2005– The week and a day that sat outside
As the year comes to a close, a plethora of articles documenting the year's major events await their release. Often written weeks in advance, they've been handed over to editors and keen interns to check and will only be revised upon an error of some sort being found, or an event of major circumstance occurring between now and the end of 2005.
But thats the funny thing about news, its dynamic, everchanging and well, new. Annual reviews are a luxury as the present past just happened with everyone looking, pointing and talking about it. It isn't exactly going to suddenly change on you while your back's turned like some other bits of bygone history do.
I won't write a review of the year as I don't remember past last weekend. However one week, well 8 days, (2nd- 10th July) does stick in my mind. The UK (and London in particular) was timetabled in to be at the centre of the world's attention, with Live 8 centre piece at Hyde park, the G8 summit, Commemoration Day celebrations and the possibility of the 2012 olympic games being held in London. For those 8 days any news worth its salt was going to be in London and that was it. Sadly while this was all anticipated and prepared for, it was events that we were unprepared for that stole the headlines.
2nd July- Live 8
So it began with the biggest civil movement in history. The centre piece in Hyde park, London. 3 billion people watched 10 concerts around the world with 1000 artists performing, all under the slogan "Make poverty history." Birhan Woldu gave us a big smile. It was fab.
But fab wasn't the point. Click your fingers, count 3 seconds and repeat. For every click a child in Africa dies of abject poverty. The point was stopping this from happening.
6–8 July- G8 summit
Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, called Gleneagles G8 'the greatest summit for Africa ever'. The G8 and Outreach leaders- the worlds most powerful men gathered at a castle, to make sure they were all on the same page in their dictating of world politics. It was a historical event with aid, debt relief, the environment and controlling weapons poliferation1 dominating the headlines.
6th July- Olympics 2012
Citizens in the five candidate cities watched tranfixed, as proceedings in Singapore got underway to choose where a lot of sweaty people would converge for a couple of weeks in 2012. London won! It felt fantastic. My sister wanted to go down to Traflagar square there and then, but we decided that we had left it too late. Anyway we reasoned, tomorrow there'd be the official party, which would be even bigger and better.
7th July- London bombings
It was such a crazy week to be in London. I can't begin to tell you. And then this happened.
8th July- Repercussions
Why did it happen?
Who was it?
Was it a suicide bombing?
Will infringing on our civil rights help prevent terrorist attacks?
What the fuck do ID cards have to do with stopping terrorists?
Can a multicultural society exist?
and many more questions were posed…
The G8 summit came to a conclusion, but questions hung over it and to whether it was a success.
Only time will tell if it was a momental achievement or otherwise.
As one country struggled with its wounds another had perhaps begun to heal. The Sudanese president signed a power-sharing deal that ended a civil war that had taken 1.5m lives.
Respects were paid at a memorial for Luther Vandross in New York.
A study was released that showed that 1 in 8 scots injured themselves when moving house.
The world continued onwards.
10th July- Commemoration Day
In its 60th anniversary, Commemoration Day marks the end of WWII. To mark the occasion a million poppies were dropped on the thousands of people who filled the Mall.
Perhaps I'm vainly searching for some symmetry, a deus ex machina to resolve this passage but I felt that in a week that began with us looking forward to the future, in a week where we were suddenly forced to question and scrutinise the present, that it was fitting that we ended it remembering the past.
A collection of surreal events, all occurring in the same period of time and in the same place. That was a hellva week and a day.
1. Slightly off topic but ask yourself this: in war-torn countries where there is little if any infrastructure, where do these people (who are armed to their teeth) get their big shiny guns from, as they don't have the means to bloody make 'em. Oh, and which countries would you hazard a guess are the major players in weapon manufacturing?