Our annual A-Z is up again. A moment to reflect (and laugh) at the happenings of the year in alphabetical form. Authored by our very own own, and talented Editor Mish Way, this year we also invited the also very talented Kelly McClure (who you probably know from Kelly's Krush Korner) to contribute. We'd use the word epic, but we also know that become passé in 2011.
By: Mish Way and Kelly McClure
The time of year has come to reflect back on all the wonderful things that happened in our culture this year. Welcome to our yearly round-up of the A-Z of 2011. Grab a glass of champagne and take a little alphabetic stroll with us down months passed. From Beyonce's Baby Bump to Courtney Stodden to Occupy Wall Street to Casey Anthony Trial, this year was packed full of political protest and celebrity gossip. What else is new? Regardless, we got you covered.
A is for Adele
If you don't know this woman's name by now, where were you in 2011? Adele's songs like "Someone Like You" and "Rolling the the Deep" dominated radio airplay and you know what, we also played them on our iPods. The Britain songstress brought soul to the masses and made it possible again for us to have a pop star that doesn't disappear when she turns to the side. Adele also taught us love lessons similar to gospel guidance we might hear from our wise grandmothers, and homegirl is only in her early 20s.
B is for Beyonce's Baby Bump
And every other baby bump or psuedo-baby bump (Beyonce's baby bump "crumbled" during an appearance on an Australian talk show) we fawned over. Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Alba and all the other celebrities starting with "J." In some ways it's great that the world still cares about pregnant women, it's too bad that the pregnant women we care about are strictly of Hollywood A-List status. Let's make our New Year's resolution to give up seats on the bus for females with a little extra mid-section girth, okay?
C is for Coach Taylor/Kyle Chandler
Remember the last time you gave two shits about football, let alone a TV show about a fake football team in Texas? Yeah, us neither, but we wanted to jump off the roof when Friday Night Lights aired its series finale this year. No more Riggins brothers? No more Lyla Garrity? No more lesbian character who’s name we’ve forgotten, and maybe never learned in the first place? Coach Taylor was our favorite because he always made these mouth movements like he was chewing on invisible peanuts. Maybe it was charming or something.
D is for Vitamin D
Every year women's magazines bombard us with the latest weight-loss trends and whether we like it or not, we get slightly suckered into the madness. This year experts told us that Vitamin D was our ticket to nicer skin, better mental health and a slimmer waist-line. It also didn't hurt that a little dose of D helped kick the nasty shakes of a hang over and that you could get your daily intake by simply laying in the sun.
E is for Elizabeth Taylor
A lot of big name celebrities kicked the bucket in 2011, but none of them really made us want to feel emotions quite in the way that Elizabeth Taylor’s passing did. This lady was a class act from beginning to end--she even peaced out before she reached the age of 80, which was the ultimate sign of “I may be old, but I aint NEVER getting OLD.” We like to think of her up in the clouds somewhere, riding white horses around and collecting diamonds that fall down from the moon.
F is for The F*cking Kardashian Wedding
Perhaps it's Robin Lopez's inability to corral rebounds; perhaps it is a skill of Kris Humphries. Neither really matters, as it was a 72 day marriage to Kim Kardashian, and a 72-day period until the 6'11 Washington product becomes a free agent in the truest and fullest sense of the word. Needless to say, the world has never been more intrigued by a middling basketball celebrity.
G is for Gay
Where were you when Gov. Cuomo signed the bill that freed up homos to be able to marry in the state of New York? I (Kelly) was living in Olympia, Washington, hating my life, but I watched and read and heard about the whole thing on the Internet and wanted to run to my people to celebrate. When the pictures of the Empire State Building lit up in rainbow colors started going viral, I cried. I like knowing that I could get married, and then divorced, any ‘ol time I want to, just like everybody else!
H is for Health Care
This is still an issue. Unless you live in Canada and then it's just sort of an issue.
I is for In the Land of Blood and Honey
Angelina Jolie may dip in and out of the forefront of our pop-culture consciousness, but she’s always there somewhere. When we look at Angelina we get the sense that she can do anything; make perfect rice, hot-wire a car, shoot guns with both hands while bouncing a baby on her knee, anything
. This year marks her directorial debut with In The Land of Blood and Honey, which is about deep political stuff and is already up for a million awards, even though it’s not even out yet. Oh yeah, and she wrote the script too. WTF?!
J is for Jobs (as in Steve)
The genius behind our beloved Apple produces kicked it this year, but his inventions will live longer than most of us.
K is for Kreayshawn
People sure do like talking about Kreayshawn, namely how much they hate her, but we think she’s great. If you’re still unfamiliar (and just woke up under a rock, or in Nebraska), Kreayshawn is an Oakland based rapper who’s song “Gucci Gucci” will be ingrained in my head, and probably the head of the person standing or sitting next to you right now as you read this, forever.
L is for Leal (as in Sara) and Her Night of Passion with Ashton
After a night of sex with Mr. Demi Moore (or Ashton Kutcher), Sara Leal was paid a reported $100,000 for the gritty details of their escapades. Leal revealed her story in tabloid spreads and a viral video which followed. Kutcher's marriage to legendary Ghost actress, Demi Moore ended in divorce and Leal was left with a hefty chunk of shopping change to blow. What was best about this event was the fictional story "Ashton Kutcher And The Hot Tub Worthy Divorce Machine
" penned by Sarah Miller of The Awl
, explaining what really went on in Kutcher's head. Miller solidified herself as the female Chuck Klosterman
M is for Morrissey
We’ve heard a million different stories about Morrissey being a supreme A-hole, and we’re not even sure if they’re true, but choosing to believe that they’re true makes us like him even more. What would anyone get out of Morrissey being nice? Can you imagine the sort of horrible music that would come out of that? And plus, look at him, he doesn’t even look
nice, so stop acting all shocked. Morrissey announced that he’d be touring this year for the first time in a really really long time, but then he ended up just canceling a bunch of shows, because he hates people. It was great.
N is for Nixing The "Enemy" or Killing Osama Bin Laden
Obama got Osama. It was kind of a big deal.
O is for Occupy Wall Street
This year's biggest anti-capitalist protest started in our very own Zuccotti Park near the financial district as a final-straw kind of reaction to greed, unemployment, corruption and corporations. The Adbusters
-influenced protest rapidly spread to every major (and minor) city in North America, but how much sense did Occupy Nanaimo really make? Shit got real
on the Brooklyn Bridge though.
P is for Powerful Super Group
Superheavy, The Throne and Kurt Vile and Jennifer Herrema
's coming together all mattered but no musical super group kicked as much ass as Wild Flag did. Comprised of two former Sleater-Kinney ladies (Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss), Mary Timony from Helium, and Rebecca Cole, Wild Flag play rock music that is so good it makes me want to kick myself in the face. They released their first album this year and we loved it so much that we had to try really hard not to crumple it up and shove it in our mouths. You know what this band is like? It’s like the awesome band version of a fantasy football team. There, nailed it.
Q is for Quack Marriages
Aspiring "actress" Courtney Stodden may be lying through her triple-F breasts, but we have to admit that we're not totally bummed she married her way into the spotlight. The 17-year-old Pamela Anderson wanna-be married
failing 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchinson this year and then proceeded to go on every talk show ever produced to prove to the world that they are "in love". Stodden licked her lips a lot
and Hutchinson talked about "inspiration" while we all cringed in disgust. Stodden claims she has not lied about her age or about the fact that her body is all-natural. Quack or not, we don't care because her Twitter
is non-stop entertainment.
R is for The Royal Wedding
People everywhere glued themselves to their television screens to watch the biggest ceremony of the decade unfold like a pop-up fairy tale book. Bartering the floral arrangements of Kate and William's wedding alone could have fed your family for the next 45 years.
S is for Stephenie Meyer
Stephenie Meyer, creator of the Twilight dynasty, spent most of 2011 lounging on the backs of bronzed lions and fanning herself with crisply ironed thousand-dollar bills, but she also had a hand in us being able to enjoy (or not, in my case, because I thought it sucked) the motion picture adaptation of Breaking Dawn: Part 1
. Listen lady, if I wanted to sit for two hours and watch awkward people get married and wolves fall in love with a baby, I’d , well, I’d never want to do those things. I always appreciate the opportunity to eat movie theater popcorn though, so thank you for that. Oh, and thank you for Jacob Black.
T is for "Tot Mom" or Casey Anthony
This summer, Florida mother Casey Anthony or "Tot Mom" was tried for the murder of her baby daughter, Caylee. The case was aired all over HLN nearly 24-hours a day as most of us couldn't help be enthralled with this tabloid murder trial. Nancy Grace reported on Anthony's bitchy facial expressions
and "pale, frail" looks during her news program at night using the word "slut" every other word. All signs pointed to guilty, but Anthony got off scott-free and became the O.J. Simpson of 2011.
U is for Unemployment
This was the year where it pretty much became the norm that no one we know will ever have a job again ever. Or, to look on the optimistic side of the shit sandwich, this was the year when “I have five Etsy shops” became a valid profession.
V is for Victims of Disaster
This year Japan experienced one of the most tragic natural disasters our world has seen since Katrina. The earthquake (which hit an 9.0 magnitude) caused 30 foot Tsunami's which destroyed Japan's Eastern Coast. The whole world was glued to Youtube to watch home recorded videos that victims had uploaded of their properties, cars and lives being blown away by massive amounts of terrifying waves, landslides, fires and flooding. Tohuko Earthquake left Japan with 15,842 deaths, plus many more injuries, missing people, broken buildings and businesses.
W is for the West Memphis Three
After being locked up for nearly two decades for brutal murders they did not commit, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin were released from prison this year. Sentenced to life
(and the death penalty for Echols) in 1993 with hardly any evidence, this Memphis modern-day witch hunt grabbed the attention of everyone all over the country including celebrities supporters like Johnny Depp, Henry Rollins and The Dixie Chicks. Two documentaries
(Paradise Lost & Paradise Lost 2
) went inside the courtroom to showcase the blatant injustice of the trial. Surprisingly, this year new evidence revealed that the men were, in fact, not linked to the murders and they were released on an Alford Plea. Every American who was teenage nerd in the 90's shed a tear of joy.
X is for The Execution of Troy Davis
In opposition to the release of The West Memphis Three, 42-year-old Troy Davis was executed this fall as an innocent man. Maintaining his innocence all through out his jail time at a state prison in Georgia, Davis had many outside support groups who rallied and protested for his cause. Despite the fact that over a million people signed a petition for the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency, he was still executed by lethal injection.
Y is for...
Y is always a tough one. We can't think of anything. Try to make things fit that don't like that puzzle piece you really want to "just go right there." So we'll say Y is for you. As of 2011, anyone can do anything from making your own website to shooting a full feature film on your iPhone. So "you" can also come up with something for Y.
Z is for Jay-Z and Kanye
We're cheating on this one, but my God, to not mention the two rap super powers of Jay-Z and Kanye here would be tragic--well, maybe for them. This year Beyonce's (see letteer B) boo teamed up with the world's biggest ego to create "Watch The Throne" an album so buzzed, so hyped that even your grandmother was into the "Otis" video. They later embarked on an international tour to support the album often closing their sets by playing their hit "Niggas in Paris" ten times in a row. (Yeah, we heard you the first time.) We're truly surprised the tour didn't turn out like Best of Both Worlds with two grown men in fights that led to canceled tours all over North America. Kuddos guys.