How closely did you pay attention in 2011? Below, a brief and opinionated quiz on some of the year’s noteworthy events and personalities. It starts out pretty easy and then gets harder. Good luck, and happy 2012.
a. “Corporations are people, my friend...of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend.”b. “The LensCrafters of big abortion.”c. “They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”d. "Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It's never easy when there's so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference. There's a mission just for you and me....Just look inside and you will find just what you can do."e. “Our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas.”
Herman CainRick Perry Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich Michele Bachmann
2. On the subject of quotes, Sarah Palin held her own this year. She started the year with the famously self-pitying “blood libel” remark after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting tragedy in January. Then, in June, in her version of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, revere: 2a. “Rode through town singin’ 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' and all the great patriotic numbers, you know, of those days.”b. “Warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells...”c. “Handed out those, uh, pamphlets, which were like the newspapers of their day, and he of course read all of ’em...”
3. Name the location that became famous in 2011, where children sometimes kicked a soccer ball onto the property, and instead of the ball being returned to them, someone came out and handed them money to buy a new one. 3
a. Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compoundb. Kate Middleton’s family’s homec. One of the alleged “Kardarshian sweatshops” in China
4. Where was Muammar Gaddafi found on Oct. 20? 4a. In the basement of a safe house in Misrata, watching Duck Soup, one of his favorites, on DVDb. In a private office on the outskirts of Tripoli, calmly reading Condoleezza Rice’s memoirc. In a drainage pipe in Sirte
a. Its employee tuition-reimbursement programb. Its philanthropy programc. Its program to distribute deeply discounted computers to all schoolchildren in Santa Clara County
a. Defending Noam Chomsky from false allegations that he was supportive of Holocaust denier Robert Faurissonb. Defending the rights of Holocaust revisionist David Irvingc. Defending the proposition that Anne Frank’s diary was a forgery
8. Rank these four films in order of their 2011 box-office gross. 8a. The Descendantsb. Midnight in Parisc. Moneyballd. The Ides of March
a. It acknowledged the tech needs of the people by announcing that by 2014, all ferries would be equipped with at least 100 fully outfitted workstations.b. It acknowledged political correctness by announcing that the fleet’s vessels that carry the names of local Native American tribes would soon be renamed “for reasons of sensitivity.”c. It acknowledged the obesity problem by announcing that, for the purposes of figuring out how many passengers could board each ship, it would henceforth assume that each human weighed 185 pounds, not 160 pounds as had been the case for years.
10. Which of the following Google searches returns the most results? 10a. Obama Kenyab. Obama socialistc. Obama fascist
Not too hard, really. Let’s look at the answers.
1: a, Romney; b, Bachmann; c, Gingrich; d, Cain; e, Perry; 2-b; 3-a; 4-c; 5-b; 6-b; 7-c; 8: Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, The Ides of March, The Descendants; 9-c; 10-a.
1. The Romney comment was to a heckler in Iowa; Bachmann was speaking of Planned Parenthood; Gingrich, of course, about turning children into janitors; the Cain remark was from the famous Pokémon speech; and the Perry snippet from the worst political ad of all time .
2. Here’s the video. Ring a bell?
3. This was a total gimme, but had you heard about this Kardashian allegation?
4. I love my B fake answer, but here’s the proof on C.
5. A genius, OK, but he was really sort of a bad man, wasn’t he?
6. This one is like the famous 18-minute Watergate gap. It’ll go down as history’s most famous 17 anything. You can see it here.
7. This essay by Hitch, from Grand Street in 1985, on the Faurisson affair, is really when the guy was firing on all cylinders. How many of you got this one wrong?
8. These results are according to Box Office Mojo as of Dec. 30. Moneyball ranked 42nd with $74 million. Midnight in Paris 53rd with $56 million. Ides of March 67th with $40 million. And The Descendants 84th with $36 million. I’ve only seen The Descendants. It was brilliant. It’s surely the best of the four, because Moneyball seems pretty glitzy, Woody Allen has stunk for 25 years, and I don’t know anyone who found Ides watchable.
9. This was just in the news the other day, so I thought you might have heard it.
10. My results were: Kenya, 48.4 million; socialist, 26.2 million; fascist, 10.1 million. The one having to do with race is the one that sticks. Shocking, I know.
Here’s hoping against hope for a better 2012. Happy New Year to all.