Remembering 2005 (In Case You Forgot)

A compilation of retrospectives from the year that was

| January 5, 2006


Year of joy and year of woe, 2005 was no snoozer. It kept us guessing as to what would be the next natural disaster, high-power scandal, or celebrity breakup. Well, the guessing is over and the results are in -- and in case you missed them, they've been compiled into handy retrospective lists dispersed throughout the web. For your browsing pleasure, we've put together a little roundup of the roundups. In 2006, may the scandals be more dramatic, the disasters less frequent, and the celebrity breakups easier on everyone.

TomDispatch.com presents their Political Folly Awards. As they put it, 'ever fewer members of the Bush administration and associated bureaucrats, spooks, and Pentagon officials took ever more' of the Political Folly Awards this year. Highlight: John Yoo wins The Most Ubiquitous Uncivil Servant Award for following up his performance 'redefining torture almost out of existence' with writings justifying 'that foundational American dream of an unfettered presidency.'

In 'The Christian Right: Looking Back, Looking Forward,' The Revealer reports that Concerned Women for America (CWA), a 'conservative outfit,' tallied the following successes in 2005: 'creationism in Kansas, John Roberts,' and the fact that, as CWA puts it, '[v]alues (pro-life) voters are now feared ... by liberal politicians.'

Not to wallow in too much doom and gloom, though, we take you to Truthout.org's 10 Good Things About Another Bad Year by Medea Benjamin. A sampling of the good news: 'The global movement for peace and justice proved it was alive and kicking.'



The BBC Magazine put together an almanac of 100 tidbits, from the spicy to the quaint, culled from their weekly feature '10 Things We Didn't Know This Time Last Week.' Apparently '[o]ne in 10 Europeans is allegedly conceived in an Ikea bed,' and '[y]ou are 176 times more likely to be murdered than to win the National Lottery.' It makes one wonder about the chances of winning the National Lottery while being conceived in an Ikea bed.

And finally, an intellectual roundup of sorts. Each year John Brockman's Edge poses one question and solicits submissions from the unnervingly brilliant. This year's query: 'What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about ... that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?'