- Politics and Social Issues
Memorable Events of 2013: What Stuck With Us
Out with the old, or not? Here are the events of 2013 that will stick with us forever.
What Makes An Event Stick With Us?
Tragedy. Disaster. Jubilee. Milestones. Goodbyes. These are among the types of events that will stay embedded in our minds, hearts, souls, and spirits as we continue through our life's journeys. These events may change the way we think, react, eat, or interact. These events may shape our ideals, inspire us, haunt us, or even spark an "ah-ha' moment either now or in the future. Whatever the impact, these events were shared. Shared with your family, Shared with your colleagues. Shared with your congregations. Shared with OUR generation. These events became water cooler topics, the center of our intimate prayers or, perhaps, if you're lucky enough, you babbled humorous banter of them during a warm Sunday dinner with your loved ones. The following major events of 2013 may evoke a chuckle, a tear, a fear, or a scowl for many forever and ever. That is why they STICK WITH US.
The Boston Bombings
On April 15, 2013 the Tsarnaev brothers did the unthinkable. In just 12 seconds they managed to destroy countless lives and force fear down the throat of every American. Two bombs were aimed at those gathered to cheer on the runners of the Boston Marathon. Many fled but others ran toward the bombs in hopes of savings strangers. Among the three people killed that day was MIT police officer Sean Collier, age 27. The manhunt that followed resulted in one brother being run over by a Mercedes and the other brother being discovered by heat radar in a boat being stored in a backyard.
U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA
On June 25 and 26, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on significant issues involving gay marriage. The court deemed the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. DOMA defined marriage as being between a man and a women. DOMA existed courtesy of Bill Clinton some 17 years ago. The landmark decision reflected the direction that our nation is heading in, in terms of civil rights. The decision also gave gay men and women the liberties that they deserve under the Fifth Amendment.
The Murder Of Trayvon Martin
George Zimmerman, a 28 year old neighborhood watchman from Sanford, FL went on trial for the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. The verdict - NOT GUILTY. This case was very reminiscent of the O.J. Simpson trial and the Rodney King trial in that the commotion quickly became a white vs. black issue. The trial brought forth the racial divides of our nation and inspired massive protests across the country. President Obama chimed in with his two cents stating that, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." Really, Obama?
House of Horrors - 3 Women As Sex Slaves
2207 Seymour Avenue, Cleveland, OH. That's the working class address where Ariel Castro, 52, held three young women hostage and abused them. Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and Amanda Berry (along with her 6 year old daughter from Castro) were beaten, tortured and tormented for approximately ten years. Castro was even present for DeJesus' vigil as he watched her family weep for their daughter which he was holding captive in his home. Eventually, Berry escaped and begged a neighbor to call 911. Berry's courageous act brought officers to the scene within minutes, freeing the the girls. Castro was found guilty for 937 of the 977 charges against him and was sentenced to life in prison plus 1000 years. Three weeks after the house of horrors incident, Castro hung himself in prison. That's the easy way out, I guess.
Angelina's Preventative Double Mastectomy
On May 14, 2013, the beautiful actress and activist Angelina Jolie went public with her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. Her decision was based on information that she received revealing that she carried a genetic mutation that increased her odds of developing breast cancer to a terrible 87% and ovarian cancer to 50%. Those are some high odds. She stated that her decision to publicize her procedure was done in the hopes of empowering other women. Jolie's doctor estimates that she reduced her chances of getting breast cancer from 87% to just 5%. Fake or real they still look delicious.
Introduction of the E-Cigarette
Electronic cigarettes hit the scene and changed the smoking scene forever. Electronic cigarettes clobbered the combustible cigarette market this year with estimated sales of $1.8 billion. The selling point: no smell, no smoke, no regulations, and cool flavors. They are also regarded as safer since you get your nicotine fix without all the bad stuff. Well, did you think that Uncle Sam would allow all of this to happen without dipping his ugly little paws in the mix? The FDA will soon be regulating the online sales, flavors, and TV marketing of the new electronic cigs. Puff, puff pass?
Boston Wins the World Series
On April 15, 2013 (after Bostonians were clobbered by the recent marathon bombings) the Redsox vowed to bring the championship trophy home to Fenway Park. With bushy beards and determination, they defeated the St.Louis Cardinals in six games. This was the third time they would win the World series in one decade.
Ravens Take The Super Bowl
The Baltimore Ravens claimed victory over the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans during Super Bowl XLVII. The showdown was nicknamed the Harbaugh Bowl, or Harbowl, as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh squared off against older brother John, the Ravens coach, in the first such rivalry in NFL history.
Lebron James is Lebron James
Lebron. Need I say more? In case you've been under a rock, Lebron James won his fourth MVP award, ranking him with legends like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain. He also led the Heat to an impressive 27 game winning streak this year and led the his team to victory over the San Antonio spurs in the NBA finals.
On Demand, Streaming and Netflix Programs
2013 brought with it a new way of watching TV. Americans are no longer tuning into traditional channels to watch their favorite shows. Shows like Breaking Bad, Homeland, and House of Cards have smashed the traditional way we view TV. Streaming TV programs like Orange Is The New Black on Netflix and other online outlets have become very popular and extremely convenient. We are also using DVR's to record our programs and utilizing our "on-demand" options within our cable provider's network.
"Twerking" and "Selfie" Were Added To The Dictionary
Oh, Miley!! Twerking, the raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs is among the new words added to the Oxford Dictionary of English. Urban dictionary.com defines twerking as "the act of moving/ shaking ones ass/buns/bottom/buttocks/bum-bum in a circular, up-and-down, and side-to-side motion." This definition has to better than Oxford's. You betta, Twerk!!
Other words such as selfie also made their debut in the dictionary's quarterly online update. A selfie is "a picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person's arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them." Come on. We've all taken a selfie or two (or three).
Adios 2013, Make Room For 2014
Well there you have it, folks - my 2013 year in review. There were other events that I would also like to highlight with bullets points because they should be mentioned:
- Pop music blurs lines through genre and generations (think Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw)
- Baseball drug scandal (think ARod)
- Diana Nyad, 64, swims from Cuba to Florida
- Coming out of Jason Collins (gay NBA player)
- Death of James Gandolfini (Tony Saprano)
- The rising of the Freedom Tower
- Nerve gas attack launched by President Bashar Assad of Syria on his own people
- Government Shutdown over Obamacare
Cheers to a great and eventful 2014. Happy New Year!