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2011: The Year Beyond Words

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on December 12, 2011

Osama. Occupy. Pepper Spray. Greece. Tsunami. Royal Wedding. Winehouse. Jobs. Egypt. Arab Spring. Democracy. Phone Hacking. Norway. Gadhafi. People. Places. Words. Phrases.

All of those people, places, words and phrases come together in this video to define one of the wildest years in recent memory. And had the nationality of the creator not been British, this brilliant blend of globe-spinning, earth-shattering events might have also included our most facepalmy American scandals and stories from the year that was: Sandusky. Weiner. Sheen. Trump. Cain. Tebow!

But this year went beyond mere words and phrases, beyond mere reminders of significant historical events. This year was about images. Jarring, raw, graphic images. Images of violence. Images of destruction. Images of liberty. Images of power. Images of congressional penises. In the Middle East, determined protesters showed us what it really means to fight for freedom. In Asia, resilient citizens showed us hot to survive an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear scare with dignity and grace. Here at home in the United States, sex scandals of all shapes and sizes — abuse, affairs and indulgence — continued to dominate the 24-hour attention-deficit news cycle. Barry Pilling brings us The Year Beyond Words.

Warning: The following video contains jarring, raw, graphic images. But watch it anyway.

That’s powerful. That’s raw. That’s quite a 12 months to be a human on this planet.

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