RYOT’S Year in Review: 2012 words about 2012

3 years ago
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2012, you’ve come and gone, and you’ve given us a lot worth remembering and some things that we’d rather forget. What better way to honor you than with a cheeky, 2012 word long, love letter in list form?

  • Ryan Gosling memes
  • Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby, Blue Ivy, is born. Immediately ousts Suri as Hollywood’s golden child.
  • Snooki also has a baby. Baby Lorenzo proves adorable, poses no threat to Blue Ivy’s social standing.
  • Juice cleanses have a moment: a three-day liquid diet from Pressed Juicery retails for $350.
Image via The Atlantic
  • The Costa Corcordia sinks Italy’s Isla Del Giglio—Captain Francesco Schettino abandons the cruise ship he sank while texting.
  • Lana Del Rey “performs” on SNL. Too soon, LDR, too soon.
  • The internet freaks out, goes after SOPA bill with social media guns blazing in the very definition of a viral campaign.
  • Gluten-free
  • Heidi Klum and Seal announce divorce. Some people stop believing in love.
  • Facebook Timeline goes into effect, much to the dissatisfaction of 800 million people.
Image via Sports Illustrated
  • Kate Upton
  •  “Draw Something” app replaces Scramble and Words With Friends as must-have time waster.
  • Whitney Houston is found dead in her bathtub in the Beverley Hilton before the Grammies.
  • Performance group Pussy Riot arrested in Russia for “hooliganism” in a Russian Orthodox cathedral.
  • ESPN uses  “Chink In the Armor” headline. #Linsanity starts trending.
  • Angie’s right leg.
  • Florida teen Treyvon Martin is shot and killed by overzealous neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
  • Rush Limbaugh calls birth control advocate Sandra Fluke a “slut.”
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke coins the third most overused phrase of 2012: “fiscal cliff.”
  • The second most overused phrase of 2012: “Swag”
  • The most overused phrase of 2012: “Yolo”
  • Leap Year. (BTW- the Mayans didn’t account for leap years in their calendar. If they had, the end of the world would have happened in summer ’11.)
  • Fun’s “We Are Young featuring Janelle Monáe dominates the Billboard Top 100 for six weeks.
  • Invisible Children’s Kony 2012.
  • Crossfit training becomes latest “it” workout.
  • Duck Dynasty premieres on A&E. We mistakenly think TV can sink no further.
  • Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale and others post a video singing along to a previously unknown song, “Call Me Maybe.”
  • Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is then stuck in everyone’s head the entire summer. The. Entire. Summer.
  • The Hunger Games premieres, becoming the #1 movie and #1 book in America this year. (Sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay round out top 3 on best-seller list.)
  • #Cyberbullying
  • Titanic 3D rerelease earns almost $100 million.
  • Samantha Brick complains about the downsides of her stunning good looks. (Spoiler alert- no one hates her because of her looks.)
  • So wrong, so right: the world threatens to implode from narcissism when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West start dating.
  • Spoofs of British WWII phrase “Keep Calm And Carry On” take over.
  • UK boy band One Direction hysteria spreads stateside.
photogenic man
  • The most photogenic man alive is captured on camera, promptly challenges Ryan Gosling in a battle of handsome-themed memes.
  • Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion. Everyone on Instagram groans.
  • Lena Dunham’s Girls premieres on HBO. Sometimes hard to watch, always easy to relate to, the show ushers in an era of reality fiction nothing like the early 2000’s glossy foursome of Sex And The City.
  • Freak tornados ravage the Midwest.
  • The year of the music festival—Coachella is booked for two weekends and sells both out, and Burning Man sells out for the first time ever.
  • Coachella attendees get money’s worth: Tupac returns (as hologram) to perform with Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre.
  • Fifty Shades Of Grey
  • Phrase “Silicon Beach” coined to describe the tech start up paradise that springs up in Santa Monica, CA.
  • Michael Scott leaves The Office.
  • Zoo porn? Artificial insemination of a Panda is broadcast on social media, #pandaAI.
  • Jessica Simpson is pregnant, like, this entire year.
  • High-heel wedge sneakers.
  • Britney Spears is employed! Signs $15 million deal with X Factor.
  • John Travolta finds himself at the center of a mile-high, gay sex scandal.
  • Facebook IPO tanks. Everyone who hates Timeline snickers vindictively.
  • No Doubt announces reunion. Fans rejoice.
  • 98 Degrees announces reunion too. (Their fan is excited as well.)
  • Zombie fever trends in general. Blame Randy Eugene’s bath salt fueled attack on Florida, blame AMC’s The Walking Dead, blame the upcoming end of the world—everyone is obsessed with the undead.
  • Grumpy Cat meme.
  • Man takes taxidermy too far, sparks outrage with beloved cat Orville’s “Orvillecopter.” (It is exactly what it sounds like.)
Image via CNN
  • Queen Elizabeth celebrates her diamond jubilee.
  • Poland and Ukraine host the once-in-four-years UEFA Euro Cup 2012. American soccer haters make about a zillion jokes.
  • The LA Kings win the Stanley Cup. Californians care about hockey for an unprecedented 12 seconds.
man on wire
Image via CNN
  • Aerlist daredevil  Nik Wallenda crosses Niagra Falls on a tightrope.
  • Mohamed Morsi is elected President of Egypt in controversial democratic election.
  • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange camps out in Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault charges.
  • McDonald’s removes the Mcbite from their menu.
  • Magic Mike.
  • Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes announce divorce.
  • Violence in Syria continues to rise as a result of al-Assad’s control, civil war displaced refugees flood to Lebanon.
  • “Gangnam Style.”
  • NASA announces that space travel will be privatized after the last space shuttle returns.
  • Macaroons are the new cupcakes.
  • Brussels Sprouts are the new beets.
  • Kale.
  • 12 killed, 58 injured when James Eagan Holmes opens fire in a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO.
  • California State Parks rocked by financial scandal– $54 million savings stash, $2.3 billion in unaccounted accounts and a Director’s resignation later, the controversy is still unraveling.
  • Rupert Murdoch’s resignation from News Corp coincides with now defunct News Of The World phone hacking and police bribery scandals. Murdoch’s representation insists his resignation is not related.
Image via The Atlantic
  • Summer Olympics come to London.
  • Also: Ryan Lochte’s abs.
  • The phrase “trampire” is coined after news of Kristen Stewart’s affair with director Rupert Sanders hits the news.
  • India experiences the largest blackout in history, lasting two days and affecting 620 million people- 9% of the world’s population.
  • Snoop Lion.
  • Michael Phelp’s becomes the most decorated athlete at the Olympics, announces retirement.
  • Argentina earns their 5th Olympic gold medal in handball. Also, handball is an Olympic event.
Image via Getty Images
Image via Getty Images
  • McKayla is not impressed with her silver medal.
  • NASA’s Curiosity Rover lands on Mars.
  • Remember when we thought Duck Dynasty was the peak of 2012 TV? Here Comes Honey Boo Boo proves that so, so wrong.
  • Miley Cyrus’ and Anne Hathaway have an unspoken competition for shortest haircut.
  • Violence in Bahrain escalates as a result of human rights protests. Activist Nabeel Rajab is sentenced to 3 years in prison for his Twitter activity.
Image via Twitter
Image via Twitter
  • In a show of spectacular irony, Kim Kardashian visits Bahrain as part of an endorsement deal, tweeting “OMG, can I move here please?”
  • Gallery Girls
  • Michael Clark Duncan dies. Local news network in Buffalo, NY mistakenly posts a picture of Seal in their memorial announcement.
  • Katie Couric does her best impression of Oprah, premieres daytime talk show.
  • Powerful funnywomen have a moment: Tine Fey and Mindy Kaling have best-selling books, hit TV shows and general swarms of obsessed fans.
  • ‘Sketti.
  • Flu season begins sooner than in all previous years, projected to be more aggressive as well.
  • Protestors attack American embassies in Libya, Yemen and Egypt in response to an offensive internet video titled “Innocence Of Muslims.”
  • New York City gets serious about soda, banning the sale of soft drinks larger than 16 oz for health reasons—except for 64 oz Big Gulps. Those are exempt from the ban. And Double Big Gulps. Those are allowed too.
  • NHL lockout delays the start of the 2012-2013 hockey season.
  • US credit rating is downgraded from “AA” to “AA-“
Image via Huffington Post
Image via Huffington Post
  • The space shuffle Endeavor takes a farewell piggyback tour of California.
  • Europe’s financial crisis becomes violent, with anti-austerity riots breaking out in Spain and Greece.
  • Celebrity baby name of the year goes to Reese Witherspoon’s son, Tennessee. Congratulations go to runners up Drew Barrymore’s Olive and Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Rocky.
  • Paris Fashion Week gets absurd: Celine sends furry shoes down the runway. Chanel shows hula-hoop bags.
  • Courtney Stodden gets airtime on “Couples Therapy.”
  • #SaveBigBird trends in response to Mitt Romney’s plans for PBS.
  • Former Vatican employee Paulo Gabrielle is convicted of aggravated theft of papal documents.
  • The last season of Jersey Shore proves to be more depressing than entertaining. Not even one-woman meatball Deena can save it.
  • Jerry Sandusky is sentenced to 30 years in prison as a result of his involvement in the Penn State molestation scandal.
  • Canadian teenager Amanda Todd commits suicide after posting a YouTube video about her depression, loneliness and the impact of being bullied. Her video gets 3 million hits.
  • 270 South African miners are jailed and charged with the deaths of 34 of their colleagues after police open fire on their protest.
Image via Huffington Post
Image via Huffington Post
  • Felix Baumgartner jumps from the edge of space in the Red Bull Stratos freefall.
  • Binder full of women
  • Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel receive a controversial wedding gift—a prank video shot by real estate agent friend Justin Huchel, featuring homeless (and toothless and shirtless) individuals sending them wedding wishes.
  • Tim Tebow officially trademarks the word “Tebowing.”
  • Lance Armstrong is stripped of his Tour De France titles for doping.
  • President Obama officially endorses gay marriage initiatives.
Image via AP
Image via AP
  • Hurricane Sandy
  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg cancels New York Marathon in response to Hurricane Sandy.
  • iPad Mini
  • Startup businesses are having a moment—from the aforementioned Silicon Beach trend to Bravo’s Start Ups: Silicon Valley.
  • ABC’s reputable and respected Diane Sawyer covers the 2012 election in fine form. Was she drunk? Who knows. The most important thing is that THIS happened.
  • Obama wins the re-election with 51% of the popular vote.
Image via The Atlantic
Image via The Atlantic
  • @BarackObama’s “4 More Years” is the most retweeted tweet of 2012.
  • The 2012 national election legalizes marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, as well as gay marriage in Washington, Maryland and Maine.
  • Not even the Director of the CIA can hide an affair: David Petraeus resigns after news of his extramarital scandal breaks.
  • RIP Twinkies: Hostess announces closure after baker’s strike.
  • Ceasefire announced in Gaza strip after violence between Hamas and Israel.
  • Retailers open earlier than ever before for Black Friday sales, some even celebrating “Green Thursday” by opening on Thanksgiving.
  • In a direct response to the consumer-dominated holiday weekend, social good-focused businesses and non-profits found #GivingTuesday.
  • Liz And Dick.
  • Four victims come forward, alleging that Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash engaged them in underage sexual abuse.
  • Rumors swirl about Rihanna and Chris Brown getting back together.
  • Music sharing service Spotify hits 20 million users.
  • The Pope joins Twitter with a verified account! @Pontifex tweets “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”
  • In an effort to democratize the network, Facebook enables its users to vote on changes to the site’s terms. In an effort to not give too much control to the people, the fine print of Facebook’s voting reveals that the results will be “discretionally considered.”
  • The Royal Family announces Kate Middleton’s pregnancy. The Duchess of Cambridge is hospitalized for severe morning sickness.
  • Australian radio station 2DayFM prank calls King Edward VII Hospital, fooling a nurse on duty into a conversation with the “Queen” on the state of the Duchess’ health.
  • Nurse Jacintha Saldanha is named and suspended by the hospital for putting the fateful call through, is later found hanged in her nurses’ quarters—suicide is suspected.
  • Typhoon Bopha sweeps through the Philippines, killing nearly 1,000 people.
  • UFC welcomes first female fighter, Ronda Rousey.
  • Fast fashion takes an ethical turn: Swedish retailer H&M announces that it will give customers credit towards new purchases for donating their old clothes.
  • On their fifth attempt, Kim Jung Un led North Korea successfully launches their first missile.
  • Kanye West wears a leather skirt.
  • The New Zealand SPCA teaches dogs to drive. No. Really.
  • Kiam Moriya of Birmingham, AL turns 12 years old at 12:12pm on December 12, 2012.
  • Adam Lanza opens fire on elementary school, killing at least 26 people, 20 of them children from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut.
  • Oh, and the predicted Mayan apocalypse.

LA newcomer Alexandra Piotrowski spends a majority of her time strategizing digital marketing for LA based retailers. Looking to use her English degree and her love of words, she contributes to RYOT and Darling webzine. She loves good music, bad movies, hiking in the Angeles National Forest and baking pies.  


RYOT NOTE: 2012. What a year. It’s incredible just how much can be accomplished, lost, discovered, and destroyed all over the world. It’s impossible to determine what a year represents, or its monetary value, but represents the chance to buy a year of life by providing funds for low-income AIDS patients. The chance for one human being to celebrate another birthday, to meet a new grandchild, to visit a new city. You can help their cause by donating today, or by sharing this story.


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