Clash's Champs And Chumps Of 2011

From Tom Watson to Rebecca Black
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It’s been another stellar year for cultural champions, controversies, and cunts. Join us as we chart the year in a fond remembrance of those whose heads were raised - for better or worse - above the parapet.



Tom Watson

Murdoch’s media empire has exerted a debilitating grip on British politics for generations; destroying or stoking careers based on his own agenda. It therefore took serious guts for Labour MP Tom Watson to doggedly pursue News International over phone hacking allegations whilst his peers nervously buried their heads. Red or dead!

Protestors

011 has been characterised by a remarkable level of political protests around the world. Whether it’s Egypt, Greece, Occupy or Libya, each month has seen the majority making their feelings heard to the ruling minority and whilst you may not agree with their cause it proves that when people come together they still have the ability to make a change. Viva!

Adam Yauch (MCA)

Cancer is all too often regarded as a full stop. Refusing to play the victim role, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch (MCA) went ahead with the release of their latest album despite still battling the disease and through their splenetic video output provided a much needed example that cancer, however serious, does not need to define you. Ill communication!

AIM (Association of Independent Music)

The London riots over the summer destroyed much and ruined many lives. Whilst a warehouse in Enfield may have seemed a less emotional victim, its smoldering remains contained the stock of many independent record labels who could ill afford the financial hit. With the likes of Warp, Domino and Beggars impacted AIM’s rallying of donations to help their plight was a moment of calm in a week of chaos. London Calling.

Brian Cox

The Universe is utterly bat-shit and equally terrifying, yet physicist Brian Cox somehow manages to make our tenuous insignificance seem wonderfully reassuring. Even when telling us that everything that has ever existed will be one day extinguished, his infectious wonder makes it a thing of celebration rather than a reason to mourn. Dream!

Adele

Adele’s staggering success over the past twelve months is made all the more piquant when juxtaposed to the untimely death of Britain’s other great contemporary female artist Amy Winehouse. Destroying all comers with her Brit Awards rendition of ‘Someone Like You’, Adele has gone on to demonstrate that populist isn’t a dirty word. Rolling!

Pulp

With Greece the latest casualty of the economic crisis, Pulp’s ‘Common People’ seems a relic of a bygone age. His wealthy bird at St Martins’ college won’t be able to afford a Panda Cola by the end of the year let alone a rum and coke. Pulp on the other hand came back with a boom, reuniting for a triumphant comeback that didn’t rely on nostalgia for its angular thrills. Misshapen!

Matt Smith

Doctor Who is often dismissed as being a kids TV show. Wrong. A stalwart of British culture for five decades, Doctor Who is often challenging drama presented in a primetime format and with the current incarnation played by Matt Smith it has succeeded in introducing an edgy, darker tone - capturing our nation’s sense of freewheeling adventure. Bit of blue!

Ricky Gervais

Whether you agree with Gervais’ stance on the semantic dilution of mong amongst everyday vernacular or not, you still have to respect his stance towards tabloid vilification and the hypocritical red top habit of barking moral outrage whilst peddling baseless gossip on the very next page. Ragged!

William and Kate

It was so dreamy! The handsome Prince and bashful bride, uniting the Nation beneath an umbrella of love… Or, it gifted us all an extra bank-holiday, which if used judiciously could leverage a ten-day holiday period when coupled on to Easter. Republican? Who told you that? Crown jewels!



David Cameron / Nick Clegg

Eroding the welfare state. Forcing students to assume a yoke of debt before even setting foot in University. Hobbling the BBC and its media output. Go the coalition! But it’s not all bad; they’ve found the cash to propose a national reintroduction of weekly bin collections. A move to placate their Daily Mail reading core? How cynical!

David Guetta

There is something undoubtedly gratifying when Europe successfully exports something so irredeemably crap as David Guetta to the Americans. The only problem is that Guetta’s success over the past twelve months with the risible ‘Nothing But The Beat’ has ricocheted back over the Atlantic in a tsunami of soulless ‘guest-enhanced’ shite. Oeufs Chien!

James Murdoch

No Gaddafi? No Bin Laden? Don’t fear; we’ve met our ruthless bastard quota courtesy of James Murdoch - a man who was at the helm of News International’s calamitous response when they were discovered to have hacked individuals’ voicemail in order to generate news print. What a noble profession this is. Hack job!

Rioters

Yes, there are clear social catalysts which led so many young people to feel disenfranchised and marginalized to a level wherein shanking their hometown seemed like a viable dialogue. But no, it doesn’t excuse the fuckwits abhorrent behavior which was more about stripping JD Sports than protesting over inequalities. Burnt!

Bankers

What a pickle they’ve got us in. Sat in their drafty offices like a cast of Dickensian characters, our nation’s bean counters inadvertently filled in the wrong column of their leather-bound ledger and financial meltdown ensued. And then we all hate them for it. What a thankless task it must be as a humble banker.

Justin Bieber

A venereal smear wearing a downloadable haircut, Justin Bieber is the reason why disposable income should be restricted to those over the age of eighteen. Masquerading as a pop star, Bieber is the latest in a long tradition of money-sucking constructs who add nothing to our cultural fabric other than a deep sense of aggregate loathing. Pop tart!

John Galliano

We all get a bit stressed from time to time, but with us it tends to manifest itself in the eating of squirty cream whilst weeping in front of Steel Magnolias. Dior’s John Galliano is evidently too leftfield for this, instead opting to load up on booze before gobbing off anti-Semitic remarks ahead of Paris Fashion Week - losing his job and ending up in Court as a result. How fucking edgy. Hate Couture!

Rebecca Black

Before Rebecca Black came along with her parent-funded vanity single ‘Friday’, the last day of the week was something to look forward to. But not now. It’s a twenty-four-hour period sound-tracked by a simpering belch of anodyne pop-music perpetrated by a spoilt California kid. Black out!

Frankie Cocozza

Where to start? A preening little twat who mistook being a rock star for harvesting chlamydia across London’s scabby social scene, Frankie Cocozza was the X Factor’s latest pariah to be briefly unleashed upon our collective tabloid consciousness. With a singing ability that could charitably described as shite, Cocozza is a ribald argument for mass sterilization. Exit Factor!

Steve Jobs

A man who helped integrate technology intuitively into our everyday lives dies. That’s sad. The mawkish reaction of Apple fan-boys as they elevate a savvy businessman to the status of beautified saint? Bloody embarrassing. iSad.

Words by Adam Park

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