I decided I’d give myself a checkup on what 2011’s biggest news stories meant to me. About midway through writing this, I realized that I live with my head up my butt, and you don’t get the news in there. These are the Top Ten News Stories of 2011 as chosen by the readers of CNN.com.
10 Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey
- This news event ended up being a positive for me. Remember the Wedding Crashers quote, “We are gonna have tons and tons of opportunities to meet gorgeous ladies that get so aroused by the thought of marriage that they’ll throw their inhibitions to the wind.” The royal wedding and its ensuing media coverage brought a watered down version of that emotional catalyst to the forefront of the dating scene. Did it really help guys out? I don’t know. Did it hurt us? Not a chance.
9 S&P lowers U.S. rating after 11th-hour deal to raise debt ceiling
- Humbling news for the land I love, but it really only reminded me that I’m not rich. News about the stock market inevitably gives me a mind-trip back to college economics where I try to figure out what kind of ripple effect the news has on a poor, single guy. As in economics class, my answer usually ends up about as defined as, “Well, it can’t be good.” That said, if people brought this story up around me, I did attempt to use a thin layer of exasperation to cover my ignorance by saying things like, “That’s politicians for you. More concerned about winning than helping their country. I’m finished thinking about it.” Well done, concerned citizen.
8 U.S. unemployment remains at staggering 9.0 percent
- I admit that I read these stories in the opposite order that I’m writing about them (I started with #1), so this story would have actually been beneficial to my thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street story (see #6). In the job that pays me, I talk to accountants all day. A good number of them tell me that the economy is terrible. I’ve had a Google alert set for over a year because a certain firm in Washington said not to call him “until the unemployment rate dropped under 8 percent like the president promised”….Whatever. Unemployment is like AIDS. Until it affects you or someone you love, you only care with your head, not your heart.
7 Deadly tornados usher in year of severe weather
- I grew up in Kansas! Tornado Alley, y’all! As the news issued more severe warnings, I issued more severe nonchalance. Then power went out, and when it came back on, the local news told me that apartments one mile away from my own had been flattened. I felt blessed and foolish all at once…mostly foolish.
6 Occupy Wall Street movement spreads from New York City
- Hated the idea. Loved the unintentional comedy…this impacted me most by forcing me to say “That looks really underwhelming” as I drove by the 10+ tents set up off of Hillsborough street in downtown Raleigh. This next statement comes from a place of total ignorance and honesty; my second thought upon seeing those tents was, “Don’t those people have jobs to be at?”…..see comments on story 8.
Late New Year’s resolution: pay better attention to the world I live in. #5-1 coming out tomorrow…