Our look back at the what we think are the eight most significant days of 2004.
Monday, January 19
Played nearly 700 times on national radio and television stations in the days after it is uttered, Howard Dean’s maniacal scream changes the course of the Democratic Primary. Nary a month and a half earlier he was 20 points ahead in the polls. But after coming in third in the Iowa primary, the speech, delivered on Martin Luther King’s birthday, becomes known as the “I have a scream” speech. It almost immediately attains cult status in America. Officially printed as “Yeagh!” in most media, the Drudge Report printed it the next morning as “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!,” which is closer to how it sounds. The sound clip has since been remixed into many songs, including Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train (Dean’s Aboard), “Welcome to Dean’s Jungle” by Guns & Roses, “Deansane in the Brain,” and a “Dean Twilight Zone”(listen to them online at http://politicalhumor.about.com/b/a/059035.htm). Dean’s scream is also rumored to be included as a human death scream sound clip in the popular Xbox video game Halo 2.
Sunday, February 1
Janet Jackson upsets the karmic balance of the universe by allowing Justin Timberlake to tear off a portion of her clothes during the final moments of the Superbowl XXXVIII half-time show. Although Jackson claims it was a wardrobe malfunction (who wears nipple jewelry like that and doesn’t expect it to get seen by someone?) the damage is done. The event launches a feeding frenzy by the Federal Communications Commission looking in to anything and everything possibly offensive on television and radio resulting in numerous fines for corporate media. Howard Stern, of course, complains in his narcissistic way that he is being singled out.
Tuesday, April 13
“Coalition forces have encountered serious violence in some areas of Iraq. Our military commanders report this violence is being insticated by three groups.”
–George W. Bush, Washington D.C.
This quote could be made on any day, but what makes it unique is our leader’s choice of words. He may not be as stupid as most think. Many of his words over the last few years are entering our daily vocabulary and may, one day, become “officialized.” Here are a few “Bushisms” with their generally accepted definitions.
Misunderestimate–to seriously underestimate.
Embetter–to make peoples lives gooder.
Foreign–handed–ruled by a foreign power
Subliminable–acting in a sneaky way
They–already a common word, but the definition broadened after the President said, “You are either with us, or against us.” It now refers to anyone who disagrees with the current administration.
Compassionated–increasing the amount of compassion one has via a third party or product.
Internets–the secret number of additional computer networks beyond the one the world knows about.
Mexican–the language spoken South of the border.
Hispanically–pertaining to Hispanics. Also can be used with other ethnic and nations. For example: Luxembourgly and Canadianly.
Hyporhetorical–referring to two or more rhetoricals at the same time.
Is–definition now broadened to include the third person plural of the verb “to be.” Used by Bush when he said, “Is your children learning?”
Strategery–strategic planning of one’s strategy.
Uninalienable–not inalienable, as in, if you are not an American you may have uninalienable rights.
Tacular–a new word combining tactical and nuclear as in “tacular weapons.”
Wednesday, April 28
Most historians mark today as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq. CBS News broadcasts the first photos of American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison abusing Iraqi prisoners. The images show naked prisoners subjected to humiliation and psychological torture involving the threat of death, electrocution, dog attacks and even actual physical torture. In time, the International Red Cross and other human rights organizations outline abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and the discovery of secret CIA prisons around the world where torture is alleged to have happened and presumably continues. It is also reported that in closed door hearings before Congress, the Pentagon has presented evidence of further crimes by U.S. soldiers including the raping of female detainees and the sexual abuse of minors.
Tuesday, September 21
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, is denied entrance the United States when his plane is diverted from Washington D.C. to Bangor, Maine. He is questioned and deported back to Britain after officials claim he was on the government’s terrorist “no-fly” list. A few days later it was reported by Time magazine reports that Islam shouldn’t have been deported because there was no Yusuf Islam on the list, but there was a Youssouf Islam. It’s nice to know that those guarding our borders from terrorists can read.
Wednesday, October 27
The Boston Red Sox eighty-six the 86-year-old “Curse of the Bambino” and win the World Series. Appropriately that it also marks the first time a total lunar eclipse has occurred during the World Series. Now Boston Red Sox fans have nothing to whine about. The devil will collect now.
Wednesday, November 3
Most Americans wake up to find that George W. Bush won the presidential election by a margin only slightly larger than his “win” over Vice President Al Gore four years earlier. Despite continuing efforts by conspiracy theorists, sore losers and lawyers, what voting fraud that has been found is not big enough to overturn the election.
Thursday, November 11
Every year famous people die. Today Palestinian Authority President Yassir Arafat passes away. We chose his passing as the most significant of the year because of his ongoing influence in the politics of the Middle East. Winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, he also led a violent struggle for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Other significant deaths this year include: Richard Avedon, Marlon Brando, Richard Butler, Ray Charles, Julia Child, Alistair Cooke, Rodney Dangerfield, Spalding Gray, J. J. Jackson, Rick James, Estée Lauder, Janet Leigh, Russ Meyer, Helmut Newton, ODB (Ol’ Dirty Bastard), Jack Paar, Johnny Ramone, Tony Randall, Ronald Reagan, Christopher Reeve, Pierre Salinger, Peter Ustinov, Fred Whipple, Paul Winfield and Fay Wray.
• The day that a barrel of oil topped $50.
• The day Mayor Bieter was sworn in.
• The day that the 10 Commandments monument was moved by the city of Boise.
• The premier of Fahrenheit 9/11, but we couldn’t decide between the Los Angeles or the New York premier which were one week apart.
• The day Google went public.
• The premier of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ which surprised the hell out of Hollywood.