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Friday, January 02, 2015

2014 In Pop Culture - News Events

Well, here we are.  The final chapter in our look back at 2014 in pop culture.  To end this feature off right, we're taking a look back at the events that changed the face of our planet and mourning the losses of some famous folks.


And following the conclusion of this blog, I will have a very important announcement to make regarding the immediate future of A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE.  So, definitely stay tuned for that one.

For now, here's a flashback of the year gone by.  We will start with news events.  I will go month by month and list two or three major happenings that took place during that month.  Some are good moments, some are bad moments, and some are - pardon my abbreviated French - WTF moments.  How many do you remember?

1 - Recreational marijuana shops open in Colorado following the legalization of marijuana in that state
29 - Singer Justin Bieber surrenders to Toronto authorities on charges of assault

7 - The 2014 Winter Olympic Games hosts its opening ceremonies in Sochi, Russia.  The event concludes on the 23rd
22 - The Parliament of Ukraine votes to oust President Viktor Yanukovich from office after days of civil unrest
26 - Pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine leads to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation

8 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people aboard
24 - Russia is temporarily suspended from the G8 following the annexation of Crimea
25 - The World Health Organization reports on the Ebola outbreak which originated in Western Africa in December 2013

10 - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passes a resolution of strip Russia of its voting rights on a temporary basis following the Crimean crisis of 2014
14 - In Nigeria, an estimated 276 women are abducted from a school and held hostage
16 - A Korean ferry boat capsizes and sinks, killing 304 people - most of the victims being high school students

5 - Boko Haram militants kill three hundred people in a night attack on Gamboru Ngala
18 - AT&T agrees to purchase DirecTV in a $48.5 million deal

5 - ISIS begins its offensive through Northern Iraq in an effort to capture the city of Baghdad
8 - "All The Way" is named Best Play at the 68th Annual Tony Awards

8 - Israel launches "Operation Protective Edge" on the Palestinian Gaza Strip
13 - Germany wins the 2014 FIFA World Cup
17 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers on board
24 - Air Algerie Flight 5017 crashes in Mali, killing all 116 passengers

8 - The United States military begins air campaign in an attempt to slow down ISIS

27 - Japan's Mount Ontake erupts, leaving 250 people stranded and airplanes being forced to change their flight routes

20 - In Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Warrant officer Patrice Vincent is killed when he and another soldier are struck in a hit and run caused by an ISIS/ISIL sympathizer
22 - A gunman storms Parliament Hill in Ottawa, killing Corporal Nathan Cirillo before being taken down by Commons Sergeant Kevin Vickers

12 - The Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe lands successfully on Comet 67P - the first time in history that such a feat has ever happened
24 - Riots take place in Ferguson, Missouri following the grand jury's decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the August death of Michael Brown

15 - A man takes several people hostage inside of a cafe in Sydney, Australia - the ordeal ends hours later with the deaths of the gunman and two hostages
28 - Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 disappears with 162 people aboard; the wreckage is later found in the Java Sea

So, those were the major events that took place in 2014.  Now, let us take a moment to pause and reflect on some of the people we lost in 2014.

January 11 - ARIEL SHARON, 85, former Israeli Prime Minister

February 2 - PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, 46, actor
February 10 - SHIRLEY TEMPLE BLACK, 85, actress
February 12 - SID CAESAR, 91, actor
February 24 - HAROLD RAMIS, 69, actor/director
March 21 - JAMES REBHORN, 65, actor

April 6 - MICKEY ROONEY, 93, actor
April 29 - BOB HOSKINS, 71, actor
May 2 - EFREM ZIMBALIST JR., 95, actor
May 6 - FARLEY MOWAT, 92, author
May 28 - MAYA ANGELOU, 86, author/poet
June 9 - RIK MAYALL, 56, actor/comedian
June 11 - RUBY DEE, 91, actress

June 15 - CASEY KASEM, 82, radio host/voice actor
June 27 - BOBBY WOMACK, 70, singer/songwriter
June 30 - PAUL MAZURSKY, 84, director/producer
July 11 - TOMMY RAMONE, 65, musician/record producer
July 16 - JOHNNY WINTER, 70, singer/guitarist
July 17 - ELAINE STRITCH, 89, actress/singer
July 19 - JAMES GARNER, 86, actor

August 11 - ROBIN WILLIAMS, 63, actor/comedian
August 12 - LAUREN BACALL, 89, actress
August 24 - RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, 90, actor/director

September 4 - JOAN RIVERS, 81, comedienne/actress
September 10 - RICHARD KIEL, 74, actor
September 12 - JOE SAMPLE, 75, pianist
September 20 - POLLY BERGEN, 84, actress
October 9 - JAN HOOKS, 57, actress/comedienne
October 14 - ELIZABETH PENA, 55, actress
October 20 - OSCAR DE LA RENTA, 82, fashion designer
November 1 - WAYNE STATIC, 48, musician
November 19 - MIKE NICHOLS, 83, director
December 22 - CHRISTINE CAVANAUGH, 51, voice actress

December 22 - JOE COCKER, 70, singer
December 31 - EDWARD HERRMANN, 71, actor

They will be forever missed.

And now comes my announcement. 

Over the last three and a half years, I've kept you all entertained with this blog.  I have kept a largely structured blog where every day was a theme day, and where I did a lot of research to try and bring the pop culture to you at every opportunity.

What I ended up doing was taking myself out of the equation.  And well, you can't have much of a blog if you don't put a little of yourself into it.  Otherwise it just reads like a bad Wikipedia entry.

So, I'm doing away with almost all of the theme days and implementing a free speech theme for this whole year.  I am going to make this mostly a year of WHO AM I entries...because over the last couple of years, I have really lost focus of who I am.  And, frankly, I want to get that back.

I'm off to a great start with cutting out toxic people, and focusing on those who do care about me the most.  Why surround yourself with negativity?  I'm also plotting a couple of things out that will allow me to build a more positive foundation.  But most of all, I want to recapture my love of writing.  I spent so much time doing pop culture research that I sort of put everything else on the backburner.

If I happen to be thinking pop culture along the way, so be it.  And the Tuesday Timelines will be sticking around for the foreseeable future, as I always have fun writing those.  But everything else...well, I guess we'll just leave it up to fate.  And sometimes, I may not have anything to write in the blog other than a meaningful quote.  But, sometimes, less is more.  I guess that is something that I have to go by as I begin this year off with a lot of uncertainty about myself and my future.

I'm ready for the challenge, and I hope all of you will be along for the ride as I make this radical change.

Hang on's gonna be a bumpy ride.

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