VICE Year in Review - News

By Rick Paulas

In case you fell asleep at your desk for the last 12 months, let's review what happened:

January
The new year starts with an ominous sign when over a thousand dead blackbirds fall from the Arkansas sky, no doubt signaling the beginning of the end, fire and brimstone, cats and dogs living together, etc. The “9/11 Health Bill” is passed, covering health care costs for first responders sickened by WTC collapse pollution. 10-year-old Canadian discovers a supernova, and what the hell did you ever do? Russia wins a gold medal in hockey, but it’s in something called the World Junior Championship, so no one really cares. Three-named, shaved-head psycho in Tuscon shoots U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in head, leading to many news organizations jumping the gun, so to speak, announcing her death (spoiler: she survives). A border collie learns a shit-ton of words. Pope Benedict tells Pakistan to stop being dumb about Prophet Muhammad nonsense. Tigers maul ducks. World floods like a motherfucker. Arab Spring/Occupy Earth starts in earnest with Tunisians calling for their president’s resignation, eventually he does. R.I.P. Zsa Zsa’s leg. The market for Cuban cigar mules takes a big hit. U.S. sends something mysterious into space, perhaps a spy satellite, perhaps Zsa Zsa’s leg. British soccer pundits show their sexist-pig sides. Egyptians are next to get all Arab Spring-ey up in here, “here” being “the world.”

February
Russia loses a satellite. Jack White chooses to focus on the 476 bands of his not named The White Stripes. 74-year-old Silvio Berlusconi probably most likely definitely banged a 17-year-old hooker. Packers over Steelers. Rock Band over Guitar Hero. Egyptian president Mubarek head-fakes a resignation, protestors don’t enjoy that kind of thing, get super demonstrative, Mubarek says, “Psych! I will step down, actually.” Arab Spring pushes on in Algeria and Yemen. 10 Downing Street buys a cat to take care of their mouse problem. The guy behind the post-9/11 anthrax attacks probably wasn’t really behind them after all. Deep Blue, Jeopardy-style. Libya gets into the Middle East civil unrest action, Gaddafi responds predictably by going ape-shit. Every other nation over there is also protesting, by the way, so stay tuned to this one, it’s probably the biggest world story of the year. Democratic Senators in Wisconsin go AWOL in last ditch effort to get Gov. Scott Walker to stop being such a dickhead; protests, pizza, and drum circles follow. Ciudad Juarez, and much of Mexico, continues to not be an ideal destination for tourists, or residents, especially if they want to keep their heads. Rahm Emanuel presumably celebrates becoming the new Mayor of Chicago by “motherfucking” everyone in sight. Christchurch rocks and rolls. U.S. Army was apparently using “psy-ops” in Afghanistan, which seems kind of cool. Designer John Galliano hates Jews. All that Charlie Sheen bullshit starts up. That awkward Oscars show. Iran sees evidence of the Great Jewish Conspiracy in the Summer Olympics logo.

March
iPad 2 debuts. Columbian soccer player kicks an owl. Libyan uprising marches on, Gaddafi responds by putting finger in ears and yelling, “Blah, blah, blah, I can’t hear you.” Phil Collins stops making music. Hey, maybe we found extraterrestrials! That shitty “Friday” song by Rebecca Black. Signs of the apocalypse continue as millions of fish float up dead. Speaking of apocalypses, billboards announcing the world ending on May 21st, 2011 start popping up everywhere. All is not sunny in Philadelphia, especially in the whole “priests diddling kids” realm. Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel suspended for letting his players trade memorabilia for tattoos, no doubt the biggest scandal in college football this year, nope, no doubt about it. Wisconsin Senate just goes ahead and votes without the Democrats to kills unions, protest drum circles get drummier. A 9.0-earthquake damages Japan, but the resulting tsunami plowing into a nuclear reactor does a lot more. Related: So long, Gilbert Gottfired as the voice of the Aflac duck. Dalai Lama done with politics. Berlin’s famed polar bear Knut dies, probably from a broken heart. Governor of South Dakota tells his state’s women what the fuck to do with their bodies. Ivory Coast continues being fighty. Scientists find a preserved  2,500-year old brain. Alain “The Human Spider” Robert heads to Dubai and scales the tallest building in the world.

April
A six-foot hole rips open in the middle of a Southwest flight, but it lands safely and everyone lives, so it’s good news and widely disseminated! Radiation spewing from Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan continues to freak everyone out. Chinese scientists create cows that can produce “human milk,” which is really gross. Dennis Rodman, Hall of Famer. Ireland gets its first same-sex couple, soon followed, appropriately enough, by the Isle of Man, allowing late-night hosts to phone in a joke that night. People kind of just stop caring at all about what Glenn Beck has to say. Online poker sites take a hit and start getting shut down. Like a scene in a horror movie, a Canadian college student gets murdered while her boyfriend watches helplessly on Skype. Castro steps down. Nevada Senator John Ensign resigns after oh-so-many accusations about him being a nasty adulterer. The original BBC version of The Weakest Link is the weakest link, goodbye. Wikileaks shits out another unedited info-dump that reporters have to plod through and summarize, this one about Guantanamo. “Human cannonball” killed, presumably doing something related to launching one’s body in a way similar to that of a metal projectile. Ron Paul announces he’s running for president again, no shit. PlayStation Network gets hacked and leaks out a bunch of personal info about their subscribers. Walmart’s bringing back the guns. British people get stupid for a day and celebrate an honest-to-goodness Royal Wedding.

May
May starts off with a bang as American special ops “double tap” Osama bin Laden. Everyone spends the next few days Tweeting about it, having awkward outdoor celebrations, and figuring out exactly how the whole thing went down. Air France flight 447’s black box finally recovered from the ocean deep. China bans smoking in public. Derrick Rose, youngest NBA MVP. Midwest floods. The last veteran of World War I dies. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver divorce after former was caught impregnating his maid ("Sperminator" jokes ensue). Asshole Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels cuts funding to his state’s Planned Parenthood. Bob Dylan called out for not playing protest songs in China, responds by saying he’s sick of playing that shit. Nuclear miasma continues to leak out of that Japanese power plant. IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrested for, at the very least, jizzing on a hotel maid’s shirt. Dude “planks” himself to death. So long America’s Most Wanted, so long Oprah. Lars Von Trier makes a bad joke about Hitler. Someone awesomely throws a shoe and eggs at the guy behind China’s Internet censorship. Adios, Macho Man. The world does not end. That slow Terrence Malick movie with Brad Pitt wins the top honor at Cannes. God continues to show disdain for the Midwest by unleashing all sorts of insane tornadoes. Duke Nukem Forever finally released, pretty much no one really cares. Four more years, four more years! (For the Patriot Act.) Science says religion shrinks your brain.

June
Obama declares June LGBT Pride Month. Drugs make humans their bitch, officially. South African mob burns monkey alive because they thought it was a witch. Patti LaBelle does not like people getting close to her luggage. The Arab Spring goes massacre in Syria. Maybe we cured HIV? Rep. Anthony Weiner makes it too easy for us all. LA says goodbye to their red light cameras. A bunch of terrible people have opinions about the, in the long run, extremely unimportant Casey Anthony trial in Florida. Mavs over Heat, thankfully. Jesus comes back in wax drippings. The clusterfuck of idiocy that is the GOP presidential candidate race begins in earnest, 17 months before the election. ATF sells a bunch of guns to the Mexican drug cartel, because that was part of the plan. Bruins over Canucks, whose fans then take out their frustration by burning their own city and kissing on the ground. Another baby just kind of falls out of Michelle Duggar’s vagina. Two guys get stuck in a Dallas airport, make a video. Bam Margera and Roger Ebert challenge each other to a  duel after the death of Jackass Ryan Dunn. Gangster dude that Jack Nicholson played in The Departed arrested in California. LulzSec leaks a bunch of information, Wikileaks/Anonymous-style, and then quickly leaves the internet. New York legalizes gay marriage. Go the Fuck To Sleep gets it right. Greece almost goes bankrupt, ensuing riots turn violent. The Supreme Court continues to let us play violent video games. Quentin Tarantino’s foot fetish: Confirmed.

July
Russia bans Scientology. Fox News Twitter account hacked, declares Obama dead. News of the World apparently thinks that “news gathering” means “just hacking into a bunch of phones illegally.” Hebrew University finds out why the DNA in cancer cells break down. NASA’s space shuttle program goes bye-bye. Derek Jeter, Mr. 3000. A series of coordinated bombings ripple through Mumbai. Get your tongues ready, we have rediscovered the lost rainbow toad in Borneo. Turns out, Pakistan doesn’t really like America just raining down a bunch of bombs from drones. Final Harry Potter movie released, grown-ups can go back to reading/watching grown-up things. Iran rubs their nuclear capabilities in everyone’s faces. Right-wing extremist gunman goes “four stars in Grand Theft Auto” ultraviolent in Oslo, Norway. Amy Winehouse does something predictable. God hates the Horn of Africa, won’t give them any water. American debt ceiling crisis causes a bunch of dudes in suits to throw tantrums in front of video cameras. A mini-riot of annoying hippies takes place in Hollywood.

August
Paleontologists find a 20-million-year-old ape skull in Uganda. Football comes back. England shows themselves not to be immune to civil uprising in this, the Year of the Riot, and go smash-ey and loot-ey. S&P lowers America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+ which still sounds like getting a good grade for no reason (teacher's pet). Nepal bans smoking in public. FLDS leader and creepy asshole Warren Jeffs sentenced to life. GOP candidate Michelle Bachmann, somehow, wins the first straw poll, which, turns out, doesn’t mean much in the long run. Gold hits an all-time high, probably not a great sign as far as consumer confidence goes. That Libyan civil war thing’s still happening, and not looking good for Gaddafi. Steve Jobs resigns as CEO from Apple, an ominous sign. The city of New York loses their collective shit over Hurricane Irene, not all that much ends up happening. Austria arrests another old dude who thought it was fine to lock up and diddle his daughters. Astronomers discover a planet made solely out of crystal, no doubt plenty of shitty “don’t tell my wife about it” jokes come in the discovery’s wake. Obama’s uncle drives drunk.

September
A 135-pound Korean woman eats 183 chicken wings in 12 minutes, a new record that should not be congratulated. Obama officially announces he’s going to run for re-election. Web registry company allows companies and celebrities first shot at buying their namesakes in the newly-created .xxx extensions, pretty much no one does. The GOP presidential debates start up, almost on a weekly basis, giving every candidate at least one opportunity to come out looking like a fucktard. Large section of American Southwest blacks out. The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks take over the news for an extended weekend, and no one talks about what actually happened. NASA trots out the new rocket design of what’ll replace the Space Shuttles, and then, just for the hell of it, go find a Tatooine-like planet with two suns. Bunch of video game nerds have nergasms over Gears of War 3. 28.7 million pieces of shit watch Ashton Kutcher’s debut on Two and a Half Men. In New York, protestors begin “occupying” Zuccotti Park. Mexican cartel dumps a load of dead bodies on the street. R.E.M. breaks up. The new social networking site Google+ gets released to the general public, general public responds by asking, “What’s a Google+?” and then signing back onto Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, they changed a bunch of shit. Troy Davis, who very well could have had nothing to do with the death of the police officer he was convicted of killing, is executed in Georgia. Einstein was incorrect: Things can actually move faster than the speed of light. The most exciting day in baseball history happens.

October
Amanda Knox, the photogenic student convicted of murdering her roommate while studying abroad in Italy back in 2007, finally set free. Denmark gets their first female Prime Minister. Tiger Woods: not very good at golf anymore. California prisoners go on a hunger strike. NBA locked out. Sarah Palin announces that she will, unfortunately, not run a no-doubt hilarious presidential campaign. NYPD bust the largest identity theft ring in American history. Occupy continues to multiply, first across cities in the U.S. and then overseas. Gaddafi on the run. An intricate and convoluted plot by Iran to kill a Saudi ambassador is broken up. Underwear bomber pleads guilty. iPhone 4S released, many buy it. Google says goodbye to Google Buzz, which nobody used, ever. 100-year-old man runs a marathon, making most of the world feel terrible about themselves. Richard Branson opens up the world’s first commercial “spaceport.” Most deportations out of the US ever. Libyan civil war ends, Gaddafi killed, everyone still not entirely sure how to spell his name. Owner of exotic animal farm in Ohio opens up their cages, releases them, kills himself, causes all sorts of ensuing panic, Dr. Jack Hanna weeps. Obama announces the end of the Iraq war.  Wikileaks suspends publishing in order to make some money. U.S. dismantles their biggest nukes. Occupy Oakland gets tear-gassed. World population reaches 7 fucking billion. Cardinals over Rangers, capping an extremely entertaining baseball postseason. Everyone dresses up like Charlie Sheen for Halloween.

November
Lohan back in jail, again. Pakistan cricket players in jail for fixing games. Greenhouse gases are bad as they’ve ever been, so please just stop breathing, OK? Paintings by Hitler go up for auction. Michael Jackson’s doctor was not a very good doctor, as evidenced by his client’s death, so he’s in jail too. Tibetans cannot stop setting themselves on fire. Crazy pedophile sex scandal breaks out at Penn State. Turns out, Obama and French president don’t really like the Israeli Prime Minister all that much, no doubt hurting his feelings and sending him to cry in his room. In the end, it wasn’t the embarrassing accusations of banging teens that got Berlusconi, it was the economy, you stupid ass. Bionic legs! Moscow, we have a problem. Scientists develop a single-molecule electric car because, what, they got nothing better to do? Everyone in the Middle East kind of puffing up their chests at Iran, who ignores them all and continues to heart nukes like mad. Modern Warfare 3 sets new nerd record. City police finally start kicking out those pesky Occupy protestors. Crazy dude fires gun at White House. LA reopens their investigation of the 30-year-old drowning death of actress Natalie Wood. Pfft, nukes are soooo old-fashioned, here in America, we have hyper-fucking-sonic weapons. NBC finally ends lockout, basketball by Christmas! American Airlines done gone bankrupt.

December
The Cain Train got derailed after nearly every woman he ever worked with accuses him of sexual harassment. Tiger Woods: Now good at golf again. After 541 days without one, Belgium finally has an official government again. The Year of the Protest moves over to Russia, who don’t like that Putin just kind of up and took back control of the government. Former Illinois Governor Blago and his gorgeous mane of hair sentenced to 14 years. Russia just gives up on their Mars mission, telling everyone they might want to duck in 2012. The European Union tries to get their shit together. An unmanned stealth drone crashes in Iran, giving them access to American technology, whoopseedaisy. Canada, we didn’t forget about you, we saw you make some noise and back out of Kyoto Protocol. CERN may have found the Higgs Boson particle, which is of crazy significance to science somehow, but this is not the time nor place to unpack that. Every other American is classified as low income or poor. Christopher Hitchens finds out if he was right. Carlos the Jackal, already serving a life sentence, gets life again, double-life! Batman causes a ruckus in China. Kim Jong-il dies from overwork after dedicating his life to the people.

Dig nifty end of the year lists? Check this out:

VICE Albums of the Year 2011

 

 

 

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