Monday, January 2, 2012

My Personal Best (and worst) of 2011

Best new things I discovered this year:  
-- Café Vivoli, a great lunch spot in the SF Financial District where you can get Hawaiian bar-b-q (though for obvious reasons, I never do), excellent pasta, or all you can eat pizza and salad for $6.99 after 3.
--Science Friday, great radio show (KQED 88.5 FM Fridays 2:00 pm) where you can learn about everything from the search for extraterrestrials to the habits of woodpeckers to bioremediation
-- I can get all my news from Jon Stewart

Best rediscovery:  making pancakes on weekends

Best new dish I made:  spinach, bean and cheese enchilada casserole

Best political actionReoccupation of Justin Hermann Plaza

Best of Democracy Sometimes (based partly on which sparked the most discussion from you):   Slut Walks and Porn Wars, This Day in History: Martial Law in the Castro


Best movie I saw:  Have to admit, I saw almost no new movies last year.  I think it’s the first year I was in this country when I’d seen not one of the Best Picture Oscar nominees by the time the award was given.  Of the few I did see, Midnight in Paris wins hands down.

Worst thing in the mainstream media (very tough choice):
“Once upon a time, when major news events were chronicled strictly by professionals and printed on paper or transmitted through the air by the few for the masses, protesters were prime makers of history. Back then, when citizen multitudes took to the streets without weapons to declare themselves opposed, it was the very definition of news — vivid, important, often consequential. In the 1960s in America they marched for civil rights and against the Vietnam War; in the '70s, they rose up in Iran and Portugal; in the '80s, they spoke out against nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Europe, against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, against communist tyranny in Tiananmen Square and Eastern Europe. Protest was the natural continuation of politics by other means.
"And then came the End of History, summed up by Francis Fukuyama's influential 1989 essay declaring that mankind had arrived at the "end point of ... ideological evolution" in globally triumphant "Western liberalism." The two decades beginning in 1991 witnessed the greatest rise in living standards that the world has ever known. Credit was easy, complacency and apathy were rife, and street protests looked like pointless emotional sideshows — obsolete, quaint, the equivalent of cavalry to mid-20th-century war. The rare large demonstrations in the rich world seemed ineffectual and irrelevant. (See the Battle of Seattle, 1999.) “
from Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” cover story  

Best book I read (not necessarily new this year):  
   Nonfiction:  The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
   Fiction:  Lost City Radio, Daniel Alarcon 

Proudest achievements:  Blogging regularly, and completing two drafts of Murder Under the Fig Tree

Would love to hear what's on your lists!

1 comment:

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