A reader responds to my year-end reflections:
It may be that the vitriol from the right (not to say there's none from the left) may be a sign of the incredible progress in opening minds in 2011. If you believe as I do that any discrimination against gay people is unjust, and that 2011 was a breakthrough year, then vitriol from fundamentalists – an inevitable accompaniment and sign of such progress – is to be accepted as a cost. May the fundamentalists of all stripes have as much cause for bile in the coming year!
A happy new year to you and everyone at the Dish. A small correction in your Ides of 2011 piece regarding Mohamed Bouazizi, whom you referred to as having died in 2010. Although his self-immolation took place on the 17th of December 2010, he in fact died in hospital on the 4th of January 2011.
In any case, I heartily agree with your assessment of him as man of the year. His one, tragic act has had unimaginable consequences – could anyone at the start of 2011 have predicted the overthrow of three north African dictatorships and the probability of more to come in the Middle East? Although there's a definite sense of two steps forward, one step back, I'm optimistic that Bouazizi's act (and the defiance of all those in the region who have been standing up to opression) will ultimately result in a more free Middle East.
On a final, personal note, I'd like to say thanks for your blog over the past few years. I came across the Dish about four years ago during the 2007/08 US presidential campagin, and it's been mandatory reading ever since. I'm often fascinated by your coverage of US politics, marriage equality, the Green Revolution and the Arab Spring, religion and faith, beards and even Doctor Who, which I was thrilled to discover you were a fan of recently. Keep up the good work and all the best for 2012.
You forgot The Royal Wedding!
(Video of the fireworks display from Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, via Buzzfeed)