It's been a year full of rubbernecking, the perfect coda to a decade chock full of WTF Moments. Let's count down the top ten pop culture moments of Oh-Nine, shall we?
1. Swinging wildly between sad and just plain sick on the pop culture pendulum is the spectacle of Jon and Kate Gosselin's marriage falling apart for all to see on national television. My sympathies to their brood of eight, all of whom are likely destined for many years of professional counseling once they're old enough to realize that their home lives were exploited so hideously by their own parents.
2. Falcon Heene AKA Balloon Boy spilling the beans about his parents' prank on live television (and his cookies). That poor kid, like his given name isn't bad enough (Falcon? Really?!?), he will forever be known as Balloon Boy.
3. The four legged monster known as Speidi provided many gleeful moments this year, perhaps none though as entertaining as their stint on the horrific I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Who can forget Spencer's baptism by Stephen Baldwin in the river? It haunts my dreams. How about Heidi praying to Jesus with Patti Blagojevich? Holy Playboy Centerfold, Batman, these two really dragged Christianity through the mud this year.
4. Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House Party Crashers. I'm wondering why we still don't have the full story on how they got in to that event. Transparency in government, eh what? The other amusing thing about this is that Michaele looks like she bought that outfit from the Halloween Store, thinking that it would be appropriate since the occasion was a State Dinner for India. We'll be seeing more of these two...I can wait. What about you?
5. Susan Boyle dreamed a dream and now she's on top of the music charts. One of the best moments of the year was the look on the face of those judges when she started to sing, not to mention the jeering audience who shut up right quick and started to tear up. I double dog dare you to watch that video and not cry. This is the good side of reality TV: finding a jewel like this amongst the rubbish.
6. Tom DeLay on Dancing With The Stars. This is one of those moments that's so grotesque you don't know whether to laugh or cry. I couldn't bring myself to watch it in real time because I thought I might lose it and go all Keith Moon with the TV set. But -- it happened. And it is another sign of the approaching apocalypse, no doubt.
7. Jersey Shore, the MTV Show that's got everyone all het up. You can practically see the MTV execs that greenlighted this program dancing with joy. The scary thing about it is that it apparently falls more into the documentary genre than reality TV.
8. Tiger Woods. I'll admit that in the beginning when all we knew was that he had gotten himself into a car accident at 2am and had been foisted into the 24/7 news cycle, I felt bad for him. Why was it okay for someone to be hounded like that just because they're world famous? But as his harem was revealed, well, I just became nauseous about the whole thing.
9. Que Sarah, Sarah. I spent a lot of time bitching about La Palinator last year when there was a possibility she'd end up a heartbeat away from becoming the Leader of the Free World. Now it seems as though we're stuck with her (thanks, John McCain!) as a sort of kooky right wing bellwether. But I admit she's truly frightening. She reminds me of a friend's mom back in grammar school who, when she found out I was Jewish, forbade her daughter to play with me anymore.
10. Well of course the top ten moment of the year was the death of Michael Jackson and the media circus that swooped down like carrion on his demise and every teensy weensy item remotely connected to it. If you met Michael Jackson at a store or restaurant during your lifetime, you were suddenly negotiating a book deal. Was he a shining misunderstood hero? Was he a drug-addicted demon? Was he, in the end, just a dad who cared about his children? Right up there with the media frenzy that hung on for weeks was the family infighting that prevented MJ's earthly remains from being interred for over two months.
Yes it's been quite the year for Pop Culture, O Best Beloved. What are some of your favorite moments? Did I miss anything? I'm overwhelmed with looking back - it's time for a New Years Eve Brunch to wash all this ickiness down.
Follow Holly Cara Price on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hollycara