A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Arts & Entertainment

Blast From the Past

There is no doubt that the world is changing fast. As the world gets more complex, it is fun to look back at simpler times.

It’s hard to believe that 2008 was a decade ago. For most of us high school students, 2008 is thought of as a time of childhood nostalgia. From barely-contained excitement over High School Musical 3 coming out to singing Love Story by Taylor Swift at the top of our lungs, 2008 is a year not many will forget.

2008 cannot be talked about without mentioning the presidential election. In this election, Barack Obama made history by becoming America’s first ever African-American president.

Obama dealt with one of the worst economic crises America has seen. The stock market crashed just before he became president. This affected the entire country. American households lost on average about $5,800 in income because of the decrease in economic growth.

On a happier note, there were some iconic movies that came out in 2008. Rose Riedmaier, a junior at New Berlin West, says, “High School Musical 3 came out. I remember being so excited to watch it.” Riedmaier wasn’t alone in her excitement. After the hugely successful High School Musical and High School Musical 2 came out, kids couldn’t wait for the next installment. From the dreamy Troy Bolton, played by Zac Efron, to the songs that always seemed to be playing in our heads, High School Musical 3 was not a movie to miss.

Another wildly successful movie that came out in 2008 was Camp Rock. Similar to High School Musical in that it was a Disney film, Camp Rock starred the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. Although not as popular as High School Musical, Camp Rock still became a movie that all the kids talked about.

The first Iron Man movie came out in 2008 and kicked off the Marvel cinematic universe we know today. Iron Man was the movie that started it all. If this movie hadn’t been such a hit, we probably wouldn’t have as many Marvel films now. Marvel movies are still extremely well-liked and many people still watch them. The Marvel cinematic universe is the highest grossing movie franchise of all time.

In addition, Twilight, starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, came out in 2008. While many of us were too young to see Twilight when it came out, we still remember the hype for the movie. Siblings talked about this movie all the time in anticipation for the movie to come out. After it came out, Twilight seemed to be the only thing siblings and kids a few years older than us would talk about.

While Twilight the movie was the first of the books in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer to be made into a movie in 2008, the fourth and final book of this series came out in 2008 also. This book was also a popular topic. Everywhere you went you would hear teens discussing if team Jacob or team Edward was better.

A second book that came out in 2008 was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In this dystopian work of fiction set in the future, Katniss Everdeen must compete in a deadly competition with other teenagers. The competition is instituted by the government, which leads Katniss to question the quality of her government. This book pulled at readers’ heartstrings and made us think about what the future has in store.

In a different genre of books, John Green’s Paper Towns was released this year. Anything John Green wrote was instantly popular, and this book was no exception. Almost everyone loved Paper Towns, and it debuted at number five on the New York Times bestseller list for children’s books.

2008 had some good memories. It is a year that sticks out in many people’s minds, whether it be for political reasons or because of pop culture. 2008 was a year that will be remembered forever, and it gives us hope that there will be more great years like this.

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