As we stand looking ahead to triumphs and trials awaiting us in this New Year, we would be foolish to not look back and learn from the good and bad of the year we leave behind. A lot has happened ranging from the loss of iconic figures on the world stage, to the introduction of the Miley Twerk. If there’s one thing on which most agree (at a time where few people can seem to agree on anything these days) it’s that 2013, while gone, will not easily be forgotten.
As we say goodbye to 2013, let’s revisit the top 10 news-worthy happenings we leave behind:
- British Sci- Fi Series Doctor Who Turns 50
50 years ago on November 23, the longest running episodic series in all of television history was being born and no one knew it – Doctor · Who – and the adventures of this alien time traveler cavorting through all of space and time with his human companions has been entertaining audiences ever since. One of the many noteworthy things about this anniversary of WHO is the final curtain for the current Doctor, Matt Smith who, on Christmas Day regenerated to be replaced by Peter Capaldi.
Usually an anniversary special further established a Doctor’s place in the mythos that is Doctor Who. However, this time we have Matt (a very popular actor in the role), hanging up his trademark bow tie and fez, with fans and industry insiders really wondering why. Well, all conspiracy theories aside we want to give props to everyone at the Doctor Who camp past and present for 50 years of amazing story telling.
So why are the happenings of a television series so monumental as to make a 2013 list of best and worst? Doctor · Who is a pop culture phenomenon that has spread across the globe with fanatical devotion in ages from the very old to now, the very young thanks to the exciting and youthful portrayal by our exiting Doctor, Matt Smith. So much so that it touches even the role play realms in Second Life as reported not too long ago by WorldsOfRoleplay.com. While a static “sim” for role play of this traveling genre was discovered to not be possible, it was reported that groups of fans would travel to other interesting sims across the grid and among themselves, portray their favorite characters, fighting their most feared enemies and creating even more stories of the epic time traveler’s exploits. Here’s to another 50 years!
- 400 CGI Artists picket the Academy Awards and for very good reasons
Two of the biggest special effects studios declared bankruptcy in 2013—Digital Domain, and Rhythm & Hues, who won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects this year for their work on Life of Pi, one of two of their works up for the same epic award. How could this be when movies so heavily rely upon CGI to keep us glued to the screen you ask? Well the answer, while not complex, is disturbing. According to one reporter:
“Artists will regularly not get paid over time, even when working 15-hour days and weekends. Studios will renege on contracts, just to see if they can. Companies will hold back payroll for as long as possible.” Hollywood insists on flat rates from the studios, calling them button pushers, then extending the workload and length of contract sometimes to the tune of 4 times the original budgeted time and expense and the effect’s company’s only recourse is to take it, or the studio gives the project to someone else, giving them nothing at all.
The lack of respect that Hollywood has for the VFX/CGI community was on display for all to see when they rushed Oscar winning visual effects veteran, Rhythm & Hues, off the stage while playing the theme from Jaws to prevent anyone from hearing what they had to say about the state of the industry in their acceptance of the award!
It is no coincidence; we are told by iMoogi.TV’s CEO Tracy Renee, that iMoogi was born this same year. “We have close ties to the CGI and entertainment industries already, through our other business dealings, and recognized quickly the problem and vacuum created by such devastating abuse of an entire industry. This exact situation is the fire from which iMoogi was hatched,” she confided in us. Thank goodness 2013 also was the year a company like IMOOGI TV was launched, to be an alternative to CGI artists looking to be respected and adequately compensated for the amazing work they do. “CGI artists do not need someone telling them how to be creative, they just need fair distribution with a true means to monetize their channels and grow their fan-bases. That, is iMoogi.TV,” Tracy concluded.
- The Boston Redsocks win the World Series.
Who could forget The Boston Redsocks, having won their first world series in 95 years! Congratulations to the players, they worked hard for it.
- The Cleveland House of Horrors
2013 saw three women set free from a house of horrors in Cleveland Ohio that they had been trapped in for at least a decade thanks to Charles Ramsey a next door neighbor. Other neighbors reported calling the police multiple times over the years due to seeing so many strange things. Reports of women naked with dog collars crawling through the dirt and a lady banging on the windows with a baby calling for help all went without follow up by local law enforcement for years.
- Famous Deaths in 2013
Like the years before it, 2013 had its own list of notable deaths, however due to space limitations we will only share a few here:
Nelson Mandella: South Africa’s first black president and an enduring icon of the struggle against racial oppression, died in 2013, Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in prison after being convicted of treason by the white minority government, only to forge a peaceful end to white rule by negotiating with his captors after his release in 1990. He led the African National Congress, a long-time banned liberation movement, to a resounding electoral victory in 1994, the first fully democratic election in the country’s history.
James Gandolfini, 51, beefy, balding actor who personified the Mafia for millions as New Jersey family patriarch Tony Soprano in HBO’s acclaimed series, “The Sopranos.” He won three Emmy Awards for his performance. He also had dozens of film roles, including CIA Director Leon Panetta in last year’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” Heart attack, June 19.
Paul Walker, 40, star of the Fast & Furious street-racing movie series. Car accident, Nov. 30.
Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson in season three of the Fox television show “Glee” died of a drug overdose July 13
Lou Reed, 71, hugely influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly 50 years of rock music. With the Velvet Underground in the late 1960s, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music. As a solo artist from the 1970s into the 2010s, he was as unpredictable as he was influential. Cause not given, Oct. 27.
Roger Ebert, 70. First journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize for movie criticism, who, on his long-running TV review program (with the late Gene Siskel, wielded the nation’s most influential thumb. April 4.
Margaret Thatcher, 87. Conservative British prime minister who infuriated European allies, found a fellow believer in Ronald Reagan and transformed her country by a ruthless dedication to free markets. April 8. Stroke.
George Jones, 81. Peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaker “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” April 26.
- Celebrity Breakdowns in 2013
Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson:
It seemed all was smooth sailing for the A&E stars of the hit reality show Duck Dynasty. Wrapping up a 500 million dollar year in overall earnings, no one in the DD camp could have been happier till the GQ magazine interview of patriarch Phil Robertson revealed controversial views regarding blacks and homosexuals. The initial response was suspension from the hit show for Robertson and retailers like Cracker Barrell pulled their merchandise from shelves. However all the disciplinary actions taken on behalf of the communities offended by Robertson’s remarks were short-lived. Make time to read Phil’s comments and decide for yourselves if this type of speech deserves disciplinary actions.
Miley Miley Miley!
Now whether this actually qualifies as a celebrity in trouble, time will tell, but it seems the further Miley goes to the Dark Side and I don’t mean of the Force, people have been vocal about Miley losing it. With the aid of some of hip hops top talent and producers, a new more urban R rated Miley was born, an image that had many fans asking her to remember her race and stop acting black. However unmoved by the much larger support of her die hard fans and the new cross over ones, Miley seems to be laughing all the way to the bank or is it the psych ward? After twerking videos, twerking on married Robin Thicke, breaking up with her fiancé Liam Helmsworth and very racy videos, the Miley we thought we knew has left the building.
Last year was not very kind to Justin. He broke up with his girlfriend Selena Gomez, was getting in trouble with fast cars, public urination, alleged prostitutes and that was before the Biebs even broke a sweat. He would go on to curse about a former president, offend visitors at historic sites like the home of Ann Frank and the Great Wall of China. When we last heard from the young crooner he had just announced his retirement. As we said 2013 was not all that for JB!
- The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing
When the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon in 2013, it felt like we could be headed for another 911 all over again. A top notch man hunt went into effect and the two men involved were quickly discovered with one being killed during the pursuit to capture them.
- The 2013 US Government Shutdown
From October 1 through 16, 2013, the United States federal government entered a shutdown and halted most routine operations after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014, or a continuing resolution for the temporary authorization of appropriations for fiscal year 2014. Regular government operations resumed October 17 after an interim appropriations bill was signed into law.
During the shutdown, approximately 800,000 federal employees were indefinitely laid off, and another 1.3 million were required to report to work without known payment dates. Only those government services deemed “excepted” under the Anti-deficiency Act were continued; and only those employees deemed “excepted” continued to report to work.
- The 2013 Acquittal of George Zimmerman for the Travon Martin killing
SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge. After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Mr. Zimmerman had deliberately pursued Mr. Martin because he assumed the hoodie-clad teenager was a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death.
Mr. Zimmerman said he shot Mr. Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk. In finding him not guilty of murder or manslaughter, the jury agreed that Mr. Zimmerman could have been justified in shooting Mr. Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death. However juror B29, the lone Hispanic juror in the George Zimmerman murder trial flatly said that she thought Zimmerman was guilty. Yet she still voted to acquit.
The fumbled debut of the Affordable Care Act, often dubbed Obamacare was 2013’s top news story.
The President and his team had high expectations for the health-care reform package, but technical glitches on the HealthCare.gov website prevented all that. Out of the millions of uninsured who stood to benefit from wider access to health insurance coverage, just six were able to sign up for such benefits on the day of the website’s Oct. 1 launch,
Now according to one report:
Those numbers didn’t rise much higher until far into November, when technical crews went to work on the troubled site, often shutting it down for hours for repairs. Republicans opposed to the Affordable Care Act pounced on the debacle, and a month after the launch Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Americans, “You deserve better, I apologize.” Also apologizing was President Barack Obama, who in November said he was “sorry” to hear that some Americans were being dropped from their health plans due to the advent of reforms — even though he had repeatedly promised that this would not happen.
By Dec. 11, it was announced that nearly 365,000 consumers had successfully selected a health plan through the federal- and state-run online “exchanges,” although that number was still far below initial projections.
And a report issued the same day found that one new tenet of the reform package — allowing young adults under 26 to be covered by their parents’ plans — has led to a significant jump in coverage for people in that age group.