During the 20th century, brilliant thinkers mauled the concept of objectivity and left it to die a slow and painful death. You all know the result: even if you read the news, you have to keep in mind that there was a person who wrote it. There is no clean information. There are no plain facts.
So it feels pretty anachronistic when our number one virtual reality, Facebook, states that it “is a community where people use their real identities.“ Looking into the mirror every morning proves that there never is just one identity. We all play different characters whenever we need (or want) to. The only difference is how good we are at it—a fact that almost won Mitt Romney the presidential election this year. And do you remember Amanda Knox, whose memoirs will be out next year under the title Waiting to be Heard?
So here are my favorite characters of 2012, of course with a big focus on the entertainment industry.
Nobody can be as quirky as Lena Dunham for real unless they’re a genetically engineered hybrid of Napoleon Dynamite and Zooey Deschanel. But that’s exactly what I’m talking about: it’s a character, and I love it. Of course there’s another big part to her appeal this year: you couldn’t escape her. Her show Girls aired on HBO in April, she was in the Obama campaign ad Your first time, she was in the opening sketch of the Emmys and a book deal for her first book about “frank and funny advice on everything from sex to eating to traveling to work“ with Random House got her 3.7 million dollars. A book that you will be able to read next year while watching the second season of Girls.
2012 undoubtedly was the year of James Bond. In November alone, you simply couldn’t escape the spy who not once came in from the cold. Fifty years after Sean Connery ordered his first vodka martini, Daniel Craig starred in yet another blockbuster Bond flick. But the more interesting secret agent comes from New York City, though with an even more British name: Sterling Malory Archer. And like Bond, he mostly has to deal with one thing; his mother.
When Prometheus, the most anticipated movie of 2012 came out, the general opinion was that it sucked—and not just sucked, but sucked balls. But most disappointing wasn’t the semi-religious story, but the timing: obviously Ridley Scott had forgotten that a film needs a climax that hits you like a punch in the face. As a result most reviews focused on David, the shady android played by Michael Fassbender. But my favorite character was Janek, the captain of the Prometheus. Idris Elba, who I loved in The Wire and more important, Luther, is the most likeable crewmember and he certainly has the best line, that even gets him laid: “Hey, uh, Vickers. Hey, Vickers. I was wondering… are you a robot?“
Many characters have evolved from the Odd Future posse. First and foremost there’s Tyler the Creator, who became the voice of angry, young, suburban kids because he dares to flip the bird every once in a while, Earl Sweathirt, who got shipped off by his mom, and of course Frank Ocean. Not only is Channel Orange my favorite album of the year, I also believe his coming out made the media hype over this whole ‘queer rap’ thing possible. Not that Frank Ocean is interested in gender politics—he just falls in love with both sexes. Nor is there a real queer rap movement apart from what magazines and blogs make it out to be (like being queer and female is not a genre). Still, I like that this kind of hype helped artists like Le1f and Mykki Blanco be more visible. There is so much more to say about Frank Ocean, but just listen to his music (also the mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra which introduced me to his interpretation of “Fake Plastic Trees”.
Also great: Drizzy being heartbroken.
Published December 28, 2012. Words by David Bogner.