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So much to talk about…wasn’t there?  We heard the news, read the newspapers, gathered round the water cooler, telephoned our friends, banged out texts, updated our status on FaceBook.

These are some of the “things” New Yorkers talked about in 2011.  Excerpted from article The 75 Things New Yorkers Talked About in 2011.

There was lots and lots of buzz around town this year;  Baseball, America’s pastime brought fans to their TV’s and knees September 28th as the Yankees lost their chance to be in the World Series.

“Till death do us part” was the new montra of the Gay community when New York legalized Gay marriages.  And then of course there was KK who apparently did not take it too seriously.

For weeks, an obscure park in downtown Manhattan became a tourist mecca and home to the 99%’ers.  Not to mention the Arab Spring when dictators toppled like so many weeble wobbles.

It was as always a memorable year, some awe-inspiring, some laughable.

  • The GOP debates, best reality show not on Bravo
  • Serena Williams had a meltdown at the US Open
  • Kate Middleton‘s wedding gown
  • Meryl Streep, nailing the accent perfectly (once again) in Iron Lady
  • A hearty farewell to Bin Laden, Quadaffi and Kim Jong-il
  • Anthony Weiner resigns after Tweeted naked photos of him surface
  • The 10th anniversary of 9/11
  • Andy Rooney signs off for the last time
  • The up-to-12 hour waits to see a naked Marina Abramovic at MOMA
  • Planking
  • The Netflix debacle
  • Keith Oberman leaves MSNBC, joins Current TV and is never heard from again
  • Chas Bono on DWTS – a transgender star is born
  • Oprah takes a year and three finale shows to say goodbye
  • The 2 day waits to buy iPad2
  • Elizabeth Taylor passes.  Her gowns and jewelry bring $156M much going to AIDS research
  • The heat wave in July, the hurricane in August, blizzard in October-Mother Nature is angry
  • Splits: Arnold and Maria, Ashton and Demi, Scarlett and Ryan
  • The best moment of the debates – “Oops”
  • Al Sharpton gets a TV show on MSNBC
  • Steve Jobs dies and people learn about his death on their iPhones.

    The red "GOP" logo used by the party...

    New Reality TV Show

  • Regis Philbin calls it quits after 28 years
  • The Alexander McQueen show at the Met, almost as popular at King Tut
  • Cathie Black’s shocking short stint as New York schools chancellor

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Contagion  is what happens when the wrong pig meets up with the wrong bat. 

Sitting at a bar, you reach into the bowl of peanuts, a waiter picks up an empty glass, the school nurse takes a young boy’s temperature…all these and more seemingly innocent and every day occurrences are caught on camera and through the genius of editing, the lens lingers  ever so slightly longer than normal.  And there you have it; the path of a rapid, virulent, super bug virus as it swiftly travels along the road paved with human touch.  We don’t realize how much of what we do, and what we touch affects other people until something like this heretofore undiscovered and unnamed virus begins its deadly trip around the world.

The movie moves forward while flashback snippets in the form of video surveillance camera footage step backward and show us just how Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) became patient zero and set off an outbreak of MEV-1 and a pandemic nightmare.  The portentous device of posting the day and date timeline on the screen brings the horror of how quickly a virus can multiply and spread exponentially, decimating the huge populations of such cities like, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and more.

Director Steven Soderberg brings his genius of fast-moving, everything-happening-at-once style he used so effectively in Traffic to this his latest work.  There’s no grandstanding, no spiritual or religious overtones to wring out your emotions.  No, this film plays it straight and factual.  We are terrified, horrified and shaken, but not because we’ve been exposed to (no pun intended) to half-dead zombies stumbling across the screen.  Instead, the camera pans through a deserted airport, sweeps over trash littered streets and lines of desperate citizens standing in line for government hand-outs of food. 

The real heroes in this movie are intelligent government employees and level-headed scientists.  Matt Damon gives a fine performance as the cuckolded husband of Beth, his best moment is at the hospital when he fails to comprehend the fact that his wife is dead.  Kate Winslet delivers a solid performance as the field agent who gets sent out to Minnesota to head up government disaster containment. 

By far in my opinion, Jude Law was the outstanding star in the movie.  It was hard to believe that the scuzzy guy with the bad complexion and rotten teeth was really Jude Law.  Playing a disgruntled left winged blogger, he incites the masses with his inflammatory, accusatory diatribes against the CDC and the pharmaceutical companies.  Conspiracy theories are full blown! 

This movie is certainly worth the price of admission.  It’s a  brilliantly directed film dealing with a terrifyingly grim subject, and one that the audience quickly realizes is all to close to reality.   With SARS, H1N1, AIDS and ebola and ecoli outbreaks in our recent past, this movie resurrects the fear of contagion and births new concerns about biological warfare…and well it should.

A coronavirus that may cause SARS. (transwikie...

SARS Virus

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