For the '60s, we chose the moon walk; for the '70s, we chose the Smiley Face, disco music (now dead) and Earth Day. For the '80s, there was video games -– and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Is the cell phone any worse? Maybe not. The '90s have been a decade of gadgets and bad blockbuster movies, certainly, and stamp-voters deserve the benefit of the doubt after so wisely choosing skinny Elvis. But isn’t there a bigger picture -– like the fact that without the eight-year economic expansion and the rampaging Wall Street bulls filling ordinary pockets, the cell phone might never have made it out of Hollywood? "Prolonged economic expansion" didn’t make the top 15. Ingrates.
Socio-pundits have been saying for years that the '90s were a decade about nothing -- blame "Seinfeld" -- but this is ridiculous. The Post Office is now up to date with its "Celebrate the Century" commemorative stamp program, and the voters have chosen to symbolize the last nine years with... the cell phone. Second place in the 15-stamp set was even more vapid -– the movie "Titanic," followed by such weighty icons as "Jurassic Park," sport utility vehicles, extreme sports and yes, "Seinfeld." The World Wide Web, virtual reality and computer graphics also made the cut, although e-mail -- attention conspiracy buffs! -- was somehow overlooked by the snail mail folks.