On March 11, 2011, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the east coast of Japan. I pretty much had a front-row seat for it due to the fact that I was flat on my ass in the hospital fighting a bacterial infection on the site of a previous hernia repair. Because I was restricted to my hospital bed, I had cable TV and my smartphone (which I just got the previous month) to keep up with the world at large. When the news of the earthquake hit in Japan, I was glued to CNN. I couldn’t stop thinking of the horror of it all, and it got worse when the Fukushima nuclear power plants suffered catastrophic meltdowns (the second largest after the 1986 Chernobyl incident.)
A lot has happened in the year since then. Despite the tragedy in Japan, life has pretty much gone on as normal (and that is a subjective term, considering how fucked up the world at large is.) Some of the notable events since that day in March have been (and these were what I noticed: )
The Arab Spring movement ramps up, and the Middle East is thrown into major turmoil. The King of Bahrain declares a three month state of emergency to quell civil unrest. The United Nations Security Council creates a no-fly zone in Libya to prevent government aggression against civilians. (This pretty much gives the United States, France, and Great Britain permission to post aircraft carriers off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea, and a hunting license to shoot down Libyan military aircraft.)
Academy Award winning actress and AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor dies at age 79.
Michael Gough (who played Alfred in the “Batman” movies from 1989 to 1997) dies at the age of 94.
Geraldine Ferraro, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 9th district, and became a candidate for Vice-President in 1984 (the first Italian-American and woman to be nominated for the office) dies at age 75.
Prince William gets married, and the whole fucking world goes royal-crazy (my partner included.) I personally didn’t give a shit except for the fact that it FUCKING DOMINATED Twitter, Facebook, all the news sites, and television. This photo that I posted to my Facebook page was an example of what pissed me off:
I mean, come on. WTF? SRSLY? I click on a link in Yahoo News and expect to see a photo of the shuttle Endeavour on the launch pad and I get a photo of Kate and Willie?
OSAMA BIN LADEN IS FINALLY TAKEN THE FUCK OUT!
WTG SEAL TEAM SIX!
Terrorist Osama Bin Laden is killed by Seal Team Six at a stronghold in Pakistan at the age of 54.
Jeff Conaway, who was in the 1978 movie version of “Grease,” and starred on the TV series “Taxi” and “Babylon 5,” dies at the age of 60.
Professional wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage dies at the age of 58.
The Marriage Equality Act is passed in New York State, allowing for same-sex marriages.
Jack Kevorkian, assisted-suicide activist, dies of natural causes at the age of 83.
Peter Falk, Syracuse University graduate who entertained the world as Lt. Colombo, dies at the age of 83.
The Marriage Equality Act takes effect in New York State.
Personal note: My partner Dan and I make plans to be married on July 7th, 2012.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center, thus ending the space shuttle program. The U.S. now relies on the Russian Soyuz program for future flights to the International Space Station.
Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian right-wing extremist, bombed government buildings in Oslo, Norway, killing eight people and injuring 92. He then proceeded to carry out a mass shooting at a youth camp on the island of Utoya, killing 69 campers and injuring 59. It has become known as the worst spree killing by an individual.
Betty Ford, former First Lady and founder of the substance abuse rehabilitation center that bears her name, dies at the age of 93.
British singer Amy Winehouse dies at the age of 27. (Honestly, who didn’t see this train wreck coming?)
Personal note: I finally get a new computer system! An AMD Phenom II X3 (triple-core CPU) with 8 Gb of memory, a 1.5 Tb hard disk, BD player/DVD burner, running Windows 7 Professional. I add a dual-output NVidia GeForce graphics card (I am writing this blog on one screen while I am doing research on another.)
Libyan rebels take control of Tripoli, sending Muammar Gaddafi on the run.
The Occupy Wall Street protests begin, which spirals out into the Occupy movement. It is basically a backlash against the 1% who control the nation’s wealth and are considered the real villains in the wrecking of the U.S. economy.
Cliff Robertson, Academy Award winner in 1968 for his role in the movie “Charly” and was known for his appearances as John F. Kennedy in the film “PT 109” and “Uncle Ben” in the first three “Spider-Man” movies, dies at the age of 88.
Welsh actor Andy Whitfield, star of the Starz TV series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” dies of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 39.
MUAMMAR GADDAFI IS FINALLY TAKEN THE FUCK OUT! WTG, PEOPLE OF LIBYA!
Muammar Gaddafi, despotic ruler of Libya, is captured and killed by anti-Gaddafi forces near his hometown of Sirte, at the age of 69.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer, NeXT, and Pixar, and one of the key people in the personal computer revolution, dies at the age of 56.
Anne McCaffrey, Hugo and Nebula Award winning science-fiction author, member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and creator of “The Dragonriders of Pern” series of novels, dies at the age of 85.
Joe Frazer, former World Heavyweight Champion boxer, known for his matches with Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, dies at the age of 67.
Ken Russell, British film director best known for the film adaptation of The Who’s rock opera “Tommy” in 1975, dies at the age of 84.
The United States has formally declared the Iraq War over after eight years.
Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, dies at the age of 70.
Harry Morgan, who was known for his roles on “Dragnet” as “Joe Gannon” and “M*A*S*H” as “Colonel Sherman Potter,” dies at the age of 96.
R&B, blues, and jazz singer Etta James dies at the age of 73.
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary to her accession to the throne of the United Kingdom.
Emmy Award winning actor and director Ben Gazzara dies at the age of 81.
Multilple award winning singer and actress Whitney Houston dies at the age of 48.
Davy Jones, best known as the lead vocalist for The Monkees, dies at age 66.
The “Kony 2012” campaign begins, which is shadowed in controversy.
What was the point of this blog entry? Basically, no matter what happens to you in your life, the world DOES NOT revolve around you. Things happen that really don’t have a bearing on your life, unless it DIRECTLY AFFECTS YOU! (The case in point, same-sex marriage being passed in New York state. That has affected me personally.)
Life goes on without you…deal with it.
© 2012, Mattydale Pictures LLC, all rights reserved.
One thought on “What A Difference A Year Makes…”
I'm a new reader to your blog Dean, and I have to say that I timed it perfect with this being my first post to read. I enjoyed it a whole lot. It seems like you put a lot of hard work into it and I just wanted to send you my thanks. I hope you are doing well. xo Ryan