Our family just watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for the umpteenth time. Everybody’s familiar with the premise: Willy Wonka, a candy manufacturer, holds a contest for kids. The five winners embark on a factory tour and secret “interview” process to see who has the moral fiber to inherit and operate the candy business. As Wonka tests each kid’s mettle, the greedy, the arrogant, and the disobedient kids suffer the terrible consequences of ignoring Wonka’s advice. Their disqualifications allow honest Charlie to win. Although the movie premiered over forty years ago, it’s still entertaining. Here’s one of my favorite scenes:
Yes, it’s very weird. My family calls it the “freak-out” scene. Viewers know one thing for sure, Wonka qualifies as either crazy or genius, maybe both. The boat ride begins innocently enough. As passengers board, lovely music plays in the background, but the disturbing videos and Wonka’s screaming soon send people clamoring for safety.
The tunnel scene reminds me of 2012—the freak-out year. It started off fairly normal, but by year-end we had escalated into full-blown insanity with one unbelievable situation after another including Stormy Sandy, Sandy Hook, a presidential election, apocalyptic preparations, and a fiscal cliff. I’m sure you have your own vivid memories of 2012.
What one word would you choose to describe 2012 and why?