If you were sentient in the mid-2000’s, I’m sorry. It was a bad time for everyone. Flats and flared jeans were the style of the time. The Holiday made $200 million dollars, because I guess there wasn’t a lot else going on. People would go to Target and buy box sets of DVDs. By choice. There’s nothing to be nostalgic about, as there was in the 80’s and 90’s. Everything was just, well, bad.
But for all of the mediocrity bred of the mid-2000’s, one piece of culture sits below the rest. I speak, of course, of the song 100 Years by Five for Fighting.
These guys were basically the knock-off version of The Fray, who themselves were the knock-off version of Coldplay. Who themselves weren’t exactly good. I think the only reason this song got popular is that it’s sad and accessible, and everyone was pretty bummed out at the time. I mean, one of the only ways to listen to music was on an iPod Classic, and Apple hadn’t yet designed an earbud that was remotely comfortable to wear.
So as the dead-eyed denizens of the aughts shambled through Target, trying not to trip over their too-long jeans, un-ergonomic pieces of plastic jammed into their ears, what were they listening to? Five For Fighting, the Aldi’s of adult contemporary.
Triple-F, the name by which I’ll now refer to Five For Fighting, decided to write a song about life. And not any specific aspect of life. No, our Socrates of soft rock wanted to write about all of life. They break this down into the following categories: being fifteen, twenty-two, thirty-three, forty-five, sixty-seven, and ninety-nine. They describe these phases as follows:
Fifteen: “Caught in between ten and twenty, I’m just dreaming, counting the ways to where you are.” This does seem to be more-or-less accurate. When you’re just starting high school, you tend to express yourself in vague platitudes that convey absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, it seems our E.E. Cummings of easy listening never grew up past fifteen.
Twenty-two: “And she feels better than ever, and we’re on fire, making our way back from Mars.” We get it, guys. You did the deed.
Thirty-three: “Still the man, but you see I’m a ‘they’. A kid’s on the way, babe, a family on my mind.” Our earth-shattering depiction of life begins to come into sharp definition. You have high school sweetheart. You keep dating. You have a kid. Riveting stuff.
Forty-five: “The sea is high, and I’m heading into a crisis, chasing the years of my life.” Hm. It seems our heroic Homers are still sad, and will probably go to Vegas or buy a Tesla. Or because this is the mid-2000’s, a Lotus, a car which everyone similarly convinced themselves was cool back then.
Sixty-seven: “Another blink of an eye, sixty-seven is gone, the sun is getting high, we’re moving on.” Honestly, this smacks of them running out of lyrics that rhymed. You’ve gotta hand it to Triple-F, though: they knew the song was a hit at this point, and it didn’t matter.
Ninety-nine: “I’m ninety nine for a moment, and dying for just another moment, counting the ways to where you are.” And we’ve come full circle. Triple-F clearly thinks themselves very wise. Wise enough to at least get top billing at Zoo Tunes. And they definitely were out of rhymes by now: “moment” does not rhyme with “moment”.
So there you have it. A lot of terrible things came out of the mid-2000’s. Scooters. Furbies. Toe socks. But 100 Years by Triple-F is by far the worst. It’s so bad that I’m convinced that had it not been for the release of this song, the economy wouldn’t have crashed in 2008. Humans would have gone back to the moon. We all would have a life expectancy of at least 200 years.
Instead, we got grown adults listening to this song on FM radio, slapping their steering wheels in the middle of rush-hour traffic, belting out “Fifteen, there’s still time for you!” with deadly seriousness. 2004 was the year we truly strayed from the light. We may never be forgiven.
Domingo Tapia is twenty-nine years old, so according to Triple-F he’s right in between “going to Mars” (we all know what that means) and having a child. Basically the only thing he can do from a baseball perspective is throw 100 miles per hour. I hope that he can end up doing more than that, but his last full season of pro ball (in triple-A as a 27-year-old) saw him put up a 4.84 BB/9 and a 7.87 K/9, so I don’t exactly have my hopes up.
If he can’t beat the odds, well, at least he has seventy-one more years of mediocrity to look forward to.