2011 was definitely a very eventful year. A lot of things happened and here I am writing about them. I write with the hope that sometime next year I’d read this and realize how time has passed so fast.
Starting off, I’d like to remember all the folks that left us this year. A lot of people who inspired me; Amy Winehouse (her songs will be the soundtrack to my life), M.F.Hussain (for sticking the finger to all his nay-sayers), Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, enough said), Dev Anand (the evergreen, never-say-die attitude), Mario Miranda (for being genuinely funny with his art), Patrice O’Neal (insanely hilarious), Steve Jobs (for inspiring a whole bunch of losers on Facebook who were completely unaware of his drug history and asshole-ness ). There was also a whole lot I didn’t know (care) about until they trended on Twitter like Christopher Hitchens, Ryan Dunn and Osama Bin Laden.
A special mention to two people, Gaddafi and Kim Jong-il who left the world and made it a slightly better place. Yes, we do have a reason to celebrate. They were probably two of the biggest liars that the world has ever seen. However let’s not make fun of the dead. They must be pretty pissed off anyway that they left earth one year before the Mayans said it would end. Returning to the world of Chuck Norris and Rajnikant, there was a lot that happened in 2011.
23-year old Adele released her sophomore album 21 (the previous one was called 19) and proved that you don’t need to dress supremely weird to sell 208,000 copies in a week and make it the bestselling album of all time (in the UK, obviously. Americans worship Kanye West, remember?) Besides that, she also gave us a new break up anthem, Rolling in the Deep.
On the flipside, Rebecca Black’s mum spent $4000 on putting out Friday and its music video. Those were probably the worst use of American dollars in a long time. She went viral because people hated her. She left school because people hated her. She earned shit loads of money because people hated her. God damn it. Only if Adolf Hitler had sung Friday – he would have died a richer man. She’s writing her second song now, it comes out in 2012. I guess the Mayans were right.
Google pulled a fast one with Google+. It’s just good ol’ Google with a social angle. Wait! So what happens to Orkut now? I bet even the folks at Google don’t know. Even if it hasn’t caught up with the public, it does promise a lot of things. Even Epipheo’s video about Google+ hasn’t managed to save it. I am just hoping it doesn’t meet the same end as Google Wave and Google Buzz.
Inspired by the Jasmine Revolution, the Americans took clue and started their own with Occupy Wall Street (‘coz most Americans believe that’s the capital of the world) and trust Americans to screw with revolutions; they redefined the word itself (read more here). This led to second-order chain reaction in India when someone had the idea of Occupy Dalal Street. Without saying much it failed just like Slut Walk in Bangalore. Kudos to our system, though. Even when Time Magazine has name The Protestor as the ‘Man of the Year’, we are still scared of change and more importantly the truth. Speaking of change, there was Anna Hazare, who became the most talked-about man in the nation, for good and bad reasons. I am nobody to comment on his motives but I think he adds some amount of credibility to the sometimes-tainted Gandhi topi. No comments on the Rajya Sabha though.
Kapil Sibal got mothered by the Twitterati and he had no clue about it (he’s still hunting down communities on Orkut). His ideas were lame, his points were baseless and he just proved one thing – most Indian politicians no nothing about social media. While we are on that, Kolaveri Di went viral with a buttload of Rajnikanth’s son-in-law-related jokes that followed. Companies made a lot of money selling Kolaveri-branded apparel just the way plastic surgeons made money selling Pipa Middleton-kinda bottoms.
This year was a historic year in Indian concerts. Metallica realized that Gurgaon isnt the best place to have a concert. However, they realized that a tad bit late. Late enough for folks to break the shit out of the equipment. They then went to Bangalore but there too there were reported thefts, reassuring the fact that DNA is probably the worst event managers in the world. On the contrary, the organizers of the NH7 Weekender proved that you don’t need to be bulky and rude to organise the best fucking festival in town. Also, the 500th year of rock in India was also held across numerous Indian cities.
A lot of good movies released this year. Personally, I loved Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris (excepting the forced Woody Allen-ish portrayal by Owen Wilson), Dhobi Ghat, I Am, Shor in the City and Shaitan amongst many others. Movies like Hangover II and Ra. One did not live up to most expectations while it would be safe to not even talk about others such as Green Lantern and Bodyguard.
Now, how the hell do you end a year-end article? You can be an optimist; you can be a pessimist; you can be a cynic or you can be a Mayan! But frankly, 2011 was just another year. When I say that, I emphasize on the fact that every year is more or less the same; whether we choose to believe it or not. Something is big; something is not. Something is good; something is not. But the fact remains – it IS just another year and another reason why anti-aging creams and Botox sell well.
Imogen Heap photograph by Anurag Banerjee