This is the last of the “Top Culture” series where I list the top pop culture trends and ideas of 2009. I am interested to hear if you have other lists you would like to see. Are there trends, people, or ideas you would like to get more information on? Are there things you would like Cliff-notes on to better understand the teens in your ministry?
Top Ten Most Interesting Quotes of 2009
1. “There’s an app for that.”
Apple’s advertising slogan for the iPhone.
Today’s technology is allowing us unprecedented access to information and people on smaller and smaller devices. Forget the days when you needed a desktop computer and a cord to connect to the internet, today’s teens have phones that can surf the web, keep up with social networking sites, and give them directions to the nearest sushi restaurant at the touch of a button.
2. “You lie!”
Wilson’s shouted retort to Obama’s address before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9.
Presidential politics might not be on the list of top five things your teens want to talk about, but they are listening as President Obama and the members of Congress work tirelessly to help our country out of difficult times. The decisions these leaders are making today will have a huge impact on teens as they grow up, and they are paying attention.
3. “I’m going to let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!”
Kanye West, interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 13.
In what is inarguably one of the least well thought-out decisions of 2009, Kanye West took away Taylor Swift’s winning moment and found himself in the dog house with pretty much everyone on the planet. You know you are in trouble with even the president is calling you names.
4. “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage… I think I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there.”
Carrie Prejean onstage at the 2009 Miss USA pageant.
Carrie Prejean spoke her mind and took a stand for her Christian faith when asked about same sex marriage during the interview portion of the Miss USA pageant. She went on to lose points for her answer and ultimately lost the pageant. While everything that followed in the media after this comment gets incredibly complicated, her example of risking everything for faith is a powerful one for teens.
5. “We’re going to be in the Hudson.”
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, responding to air traffic controllers asking on which runway he preferred to land US Airways Flight 1549 on Jan. 15 before he landed in the Hudson River.
This event and the subsequent attention to Captain Sully was one of the most uplifting moments of 2009. Everyone was able to rejoice in a moment that helped us remember why doing our very best in everything we do makes a difference in people’s lives.
6. “Um, you guys said that we, um, did this for the show.”
Falcon Heene, during an interview on CNN about his parents’ balloon hoax on Oct. 15
When Balloon Boy admitted that his parents had put him up to faking his trip in a homemade balloon, he unknowingly put them into some serious legal trouble. Legal trouble or not, the Heene’s actions fired up a media storm about the lengths people will go to in order to be famous.
7. “I can’t stop crying over the sad news. I’ve always admired Michael Jackson – the world has lost one of its greats, but his music will live on forever.”
Madonna, in a tribute to the late Michael Jackson during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
The death of Michael Jackson hit the hearts of many around the world who loved his music. Even teens who were not around for Jackson’s most popular albums mourned his loss. His death served as yet another example of why our discussion of drugs needs to always include the discussion of prescription drug abuse as well as illegal drugs.
8. “Even if Chris never hit me again, who is to say that their boyfriend won’t? Who’s to say that they won’t kill these girls? These are young girls, and I just didn’t realize how much of an impact I had on these girls’ lives until that happened. It was a wake-up call.”
Rihanna during her “20/20” interview with Diane Sawyer on November 6 about the abusive relationship she had with rapper Chris Brown.
The attack of Rihanna by her long time boyfriend brought new light on the issue of dating violence. Rihanna’s initial return to Brown following the attack caused quite a controversy and left many victim advocates upset. When Rihanna did finally speak out, her honest and candid interview gave hope to all of those who work with teens and abuse victims as Rihanna spoke about the important reasons she decided not to return to a relationship with Brown.
9. “I definitely thought about it long and hard, about if I wanted to keep the baby or not, and I wasn’t thinking about adoption. I do think every woman should have the right to do what they want, but I don’t think it’s talked through enough. I can’t even tell you how many people just say, ‘Oh, get an abortion.’ Like it’s not a big deal.”
Kourtney Kardashian told People Magazine about her response to finding out she was pregnant.
Kourtney Kardashian was brutally honest with the media about all the options she considered after finding out she was pregnant. While her comments were not widely covered, they do give us both insight into what women are thinking when it comes to unplanned pregnancy, and an opportunity to talk about the sanctity of life.
10. “It’s for God and for the gays.”
Lady Gaga during her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Sept. 13, 2009, in New York City.
In a culture where faith can be considered buffet style, taking a bit from every belief system and created a unique individual faith, a comment like this does not seem out of place. Teens are less and less likely to be struck by the juxtaposition of those comments.
If you have suggested lists for the future, please put them in the comments. I would love to hear from you.