12 things I’m looking forward to in 2012

I like lists like this. 12 things I’m looking forward to in 2012. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time coming up with the list. I just thought about 12 things which may be in the headlines (and definitely in my headlines) throughout the year. So with that I present to you what I’m looking to in 2012. Note: There are a lot of sports related things.

12. Apple

The ball is in now new Apple CEO Tim Cook’s court to launch the next wave of innovative products for Apple that everyone so desperately desires (not me!). We know Apple’s slick marketing of their products, or often the case slightly upgraded ones, that capture people’s imagination, should always be there, but speculation exists as to what these products will be. Maybe an Apple TV, along with the updated releases of the iPad and iPhone coming this year? With Apple you never know what’s coming until it’s here, but the bigger question is will Cook be able to deliver?

11. CES

One day I’ll go to CES (Consumer Electronics Show. It’s going on right now and it is impossible for me to ignore all the tweets about the event. CES would be a great place to see the new technology coming this year, and meet celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, who was there this year.

10. U.S. Presidential Election

Will it be Mitt Romney vs. Obama? The U.S. presidential election is always of interest. They are still the worlds largest power and most influential nation in the world. However, with the U.S. in a crisis because of the financial meltdown, this is a very important election for our neighbours to the south. Will the next, or current president in Obama, be able to turn the economy around?

9. Movies

We’re specifically talking the Dark Knight Rises here, which comes out this summer and is the end to the Batman trilogy by director Chris Nolan and starring my boy Christian Bale. The previous film, The Dark Knight, is one of my favourite films of all-time. Check out the trailer here.

Oh and the Hobbit is coming out at the end of the year. Sorry, not a huge fan. Although I remember when the trailer came out some people on my Twitter timeline and on Facebook posted excessively about it. Just can’t get into the cheesy movie music.

8. Super Bowl

Whether you actually love the game itself, and we’ve had a run of amazing games the last few years (Giants beating the undefeated Patriots, Steelers over Cardinals, and last year Green Bay over Steelers) or the commercials the Super Bowl is a can’t miss event. Period.

7. Euro 2012

Since there is no World Cup this year (I’d better start saving my money for Brazil in 2014), the next best thing is Euro 2012 this year. What’s at stake is who will be crowned the best team in Europe. Players playing for national pride will make for some exciting football. I’m rooting for Netherlands!

6. NHL playoffs

Playoff hockey is the best. No other word can describe it accurately. It’s so intense, that you are on the edge of your seat for every hit, goal, and save which can change everything in an instant. There is nothing quite like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as the two month battle to see who will be crowned the best in team in the world of hockey and lift sports most famous trophy is a definite must see event every year.

5. Mad Men returns

Mad men returns in March, with everyone’s favourite womanizer in Don Draper (Played by Jon Hamm). I devoured all of the series last summer, after my brother had been telling me for years to watch it. Glad I did. It’s one of the better drama’s on TV, if you like the whole 1960s advertising angle.

4. Canadian economy

As long as we have hockey, the Canadian economy will be fine. I’m joking. The reality is we are a export nation which is largely dependent on exporting our natural resources and commodities, whether that be two valuable ones for us and the world in fertilizer with Potash Corp or oil with TransCanada Corp.

When looking at issues specific to the country, I’m looking at the housing market, household debt levels (I can’t put down my credit card at times too!) and politics (how will PM Harper finish his term). We’ll continue to get answers on all of these in 2012.

3. European Debt Crisis

It is something I’ve been following for over a year now and there seems no end in sight. In fact, most pundits/economists think things will get even worse in 2012. Leaders of European countries are unsure about the next steps to take to save their nations with their oversized debt loads. Things look to get ugly this year.

2. Finishing school

In 2012 I will be done school, if everything runs it’s course, of course. After 6 years of post-secondary, I will celebrate this achievement, then get onto the full-time quest of finding employment. Yay!

1. Olympics

London is the spot for this year’s summer Olympics. There is no event that unites the eyes across the globe more so than the Olympics, with the Word Cup, the only thing that comes close. I remember back to our nation’s pride with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Everyone in Canada was so pumped to be Canadian, it felt like we drew closer as a nation. The Olympics are a special time, and everyone is watching, making it the #1 thing to watch for this year.

Birthing birthers

You’ve probably have heard of Donald Trump recently stirring up quite the controversy through the media by requesting U.S. President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate to prove he is an American citizen. Trump, who may be vying to be Obama’s opposition in the 2012 U.S. Presidential race, has been adamant that Obama was not born in America. He has also made remarks on how did Obama get into law school at Harvard, saying something along the lines of he has friends whose kids which have high marks and can’t even get into Harvard, so how could Obama, who according to Trump was “a poor student” get in.

This aside, the real issue Trump has is the first one, believing that Obama was not born in the U.S., thus making him illegible for the U.S. Presidency. This is the “birther” issue. You are a “birther” if you reside in Trump’s camp, which is that Obama

What is sad about Trump is I actually liked him before all this. I enjoyed the early seasons of his Apprentice TV series, that gave you an interesting glimpse of reality TV, of real people trying to make it in the business world. He seemed honest, open, and even with the silly scripted “You’re fired” thing, he seemed human. But that was all in the past. From a PR point of view it is clear what he is doing here. He is positioning himself as a champion of those  who want to question, undermine, bring him down and Obama’s character and stature as president. Obama, being a soft spoken non–Caucasian U.S. president, is quite an easy target, for Trump’s claims, which definitely have a racist tinge to them.

Another part of the problem is the role the media plays in providing Trump a stage. Traditional media, such as CNN, entertainment media like TMZ and social media like Twitter and Facebook, all come together to create what can be described as a highly sensational environment. This environment is one which I feel has hit a critical mass, especially in America, where the media helps elevate individuals agendas. Why? Because it makes money of course, and sensational headlines bring in viewers. With the rise of social media and the competition being as fierce as ever, traditional media has to pander to the tastes of the population. Take a look at  what Charlie Sheen is doing on Twitter as the perfect case and point. Over statured and overexposed in the media.

Back to Trump. This attempt is just something to dominate headlines, with him leading the fight against this supposed “injustice” as a way to accomplish this. Whether Trump, or Sheen are mentally inept, trapped in their ways of thinking or it is part of their PR strategy I have no clue. All I know is discovery is a good thing, however  ignorance is not.