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The Year-End Mega-Matrix

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to the year in culture.


2008: the year the stock market tumbled, Wall Street collapsed, and our governor resigned in shame. Where were we when this all went down? Glued to our TV sets, watching a revived SNL, dancing around to “I Kissed a Girl” (and we liked it), and gasping in awe when Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal. America mourned for Heath Ledger, David Foster Wallace, and The Wire and celebrated Britney’s comeback, Nadal’s triumph, and a squat little robot named Wall-E. Then, in the wink of an eye, along came Sarah Palin, and we couldn’t see anything else—until a certain historical moment, one of audacious hope. And those were just the biggies. Herewith, everything else that happened in this momentous year.


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