Dec 31, 2011

Ze List v1.0

In the spirit of having lists, 2011 was among the most interesting year in this decade.

Ze List is my take on what was interesting, on what made the cut, what didn't and what mattered this year. (In order of importance, of course)



Though an unusual entry at Ze List, I think it is important to understand that everything that happens in our life happens for a distinct reason.


Arab Springs

Stumbling through critical policy matters, fumbling with crisis our politicians have managed to sleep walk through 2011. Yet again.



The sheer volume of money that was siphoned off this year boggled the mind’s arithmetic. There was an average of new scandal a month.



In 140 characters, much of the world spoke to each other this year. Against injustice, discontent, joy, sorrow and everything in between.



Lending itself to the lexicon, the Arab world erupted against autocratic rulers and ruthless democracies with a vengeance that does not seem to die.


Julian Assange

Offering a glimmer of hope, what started out as a promise is threatening to fizzle out. Anna needs to strategize and stabilize.



Japan is not new to natural calamities or man-made disasters. As if a devastating earthquake, a huge tsunami in its aftermath was not enough, the nation reeled under the familiar threat of a nuclear holocaust.



The City of Dreams had another nightmare. While any other city in the world would have learned their lesson from 26/11, Mumbai appears to forget. Snooze.



A little known whistle-blower site founded by Julian Assange became the nemesis of much of the world’s corrupt, by leaking top secret diplomatic cables and documents. Embarrassed, the West scrambled to muzzle the whistle, Assange has always managed to stay one step ahead every single time.

Meanwhile, he’s promised to reveal the account holders of all that money that has been siphoned off India into tax havens abroad in 2012. Now, that should be interesting!



As the world continued its love story with fossil fuels, Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) will continue to call the shots. Here’s to another year that went to fluctuating crude prices.


Conrad Murray

In an attempt to show the world and an embarrassment to the government, a government planning commission declares that anyone who earns more than Rs 32/- a day is over the poverty line and cannot be entitled to schemes for individuals below poverty level.

Well, Mr Planning Commissioner 1987 called and they wanted your 32 rupees back.



Against a disease that still kills millions of individuals across the world, a vaccine against the disease is just what the doctor prescribed.



Progress.

For a nation that has the largest and cheapest workforce and the fastest growing infrastructure in the world, China is perhaps one of those nations you can’t afford (pun intended) to ignore.



It appears like we finally managed to get our sneakers all nice and ready. Starting with a really good show at the CWG last year, the winning streak continued with good shows at tennis and…


Pope Benedict

… yes, Cricket too. We won the World Cup. Finally, some justification to all the millions that we pay to our over-rated and over dramatic cricket players.



The physician who lived his dream of that one famous client as he walked into the sunset, was finally convicted to a four year prison sentence for administering the fatal dose of surgical anesthetic that killed the king of Pop- Michael Jackson.  



It’s all about the Oil, honey.



With Iraq finally within Uncle Sam’s kitty, it was time to move on to Iran.


Suresh Kalmadi & Tihar Co.

After the fiasco called CWG, much drama and many investigations, Mr Kalmadi finally got the axe. Well, maybe he was just the most convenient scapegoat but was soon united with many of his colleagues for company.



Starting off as a politician with a squeaky clean image, the chief minister of the southern state of Karnataka showed how he was like any of the other jerks around him – Corrupt and Power hungry.

Along went his compatriots in corruption, the Reddy brothers who stripped entire mountains in the mineral rich region of Bellery for it’s iron ore. Billions looted.


Britney Spears

With an economy that has been feverish for a very long time, its cousin from across the Atlantic sent stock exchanges around the world into a tizzy when crisis hit. Credit ratings fell and so did the CEO of the credit agency that downgraded the rating.



When you’re bailed out by money that really belongs to the people, you normally wouldn’t think of taxing them anymore. A decision by Bank of America (BOFA) to charge 5% monthly was perhaps one of the many ill informed decisions that the bank regretted. Victory lap, anyone?



Paid for the sins; who as Cardinal Ratzinger oversaw pedophile priests.  



Was supposed to the Facebook killer.

Didn’t happen.


Muammar Gaddafi

If it was Saddam earlier, this year we had Gaddafi.

For all the bodyguards that surrounded him during his hay days, the utterly miserable he died at the hands of his citizens was a lesson that we wish autocratic rulers and despotic dictators would learn.



For much of the beginning of the year, all the empire really spoke about was The Wedding. *Yawn*



After almost crashing and burning, Britney reinvented herself. She’s back!



Overseeing the last bastion of communist rule, Kim Jong 2 held a tight grip over North Korea and managed to taunt the West until his death at 69.


Swami Nithyananda

After being implicated in an embarrassing tape that showed him in a compromising position with a regional movie actress and devotee, he managed to slip into oblivion unable to stand the uncomfortable glare of the media and society. Did we all say ‘Déjà vu’



The self styled godman and philanthropist died after multiple organ failure. Alas, the search for a god that is immortal continues.



One of handful of people who changed the world this century, he was unceremoniously killed by highly trained SEALS in a covert operation in the one place where he shouldn’t have been – Pakistan.


Sheela, Murderous Women and DK Bose

Talk about going viral. This year was a year of movie songs that went viral and beyond borders as Indians across the nation asked ‘Why this Kolaveri de?’. Maybe, this is what we need to ask Pakistan and our government.


MF Hussain

Shorn by his motherland, MF spent the last few decades of his life with his eccentricities as a nomad, finally dying in Qatar.



The inventor of C, the computer programming language, Dennis’s death barely created a ripple as his death was overshadowed by the death of a more iconic compatriot...


Dennis Ritchie



Enough has been said of and about one of the most ‘iconic’ CEO’s. Hardly a philanthropic or as charitable as any of other CEO’s of his time, his death resulted in worldwide mourning.



From being a central government Minister, she fought the Communists and won state elections and became the chief minister of the north eastern Indian state of West Bengal (aka Paschimbanga). A firebrand and a populist, she is one politician to watch out for.



Looks like all kinds of clowns are predicting the end of the world. Harold’s failed doomsday predictions made him the laughing stock among the believers and non-believers alike. Harold, start preparing for the 21st Dec, 2012.


Tablet Wars 

If Apple set the cat among the pigeons by launching the iPad, 2011 saw a slew of companies releasing their versions of the iPad killers. Not much luck there.


Harold Camping

3D everything

3D movies became all the rage. Even television and mobile phones.  
Imagine watching Freddie vs Jason on 3D.



The Guvornator and his wife of 25 years; Maria Shriver separated after it was revealed that he had cheated on his wife and fathered a son with one of the domestic help.



The iconic and much married Hollywood diva died leaving much of Hollywood grieving and reminiscing.


Rupert Murdoch

The news magnate had to apologise for unauthorized phone taps. Reality bytes.



Cheaters, the TV show earned a right to be on Ze List, sheerly because of the way, you are reminded of how partners will cheat and when confronted fight back, and still want to “get the f*&$#W@* cameras out of my face”. Isn’t it interesting that they all wanted to be asked if they were cheating in private? Ya right.



The 116 year old masonry gravity Dam has been one of the few bones of contention between Tamil Nadu (who has a 999 year lease on the dam) and Kerala (in whose land the dam is situated). Several quakes and an aging Dam have put the two states at loggerheads.



In the Red. Both literally and figuratively.


Angry Birds

Caught the imagination of the kids within us. Was certainly not good for birds though!



Acquired by Microsoft. Finally.



Returned to the hot seat after a short sabbatical. Back to business.



Tried to create a sequel to the ‘Arab Springs’. Ended up with a spoof.


Rebecca Black

And after several months in prison, the investigating agency botched up the one chance they had to punish the guilty for the biggest accounting fraud in Indian corporate history.



After keeping the nation guessing on whether he will be running for presidency or not, he decided he would rather stick with ‘The Apprentice’ for now.  
He would have made for an interesting Prez though!


Rebecca Black 'Friday'

A hit solo, 'Friday', with it’s catchy tune went viral within a few weeks since it was illegally uploaded on online video sharing portals. Well, any publicity is good publicity for a budding 14 year old.



Crash, burn, booze, babes. Repeat cycle.



One of the few very successful female Asian porn performers, her entry into the Indian version of the Bigg Boss, made headlines across India. Toeing a fine line, she has managed to stay in the news.


Sunny Leone

Marriages are no longer made in heaven. 72 days after they proclaimed undying love in a ‘made for media’ marriage, they completed their marital duties too. I guess marriages are now made over business lunches and sealed tight with a prenup.



After a pretty forgettable 2010 and much of the years before that, Beckham bounced back to prove why you must still bend it like Beckham.



One word – Cute.



Touched all the right chords. Spoke all the right words. Poignant.


Kim Kardashian

Another brutal reminder that the world does not need an Al Qeada or a Saddam Hussein. Just one pathetic, depressed dude with a meticulous plan to kill.



For proving that movies are only meant to rake in the moolah and not because they must entertain. We could certainly see/hear a lot less of the king of mediocre movies.



Barely made it to Ze List. I hear she is happy now.
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