Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Back On 2011 [Written By Clifford Kiyabu]

I know many of you were hoping to see the annual “Best Of” top ten list this month, but unfortunately this will not be the case this time around; TCWReviews has cancelled this year’s top ten list. While I would like to say there was a definitive reason or excuse behind the decision to cancel this year’s top ten list… truth be told there isn’t, just a string of bad luck and multiple events that transpired (Some of which you will hear about in due time). And though most of you were looking forward to it, not everything goes as planned. Heck, if wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak (props to Adam Baldwin).

Now with that being said, I figured that instead of a top ten list we’d do something unprecedented for TCWReviews. I would like to reflect on the year’s pass events and what they meant to the world, and also to me. Looking back at 2011, it sure was an eventful year filled with some of the most historic moments the world has seen in the last 10 years. From unspeakable devastations to surprising moments that had us later questioning our own moral fabric that defines who we are. For personal reasons regarding the subjects I mention, I will try to maintain a nonbiased opinion.

From earthshattering earthquakes and fractured nuclear power plants to a devastating tsunami, the nation of Japan has seen a great deal of disastrous events sent her way in 2011. That left countless thousands dead and millions without a home or job to go back to. The whole world stood in shock over this heart wrenching event. I personally hold a great respect now more than ever for the Japanese people for their honor, strength, courage and unity. They mourned the loss of loved ones and the life they once had, but was still proud enough to stand back up on their two feet, dust themselves off and begin the unthinkable; rebuilding what was once lost to the devastation of mother nature, for this they shall forever have my undying respect.

2011 was a year of revolution, from the streets of Cairo, Egypt to the battlefields of Libya. Change was certainly in the air for people in the Mideast, and no longer were they going to stand quietly by and do nothing. They rose up and toppled tyranny where it stood and in some cases, the people won the change they so desperately yearned for and earned their freedoms. Regimes as old as 30 and 40 years collapsed within the wake of revolution this year, and also led to the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. All that remains unseen is with destiny at the people’s doorsteps; will they be able to hold on to that which they fought and died for?

2011 was also the year of the protester. With our global economy in the gutter, job availability becoming more and more scarce and the security of one’s livelihood threatened each and every day, people all over the globe has risen up in protest to the way those in power are doing business. From its start in Zuccotti Park in New York, it expanded to the streets of France, Spain, and even across vast regions like Greece, Italy and Germany then back to the states in which it made its way across to places like downtown Chicago and even the island state of Hawaii. The protests grew in size and its voice was made much loader. No matter what your beliefs are or on what side you stand on the political spectrum, you cannot deny that the people’s voice was heard this year, and though change has not come to those standing in protest, they have shown their resilience by hanging in there for the long hall. I personally don’t agree with most of their message but I respect their dire need to stand up for what they believe in to whatever end.

2011 marked the 10 year anniversary to one of the most horrific terror attacks in modern US history which easily became ground zero for the world we live in today. But to a great many surprise, it was also the year when those responsible for one of the greatest attacks of our time finally met their ultimate fate, and for a moment the world cheered in celebration and for a split second the world around us felt a little safer. But with the death of Osama Bin Laden, reality set in and many began to wonder, and contemplate if the end justified the means? Did we receive the justice we were promised or were we forever robbed of that luxury? Either way, I personally hope those affected by the tragedy that occurred 10 years ago can finally find some piece of mind. And I hope those forever lost to us from the event can finally rest in peace.

2011 also saw the passing of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and the rise to power of his youngest son Kim Jong-Un. I personally knew his demise wouldn’t be too far off, but his sudden death just before the holidays was indeed a shocker and has left me wondering where the North will go from here in terms as a nation. Despite how you feel about Kim Jong-Il you cannot deny that watching Team America: World Police (2004) will never be the same again. LOL!

But it wasn’t all bad memories, as 2011 also saw the wedding event of our generation, the royal wedding of Prince William to his beloved bride, Kate Middleton. Not since the wedding of Charles and Princess Diana have we seen the world so fascinated by the union of two people. This event was seen by hundreds of millions all over the world, it also stood as a defining moment for the British monarch as it secured the future of their line of succession. And what does America have to show for? The 72 day marriage of Lady Kim Kardashian to Duke Chris Humphries, that’s what. Yeah America, that’s our f****** monarch right there.

Looking back at 2011, it was undoubtedly one for the books; the things mentioned here is merely the tip of the iceberg of events that transpired over 2011. And if this year has taught me anything, it’s that we must keep moving forward in life, even when life throws a few wrenches into our gears, we mustn’t falter or step back but rather keep our heads up high and keep moving forward in life. As the year comes to a close, we open the doorway to the year, 2012. What I hope for the New Year to bring is a more prosperous year for everyone, but most importantly a more prosperous New Year for everyone in The Critic’s Word’ family. Here’s to a new year of new beginnings and happy endings! Okay, maybe I added the happy endings for a little lol moment.

The Editor in Chief
Clifford Kiyabu.