What a year. Here at Trespass, we daresay not one of humanity’s finest. There seemed to be more scandals, fall outs and revelations than the media’s teeny brain could handle and every five minutes a high profile somebody left us for the pearly gates.
We’ve asked some of our Editorial and writing team to compile their Top 5 Moments of 2009 – from political mistakes to celebrity slip ups to the big ones on the current affairs landscape. Some will be remembered as dark days, others always prefaced with ‘where were you when …’ And some will fade into the canvas of celebrity folly only to be recalled when, in ten years time, someone stumbles across this list, using an archaic form of technology known as the internet. Michael Jackson, Obamarama, Black Saturday and Twilight captured our team’s imagination and, of course, a moment one Kanye West will never live down.
We’re looking ahead to a brilliant 2010. Even just saying ‘2010’ sends a little thrill through our bones. It feels fresh, shiny and new and full to the brim of possibility. To all of you who have spent 2009 with us – thank you – and here’s to a bloody good 2010.
It has been a big year for celebrity deaths – to sound somewhat morbid – but no death fascinated me quite so much as that of UK reality television star, Jade Goody. Perhaps it was because reality television had not yet reached death, and the documentation of Goody’s final days was a first – or perhaps because it showed comprehensively, how poorly we deal with the concept of our own mortality … whatever it was, I was fascinated.
The NRL Group Sex Revelation/s
The bottom fell out of one of our country’s most loved games and it was, even according to the sport’s biggest proponents, a long time coming. For me, it wasn’t the actual karmic explosion that made the story, it was the nation’s response in the aftermath – to the issue of rape, what constitutes consensual sex, the responsibilities of well paid, high profile athletes and the inevitable gender discussions that played into every facet of the storm.
I was driving around the South Island of New Zealand with a friend when the Victorian bushfires first took hold. With our car’s radio going in and out of reception, we heard about the devastation in bits and pieces from strangers as we lobbed into little towns. It was a strange and quite emotional way to engage with one of the biggest national tragedies in recent memory, and we felt simultaneously distant and close to our country and its people.
The General ‘High Profile Deaths’ Rate of Occurrence
Michael Jackson, Natasha Richardson, Adam Goldstein, Brittany Murphy, Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, Dominick Dunne, David Carradine, Bea Arthur, Stephen Gately, Charles Tingwell, Ted Kennedy, Eunice Shriver, Lucy Gordon …
You know, as soon as Natasha Richardson died in that freak skiing accident in March, I began babbling on to anyone who would listen that 2009 would be a year of notable deaths. And lo and behold, as the year went on, we said goodbye to popstars and politicians, models and athletes, actors and writers. Some expected, some so completely not so, it brought the world to its knees.
In June this year, the youth of Iran, disenchanted by their new leader and suspicious of the means by which he was reelected, took to the streets in the millions to peacefully protest what they believed to be rigged elections. The police crackdown and brutality that ensued, captivated global attention as the Iranian people begged the world to see their passion and desire for democratic ideals and freedom.
Notable Mentions … cheating I know so shhhhhh
Body Image – Karl Lagerfeld, the issue of airbrushing … it seems the world finally woke up to the fictional ideal and representation of beauty in mainstream media this year, and the discussions were brilliant.
Perez Getting Smacked – what goes around comes around and few comeuppances were more fitting than poor old Perez’s
Trespass – so, so proud of the little baby and so in love with our readers.
Personally, the fight for gay marriage and equality was more ubiquitous in 2009 than any other year. Same-sex adoption was legalised in Australia, Uruguay and Mexico City, whilst the latter also joined Norway and Sweden in the legalisation of gay marriage. In Argentina, Columbia and the Philippines, openly gay individuals were permitted to serve in the military, and a handful of states in the U.S. have also recognised homosexual unions – just to name a few. Though there are still a lot of countries that haven’t gotten there yet, the fight for equality within and outside the gay community has been nothing short of inspiring.
Swine Flu & the Snuggie
Mad Cow’s Disease, SARS, then Swine Flu – all threatened to wipe out the human race via a single cough or a bite from a juicy patty. Airports were on high alert, boats were detained, people quarantined, and many feared bacon.
Though it came out late in 2008, the Snuggie really rose to fame in 2009. Selling over 4 million pieces, this upside-down monk’s robe ensemble was the bud of so many jokes, such that I kept seeing it on TV. Though it’s more embarrassing than being caught wearing Crocs, I want one.
20th of January was no doubt a historical moment in U.S. politics that resonated throughout the world. But what was even more historical was Aretha Franklin’s hat during the ceremony.
Michael Jackson’s Death
The impact and shock of Michael Jackson’s death is our answer to, “where were you when Elvis died?” I woke up to a string of text messages, and then proceeded to watch an even longer string of tribute videos and live news reports on the King Of Pop. There was also a lot of reminiscing. Rediscovering the genius of Man In The Mirror was definitely a sombre highlight. Rediscovering my inability to moonwalk was just plain sombre.
Victoria’s Bush Fires
Black Saturday, 7th of February 2009. The tragedy of the bush fires will be remembered for a long time. Over 140 people died, 400 more were injured, and over a million acres of land burned. The magnitude of the bush fires was definitely one of the scariest catastrophic disasters I have ever witnessed.
It was a tough process attempting to distil a year of celebrity deaths, bankruptcy, natural disasters and general lunacy into five defining moments. Instead of trying to objectively sort the events into some sort of a list or method, I opted for a more intuitive approach. Below are the moments that most thoroughly astounded, wowed or shocked me this year.
Global Financial Crisis
The big, bad and the ugly all rolled into one. Christmas is hard enough on the pockets as it is, but this year the GFC cast a gloomy shadow over the holiday season for many families the world over. Hopefully 2010 will take us out of financial doldrums, having made us all a little wiser for it.
The Inauguration of Barack Obama
Yes we can! Obama’s rise to power brought hope for a better, more progressive future and ushered in a new era for the Democrats in the States. Though his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize and his administration’s health bill caused controversy this year, the President’s true legacy remains an open book.
Article: Obamarama – Jess Porquez
Wacko Jacko’s sudden death ushered in a state of mourning across the globe. Fans grieved, the media profited and Jackson’s doctor became the world’s most hated man overnight.
The vampish successor to the immensely popular Harry Potter series arrived with a bang in 2005 and teenage girls around the globe have been calling themselves ‘Team Edward’ and ‘Team Jacob’ ever since. Though terribly written and strapped to a movie series containing some criminally bad acting, this complicated love story centring on teenager Bella Swan and her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen can count 2009 as its most successful year to date.
The Tiger Woods Scandal
From family man to serial adulterer, the golfer’s squeaky clean image finally fell into the hole he created for himself. Wood’s downfall serves as a warning to anyone in the public eye – your private life is not out of bounds as far as the media is concerned, and if you’re a cheater, be prepared to face your woman’s wrath.
… in the style of Kanye West
“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce had the best music video of all time. OF ALL TIME.”
The Liberal Party Fiasco
“Yo, Tony Abbott, I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish, but Malcolm Turnbull was a way better opposition leader. WAY BETTER. According to the Left.”
Obama for Peace
“Yo Obama, I’m really happy for your Nobel Peace Prize. I’mma let you finish, but Nelson Mandela was the best Nobel Peace Prize winner of all time. OF ALL TIME. Well, he’s pretty well respected, anyway.”
Homebake Turns 15
“Yo, Big Day Out, I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish, but Homebake turned 15 this year, and was pretty freaking rad. The Australian music scene is getting bigger and better all the time. ALL THE TIME.”
“Yo, Michael Jackson, this has been a tragic year for celebrity deaths: yourself, Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, and Brittany Murphy. They each leave behind legacies – of pop music, amazing hair, and two of the greatest teen movies of all time. It’s likely that you’ll be remembered for all time. For all time.”
First chronologically and also because it rates as the best moment of the year for me …
The sight of those thousands of people out despite cold weather to see one of those moments that genuinely felt defining; a part of tangible history. It was a triumph of hope over fear and the catch-cry of “Yes, we can!” lifted on such a diverse melody of voices. However, Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize at the end of 2009 may be a step too far. Calm down, people.
The Deadly Bikie brawl at Sydney Airport
Senseless gang violence erupts in front of horrified domestic travellers. While the bloodshed was revolting, the thought that it occurred in what is supposed to be an area of extreme security was the most pertinent point for me. The government shells out millions of dollars for airport security and subjects us to constant scrutiny and complex, frustrating procedures, yet a few thugs can merrily beat one others’ brains out with bollards for twenty minutes before any police/security bothers to show up. And then the CCTV footage is too blurry to be used in court. Honestly.
Release of “Samson and Delilah”
The storyline may be bleak but this magnificent film by indigenous director Warwick Thornton has a big, important story to tell. Stark in its handling of issues facing young indigenous people in outlying communities, it highlights the substance abuse, depression and violence suffered. And throughout, the awe-inspiring beauty of the Australian landscape. Scooping awards worldwide.
Taronga Zoo’s conservation breeding program for Asian Elephants chalks up a major success. Asian elephants are under threat as their habitat shrinks, and their traditional roles in logging and tourism in countries such as Thailand decrease. Finally, in July, slightly perplexed mother Thong Dee gives birth to the most gorgeous calf, baby Luk Chai, helping in the protection of the genetic diversity of the species. Australians are dedicated workers in the field of environment and conservation and Taronga Zoo plays a huge role in that. Elephants are also my favourite animal by far and so I was cooing and crying like a soppy auntie over this one.
Celebrity deaths: Michael Jackson and Brittany Murphy
An iconic figure in Hollywood, our generation has grown up with MJ, the King of Pop. The very premature death of Tai from Clueless at age 32 was an equally big shock. The tox report from MJ’s autopsy was the final frightening detail. But more than anything – the ability of celebrity scandal to overshadow serious news: Jackson’s death obliterated the Godwin Grech affair rocking federal politics, and Murphy’s death bumped the Copenhagen climate talks into the sea.
Black Saturday bush fires
It’s reported that as many as 400 individual fires were burning at one point across Victoria, 173 people lost their lives, 414 were injured and 2000 houses were destroyed. Extreme heat and poor planning (both emergency evacuation and prevention) lead to fires on a scale which could make the hardest hearted folks cry. We only hope that state and federal governments have learnt a valuable lesson – listen to the people who live on rural properties about fire prevention.
Obama takes office
First black president of America, do I really need to say more? It was a moment beyond words, filled with raw emotion not only for the American public (on both sides of the political spectrum) but for people around the world. Could this be the catalyst for worldwide change?
K West makes a little country girl cry
It may not be a world changing event, but it sure as heck was funny! Mr West does have a penchant for craving and garnering attention, sadly this time it was at the cost of the new American sweetheart, Taylor Swift. Though his intention might not have been to detract attention from her, he did invariably make her more endearing to a whole new audience. Poor, sweet, blonde girl, upstaged by an intoxicated thug of a man – this is what live television is made for. I thoroughly enjoyed the youtube replays.
The King of Pop dies of a cardiac arrest after an apparent drug overdose. Accident or foul play? I guess we’ll never know. This is It pulled in a stunning $101 million dollars worldwide in its first 5 days of theatrical release. Whether the actual concert would have returned such a high profit for the promoters will always remain unanswered. What was clear though was that it would have been a lifetime highlight for any music lover let alone fans of the unimaginably gifted musician and dancer.
Kevin Rudd’s announces stimulus package
The $42 billion package was meant to help circulate money within our economy and lead us out of a recession. Did it? Critics say it was a disaster of an idea – I didn’t mind so much. My fearless leader gave me money to spend, and spend I did. Okay so a few hundred paid off some much over due bills – the other few really really really went a long way in making me look good. “We’re flat broke, but hey we do it in style.”
Trying to come up with my top 5 moments of 2009 is easier said than done. This year has seen major global occurrences, such as the recession and the terrible impact that climate change is having on our planet (and not much that world leaders are really doing about this). Numerous celebrity deaths have also occurred this year, of which one really touched me. My list, however, will bypass all the ‘serious’ things that have occurred this year, and will lean more towards the interesting (some may call it shallow…) side of the spectrum.
Okay, so I’m starting to think my list is becoming very celebrity-indulged. I’m shamefully admitting my addiction to the E! Channel. But I did promise you my list would be shallow, didn’t I? Britney Spears, you are a pop genius. I’m only sad you went as far as Australia and never made it to my side of the ditch. Damn you, I wanted to re-live my youth, singing my lungs out to ‘Baby one more time’.
Great, Classic, Absolutely Trash Reality TV Shows
Yes, I admit it; I am a reality TV addict. 2009 has seen so many great shows. The Hills, The City, Girls of the Playboy Mansion, and my new favourite, (I can’t believe I am about to type this) Bad Girls Club. Anybody who has watched this will understand my fascination with this show. My first question is, WHY are these girls even held together in this house? There is no prize, we don’t have a Survivor-style host setting the rules, and it’s not set out as a ‘reality’ drama like The Hills (which we all know is fake but like to believe is real anyway). All I know, is these girls are pure entertainment. They certainly make you feel good about yourself.
The Death of Michael Jackson
Okay, so I know I said celebrity deaths were a bit cliché, but as I also mentioned one did truly resonate with me. The loss of MJ, I personally believe, was a great loss to the world. Michael was an inspiring performer, and no matter what anybody said about him or thought about him, I was, and always will be, a true MJ fan. Hard core.
Don’t hate me because I’m a Twilight addict, and please, don’t tell me I’m not a ‘true’ fan because I watched the movies before reading the books. Okay, so I haven’t even made it halfway through Twilight the ‘novel’ (I use the term very loosely…) but I have kept up with the movies and boy, they are good. If we replaced R-Patz and T-Laut (yes, I’m a fan, I know the lingo) with 2 dudes who were not even half as good looking as these 2 boys are, would the movies be so successful? I’m not sure. But, they have not been replaced, so I’m happy.
Finally finishing my degree
Personal fave here, not something I shared with the world. But I think after my previous 4 top moments, I had to prove to you that I am not an absolute bimbo who sits at home watching MTV and the E! Channel 24 hours a day. I did go to university, and in 2009 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology and Film and Media Studies. Go me!
A more positive start to 2009 I can’t imagine – so much history and so many hopes wrapped up in a single event! Geekishly, though, what really brought the whole thing home to me was a throwaway comment by one of Obama’s aides on the technological deficiencies of the White House. In comparing their new offices to the old, Bill Burton quipped, “It’s like going from an X-Box to an Atari” – huzzah for technologically literate Gen X leaders!
Not a positive event, but an unforgettable one. Living in Melbourne while the fires raged, it was impossible not to encounter someone who’d lost a friend or family member, or their house, or else who knew someone who had. The whole CBD was clogged with ash and red light, and the tension of the situation spread to everyone. I wish the survivors luck, happiness and recovery in 2010.
As we speak, there is, in LA, a fertility clinic which allows prospective parents to select the physical appearance of their future offspring. Flying cars, android personal assistance, jetpacks and dinner in pill form may still be far in the future, but designer babies? Totally real.
If you haven’t been watching True Blood or reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, you’ve been seriously missing out. It may have first aired in 2008, but for me at least, 2009 has been dominated by the discovery of the telepathic waitress from small-town Bon Temps and her bloodthirsty beau. Plus and also? Vampires are just plain awesome.
Throughout 2009, the world of traditional print journalism has been collapsing, and will doubtless continue to do so into 2010. Digital equivalents are on the rise, and though they’re not the only solution, it’s exciting to think that such a staple of western society might soon transmute into something rich and strange. Here’s to keeping an eye on the future!
The Inauguration of Barack Obama
He’s black! He’s sexy! He’s intelligent! He’s the new President of the Unites States! Seriously, could it get any better? Almost a year later, the honeymoon period still hasn’t worn off, and let’s face it, until he makes some kind of massive error in judgement, it probably never will. Imagine if he was black and a woman?
Trespass, I’ma let you finish, but Kanye West had one of the best faux pas of ALL TIME. I have friends who believe that Kanye is actually a super-genius, and his exploits are ridden with subtle political messages. I struggle to see what kind of message is hidden in his undying admiration for Beyonce in a leotard, but then again, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about watching a black rapper take on a country singer in (yet another) virginal white dress.
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
An excellent film, and one that proves that some child actors can still act after the age of 15. That, and seeing Rupert Grint grow into a somewhat sexy man was certainly one of the best moments of ’09 for me.
The Tiger Woods Fiasco
I actually have very little issue with harems, or cheating in general, seeing as I’m pretty sure Woods doesn’t depend on his high morals to help him win golf games. I do find it amusing that Nike were the only company to retain his contract though. Then again, their motto is ‘Just Do It’.
Joe Jonas Dances to Single Ladies
So, I know this might not seem more monumental than, say, the death of Michael Jackson, but I feel that this video pretty much sums up the highs and lows of 2009. Who knew one of the Jonas brothers could do ‘diva’ so well?