Ah, when historians look back
on the year 2011, what will be the events that best sum up these past twelve
months? The Arab Spring, no doubt. The giant sucking black hole that is the
global economy. And important medical advances, like the dog that can detect
colon and rectal cancer simply by sniffing your poo.
2011 has also shown us how
important a tool Internet social media has become. Whether it's for organizing
protests against oppressive regimes, coordinating violent flash mobs of
looters, or exposing — literally — the sexual misadventures of
American politicians. And speaking of politicians, it'll be quite a while
before we have as memorable — and entertaining — a crop of
goofballs, horndogs and wackos as this year's Republican presidential hopefuls.
Finally, it's been a year
full of important trials and legal drama. I must thank my chief legal counsel
and daughter, Chedda Cheese, for her advice and editing. Have a great 2012,
This does not bode well: New
Year's Eve revelers in Beebe, Arkansas, are freaked out when thousands of dead
blackbirds fall from the skies, and massive fish deaths are reported in
Maryland, Brazil and New Zealand. Witches in Romania, angered over new taxes on
witchcraft-related earnings, vow to cast spells on the country's president and
government. Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is shot and critically wounded at a public event in
Tucson; six others are killed in the attack. The U.S. federal debt reaches a
record-breaking $14 trillion. Nearly immortal fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne dies at age 96. Social unrest and upheaval in Tunisia
and Egypt heralds a new political era in the Arab world. Indy's coolest
meteorologist, Chris Wright, turns
50, uber-blowhard Rush Limbaugh
turns 60, folk singer Joan Baez
turns 70, and basso-profundo actor James Earl Jones turns 80.
Indianapolis is covered with
a crunchy layer of snow and ice as a huge winter storm sweeps through the
Midwest. Researchers announce they have trained a Labrador retriever to detect
colon/rectal cancer by smelling a patient's breath or doo-doo. Hosni Mubarak steps down as Egypt's president. Italy's premier Silvio
Berlusconi is charged with paying a
17-year-old Moroccan girl for sex. IBM's giant computer Watson defeats two former "Jeopardy!" champions in a 3-day
tournament. Libyans call for dictator Moammar Gadhafi to resign – instead he turns on his own people
and the country devolves into bloody chaos. Indiana House Democrats evacuate
the Capitol to protest labor and education legislation. Revenge of the humans:
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), a
5-time "Jeopardy!" champ from 35 years ago and former rocket scientist, defeats
IBM's Watson in a "Jeopardy!"
Delusional actor Charlie
Sheen and deranged dictator Moammar
Gadhafi make televised appearances
proving that they're both completely bat-shit crazy. The national unemployment
rates drops to 8.9%. A powerful earthquake and tsunami devastates north-eastern
Japan, leaving uncountable thousands dead and severely damaging nuclear power
plants in the region. U.S., French and British forces blast Libyan air defense
sites. Actor Leonard Nimoy –
better known as Mr. Spock –
turns 80. After 35 days, Indiana House Democrats return to the Statehouse
– um, yay?
No fooling, a lot of wild
weather going on across the US: tornadoes, floods, drought, wildfires, massive
thunderstorms. More rain falls in Indiana this month (9.2 inches) than it has
in over 100 years. Meanwhile in the Middle East and various Arab nations,
turmoil and bloodshed are the order of the day. (Yikes – maybe those
kooky "End Times" people are right!)
Osama bin Laden sleeps with the fishes: literally – Navy SEALs
shoot him dead and his body is deposited in the sea. Chump Donald Trump is dumped as Indy 500 pace car driver. "The Donald" announces he will not run for the highest office in
the land, but says if he did, he'd win. Former California governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger admits to fathering a
child with a household staff member more than a decade ago – wife Maria
Shriver is royally pissed off.
RAPTURE! Oops, no. Mitch says he
will not run. Actor (and Harry Cheese
look-alike) George Clooney turns
50, the Senate's funniest member, Al Franken (D-MN) turns 60, and iconic folk and rock star Bob
Dylan turns 70. A gala musical
extravaganza, Norapalooza, is held at the Jazz Kitchen to celebrate the 50th
birthday of local philanthropist, writer, barmaid and all-around cool chick, Nora
Spitznogle. Dan Wheldon wins his second Indy 500.
Super actress Natalie
Portman turns 30, colorful pop singer
Boy George turns 50, and Stones'
drummer Charlie Watts turns 70.
Assisted-suicide hero/villain Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian dies of natural causes at age 83.Washington tool pulls a real boner:
comically named Rep. Anthony Weiner
(D-NY) admits to sending lewd e-mails, texts and pics to half a dozen women.
After being skewered and roasted by the press and the public, Weiner resigns. New York becomes the sixth state to legalize
American hero Joey
Chestnut wins his fifth consecutive
first place prize at Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney
Island, NY. America's worst mom, Casey Anthony, is found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old
daughter Caylee. The national
unemployment rate creeps up to 9.2%. Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid News of the World shuts down after a national scandal involving
phone-hacking. A sweltering heat wave covers virtually all of the U.S. Manic
funnyman Robin Williams turns 60.
Norwegian madman Anders Breivik
kills 77 people in an Oslo bombing and a youth camp shooting rampage. Soulful
singer Amy Winehouse dies at 27,
rock 'n roll's deadliest age.
Congress passes a last-minute
debt bill, staving off a U.S. financial default. Homemaking expert and ex-con Martha Stewart turns 70, President Barack Obama turns 50, and singer and sperm surrogate David
Crosby somehow survives to 70.
Standard and Poor's downgrades its U.S. credit rating to AA+. Riots rage in
London and several other British cities, spawned by public spending cuts and
racial tensions. Unbelievably stupid state lawmaker Phil Hinkle (R-Indpls.) uses his publicly listed e-mail address
on Craigslist to set up a hotel tryst with a young man, and gets caught –
duh. Seven people are killed or fatally injured when a powerful wind gust
topples a stage roof and rigging at the Indiana State Fair. Apple's wizard/CEO Steve
Jobs resigns. Legendary game show
host Monty Hall turns 90.
Hurricane Irene whips along the NE coast, leaving 46 dead over 13 states. The
last of America's first generation of bluesmen, David "Honeyboy" Edwards," dies at age 96.
Pregnant pop superstar Beyonce turns 30, the world's coolest girl rocker,
Chrissie Hynde turns 60, country
music legend George Jones turns
80, and sexy/spooky actress Cassandra Peterson ("Elvira, Mistress of the Dark") is a well-preserved
60. Former Pacers bad boy Ron Artest
has his name officially changed to Metta World Peace – in response, local man Jeff Ayers changes his name to All-Out World War. The U.S. military's discriminatory DADT policy is
repealed. The world's unluckiest hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, are freed after spending more than two years in an Iranian prison.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
applies for creation of a state of Palestine and U.N. membership.
Mama said, "Knox you out!"
After spending four years in an Italian prison on a murder conviction, Amanda
Knox is exonerated and released. The
Occupy Wall Street protests grow larger and spread to other cities. Annoying
singer Sting and rocker/activist
Bob Geldolf turn 60; syrupy-smooth
rapper Snoop Dogg hits 40.
American innovative giant Steve Jobs
dies at age 56. Sir Paul McCartney
marries American heiress Nancy Shevell. Two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon is killed in a horrific multi-car crash at the Las
Vegas Motor Speedway. Moammar "Daffy" Gadhafi is a dead duck. The world's population reaches an
estimated 7 billion.
Kooky skeezer Mariah
Yeater accuses teen heartthrob Justin
Bieber of making a baby, baby, baby
with her in a dressing-room bathroom – her paternity suit is withdrawn
after it is revealed that she was just after the Biebs' money. Dr. Conrad Murray is taken away in handcuffs after a jury finds him
guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop icon Michael Jackson. Penn State is embroiled in a disturbing and
disgusting child sex abuse scandal – alleged pervert Jerry Sandusky becomes the most hated man in America. Mayor Greg
Ballard is re-elected. Facing
national economic meltdowns, Prime Ministers George Papandreou of Greece and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy agree to resign; Yemen's embattled president
Ali Abdullah Saleh also calls it
quits. Rock's unluckiest drummer, Pete Best, turns 70.
The U.S. unemployment rate
drops to 8.6%. His campaign kicked in the nuts by allegations of sexual
harassment and marital infidelity, Herman Cain ends his bid to become the Republican presidential
nominee. Moronic former governor of Illinois Rob Blagojevich is sentenced to 14 years in prison for his
over-the-top governmental corruption. LOWE'S BLOWES: Corporate weenies at
Lowe's bow to pressure from some nut group in Florida and cancel their ad on
TLC's reality series All-American Muslim – protests, boycotts and mockery ensue. From "shock and awe,"
missing WMDs and Abu Ghraib to 4,487 U.S. military deaths, more than 100,000
Iraqi lives lost and a cost of about $800 billion, the Iraq War finally ends.
North Korea's Kim Jong Il joins
The Dead Dictators Club – with Osama, Gadhafi and the Jongster gone, Santa Claus has a lot less coal to deliver this Christmas season!