Occupied: A 2011 Year in Review

Woah. I am way too sentimental for this. I thought memorializing, in song, my first 12 months of operation was an ask. But, this review, the last song of the year and end-cap to my first full calendar year, has gotten the ipoetlaureate all weepy for the memories. I was just forced to watch this DVD slideshow of my wife’s paternal family over the holidays and when I wasn’t fighting back waves of violent sobbing for its John Denver sweetness and sap, I was so thankful for the capsule of nostalgia it reflected. I just can’t hardly bear all this remembrance.

It’s not worth out-thinking the room. This year was roundly defined by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements and their various martyrs. And, just because everyone else is saying so, I’m not going to call this The Year of Phoenix Jones simply for the contrarian play of it. Although you have to admit he had a pretty awesome 12 months. But, certainly there are other candidate story lines.

By almost any standard, this was one of the most scandal ridden years in political memory. We were constantly yfrogging or Craig’slisting various biological regions or sharing our intimate affections over permanent digital media somehow surprised at having it later read into the public record or groping corporate underlings or failing to report child rape or, good heavens, just about everything else. (I’m sort of confused how my WordPress autocorrect is still not recognizing “yfrogging” or “Craig’slisting.”)

The Republican Primary race has been a dominant if not historically absurd story. Obama would normally have serious heat to answer in light of the continued economic condition, for which he may or may not have any real responsibility and which actually is enjoying some present uptick, but he appears likely to face something like either an impossibly stiff robot or a raving ghost of Republicans’ past.

Mother nature had more than her share of moments. Brutal flooding in the Midwest and Australia and Thailand; the earthquake in New Zealand; the hurricane across the Northeast; and the tsunami in Japan, to remember only a few.

The emotional markers of Steve Jobs’ passing and the 911 Ten Year Anniversary will stay with us for some time. I’m not sure it can be overstated the peculiar concurrence of Osama Bin Laden and Momar Gadhafi’s deaths. In a blink, the two boogeymen of a generation gone from history’s stage.

And, concerning our armed forces, the all but complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell were powerful and life-course altering moments in the lives of those families.

For all the candidates vying to characterize 2011, I certainly return to the bravery, and sometimes irrationality, of those that stand up to preserve what they have or to make more possible what they don’t. Throwing off totalitarianism or occupying prominent Financial District streets in protest. But movements don’t have to be grand or violent or caught on fire or even somewhere else. Sometimes just occupying your own plot of the planet is a great place to start. Consider mine occupied.

Thanks to all of you who have made this site so productive and worthwhile and entertaining in 2011. Your regular traffic here gives me the joy to continue. I promise to work even harder at rap news in 2012. Just your luck, huh?

Please don’t forget to pick up your copy of YEAR ONE the complete 80 song anthology from the first year of song blogging operation: thepressjunket.bandcamp.com. Your financial support makes progress, here, possible.

Performed by the ipoetlaureate. Produced by pumpkinFoot and this little group you might have heard of, Coldplay.

The last song blog of the year here:

Family Drive 2011

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