Tuesday, 24 December 2013

2013 annual


As the year draws to a close with the convenient bookends of a calendar, it is remarkable to look back and see some of the nascent events—themselves a part of an unbroken chain of consequences and choices, scatter broadly over time and culture. Once plotted and understood in terms of custody and causation, I wonder if anything will go without attribution—though that's, I think, beyond the jurisdiction and competency of PfRC, in the future. I also wonder post-axiomatic logic is such a good thing in itself, since those influences are subject to interpretation and partisanship, which is somewhat easier and self-affirming that research and reasoning. Let's see what surprises remain and what's incubating.


january or alright, mister demille, i'm ready for my re-take: The year began with double-bluffs of the so-called fiscal cliff, culminating in a season of paralysis and donning and doffing blame and responsibilities that led to the furloughing of federal workers and a complete government shutdown for the United States. Looming civil conflicts in Syria are re-polarising politics and set the stage for a redux of colonialism, which really coloured the rest of the year.
february or sede vacante: The newly installed young leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea continues to provoke the international community through ever more aggressive nuclear testing—although Kim Jong-Un, though the help of special emissaries, has back-down somewhat, only to have those aspirations compensated with increased isolation and executing relatives and ex-partners. A meteor exploded over a Russian city and video footage was caught by dozen of dashboard-mounted cameras. Prosthetic limbs are created with three-dimensional printing techniques. German Pope Benedict XVI resigned his post, becoming the first pontiff to do so voluntarily in over eight hundred years.
march or habemus papem: Francis I is elected as Pope, becoming the first Jesuit pope and the first from the New World, and throughout the remainder of the year, calls for reforms in the Church and surprises the whole world with his humility and acts of loving-kindness. The financial ministries of the EU agree on a pact to stave off bankruptcy in Cyprus and Luxembourg, but crises are not avoided altogether.
april or iron lady: A slow-cooker converted into an explosive is detonated during the Boston Marathon. A commercial building in Bangladesh collapses, killing hundreds and injuring thousands. Former divisive but influential UK Prime Minister Margret Thatcher passes away.
may or songs that made the hit parade: Human stem-cells are created by cloning. We had to say goodbye to the stage and screen actress, Jean Stapleton. Consumers and national fronts reject corn and other staples exported from the US due to concerns over the safety of genetically modified food-stuffs and the risk of contamination to the food-chain and larger ecology.  A lot of other supranational and corporately unilateral treaties find themselves in jeopardy later on.
june or i-spy: Former NSA contractor flees to Hong Kong, releasing a cache of files on surveillance practises of the US and partner spy agencies. The uproar wells through out the year as the scope unfolds.
july or countermand: Dissatisfied with the countries leadership since the discharge of Mubarak and a crack-down precipitated against more conservative elements, a counter-revolution brings violence to Egypt and results in the closure of foreign missions and a general retreat by Western powers. Prince George is born in London, one day heir to the British crown. After more than a decade of conflict, the United States is forced to rethink the timeline for withdrawal in Afghanistan.
august or from russia, with love: We had to say goodbye to journalist and anchorman, Sir David Frost. America's Central Intelligence Agency admitted it's role in orchestrated the 1953 coup d'état in Iran. The partner of the chief journalist and confidante of Edward Snowden is detained in transit for what information he might have been privy to. Now holed up in Russia, concepts like airspace and sovereignty and statelessness are matters of discussion—besides from boundaries and trust trounced upon.
september or fabu: Many athletes and activists are calling for boycotting the Winter Games in Sochi due to the host nation's stance on gay rights. No amends were forthcoming although the hosts rescinded early warning that the safety of gay olympians could not be protected. Possibly the exposure and pressure lead to a tumult of unexpected state-pardons later in the year. 2013 was a banner-year for gay-rights internationally, however, with the US Supreme Court refusing to uphold the Defence of Marriage Act and recognition creeping into legislatures around the world.
october or hatee, hatee, hatee-ho: The quirky hit by a Norwegian musical duo quickly went viral. We had to say goodbye to novelist Tom Clancy and to stellar musician Lou Reed. Those responsible for the disruptive suspension of government services in the US escaped revolt and being held to account by technical glitches on the universal health-care sign-up web-site that was the source of all this testing of the wills in the first place.
november or zeitgeist: A powerful typhoon lands on Vietnam and the Philippines, causing grave damage and killing thousands. We also had to say goodbye to author Doris Lessing. A haul of missing art treasures first identified by German customs officials in Münich, not see since before WWII, again came into media attention.
december or madiba: South African president and reformer Nelson Mandela passes away at the age of 95. We also had to say goodbye to actor Peter O'Toole. China lands the first probe on the Moon since 1976.