ The lion of desert “ , “Road to Mecca “ and “ The message “.He starred in classics as “The Guns of Navarone “ , “La-strada” and “A walk in the clouds”. He won two academy awards for Best supporting actor, was nominated for starring role twice. 5 times nomination for Golden globe.

Music

Music Flourished, So did The Piracy

The invention of storage media (CDs), I-pod, ITunes and internet cloud revolutionized music industry. It also increased piracy. The famous Napster (P2P network) was sued by RIAA (Recording industry association of America) and won the law suit in 2001. This decision enforced digital intellectual copyright though it had a negative impact on numbers of music listeners.

All-Time Hits (Singles)

Year 2001 brought longest running singles of the decade. Janet Jackson‘s “All for you “ruled Hot 100s for 7 consecutive weeks. It was her 10th song in HOT 100s. Alicia key’s “Fallin” and Mary Belige’s “Family affair” topped the chart for 6 weeks.

Tragic Death of Aaliyah Dana Haughton

American Model, singer and actress Aaliyah Dana Haughton died along with her 8 crew members in August 2001 when her plane crashed at Bahamas. Her tragic death at age of 22 shocked the music lovers.  Her posthumous album sold 2.6 million copies.

Literature

The Book Crossing was Launched

Bookcrossing

The BookCrossing scheme is defined as a practice of leaving your books that you don’t need any more to be picked up by other readers. This helpful scheme was launched in the year 2001.

“The Hiding Place”

The Hiding Place, written by Trezza Azzopardi, was published in 2000. In this book, she renders her loss-filled story of childhood to the readers that is both horrifying and lovely at the same time. It was one of the bests of the year 2000.

Life of Pi was published

front cover art for the book Life of Pi

A person who loves adventure and philosophical drama movies must have watched the 2012 movie, Life of Pi. But a very few know that the movie is based on a very popular 2001’s Canadian novel by Yann Martel of the same name.

In this novel, he talks about an Indian Tamil Boy, Patel from Pondicherry, who survived 227 days on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean after a shipwreck. To make everything more intense, Yann also added another character, which isn’t a human – but a Bengal Tiger.

The Bear and the Dragon 

book cover illustration for The Bear and the Dragon

The Bear and the Dragon, written by none other than Tom Clancy, is a techno-thriller novel that was released on August 21, 2000. It is a direct sequel of another techno-thriller novel written by Tom himself, in 1996.

This one is Tom’s longest novel, with over 1,028 pages. Also, it hit the number one spot on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2000.

Technology

Microsoft XP Launched

According to WEB analytics, Microsoft Windows XP is the most widely used Desktop operating system until August 2010. NT based Operating system was launched as successor to Windows 2000. Microsoft indicated that they ran a marketing campaign of 1 billion USD to promote Windows XP. Ruling out critics, it was a market success. Net Application reported that even in 2014, when its technical support was withdrawn, Windows XP had 29.23% Desktop operating system markets share.

Apple Inc. Opened Two stores & released Apple Products

Apple Inc. opened two stores, one in Virginia and other in south California. These two stores welcomed 7700 customers in first two days with gross sales worth $599,000. Apple Inc. launched I-Pod, the pocket size Mp3 player which could download 1000 songs from CD through FireWire. The player also had auto-sync option which enabled users to auto-update I-Pod while connected to Mac. I-Tunes software was launched to facilitate the Mac-IPod data transfer. It proved a hallmark in music industry.

Sony Walkman Circ. Released

In competition with Apple Inc.  Sony released its Walkman Circ. with 70 hours battery and storage capacity 256 MB, 512 MB, 1GB. The Walkman came with a standard software Sonic Stage which is a media player. Music lovers found Sony Circ. more complex while comparing with IPod.

XBOX Launched

Microsoft launched the gaming brand XBOX in November 2001.  Attari Jaguar had stopped sales in 1996. Microsoft was next US Company who launched video gaming console. XBOX Live was launched in 2002, enabling online streaming. It engaged 6th, 7th& 8th generation.

The Launch of Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an open source, collaborative web encyclopedia that supports all type of explorers and search engines. It was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. In 2020, Wikipedia is being visited by 1.5 Billion users in a month. It is operating in 285 languages.  Wikipedia is named in 15 most visited websites in the cyber world.

Sports

American Players Rule Tennis Courts

In year 2001, American professional players ruled the tennis courts. The US Open (single men) was an exception where Pete Sampras was defeated. Women single won by Venus Williams.  In The Australian Open, Andre Agassi won men single and Jenifer Capriati won women single. Jennifer Capriati also stood victorious in The French Open. In The Wimbledon, Venus Williams won single women.

World Championships In Athletics

In 2001, Alberta, Canada hosted World Championships in athletics. On medal table Russia stood first with 18 medals and The United States 2nd with 13 medal (5 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze). The hosting country secured not a single medal along with Sweden.

National Basketball Association Finale (2001)

In NBA finale, Los Angeles Takers defended their title successfully. They won against Philadelphia 76ers by games 4 to 1.  Women NBA was played between Los Angeles Sparks VS Charlotte Stings. Los Angeles spark won by score 2-1.

Major League Baseball (season 2001 )

This season delayed till end September due to 9/11 attacks. In MLB, Arizona Diamondback beat New York Yankees in a 7 games playoff.

Fashion

The Denim Love: Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake

In The Music Award 2001, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake (her then Boyfriend) gave head-to-toe denim look. It was a unique outfit in an award show. Later it was copied by Katy Perry in The MTV WMAs 2014.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2001

1st time Victoria’s Secret fashion show was broadcasted on TV in 2001. It attracted 12.4 Million viewers

Television

Fox channel Purchased by Disney

Fox channel renamed to ABC Family because Walt Disney purchases it from News Corporation in $2.9 Billion

Debut of National Geographic

National Geographic channel on aired in USA.

Popular TV Shows Debuted

In year 2001, few popular TV shows were debuted at different channels. Lizzie McGuire, starring Hilary Duff, on aired on Disney channel. The show covered her teenage personal and social issues in a comic manner. Robotica, a robotic combat game show debuted in this year. It was on aired at TLC, a subsidiary of Discovery channel. The show proved a hit for two years Especially in Robotics lovers.  Fear Factor, a daring game show premiered on NBC. It was American version of a Dutch game show, broadcasted till 2006. Star Trek: Enterprise on aired this year on UPN. It was a science fiction, 2 season, 98 episodes. It on aired from 2001 to 2005. Scrubs, a medical comedy, produced by Bill Lawrence, aired from 2001 to 2010. It premiered on NBC and later moved to ABC .The sitcom covered life of medical students in a teaching hospital.

Art

Golden Lion Life Time Achievement Award- Richard Serra

The prestigious Golden Lion Life time achievement award was presented to US sculptor, painter and process art activist Richard Serra. Richard Serra made sculptures of metal, stone and fiber glass. In 1970s he started creating large sculptures of metal.

Golden Lion Life Time Achievement Award- CY Twombly

The prestigious Golden Life time (Lifetime) achievement Award was bestowed upon American sculptor, painter and photographer CY Twombly. Cy Twombly influenced hundreds of young artists especially Anslem Kiefer and Julian Schnabel.

News

9/11 , Plane Hit Twin Towers

Twin Tower Attack poster

The worst incident of US history happened on 9/11 when two passenger plane (s) were high jacked by the terrorists and hit the twin towers, destroying Mighty structures, leaving 2977 dead and 25000 injured. USA launched “War on Terror” which led to attack of united forces at Afghanistan. The incident completely reshaped the domestic and international security policies of The US as well as rest of the world.

The Merger Of AOL and Warner Bros

U.S federal trade commission approved merger of AOL and Warner Bros to make a new entity AOL Warner Bros.

Theodore- Roosevelt – Medal of Honor

President Bill Clinton awarded former president Roosevelt with Medal of Honor posthumously for his services in US-Spanish War.

George W. Bush – 43rd US president

George W Bush sworn-in as 43rd president of The United states, the only president son of a Former US President.

The US Under Recession

The country faced recession. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4 % in March 2001 and to 5.7 % in December 2001.

The US- China Relationship

The United States granted status of “Normal trade” to China in December 2001. It was a breakthrough after Chinese fighter jet collision with US surveillance aircraft in April 2001. Surveillance air craft crew members were detained for 10 days while Chinese pilot went missing and presumed dead.

Related posts: