Mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery or so the people who are caught mimicking will say as we blatantly plagiarized ideas from others. This list is that very thing, only I’m personalizing it to be my own, if you want to see 8 credible authors choose what they believe to be the themes that had the biggest impact on the U.S. go to Cracked.com here and have fun, they write good stuff.
I’m not going to pretend to declare what I think was awesome for 2011 as the end-all-be-all, though I’ll keep it national/international and not just what happened in my own little pond. But, if it makes the list that means it broke through the wall that I have staunchly erected around my perception to ignore world news / current events (especially politics) as it irritates me. I will also endeavor to not repeat anything from the above Cracked.com articles.
Movie: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘, because we have come a long way baby, and we made it– through a leading character passing away, multiple directors, set/site changes and the potential for major melt downs considering this was all shot with the same kids going through puberty and general ‘life’ as it were, it has been a long road indeed. Strangely, though the epilogue is the part of the book I could barely wait to get to, I would have been happy for them to have left it out of the movie. My imagination of Harry and Ginny married with a child along with Ron and Hermione and their own little tyke went much farther than make-up and wardrobe could do with the actual characters. Still, there was the happiness of closure with this movie, we got to see what really happened with Snape who had become one of my favorite characters ever since JK Rowling revealed he had loved Harry’s mother and maybe it was more about jealousy in wanting Harry to have been his son.
I’ve seen Twilight-philes claiming that a 100+ year-old vampire in high school isn’t as outrageous as taking 5+ years to finish High School like the Potter stories, and it just leaves me to wonder– did they not notice this was more of a boarding school and they were very specific about when Harry went off to boarding school– and it wasn’t when most kids start their Freshman year? The Devil is in the details, and in this case the big birthday cake that Hagrid brought Harry on the small island retreat where the Dursleys were hiding, pay attention folks.
Someone, at some time will make the grievous decision to remake this movie when I’m in my 80’s, and I’ll get to mumble while chomping on my dentures, “I read the books and saw the movies when they came out, remakes are never as good as the original!”
Television: ‘Two and a Half Men‘- I don’t care if Ashton Kutcher drops trow on stage to jack ratings, this show is on its last legs, in fact its kneeling on a wake board preparing to jump that shark.
I’ve watched the show off and on again in syndication at night when I’m eating dinner. I laugh, I can’t deny that, but at the same time I feel bad at myself for laughing because it’s one of those comedies where if Jon Cryer’s character was your friend in real life you’d just ‘lose touch’ slowly and creep away, maybe change your cell phone number and then delete him off Facebook. Charlie Sheen was only acting in the capacity that he didn’t actually pop drugs on-screen, so that was almost like watching a documentary of a very unpleasant person who could be one of those Hollywood trifecta deaths due to drug overdose/accident and I’d not bat an eye-lash. The obnoxious son, well he’s good at playing a special needs kid trying to be mainstreamed through the system; he wasn’t a particularly good child-actor and was the kind of child that I think most parents realize they’re paying too much child-support for because it’s going down the drain. Also, like with Harry Potter, he’s growing up before the audience’s eyes and frankly the ‘half’ part won’t be applicable much longer unless he has a tragic accident on train tracks while planking. Now, as for Ashton, the guy lands the deal with one of the highest grossing salaries seen and then the very next thing in the news is how he’s already spitting back down the mouth of that gift-horse by violating little contracts with sponsors and product placement. He’s a WINNER like Charlie.
Just jump that shark and get ‘er done guys. Chuck Lorre who also is one of the creative geniuses behind ‘Big Bang Theory‘ can focus on a show with some meat and brains and we’ll be a better America for watching that show instead.
Music: “Bartholomew” by the group Silent Comedy. Despite my promise not to make this too personal I have to go there for this song and this group. I’m calling the long shot, the half-court throw at the buzzer, the 50-1 odds horse for the Kentucky Derby, the Hail-Mary with the third-string QB in the 4th quarter. I think these guys have legs and are going to go the distance with their work. Yeah, this song and “All Saints Day” were picked up for the video game trailer Dark Souls (which is how I discovered them after an agonizing month of trying to track down the commercial), but that doesn’t promise anything- Goldfrapp was used in I believe two Verizon commercials + the Miami Vice remake, and while it was great to be introduced to her sugary-ethereal voice, I don’t think she’s bounced out into the open mainstream media. Maybe she didn’t want to and maybe these guys don’t want to.
I could have said Adele being the next hottest music artists to come from left-field (Europe, sorry guys), but Cracked.com already covered her. Still, she seems pretty typical, where these guys are not typical, maybe I’m mistaking their impressive facial hair and unique sounds (one guy actually plays a wash-board in one of the vids; Gasoline) for ambition.
‘Bartholomew‘ (link to Dark Souls trailer) has a great beat and lyrics that are provocative, to me anyway as a Christian, that is edgy with a dash of desperate pleading and I love it and that led me to enjoy their other songs and appreciate what I saw going on with their creations. Give them a lookie-loo and see if you can enjoy them too.
Oh my god
Please help me, knee-deep in the river tryin’ to get clean
He says wash your hands, get out the stains
But you best believe, boy, there’s hell to pay
Yeah you best believe, boy, there’s hell to pay, sayin’
Oh my god
Please help me, waist deep in the river, can you hear my plea?
He says, son, you come like a beggar in the street
You might make it, boy, but by the skin of your teeth
You might make it, boy, but by the skin of your teeth, sayin’
I rambled with the worst of them
Fell in love with a Harlequin
Saw the darkest hearts of men
And I saw myself starin’ back again
And I saw myself starin’ back again
Oh my god
Please help me, neck-deep in the river screamin’ for relief
He says, it’s mine to give, but it’s yours to choose
You’re gonna sink or swim, you’re gonna learn the truth
No matter what you do you’re gonna learn the truth sayin’
Ate the bread that once was stone
Fell from a cliff, never broke a bone
Bowed down to get the kings overthrown
And I’m all alone and the fire grows
And I’m all alone and the fire grows
La la la la la (repeat)
Swing sweet charity (La la la la la)
Take what’s left of me (La la la la la)
A new beginning or is this the end? (La la la la la)
Swing sweet Seraphim (La la la la la)
Take me back again (La la la la la)
or watch me make the messes of men (La la la la la)
Video Game: I play World of Warcraft, only I’ve lost touch with that over the last year so I have nothing credible to add here and I won’t even pretend to fake it for you.
Person: Casey Anthony. While OJ jokes have run their course, the trial was a circus, and we all ‘knew’ he did it we have now had the satisfaction in 2010 of his conviction for robbery and kidnapping when he tried to steal some of his old sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. This is not to belittle the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but Anthony’s crime has that extra element of heinous sprinkled across our collective conscience by all of us ‘knowing’ she killed her young daughter.
Little children are supposed to be able to trust their parents. There are so many options available and yet there are these people so decrepit and soulless that they’d rather throw it away than let someone else share in the experience of raising a child or help them. I almost called them ‘sick’ people, but that would be giving them an out, an excuse for inhumane behavior that is a violation of nature and not just the laws of the land. To kill your own child is counter intuitive to the genetic drive to propagate, if not spitting in the face of God, for those who believe we matriculated from a mud-puddle.
The line from ‘The Crow’ says it best, “‘Mother’ is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children”
So the proper thing to do would be to pray for her, but I rather imagine cutting off her head and pissing down her throat. I’m just not that nice or forgiving.
Internet Clip: College Humor has a 2011 time line of video clips by month to really help you sink your teeth into the world of viral video. There are a lot of good ones, and only a few I had seen prior to perusing the list the other night. But, even with as few viral videos that I bother to watch the choice is difficult for me to make, I like to stick to funny/light-hearted over the more serious things (Riots, Dictators meeting their demise), but I’m going to cheat here and pull out one of each for this article.
Seriousness– ‘Kid fights back against a bully (Zangief Kid)’ is my choice. With bullying being in the media more, in part because the bullying has gone digital with social sites and texting/photos of embarrassing situations, we are hearing more about kids being affected by bullies and some even committing suicide.
If you believe what ‘they’ say, ‘they’ would have you believe that ‘everyone’ has to deal with a bully at some time. I’m generally calling that hogwash, not that kids who are bullies probably don’t have some factor influencing them at home (there I gave an easy out), but having been on the receiving side of being bullied by others and being familiar with their family life I can say with a fair amount of certainty they did not come from a tortured home life where abuse was a daily occurrence and their only outlet was to pick on the scrawny nerdy-girl. I also experienced both situations; the parental intervention and the ‘fight back’ method. The parental intervention failed, in fact when I told another adult, the teacher, about the situation she accused me of lying despite never having a history of telling tall-tales before. My mother getting involved was met with scorn and the “My child wouldn’t do that!” <click> of the phone. The ‘Fight Back’ had a 100% improvement rating. Now, I’m speaking to physical attack; not taunting and of course I didn’t have to deal with this bizarre Queen Bee bull-shit that seems to be happening on social sites, but when it comes straight up to “so and so hit/punched/kicked me” it was go-time and while I can count my ‘fights’ on one hand, they all resulted in the person backing the F*-off and leaving me alone and finding someone easier to pick on.
Funniness– ‘Talking Twins.’ Being the mother of twin boys how could I NOT find this video funny? I only wish I had a video camera to catch some of my kids interactions. Babies are either hilarious to people or a nuisance, so I won’t take it personally if you don’t feel this is the cutest/funniest thing to be an unscripted, earnestly humorous view of reality.
Word: General destruction of the English language by disembowelment or smashing a long word and making its abbreviation nearly as long only with the added benefit of making the speaker sound like they’ve had a stroke.
My word, though I’m sure it’s been kicking around for a while, is ‘Preggo/Preggers/Preggorz’.
Let us say during the course of casual conversation you forget the proper name / meaning and substitute a ‘silly’ filler word. Dealy-bop, Doo-dad, Thing-a-ma-jig, Whats-her-chick, are all go-tos for me when my vocabulary fades back and a dark hazy wall suddenly blocks my access to the Wernicke area in my brain.
‘Preggo/Preggers/Preggorz’ is not that kind of word; you know what you are saying/writing when you put it in a sentence. PREGNANT, there is nothing wrong with the word PREGNANT. It’s not like ‘vagina’ or ‘penis’ where you kind of cringe at the word like, “Oh, Jeez, did I just say that out-loud? Sorry, sorry!” But, can turn around and use “Va-Jay-Jay” from ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ and think it’s pretty hilarious.
This word-swap is retarded, and to the point that it makes it sound like the woman just really loves mass-produced cans of marinara sauce or it’s an ethnic slur against her. Stop using it, I’m begging you.
JPEG: The world was not shy of providing us images-a-plenty to carouse through. From various riots both sports and politically motivated, political flubs rebroadcast by pundits, and natural disasters I’m going to have to bow to the wrath of nature for my pick of pics.
The Japanese Tsunami of 2011 and the nuclear melt-down cannot be captured in just one image. The best word here to use is ‘magnitude’, and while it is a pun on the situation, it is the best adjective I can think of to describe the level of destruction from one event and what happened in the days and weeks that followed.
I could spam the whole page with images of the tsunami and other earthquake devastation. I have a friend who has been to Japan and made long-term connections from her exchange. She was looking for those family members and found them– thankfully. I asked her how they were doing and she said it was rough on them, and that the father had been called upon because of his profession to identify the bodies. He is a dentist. People who die from something like this don’t just lay down and go to sleep, and their bodies are not cozily preserved for loved ones to identify. He had been working at the task for weeks when she and I spoke. I can only barely begin to imagine how grueling that would be.
That therefore is my choice of image; water rushing in, unbidden, and nearly unstoppable until only the safety of elevation change thwarts its path. Nature can always find a way to even the playing field.
I hope you have enjoyed my selections for 2011. Maybe they’ll inspire you to reflect on the year yourself and think of resolutions for the 2012 new year.