It’s been some year, hasn’t it? When I started this blog more than six months ago (wow, that just flew by!), I had no idea all the amazing, sad, exciting and utterly disappointing things 2008 still had up its sleeve. So on this last day of 2008, let’s take a look back at the highlights and lowlights of this wild, wacky year:Yes We Can
The biggest story of the year is undoubtedly the Presidential election, and the landslide victory by Democrat Barack Obama, who will be the nation’s first African American President. From his dogged battle with Hillary Clinton during the primaries (we thought it’d never end, didn’t we?) to his whipping of John McCain (even my red state turned blue for Barack!) to his adorable moments with his family, like the famous fist bump, Obama dominated the news, and the minds of Americans this year. Sadly, he inherits a gigantic mess of a country, so I wish him the best of luck in sorting out the debris of the previous administration.
The election season also introduced us to a little-known politician from Alaska: Sarah Palin. When John McCain picked the virtually unknown Governor of Alaska as his running mate in August, most of us went to Google to find out who the hell she was. What we found was, for many, a little disconcerting. She’d taken five years and several colleges to earn a communication degree (I have a communication degree, trust me, it ain’t that hard to get). She found sport in shooting wolves from a helicopter. She advocated abstinence-only education (and a total ban on abortion) even though her pregnant 17-year-old daughter was living proof that abstinence-only education does not work. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Palin went on to make gaffe after gaffe, eventually helping sink the McCain campaign with her stupidity and inexperience. The one truly bright spot? She inspired this:
A Star Goes Dark
We were all shocked and saddened in January when actor Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose at the age of 28. And we were all blown the fuck away in July by his performance as the Joker in the second Batman film, The Dark Knight. Ledger was pitch-perfect as the maniacal, psychotic, yet oddly funny villain. He’s already been nominated for a posthumous Golden Globe for the performance, and chances are, he’ll get an Oscar nod as well.
The L Word
It almost feels like 2008 was the year of the lesbian in pop culture. Several celebrities, such as Wanda Sykes, came out of the closet, Ellen and Portia got married and LiLo and Sam became the year’s cutest couple, officially. Sapphic love was all over, especially after California legalized gay marriage in May. Sadly, asshole voters in Cali decided to get behind the sentiment of hate and bigotry in November, passing Proposition 8, which overturned the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Lots of celebrities had babies this year, but the most talked about birth was definitely Angelina Jolie’s and Brad Pitt’s twins, born in July. Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline rounded out the super couple’s brood at six.
We lost a lot of great talents this year. Of course, being the Golden Girls fan that I am, I was particularly devastated by the loss of Estelle Getty. Some of the other surprising and heartbreaking losses include Paul Newman, Bernie Mac, George Carlin, Isaac Hayes, Bettie Page, Tim Russert, Roy Schieder, Suzanne Pleshette, Charlton Heston, Sydney Pollack, Brad Renfro and Bo Diddley, among many others.
The Comeback Kid
Last year, didn’t we all think Britney Spears was officially over? So over that we honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she died? Girlfriend was pretty low. And then her dad stepped in and cleaned her up, and look at our girl! She’s performing, released a new album and about to embark on her first tour in five years. Brit’s looking and sounding good, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier for her.
The Gold Standard
Michael Phelps blew everyone out of the water at the Summer Olympics in Beijing this year, winning a record 8 gold medals. And while the United States dominated the pool, China, and their suspiciously youthful female gymnasts stole gold from the American women’s team.
So what’s next? Who knows what 2009 has in store, but you can be certain I’ll be here to hash it over with you next year. Thanks for reading and happy new year!