Let’s put up our feet and call it a year

One had to believe that 2012 was the gift of a benevolent God on New Year’s Day when temperatures in South Valley soared, and the dawning day felt warm as springtime.
As 2012 lies before us like a loaf of un-sliced, newly baked bread (New Year’s-type diet allegories abound …), let’s HOPE the bizarre year that was 2011 will soon be a distant memory. Let’s HOPE our elected officials in Washington have formulated New Year’s resolutions to END party bickering and standoffs, putting our country back on its rightful path.
But lest we forget, for a moment let’s remember what we recently left behind.
They say it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature, and the old gal reminded us of that with a greater-than-usual proportion of storms and natural disasters last year. New Zealand suffered a devastating quake in February, a prelude to March when Japan’s tragic trifecta of earthquake, tsunami and threat of nuclear disaster was tempered by the world’s outpouring of help. Here at home, the staggering devastation of tornadoes and floods brought folks to their knees, while a rallying show of support came selflessly from other states.
It was a bad year for dictators as Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi suffered his fate at the hands of rebels as part of the Arab Spring phenomenon that rocked the Middle East. In December, Kim Jong-il, the “supreme leader” of North Korea made an exit to beat all exits as throngs of mourners wailed uncontrollably while the funeral parade passed by, each grief-stricken participant monitoring fellow citizens on either side, vigilant about not being out-sobbed before the government’s watchful eye.
But it was the Navy SEAL mission in May that brought final justice to Osama bin Laden, perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks on America. After more than nine years of attempting to find and kill the world’s most hunted criminal, President Obama gave the final order to go get him in his Pakistani fortress. And get him they did.
Three major trials occupied the airwaves last year; Dr. Conrad Murray was sent packing for a 48-month prison stay for the part he played in Michael Jackson’s death, while Casey Anthony walked free after a trial where the main players delivered their own version of a daytime soap opera. And four years in an Italian prison ended for U.S. student Amanda Knox when she was finally freed and allowed to return home.
Good overcame evil when Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made a triumphant appearance in a session of Congress, months after being shot in the head by a deranged gunman.
Love was in the air in April when Prince William married Kate Middleton in London; Fergie’s daughters arrived wearing their own personal wedding cake fiascos upon their coiffed heads. Alas, the American version of wedded bliss was less than … blissful when the over-exposed, undiscernibly talented Kim Kardashian got engaged, married and divorced quicker than you can say “TV rights.” Now. Can we pleeeeeze back off on those reality shows, people???
Charlie “Winning” Sheen was all over the place, and Lindsay Lohan was in and out of the L.A. County Courthouse so often they had to finally install a revolving door.
Politicians overtaken with testosterone proved again that you just can’t get away with this stuff. Maria dumped Arnold for his philandering ways, N.Y. Rep. Anthony “Weinergate” Weiner resigned after under-whelmed recipients of randy photos he sent via Twitter began to surface, and would-be French presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, went to court after a hotel maid charged him with rape, although charges were later dismissed.
U.S. presidential hopeful Herman Cain didn’t fare much better when he (as one wag proclaimed) attempted to add “too many toppings” to his pizza, dropping out of the race when women accusing him of sexual harrassment and affairs began hitting the news cycles. And although he’s no politician, if we never again hear the name “Jerry Sandusky” it’ll be too soon.
The Space Shuttle program blasted into history with the final flight of Atlantis, and Harry Potter’s eighth fantastical installment became his last.
So here’s to you, 2011. You’ve been, if nothing else, exceedingly unforgettable.

Leave your comments