And the nominees are:
Mother Nature - Never a more harsher mistress
2011 saw its share of natural disasters. We had falling birds in January. Dead fish on the shores. Dead crabs in England. Then the biggie, an 8.9 magnitude Earthquake which caused a tsunami that devastated parts of Japan including a nuclear reactor. Another Earthquake in Myanmar. Tornadoes in my backyard, which spawned this..
We can joke about it but that's because no one was seriously injured, not like the 180 people in Alabama in April. Then the Mississippi flooded its banks causing more destruction. A volcano in Iceland blew its wad, grounding international air travel. And the rest of the year was marked with more dead aquatic life, volcanoes and earthquakes. Quite a year we had, eh? Mother Nature; don't piss her off.
Death - becomes a third place candidate
Death had a busy year it seems...
Here's a small list...
Steve Jobs, Amy Winehouse, Joe Frazier, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Cooper, Jane Russell, Peter Falk, Harry Morgan, Cliff Robertson, Michael Gough, Frances Bay, Clairce Taylor, Patrice O’Neal, Pete Postlethwaite, Annette Charles, Jeff Conaway, Unlce Leo (Seinfeld) and Uncle Frank (Jimmy Kimmel), Sherwood Schwartz, Bubba Smith, Andy Whitfield, Duke Snider, Harmon Killbrew, Al Davis, Macho Man Randy Savage, Jack Lalane, Dan Wheldon, Mikey Welsh, Jerry Leiber, Pinetop Perkins, David Honeyboy Edwards, Paul Motian, Willie Big Eyes Smith, Heavy D, Jon Bon Jovi... no wait, he just had a headache, Jani Lane, Dobie Gray, Dolores Hope, Clarence Clemmons, Betty Ford, Geraldine Ferraro, Jack Kevorkian, 460 casualties in war on terror operations, All that and Andy Rooney
But for all the people Death took from us, he failed to take all of the people in the rapture, twice. So, either Harold Camping is full of shit or Death was asleep at the wheel. Guess which is more likely...
Vancouver Stanley Cup Rioters - Love among the chaos
It's never easy when your team loses the big game. The Steelers found that out twice in 15 years when they lost their second Super Bowl out of eight appearances to the Green Bay Packers. The Penguins were eliminated by Tampa Bay in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to Tampa Bay and by the end of it the underdog Vancouver Canucks were left to face off against Boston. Vancouver lost.
However, when Pittsburgh wins a championship, we trash the city, burn couches and what not. The South Side resembles a scene out of the remake of Dawn of the Dead with hundreds, if not thousands of people in the streets. But Vancouver took the loss of the Stanley Cup finals a little too hard and basically destroyed Vancouver. In the middle of it all, two people posed for a defining moment in the mess, kissing in the middle of the street behind baton wielding officers. Ahh, amore.
John Pike - I spray everyone I meet like that
TIME called 'The Protestor' their person of the year. Between the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, 2011 became the year of the angry citizen.
Amidst the chaos of the 'Occupy UC Davis' protests, a group of protesters were seated in an area and then Officer John Pike went down the line pepper spraying them in the eyes while mobile devices recorded the entire exchange. Instantly, Pike gained Internet infamy as his image was 'shopped' into various works of art and pop culture moments. Just goes to show you when the right protests they're called patriots. When the left do it, they're called dirty drum circle hippies that need a good pepper spraying.
And the winner is...
In my initial rundown of all the nominees I was very clear on who I was going to pick before I wrote up the posts. It's not that I had a preconceived notion of who would win, but clearly the odds were heavily in favor of some more than others. However, in this category I found it hard to determine a winner.
Death is always a safe bet because he tends to hurt everyone connected to those that have died. My childhood gets wrecked every year and 2011 was no exception, especially with the losses like Harry Morgan, Peter Falk, Clarence Clemmons, and Bubba Smith. The losses among soldiers trying to help protect us overseas is also a hard pill to swallow. Death will always have a place on my all time d-bag list, to be published sometime around 2075, if he doesn't come calling for me sooner, but for now he's simply an acceptable evil in the world. After all, 2011 also saw the death of Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong Il, and that guy whose name no one can spell over in Libya, so there are some acceptable losses.
The Occupy Movement has provided me with enough rage fodder to keep me going until 2013 but John Pike is merely one man and has affected one group of people. He's obviously in worse shape off this list than on it, so while he carries a huge impact he's still just an idiot that abused his position of power.
I guess that means Mother Nature has to be the winner. Why not the Vancouver rioters? I feel bad for them. Their team couldn't win the championship game for a sport their country invented. I mean when was the last time a team won the World Series that wasn't in the United States? 1993. The Toronto Blue Jays. Coincidentally, 1993 was the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.
So, look for Mother Nature to be competing in the finals.