Review: 2021

Although the year 2021 isn’t quite over yet, we may as well write it off now.

This last trip around the sun didn’t really happen. It felt just like an extension of 2020 — the year of the coronavirus. In 2021, the pandemic has dominated our lives since day one.

In all honesty, sometimes I’m not sure what even happened this year because I was cooped up for most of it. I felt disconnected, as if my head was stuck in sand for most of the year — but some noteworthy events did take place after all.

Let’s recap, shall we?

As of the first day of 2021 a certain Austrian village no longer bears the name of “Fucking”. It’s been renamed to “Fugging“.

On January 6th, a mob of Trump loyalists rednecks storms the U.S. Capitol in Washington in an attempted insurrection.

Insurrection! (image via aljazeera.com)

Five people die in what is effectively a declaration of civil war against democracy. Facebook and Twitter kicked @realDonaldTrump off their respective platforms.

Joe Biden took over to clean up the mess left behind, and Angela Merkel stepped down after 16 years as Germany’s chancellor. The Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Andy Jassy took over the reins as Amazon CEO from founder Jeff Bezos. Kim Kardashian and Rihanna are officially billionaires. On the internet nobody knows you’re not a cat.

In March, the Ever Given cargo ship became lodged in the Suez Canal for six days, highlighting the vulnerability of global commerce as well as product shortages.

China lands its Zhurong rover on Mars, three months after NASA’s Perseverance.

The Chinese Zhurong Mars Rover took a selfie (image via https://twitter.com/marszhurong)

Meanwhile on Earth, there were horrendous wildfires across Turkey, Greece, Italy and France while flash floods caused untold damage across western parts of Germany and the Netherlands. A volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma left a path of destruction.

This year we lost Gerry Marsden (of the Pacemakers), former Bond girl Tanya Roberts, film director Michael Apted, wall-of-sound music producer Phil Specter, legendary CNN host Larry King, actor Christopher Plummer, British keyboardist/conductor Louis Clark, porn king and Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, Lou Ottens (father of the cassette tape), motorsports commentator Murray Walker, actor Yaphet Kotto, Britain’s Prince Philip, U.S. fraudster Bernie Madoff, music producer Jim Steinman, Italian songstress Milva, Reggae giant Lee “Scratch” Perry, U.S. politicians Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell, film director Richard Donner, ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, computer pioneer Clive Sinclair, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, Emmet Chapman (inventor of the Chapman Stick), authors Wilbur Smith and Anne Rice, and bass player Robbie Shakespeare.

Daft Punk called it quits. Bill Gates got divorced. Facebook is now Meta.

In 2021 the Internet Archive turned 25. The FLAC format and Human Clock turned 20.

Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram went down on the 4th of October. Pornhub’s top search term for the year was “Hentai”, and Spotify declared some guy called “Bad Bunny” their Global Top Artist of the Year — events that flew past me unnoticed.

Here are some personal highlights:

  • Person of the year: My wife (because she put up with 20 years of being married to me);
  • Song of the year: None (because there was nothing memorable);
  • Album of the year: Garbage ‎– No Gods No Masters (just because);
  • Movie of the year: James Bond: No Time To Die (because cinemas are closed and I haven’t been able to see the new Spider-Man yet);
  • TV series of the year: Squid Game (because it was unusually gripping);
  • Website of the year: Netflix (because I’ve never watched so much TV);
  • Word/Term of the year: Antivaxxer (because they’re fucking around everyone);
  • Event of the year: Home Office (because, during times of #stayhome, going on annual vacation involves no more than moving from one side of the office to the other).

While working from home for almost all of 2021 had huge benefits (especially during night shifts) and afforded extra hours to get all manner of stuff done, I felt totally mothballed.

Of the eight projects I set out (ambitiously, mind you) to do in 2021, I only managed to complete two and a half of those — over and above the others I hadn’t planned for. Nevertheless, I managed to extend the veranda and tiled the greenhouse floor. I put out a release on Bandcamp. I rediscovered my vinyl and stamp collections. I decided that CD singles have no place in my collection. I created a website and online store for my wife’s artwork (despite Godaddy’s shenanigans), and I made my 1500th submission to Discogs.

Cabin fever turns you complacent.

On a more positive note, my list of projects for 2022 will be accordingly shorter.

Christmas babe for 2021 (image via the archives/Tumblr)

I hope that next year last year will be over.

Enjoy the holiday season!

Hover for image credits.

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