The Top 10 Pop Culture Moments of 2010
As the year draws to a close it’s time to reflect on the moments in pop culture that had everyone talking. These are the events that got people buzzing around the water cooler and will define 2010 for years to come.
10. Lost Finally Ends
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It was the season finale six years in the making. Fans of Lost knew the end was coming because ABC kept telling us all season long. This was the season where questions would be answered, loose ends tied up, and where we’d discovere once and for all what the hell had happened on that island. Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way. While the highly anticipated two-and-half-hour season finale did answer some of the big questions, it left a sour taste of disappointment in many fans' mouths. We really waited six years for that?
9. A Royal Engagement
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A prince found his princess (well, finally got around to asking her, at least) and a country that’s the antithesis of everything royal went gaga. After seven years of dating, Prince William, the future king of England, asked commoner Kate Middleton to be his wife. Middleton was given the same engagement ring given to William’s mother, the late Princess Diana. This started the inevitable let's-compare-Kate-to-Diana commentary, with the engagement receiving wide coverage on U.S. television and in the tabloid media.
The couple, who met while at university, is expected to tie the knot in a lavish, worldwide televised ceremony on April 29, 2011. It will take place at the same church that Prince William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, were hitched. Here’s hoping that their marriage goes better than that one, which disintegrated into a soap opera mess of the highest order.
8. Christine O'Donnell is Not a Witch
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Christine O’Donnell’s bats**t crazy run for the Senate in Delaware quickly came to characterize the strange side of Tea Party politics. The seemingly underqualified candidate clinched the Republican nomination for the Senate seat from party favorite and former governor Michael Castle. Republicans long considered the Delaware Senate seat an easy gain in a year of anti-Democrat sentiment. O’Donnell’s candidacy quickly saw any hope of gaining the seat evaporate.
Past media appearances and quotes came back to haunt O’Donnell. She said she didn’t believe in masturbation and that she had “dabbled in witchcraft.” The witchcraft comment received widespread media attention and O’Donnell decided to use it in her first campaign commercial. In the commercial O’Donnell starts by saying “I am not a witch.” The commercial spawned numerous parodies, with Saturday Night Live milking it for all it was worth. O’Donnell later admitted that the commercial spectacularly backfired and actually reinforced her strange past. She went on to handsomely lose the election. On the flipside, her “I’m not a witch” quip is fast shaping up as the quote of the year.
7. The Chilean Miners are Freed
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The freeing of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for a record 69 days was one of the most heartwarming and uplifting news stories of the year. The world waited with baited breath as the rescue effort got underway. One by one, as each miner made his way to the surface and exited the rescue capsule, the world took a collective sigh of relief. It was a truly wonderful story of survival and the human spirit.
6. The WikiLeaks Firestorm
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The WikiLeaks drama that's currently playing out may not seem like much of a story, but with some historical hindsight, it could easily become the story that defined the year, if not the decade. The release of over 250,000 classified U.S. government cables has sent shockwaves through governments around the world and questioned the very notion of free speech.
The head of the whistleblower website, Julian Assange, is currently entangled in a legal brouhaha in London as he fights extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged sexual assault. The rape allegations are considered by some to be bogus and purely political, with Assange's lawyers coming forward to say that the U.S. government is preparing to lay charges against the WikiLeaks publisher. Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has already called for Assange to receive the death penalty and many conservative thinkers believe he should be incarcerated as an enemy combatant.
The arrest of Assange and the targeting of the WikiLeaks website (its hosting and financial accounts have been disabled) have led to an outpouring of protest in the form of computer hacking. The "group" Anonymous has targeted companies that have supposedly helped silence WikiLeaks. They have brought down Visa, Mastercard, the Swedish public prosecutor’s website, and PayPal. The “online terrorism” has inspired a pro-American group of hackers to fight back. Could this be the beginning of a hacker’s war or the end of a free, uncensored Internet?