DEC. 21, 2012
Events WILL SMITHERS Associate Editor
Worst LEAH SARNOFF Associate Editor
If the London Olympics will be remembered for anything, it is humanity. The Beijing Olympics opened with a dazzling display of militaristic organization and might—a pseudo-propaganda performance. This year’s opened with a story. A history of England moved on towards tributes towards popular culture, literature and health services. And James Bond jumped out of a helicopter with the queen. More importantly, however, are the athletes. Gabby Douglas and the Fab 5 won the hearts of America, Farah brought Britain a gold as BBC commentators leapt from their seats, and Liu Xiang ﬁnished the hurdles on one foot after injuring himself. It was a human olympics, and one to be remembered.
Two horriﬁc mass murders that took place this year were the Connecticut school shooting and the Colorado Theater shooting. On July 20, a gunman murdered twelve victims in a Colorado movie theater thirty minutes into the premiere of the latest Batman movie dressed as one of the villains himself. Later in the year, on Dec. 14, the hearts of people across the nation beamed empathy upon hearing the news that another gunman shot up an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, killing twenty children and eight adults. Through the sadness and grief, America has risen to support the victims of these two attacks.
The World Not Ending
Congratulations! If you are reading this, the world did not end. Although the fauxhysteria has been marked by capitalization rather than chaos, lightly taken doomsday predictions have generated a culturally signiﬁcant fad that reminds us how fortunate we are to live on, rather than all perish in the blink of an eye. Despite the Mayan calendar ending today and the supposed collision with another planet, NASA assures us that life will carry on, so look forward to the future. And at the dawn of Dec. 22, all of the hype will stop abruptly. Just like the Mayan calendar…
2012 had its ups and its downs to say the least, but when tragedy struck the East Coast with damage from Hurricane Sandy, the year hit one of its lowest points. This havoc-riddled natural disaster demolished portions of the Caribbean, The Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern United States throughout late October. Sandy became the largest Atlantic Hurricane on record, and at the height of its strength was classiﬁed as a Category 2 storm. Hurricane Sandy easily won a spot on the 2012 Worst Events list due to the damage and wretchedness it brought to countless American Families.
Best Twitter Personalities
THE BEST of &WORST The Iliad staff votes on the highlights of the 2012 year
DEC. 21, 2012
Fads ALEXANDRA ESCOBAR Artist
Worst JAWAN AQIL Staff Writer
With over 500 million active users, the sense of identity and likeability gives individuals an opportunity to gain a new kind of fame-- a Twitter personality. Andrew Evans (@ wheresandrew) is wandering the globe in pursuit of travel experiences. First he made his way south from Washington, D.C., to Antarctica by bus. Next up was Australia, where he covered 18,000 miles on a wild, unscripted journey. Another famous Twitter personality, @ﬁllwerrell, uses his twitter account solely to entertain his audience and provide a good laugh while social networking. Whatever the use, Twitter has became an easy way to state an opinion, short and sweet.
Ratchet: “A diva, mostly from urban cities and ghettos that has reason to believe she is every man’s eye candy. Unfortunately, she’s wrong” (Urban Dictionary). This made up term has reached stardom this year by being overused by all the wannabe R&B rappers and “gangsters” out there who feel like real O.G.’s by describing a girl or woman in this connotation. “Ratchet” is quite possibly the most annoying phrase for a person to say. For example, “Yo dawg that gurl be so ratchet she don’t even know doe.” Yes because sounding like a two-year old talking about a mechanical device, which is what in the REAL world ratchet means, makes you look so ﬂy homie.
Much overseas talent is sweeping the nation, just like The Beatles did half a century ago. The ﬁve members of One Direction draw fanatical fans with their very appearance. Ed Sheeran, who has garnered the nickname “Ginger Jesus,” extends his talent to raise money for charity events throughout Britain and the United States. The Wanted, an English-Irish boy band, was honored to have their ﬁrst album debut in the top 100. As the second British invasion continues, a roar of new sounds and exceptional talent follows, and the crowds of screaming young girls continue.
Thanks to Drizzy Drake himself, the term “YOLO” has reached great heights this past year, from students writing it on their tests when stumped and perplexed by a difﬁcult question, to people all around taking risks and living by this motto, “you only live once”; however, too much of something is never good. People think saying “YOLO” after every little thing, makes them seem dangerous and gives them the image that they are living on the edge, when in reality it makes them look stupid. For example, “I’m going to the grocery store and not bringing my coupons with me! YOLO! ” That is not a YOLO, that is a no go.
2012 Congratulations, you have survived.
Most Talked About The Election
ETHAN DECKER Associate Editor
Undoubtedly one of the most important events of the year, the 2012 election spurred much controversy when people took to social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook to share their passionate political views. Obama and Romney were subject to scrutiny as millions of Americans sought to ﬁnd any ﬂaws with the candidate that opposed their views. Despite this negativity, there was also a mass amount of positive support of candidates, and some people were able to express their views in a respectful way. The disagreements have still yet to die down completely, but at least the commercials have gone away.
Best Ellen DeGegeneres
In March, the entire world’s attention turned towards one 30 minute video. Over 100 million views later, Kony 2012 has been one of the most celebrated yet controversial movements in recent memory. At the time of the video’s release, it was widely praised as bringing awareness to a previously unknown topic; however, future research led to many people speculating over Invisible Children’s ﬁnancial decisions and whether or not Kony was still in action. The controversy continued when the video’s director was arrested in San Diego for extremely inappropriate behavior in public. Celebrities began to show their support for the movement, and the director’s arrest was parodied on South Park. The controversy died down fairly quickly, but the video’s success is undeniable.
People ANNA VAUS Staff Writer
ETHAN DECKER Associate Editor
Worst BRIGID McCARTHY Associate Editor
Ellen reached several milestones in her career this year that will continue to resonate throughout the upcoming seasons of her hit television show. But aside from her tenth season, Walk of Fame star, and Mark Twain Prize, Ellen accomplished several other amazing feats in honor of others. Ellen raised over ﬁfty thousand dollars for breast cancer research, gave several deserving viewers cars, and surprised two families in need with newly built and newly furnished houses. Over all, Ellen was a constant light and laugh in a year when many tragedies and natural disasters struck the nation.
Lance Armstrong has a long history of doping accusations, but this year it came to an end when he decided not to ﬁght the charges. In 2012, his former teammates gave a detailed description of how he doped and did not get caught. Armstrong was stripped of all his titles from 1998 to 2012, including his seven ﬁrst place Tour de France titles. In addition to having his titles removed, Armstrong is banned from professional cycling competitions for the rest of his life. Despite his charity work, his cheating with performance enhancing drugs has made him one of 2012’s worst people.
After making her mark as hilarious Brynn in “Bridesmaids” and receiving Female Actor of the Year in 2009, Rebel Wilson quickly became a favorite actress to many. But this year, her recent role as Fat Amy in “Pitch Perfect” won the heart and funny bones of thousands more adults, teens and movie lovers everywhere. Along with her comedic movie appearances, Rebel Wilson is also known for her hilarious personality and great vocal skills which can be heard in “Pitch Perfect.” All together, Rebel Wilson was deﬁnitely one of the best and funniest people this year, both on and off screen.
The former CIA Director and leader of forces in Iraq caused an uproar in November after it became public knowledge that he was having an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. Petraeus was also at the center of a larger scandal involving himself, Broadwell, another woman named Jill Kelley, and an FBI agent. After Broadwell and Petraeus’s affair had ended, Broadwell sent threatening emails to Kelley, who she believed was involved with Petraeus. After receiving the emails, Kelley showed them to an unnamed FBI agent before the story became national news. Petraeus resigned from his position at the CIA on Nov. 9, 2012 after the information about his affair was made public.
Best Lana Del Rey
Music MARWA SAFI Entertainment Editor
KELSEY ATKINSON News Editor
This year the music industry saw the sudden rise of Lana Del Rey. The singer/songwriter jumped into the scene when her ﬁrst single, “Video Games,” was released in late 2011. With the combination of her striking looks and unique voice, Del Rey made an immediate impression in the indie pop crowd. Clearly drawing her inspiration from Marilyn Monroe and Nancy Sinatra, Del Rey is sure to become an icon herself. “Born to Die” is easily one of the best albums of this year because it’s built of well written songs that are not easily disposable like many other albums released this year.
Recently, the band Maroon 5 has been less about the music and more about the pop culture of the music industry. The band, formerly pop-rock, has transformed its music with a more modern day pop. They have also been described as “Adam Levine and the band,” because of obsesion with Levine, leaving the rest of its members in the dust. With their overplayed songs like “Payphone” and “One More Night,” this band has surely gone downhill this year.
Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj
This past year, Frank Ocean achieved what I considered to be near impossible-- making R&B mean something again. When ﬁrst hearing about Ocean, many people (myself included) assumed he was just another commercial R&B artist singing about independent women (Ne-yo), but when you stop and listen to his album, Channel Orange, you realize how wrong you were. His songs are beautifully written and so raw that you feel every emotion he felt while writing the songs.
The infamous teenage heartthrob teamed up this year with the controversial rapper to perform the song “Beauty and a Beat.” Now the song may be catchy, but the pairing of these two opposite performers probably wasn’t the best idea considering Nicki Minaj’s language in the song, which does not appeal to Bieber’s younger audience, along wirh the innapropriate dancing that take place during the music video making this an all-over fail for the two.