Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on your point of view – the world did not come to an end in 2012 as foretold by the hacks who “interpreted” the closing of the Mayan long-count calendar. Some may be disappointed that infinite oblivion didn’t descend, especially after the year that was 2012, which was long, horrific and monumentally ugly, thanks to several national tragedies and disgusting election year politics.
With that being said, welcome to our third annual end of the year awards and top picks, the Stew Year in Review. We also include our own version of the person(s) of the year and our “Audacity for Veracity” award, given to a person who stood their ground in the face of adversity.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
~People, Words, Phrases, or Fads we Want to Forget from 2012~
- Legitimate Rape or any variation thereof: Legitimate rape and forcible rape were particular favorites of the GOP in 2012 and went a long way in aiding in their defeat. Rape is rape, jerks. Period.
- Fiscal Cliff: Being shoved to the brink of economic oblivion is something America is getting used to, unfortunately – thanks in large part to Republican obstructionism.
- Climate Change Denial: If you didn’t believe in global warming before 2012, chances are you’re a little closer to acceptance now that it’s over. With raging wildfires across the West, record heat across the country, and Super Hurricane Sandy, climate change was a big deal and it affected the entire nation.
- Gangnam-style: It’s irritating. ‘Nuff said. Go pseudo-gallop elsewhere, please.
- Honey Boo Boo: Redneck, trailer-trash reality shows are not entertainment; they are the rot eating away at the collective brain of the citizenry.
- Rush Limbaugh: Jabba the Hut’s twin remains on the radio, but considering the slow, oozing demise of his party, one has to wonder for how much longer. He’s certainly overstayed his welcome.
- Mass Shootings: After Aurora, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin and Newtown, we would like to forget these horrific events, and most of us hope and pray that we never have to utter those two words again in relation to a national tragedy, but until we reform our gun-obsessed society, I doubt that Aurora, Wisconsin and Newtown are the last we’ve seen.
- War on Christmas: Considering the fact that Christmas has now successfully swallowed Thanksgiving in the minds of retailers, the phony War on Christmas, endlessly perpetuated by Fox News, is nothing but a joke.
- War on Women: The war on women went into overdrive in 2012, and while we’d like to forget it, it’s clear that the battle will continue as the Republican Party continues in their attempts to chip away at women’s reproductive rights.
- Victoria Jackson: If the GOP needed a face to put with their crazy, Victoria Jackson was it.
~Top Political Train Wreck~
The Republican Party: This wasn’t a hard call to make at all. While it started off slowly, the descent of the Republican Party into the jaws of madness picked up steam as the general election played out, and in actuality, it started in 2011 with the Republican primaries. But as 2012 began, most of us could see the writing on the wall as the
GOP paraded their all-star cast of crazy clowns in front of the country, with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum leading the way in the presidential race, and idiots like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock vying for senate seats.
Eventually, Romney managed to push Gingrich and Santorum aside, but once he clinched the nomination, it was all downhill from there, and the culmination of crazy came at the Republican National Convention when Clint Eastwood had a conversation with an empty stool, laying bare the extent of the brain damage plaguing their party, their caucus and their base.
~Favorite Stew News Anchor/Personality~
Rachel Maddow: Ms. Maddow was our top pick last year, and she remains at the top of the heap again this year. While I don’t have a lot of use for her cohorts at MSNBC, she is in a class by herself. She is one of the few voices in television news that I think can be genuinely trusted. Over and over again, she dismantled Republican policies, talking point by talking point, and became the GOP’s worst nightmare over the course of the election. And while I could continue gushing over my girl crush, the person who explained her appeal the best was Stephen Colbert:
“What I like about your show, what I respect is you deconstruct the news and put the day’s news like parts on a lawn, like of a car. And then you go, ‘Look, these are all the parts of the engine’ that’s like roaring through the news right now. But then, you reconstruct those pieces into a conservative dream killing machine.”
And it’s all based on facts, too! With wit and charm, no less! What more could you ask for?
WATCH Rachel’s Best New Things of 2012:
Mitt Romney: The nomination of Mitt Romney didn’t just showcase the worst of the Republican Party; it also showcased the worst of the wealthy, because Mitt Romney became the personification of the spoiled, rotten wealthy class every time he opened his pie-hole. From obfuscating on his tax returns to the infamous 47% comment, from his triple-down on a flat-out lie about Jeep to his continued bashing of poor Big Bird, every word that came out of his mouth sounded like a pontificating, condescending spew of verbal diarrhea. There was nothing he could do or say to make himself likable to the electorate and every time he tried, he simply made it worse for himself. People were torn on whether he was some sort of inhuman robot or just a wealthy, disconnected prick.
Rick Santorum: If Mitt Romney was the top spectacle, then Rick Santorum was definitely the biggest asshole of 2012 – although, they could very easily be interchangeable. But Rick Santorum proved that there is nothing more frightening or more offensive than a true believer. From trashing John F. Kennedy to thumbing his nose at education to making us all wonder if he is, indeed, some sort of closeted, perverted deviant, Mr. Frothy had evangelicals frothing at the mouth, while the rest of the country was merely dumbfounded that he actually managed to come in a very close second to Romney. Both were terrible candidates, but in a sane party – which the Republicans are no longer – Santorum should have been shoved to the margins before he even made it past the starting line.
~Motherf**king Fat Cat of the Year~
Jamie Dimon: Jamie Dimon is a Washington favorite for some unknown reason. I guess psychotic birds of a feather flock together. Back in June, most of us wanted to tell him and Jim DeMint to get a room already and spare us the ooky ass-kissing that that took place when Dimon was “grilled” on Capitol Hill in regard to a trading debacle which resulted in over $3 billion dollars lost. It was a shameful display that reminded us all just how much our elected officials are beholden to people like Dimon, who loves to whine about being demonized, and who claims that any regulation of him and his fellow banksters is anti-American.
~Audacity for Veracity Award~
Sandra Fluke: This award really could not have gone to anybody else this year. As the war on women raged in relative obscurity, Sandra Fluke became the public face of the war when she was targeted by Rush Limbaugh, who called her a slut and a prostitute after Fluke testified before Congress on the need for affordable birth control. She has endured some of the most horrific verbal attacks from jackass politicians and random trolls on the internet, and she has done so with the utmost grace and integrity. She has become one of the most intelligent and elegant role models for young women and I expect we will see great things from her in the future.
~Favorite Web Video of the Year~
I can’t decide if this video is compelling or corny (it’s sort of a cross between Yanni, new-agey music and house music), but either way, it’s completely watchable if for no other reason than watching a thoroughly impressive violinist – Lindsey Stirling – pull some serious dance moves while she plays. I’m not horribly hip when it comes to the top YouTube videos of the year, but this one was listed at the #8 spot on Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 list and it was filmed in Silverthorne, Colorado (my home state) with some really cool ice formations. And since I’ve now called for the banning of all Gangnam-style crap…