The sunlight is starting to fade outside in the streets. I look through the window from my home town, thinking that in about 4 hours, I will be living a bran new year. This fact makes me think about the present combination of twelve months…For a moment, I have the feeling that I would not be able to described 2010 with one word…But even so, I try, and the word that I find in the back of my mind is: ‘overwhelming’. Maybe you disagree with me, dear reader. I really hope so, and I really hope that the word you will use to define 2010 would be Awesome, Wonderful, or Great. However, when you take a look at the news, it is difficult to not feel upset. What has happened in 2010? What have we seen on the television, or read in the newspapers?
Unfortunately the year started with a massive earthquake in Haiti, and alter on the year another one in Chile. Several accidents have occurred all around the globe. Again in Chile, a mine collapsed with its miners inside the underground cave. Luckily enough they all came back to the surface alive. What else? A world-scale scandal started with the issue of Wikileaks, and it still continues. Money has been cut down: governments, work places, families… We as students suffer this all, but also, in addition as we study in the U.K our “wonderful” Prime Minister has decided to rise our Tuition Fees, cut off resources for many degrees…All these at the same time that a brief insulting riot took place in London during Remembrance Day…2010…What a lovely year, right? Well, maybe I have been a bit too pessimistic. Let’s think about this year as something else, something that is part of our memory. 2010 is also a year of anniversaries, anniversary of sad events, funny events or just shocking or curious facts.
For example, 500 years ago the artist Botticelli died, but he left an amazing artistic legacy behind him, of which we should be pleased. 300 years ago, the first law about copyright appeared in the U.K!…Annd you though that was something new! 150 years ago the Ponny Express was inaugurated, and two great artists were born: J.M Barry and Maller. 100 years ago the first match of the Five Nations rugby tournament took place. Yes, it was that long ago. Also, at that same year, women were winning their rights to study at universities, and China said “good-bye” to slavery.75 years ago, “The King”, Elvis Presley was born, the first canned drink was commercialised in the U.S.A and Roosevelt passed the Social Security law…In addition, the nazis, at the same time, enacted the Nuremberg law…50 years ago, the U.S.A government created the law that granted voting for black population. Our last stage in this compilation of anniversaries that took place in 2010, is 1985. In that year, 17 different African countries got their independence. In the U.K, M. Thatcher won her conflict against the miners and Gorvachov was pronounced secretary of the PCUS. Also, the Rainbow Warrior (Green Peace boat) was attacked by the French secret services and a terrible earthquake took place in Mexico D.C, causing more than 10.000 vixtims…
Unfortunately history repeats itself…Earthquakes, political problems…But it also repeats itself for good. Technological advances, like the canned drink nowadays have been replaced by items such as the IPad (significance of this artifact is shown in The Economist top 20 charts, No.6). Joyful events have taken place this year as well. Aun San Suu Kyi has been finally released, good news for the Birmanian people. Spain won the FIFA World Cup. The football national team make their country smile and forget about the bad things for almost a whole month. Perhaps 2010 can teach us about disgrace but also about joy.
I would like to put some emphasis now, just before I finish this post, on a series of articles that have been published in The Guardian. ‘A history of the year in 100 objects’ they have been called.To give some examples, I have personally chosen a Berlusconi face mask, the Georgian Flag (R.I.P Nodar Kumaritashvili), Nelson Mandela’s buggy and, surprise, surprise, a turquoise hat. I think these 100 articles somehow, even though they could seem insignificant for many, show us what things are important for our society, what are our concerns, our problems, and that is history folks. History of the present, but already history as 2010 is leaving us.We will never be certain if it was a good year or a bad year, or something else, but be optimistic; at least the Mayans postpone the end of the world until 2012!
So, good-bye 2010, and Happy New Year to you, whoever you are, be merry and joyful and check this video that summarises the whole idea of this post:
List of Sources:
-La Vanguardia (Spanish Newspaper): Efemérides
-The Guardian: A history of the year in 100 objects
-The Economist: Top 20 Charts (really interesting)
-El Pais (Spanish Newspaper), ‘Los Rostros de 2010′, Sunday,26/12/2010