Each December, a quiz makes the rounds on the blog-myspace-facebook circuit. As I brainstormed ways to write 2008’s Year in Review, I thought?wouldn’t it be great if the movement had such a quiz? So here I present to you, 21 questions for 2008.
4. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
There were enough victories this year that it’s hard to decide which one wins the prize. The successful occupation of Chicago’s Republic Windows and Doors was certainly cause for celebration. Decisively defeating McCain’s agenda in the elections and electing Barack Obama might not be an unadulterated victory, but it’s something to be proud of.
5. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Again, too many to count, but here are a few: Muntadar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at Bush. Evo Morales, for working to unite Bolivia and hold criminals accountable after a violent reactionary uprising. And congratulations to Critical Resistance for ten years of struggling against the Prison-Industrial Complex.
6. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The usual suspects, but perhaps because the wound is still fresh, today I’d like to point my finger at someone on our side?the Equality for All Campaign to fight California Proposition 8. I know I’m not the only one who’s frustrated at their failure to run a strong, unifying campaign.
7. Where did most of your money go?
Bailing out Wall Street capitalists.
8. Compared to this time last year, are you richer or poorer?
Plummeting wages and wholesale layoffs? I’d say we’re poorer.
9. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Party-building, forging solidarity across national, racial, class and gender lines.
10. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Complacency. Cynicism. Facebook Scrabble games.
11. What was the best book you read?
Shortly after the financial crisis really started picking up speed, the works of Karl Marx gained newfound popularity in Europe. People looked to Capital to explain the inner machinery of the injustice around them.
12. What did you want and get?
Gay marriage in Nepal. Paid-out vacation days and severance for the workers at Republic Windows and Doors. Stay of execution for Troy Anthony Davis. Fernando Lugo for President of Paraguay.
13. What did you want and not get?
The defeat of Proposition 8, a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a new trial for Troy Anthony Davis, conviction for Sean Bell’s murderers. Someone on Barack Obama’s cabinet who is not a douchebag.
14. What was your favourite film of this year?
Milk, Persepolis, Trouble The Water, Under The Same Moon (La Misma Luna)
15. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
16. What kept you sane?
Solidarity. Our friends and our families. Revolutionary Line Dances.
17. Who did you miss?
As we examined the economic crises of 2008, it would have been helpful to have Frantz Fanon around. And Rosa Luxemburg. Personally, we missed our families who we had to move far away from. We missed our friends in neighborhoods where our houses were foreclosed. We missed our loved ones who were sent off to war.
18. Did you know anybody who got married?
18,000 Californian same-sex couples tied the knot before their marriage rights were cruelly ripped away from them by a bigoted ballot initiative.
19. Did you move anywhere?
A lot of us had to leave our homes because we could no longer pay rent or mortgage. Others were displaced by hurricanes and wildfires, symptoms of our rabid planet. Others still were displaced from their own nations by a strangled economy.
20. What pop culture event will you remember 2008 by?
Tina Fey’s impression of Sarah Palin
21. Quote a song lyric that sums up 2008:
“It’s gonna hurt for a while but it would anyway
Let us stand resolute with our voices raised
We have a right to insist to be free and brave.”