We're now in 2014. Happy belated New Year! 2013 though has left much in its wake that still stands out and should be remembered or has yet to be fully resolved. The events of it permeated cultures worldwide that no matter what your stance is on many topics, there was much that couldn't be ignored. There were many lost, new battles brought to the surface, old battles shown how much they still need to be fought for, and much much more. So let's run down the list of some of the 2013 highlights starting with the first five in the countdown!
10. Miley Cyrus and her VMA Performance.
This one reaches the list for a wide array of reasons. The best way to cover it though is forward. Pop culture and the idol industry is a mirror of our times. We live in a world where rape culture has become prevalent in everyday discourse due to constant news of sickening events that should never have happened. This performance itself mirrors that. Cyrus took what was every adolescent's wet dream and owned it by turning it into their nightmare. She gave them exactly what they asked for but multiplied to the extreme. She used shock and awe, not to debase herself, but really to take her own dignity back in many ways. The performance disturbed in such a manner that it managed to shock audiences into thinking about what they keep saying they want. She also showed outright where the immediate blame falls with perceptions and what's really noticed by world audiences at large. While many fell prey to reacting to it from base disgust, myself included, in retrospect it really was an art piece that made commentary across a wide spectrum of concerns of disturbing nature while still finding a way to truly get the point across that it is disturbing without hindering or hampering the discourse by becoming further material adolescents would use for actions opposite of the intent. If anything, it became the focus of comedic derision due to basic primal aversion that didn't want to see it as a societal commentary of our age on perversion and gender inequality. The only drawback being that it may have even overshadowed her own strength of voice, but may in the long term also permit her to stand on her own two feet because of the basis of her work and strength of her voice over any other superficial or past work perceptional hindrances. It was a performance though that showed only a person can make the choice of what they will or won't do with their own body. Only they are allowed to make that choice.
9. Stars Dance
Of course, with mentioning Cyrus, one would also have to mention the counter balance to that equation. That of Selena Gomez's Stars Dance. It was an album that sang about much across a wide spectrum of relationship concerns. A proverbial love letter to her fans that carried with it its own set of messages about confidence, cuddling all night, kindness, and that even a woman can be forward in their actions. Okay yes, and one song may have been heavy innuendo to foreplay, but the entire album itself spoke of the emotions involved in a love life across a vague enough bandwidth that it could reach a wide audience of concerns they could find support in or help uplift them. Whether it be a song about wishing you could make a former significant other wish they never met you, or the ballads associated to thinking back kindly on the good times for what they were, it's an album that can softly rest on your mind with lyrics that are catchy, memorable, and stand out. It sings of poetic compliments that go beyond the simplest words of laziness that people often cling to and instead speaks of be creative with who you love. Show them what they mean to you by making them feel loved with your words as much as you feel in your heart. It sings of metaphors and similes, and often could even be compared to the sonnets of Shakespeare with how it compares an uplifting love to the stars above, and yet also reflects songs of how a love life is a private affair and sometimes needs to stay undercover for both parties. It sings of passions and kindness from a woman that genuinely tries to regularly show the world that everyone is beautiful and should treat each other for who they are, and not by other superficial means.
8. Doctor Who 50th
Any countdown about the previous year in retrospect would be remiss without mentioning that the Doctor turned 50 last year. It was a rather powerful symbolic piece that was simulcast and even put in theaters. It had a strong box office showing for a theater run that was less than a week while also having been aired on TV and shows how much the fans support this property and all that it entails. It carried life metaphors and set up a new status quo for the Doctor. One we can all relate to of trying to find our way back home and the choices we make that lead us to where we are even when we forget. It spoke of what being a good man means, but not only that, it showed it in the actions of the characters. It gave hope for a better tomorrow, and in the main message as always sent by the Doctor, there is another way. Every moment has a choice we need to make. We don't have to stand alone in those choices, but we do have to face them and be ready to take them where they may lead. We always must take responsibility for own actions, but we do not have to do it alone.
7. Wonder Woman
When the news of Wonder Woman being cast and set to appear in the Man of Steel sequel broke, it caused quite the uproar across the internet of body shaming as well as other forms of off base commentary about how much strength a woman can have based on appearance. As with similar such film pieces that had strong women like Haywire or Hanna and more, it became a subject of derision amongst the most masculinity blinded of the internet that often happen to be the loudest and most ignorant. The casting of Gal Gadot was an amazing choice that fit perfectly with the acting range and skill sets she has from her own filmography and history. She is a woman that could very well probably even kick the ass of the two other lead stars, and now as Wonder Woman, may even be able to do as such with her character to their characters. Batman and Superman don't stand a chance against her, and this very could lead to her own solo film. The only drawback being that Warner Brothers seems to think she needs this kind of slow introduction when she could dominate the box office on her own merits alone already.
6. The X-Men 50th Anniversary
Not only did the Doctor turn 50, but so did the dream of a one Charles Xavier who believed in a united world where everyone was equal no matter their differences. A world not ruled by hate, but by love and kindness. It's a dream that's often echoed into our own world of letting people be and live as they choose to live so long as they are not harming or using another. It's a dream of equality and acceptance no matter our differences and the comic it has been featured in spun a tale through the ages of how this dream has been battered, beaten, even dismantled, yet still lives on in its purest form. It's a dream of not letting hate and bullies win, to stand up to abuse and stop it. It's a dream of a brighter future for all through the children he tried to show there is always another way. That good will always triumph in the face of evil and that abuse should never be tolerated. Marvel celebrated this milestone with their own X-Men event that may have gotten lost in it's narrative story-wise with all that it introduced for usage later, but still persisted and triumphed in showing the audience that even in the future, the dream lives on and is one worth fighting for.
To be continued in part 2 coming soon!