2009 is winding down quicker than me after a couple of red bulls, which means everyone is going to be reviewing stuff that happened this year. As an up and coming major media outlet reaching the masses (two readers and my mom) i feel obliged to do the same. So, in no particular order, here are some of the big news stories of the year and my thoughts.
In what is probably my favorite story of the year, Captian Chesley Sullenberger did his job. Very well. Back in January Sully safely landed a disabled plane in the Hudson river, allowing for the safe evacuation of every one of the passengers on the flight. Not only that, but he did two sweeps of the plane to make sure everyone was off before stepping off himself. He humbly accepted the accolades of a country desperately looking for heroes that are not manufactured. Bonus points for keeping the public appearances and endorsement deals to a minimum.
On the other end of the regular-people-in-the-news spectrum… this was a great year to stop watching tv and switch to hulu. What’s the scariest thing about these people? It’s not enough that so many people are willing to bleed every ounce of fame out of their 15 minutes, or that we have enough ‘news’ sources that allow them the ability to do so, or that the general public actually pays them any attention at all… what’s scariest is that there seem to be innocent kids caught up in all of the mayhem created by their attention-hungry parents. Between the Octomom’s kids, the Jon and Kate plus 8 kids, Balloon boy and his brothers, we’ve become a nation that publicizes child trauma. Yeah for media. I think the best thing we can do for the kids is ignore their parents. As for the rest of us, can we agree not to watch?
Speaking of attention hungry.
While I’m going off on stuff that bugged me this year, let’s talk about the obsession 09 had with vampires. Actually, let’s not. Let’s hope the fleeting popularity of all things Hollywood hits vampires like a garlic brick in 2010 and we never hear from them again.
This sealed the deal for me never listening to the radio again. Although it did bring us the Autotuned news which was pretty funny. As soon as I can figure out how to autotune our preacher’s sermons I’ll be sure to hop on this awesome 09 trend.
The story that is going to be on a lot of ‘big in 09’ lists this year is the takeover of Twitter. I wasn’t sure about Twitter at first, but I have become a big fan over the course of the past year. Here are my reasons why:
- 1.I can instantly update several communication outlets at once.
- 2.tweets are short and to the point
- 3.Some people actually lead interesting lives worth keeping tabs on.
- 4.Access to information straight from the source. I follow several politicians, including the President (regardless of your political stance, having a direct connection from the President is pretty cool) and I like seeing what they say/read without the filter of mainstream media.
- 5.There are no invites to games on twitter.
- 6.If someone over-indulges on the narcissism the unfollow button is right there.
The only thing bigger than twitter this year was facebook. It may sound goofy, but I think history is going to point at facebook as the key to the social networking revolution. With hundreds of millions of users signing up this year alone, and the desire to be connected increasing among older users and foreigners, facebook has really changed the way we connect to people. Studies have shown that the dominating social networking site actually increases the number of social encounters the average user has per year. From personal experience, I can say facebook has helped me connect with a lot old friends and spur on new friendships.
I hesitate to participate in the ongoing public discussion of Tiger Woods’ personal life, but I digress. This a great example of why we are called by God not worship idols. Every man falls at some point. Every. Man. Falls. This is not to justify anything that he has done, but to say the ultimate responsibility lays on us to look for the only man that is worthy of our devotion.
That being said, I think it is very sad to see such a respectable prominent figure fall from grace so quickly. It is upsetting to the many people who rely on him for support (his multiple charities that benefit from his endorsements- yet once again the kids pay the price), but more importantly it is upsetting because it deals another blow to the sanctity of marriage. I’m glad that Tiger is stepping out of golf for a while to take care of things at home. That is one small step towards forgiveness and redemption. My prayer is that when all of the dust has settled, Tiger will be closer to God which will make him a better husband, and allow him to get back to using his talents on the golf course.
Here’s the one that’ll probably catch me the most heat, but it would be tough not to weigh in the death of Michael Jackson. He was a phenomenal, groundbreaking artist back in the day, and that fact was completely overshadowed by his odd (understatement) lifestyle. I believe Michael Jackson died long before 09, and we killed him. We killed him when we elevated him to a status that no man is worthy of. We killed him when public obsession isolated him from any sense of normalcy. We bought too many albums, we watched too many news stories, and we told too many jokes. All the while, we never thought that watching the car wreck while it happened would be bad for the driver.
In a year where we were supposed to unite, our country became even more divided with the emergence of the health care debate. Fueled by the failing economy, I think we’ve become stressed with an urgency to reform a system that has been in distress for a while.
My opinion is that it would be easier to regulate change in companies in charge of health care as opposed to creating more government beauracracy running health care. I agree that every person should have the right to the best medical treatment available, and the current system needs major reform, but there has to be a way to accomplish this without turning our hospitals into the dmv.
I said it before (click here to read) , and I’ll say it again. We get what we’ve earned.
Any time we begin the term of a new President it is a big deal. I like the hope that our President brings so many people, but I think we are going to run into the same situation we have with other men we have elevated to a status above where they should be. Our President will not solve all of our problems, and he is not our savior. I do not agree with all of his politics, but I think there is going to be a great awakening over the course of President Obama’s term of office that will help the American people understand the power of personal responsibility in affecting true change.
Oh yeah, the Yankees won the World Series!
I am looking forward to the new year. I think this new decade will be one of continued emphasis on social justice, connectedness, and a desire to make things right without relying on big programs to solve issues. May we all align ourselves with God’s will for this next year.
One love, one heart.
The Quintessential Calvin and Hobbes
This is War / 30 Seconds to Mars
Joshua Tree / U2
My Name is Earl