"The Protester" is Time magazine's person of the year. Featuring a fierce-looking, veiled figure peering back at the reader, Time's front-cover image succinctly captures the uprisings and social upheavals that made history in 2011. As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Nonetheless, we shouldn't forget the slogans, catchphrases and epithets that made headlines this year. After all, whatever comes of the Occupy movement, the mantra of the politically and economically disenfranchised - "We are the 99%" - has dramatically altered American political discourse as we plunge headlong into the 2012 presidential race.
Here then, are some of the remarks, declarations, and comments - snarky and otherwise - that made 2011 a year to remember.
10. "I'm making this video to give you one simple message: we want to go down to Tahrir Square on Jan. 25th. If we still have honor and want to live in dignity on this land, we have to go down on January Jan. 25th. We'll go down and demand our rights, our fundamental human rights." - Egyptian activist, Asmaa Mahfouz, in a video posted to Facebook calling for a mass demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Jan. 18.
"You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners." - Hillary Clinton
9. "You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners." - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praising Al Jazeera, the Arabic satellite news channel, and lamenting the sorry state of American journalism in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, March 2.
8. "This seems like it was a prank to make fun of my name. ... When you are named Weiner, that happens a lot." - Former Representative Anthony Weiner offering the first of a fistful of flimsy excuses for lewd photographs posted to his Twitter account, June 2.
7. "Before we get started, let's all say 'Happy Birthday' to Elvis Presley today." - U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, while campaigning for president in South Carolina on the anniversary of Presley's death, Aug. 16.
6. "All the world saw him being killed, all bloodied. Is that democracy? And who did it? Drones, including American ones, delivered a strike on his motorcade. Then commandos, who were not supposed to be there, brought in so-called opposition and militants. And killed him without trial." - Russian Primer Minister Vladimir Putin, assessing NATO's role in ousting Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Dec. 15.
5. "This is such a cool state. I mean, come on, 'Live free or die?' I mean, you know, you gotta love that, right? I come from a state, you know, where they had this little place called the Alamo, and they declared, 'Victory or death.' You know, we're kinda into those slogans, man. It's like, 'Live free or die,' 'Victory or death.' Bring it!" - Texas Governor Rick Perry on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Oct. 28.
4. "WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup." - Citation for the whistleblower website upon receiving a Walkley Award - the Australian Pulitzer - for outstanding contribution to journalism, Nov. 27.
"WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup." - Walkley Award
3. "This is the most humble day of my life." - Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, testifying before British Parliament on the phone-hacking scandal, July 19.
2. "We're under great threat because we occupy so many countries." - Representative Ron Paul of Texas speaking at a GOP Presidential debate, Sept. 13.
1. "They have acted like terrorists." - Vice President Joe Biden's assessment of Congressional Republicans during last summer's debt-ceiling debate, Aug. 1.
"I can't stand him anymore, he's a liar." - French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as overheard by a handful of journalists, discussing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day." - Barack Obama's rejoinder to Sarkozy at the November G20 Summit.
Kevin Howley is associate professor of media studies at DePauw University. He is editor of Understanding Community Media (Sage, 2010) and the forthcoming Media Interventions (Peter Lang). He writes regularly on media, culture and politics at e-chreia.