As we are now on the verge of New Year's, 2011, perhaps now is as good a time as any to look back at the insanity, bedlam, decay, rage, sleaze and disaster that was 2011 AD. It was a year of fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, Wall Street wackiness, psychotic politics, riots, shootings, a hurricane, terrorism, and of course, the year that gave us "Cowboys and Aliens".
The year began with the overthrow of Arab dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. In the case of Tunisia, there was very little violence, in the case of Egypt, a "60 Minutes" reporter was nearly gang raped, and in the case of Libya, Moammar Gadhaffi's regime fell after months of warfare and he was shot in the face after being dragged-out from under a septic tank. Nice.
That spring saw an earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan, killing thousands. Osama bin Laden (the most wanted man in the world) was killed by Navy Seals in a covert operation. His hideout apparently contained pornography and he tried to use a woman as a human shield.
The US Government nearly shutdown due to a budget crisis. Major rioting broke-out in London, England resulting in millions of dollars in damages due to arson and looting. That summer also saw a bombing and shooting spree in Norway that left 77 people dead.
Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast of the United States. It passed over the Mid-Atlantic. It was not the "Storm of The Century". (Sorry Jim Cantore) Of course, Irene only hit AFTER a magnitude 5 earthquake hit the area. The winter of 2011 saw record-high snow fall. In fact, New York City was SO hit by the succession of blizzards that garbage piled-up for weeks in some places and when the snow melted, dead bodies were found in the mountains of trash. The summer of 2011 saw near record-high temperatures.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn (manager of the International Monetary Fund) was charged with sexual assault and kidnapping in New York City after being accused by a African maid at Strauss-Kahn's hotel in Manhattan. After a week in Riker's Island, DSK was released on bail. After a little digging by the New York City prosecutor's office, the accusing maid's story fell apart. It seems she told multiple varying versions of what happened, and had made phone calls about possibly profiting from the scandal. The charges against Stauss-Kahn were dropped and he returned to France.
Arizona Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head during a public appearance at a Safeway in Tuscon Arizona. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner shot another 20 people in the incident, 6 of whom died. He was apprehended and awaits trial. Giffords survived the attack.
Jerry Sandusky, former assistant coach for Penn State's football team was charged with molesting several boys. Legendary coach, Joe Paterno, was fired after admitting to knowing that Sandusky was using Penn State's showers to have sexual relations with under-age boys.
The US and World economies spent the year between stagnant and decline due to a paralyzed real estate market and debt crisis face US and European governments.
The TSA came under fire for using invasive and crude methods for screening passenger boarding all US flights. In some cases, young children get groped by TSA officers and cancer patients are forced to remove their prosthetic limbs.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement made a name for itself in 2011. Demonstrations, encampments, police brutality, and a rabble of youth, college students, professor's, Union scum, a "South Park" episode and piles of piss and shit on the sidewalks of many American cities made the 99% movement a movement to remember.
North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il, died. Won Ton was succeeded by his son.
The year closed with a less-than white Christmas and a sigh of relief that the earth didn't explode, although, it probably came close. Happy New Year, and may 2012 give us all a friggin' break.
Deaths: Gerry Rafferty (Singer Songwriter), Elizabeth Taylor (Actress), Sidney Lumet (Film Director), Randy Savage (Wrestler, Slim Jim connoisseur), Jeff Conaway (Actor), Jack Kevorkian (Dr. Death), Peter Falk (Actor, Columbo), Betty Ford (First Lady 1974-1977, Gerald Ford's wife), Charles "Bubba" Smith (Football Player), Smikin' Joe Frazier (Boxer)