a unique take on life from some unique women
2011, what a year! Can’t say I’m too sorry to see it gone, though. The stories that haunted us this year proved only that not much has changed since Y2K.
On the celebrity front, Charlie Sheen woke us all up screaming about tiger blood, and gave up one of the most overpaid opportunities in the world. Somebody is clearly not worried about the recession. Lindsay Lohan provided an endless stream of tragic entertainment, as she slowly completed her community service and reminded us why perhaps children are better off in school than in the spotlight. The Kardashians, unfortunately, are still alive, and still getting attention. I’d rather not give them any more.
Politics are heating up as the American presidential election of 2012 dawns ever nearer. Incumbent President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remain mostly silent while Herman Cainn and Rick Perry compete for Most Humiliating Campaign, and while mainstream politicians stumble over their words and misdeeds or sit quietly back, Ron Paul begins to sound more reasonable every day that Americans lose faith in hope and change. I keep trying to forget Newt Gignrich is even running. It seems that the older I get, the more politics fades into a small group of left and right-wing extremists, and a very large group of apathetic moderates who struggle to feel their vote matters. Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann seem intent on rebuilding the glass ceiling Hillary Clinton came so close to breaking, and it looks like we Americans will have to wait another four years for a candidate we can count on.
Steve Jobs, Apple creator and the only technological genius with a grasp on the marketing power in beautiful design, passed away this year after a long battle with cancer. I know I was not the only person whose life improved drastically with the iPod and certainly not the only person to tear up over the loss of this talented and admirably private man.
Governments all over the world said goodbye to their last shreds of credibility. After economic collapses across Europe, the EU revealed itself less united than was perhaps hoped. Germany complained about picking up the pieces for Greece and Italy. Italy’s notorious philanderer prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was finally given the boot this year not because of his widely publicized affairs, but because his government was unable to manage Italy’s mounting debt crisis.
At home in the US, groups sprung up nationwide in solidarity with New York City’s Occupy Wall Street. They camped out for months in their cities’ financial districts, protesting, we think, the ever-increasing gap between the uber wealthy and everyone else, calling themselves “the 99%.” Depending on who you talk to, nothing was achieved because no one knows exactly what the Occupy-ers wanted, or, they proved that an idealist group could make a national impact and stand up for something. I suppose their impact remains to be seen.
2011 also saw protest abroad, particularly in the Middle East. The Arab Spring refers to international protest in Arab countries spurred by despotic governments and totalitarian regimes, and organized thanks, at least in part, to facebook and other social media tools. Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya saw their leaders step down and began a path to democracy. Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Yemen also joined in protests but it the outcomes are not as definitive so far.
Spiritually, 2011 threatened to bring the Rapture. If it happened, those of us on earth are certainly doomed, but we suspect it may just not be coming they way some had predicted. Good thing, too, because the only canned food I have is kidney beans, and that gets boring pretty quickly. Fortunately, 2012 brings its own apocalypse: some say the Mayan calendar brings the end of the world in December. I have heard, though, that what the Mayans really predicted, is the end of the world as we know it. Meaning, maybe there will be some cosmic emotional shift…that sounds exciting. Until then, I will be watching 2012 with a wary eye, knowing that at any given moment, Charlie Sheen may reappear and kill us all.
Happy New Year!