It’s 2012 week! Yes, another theme week because while the last week (1980) didn’t go exceptionally well, I see people going back to those articles again and again. Maybe it’s the year and not the theme, but we’ll see about that now. Oh, and because I really like doing these. I randomly picked another year and it turned out to be 2012. First, I wasn’t happy with it since it’s just two years ago and I wrote about four different 2012 films already. I mean, can I really attempt to get an idea of what 2012 meant? I don’t know, but because I reacted so negatively at first, I realized that this is a challenge. And I like challenges. I also wanted to do things a bit differently this time by starting off with a kind of overview first, the basis for the rest of the week. For that intent, I look at what happened in 2012 to see if I can draw any conclusions from it. And to review for myself what I know about this year. As of writing, I neither know what will come up in my movie analysis or other articles nor do I know what this overview will result in. I know which movies I will write about but that’s really it. Too experimental? I hope so! So, let’s all go and celebrate as if it's only two years ago.
Greece goes broke and Germany panics over it (leading to many anti-Greek articles in the BILD). There’s a coup in Mali, which eventually leads to a Western invasion of the country. The Higgs boson is discovered, but I don’t know what that means. The Summer Olympics are held in London and Mitt Romney embarrasses himself there. The Benghazi attack happens, keeping Barack Obama busy with finding new versions of the story behind it. Felix Baumgartner breaks the sound barrier by jumping 39 kilometers and nothing matters less. Barack Obama is reelected despite a strong lack of confidence in him, but since he is running against Mitt Romney, it’s not a surprise. Twelve people are shot during The Dark Knight Rises and 27 at the Sandy Hook Elementary school and more people will be shot in the future, because nothing happens beside the usual short-time hysteria. Whitney Houston dies without glamour, Trayvon Martin is shot, reminding everyone that a black president doesn’t change so much, Adam Yauch, Maurice Sendak and Ray Bradbury die as great artists, Tony Scott kills himself and is retro-celebrated,
I remember 2012. It was not a happy year. I really do remember that it felt like a bleak year. Occupy and Arab Spring were falling out of the media’s favor and instead we got invasions, shootings, terrorist attacks, bailouts and the dismal spectacle of the presidential election.
Some notable songs of this year: Set Fire to the Rain, Sexy and I Know It, Somebody That I Used to Know, Whistle, Call Me Maybe, Gangnam Style, Moves Like Jagger, Skyfall. So, there’s everything from the actually good (Adele) to the terrible (Flo Rida) and the ones you can’t get out of your head without actually liking them (the rest).
My favorite albums from that year are The Scarlet Beast O’Seven Heads by Get Well Soon, Synthetica by Metric and Shields by Grizzly Bear. I remember not liking a lot of music in that year, starting to fear that I’m getting old and losing my taste for good music. Luckily, I know now that this is not true and I either wasn’t open for music that year or it was just a bad year for music.
I don’t write about TV all that much here (yet), but it’s just as important to me as any other cultural event. So, in 2012 the phenomenon of Girls started (didn’t like it) and The Newsroom arrived and was not as acclaimed as it could have been (I liked it).
Out of the ten most successful movies of the year, I have seen only six but only one of the other four interests me (Skyfall). The top movies are The Avengers (good), The Dark Knight Rises (not so good) and The Hunger Games (okay). My favorite movies of 2012 include Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Looper. But I have only seen 25 movies from 2012 yet, so this is not very representative.
As far as I can tell, I’ve read only a couple of books from 2012: John Green’s uber-novel The Fault in Our Stars, which still electrifies teenagers everywhere (but I think it’s his least successful book), David Levithan’s Every Day (which I obviously loved) and Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole (a solid book).
Here’s why I didn’t read many books: I read 1,068 comic book issues from 2012. I had started with comics the year before, but 2012 was the breakout year. It’s the year of AvX and Mind MGMT (one of the best ongoing comics ever). Fatale (which I love even more in a different way) started and Saga too.
That’s everything I can think of for now. I maintain that 2012 was not a joyful year. Some of the biggest movie hits are dystopias, the central book for this current generation deals with death and there’s a certain disillusion with loss of Obama’s hope from 2008. Still, I’m excited to see what 2012 brings. I hope you feel the same. I always do.