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Whatever happened to last year's breakout stars?
Is isolation more dangerous than drunk driving? This is the logic behind a a controversial new law in Ireland that would permit “moderately” drunk driving. If a new measure passed yesterday in Kerry county is approved by the Department of Justice, residents who have had “two or three drinks” will be permitted to drive in rural areas. Councillor Danny Healy-Rae, who introduced the motion, says he is concerned about older rural residents who are “being isolated now at home, and a lot of them falling into depression.” The lack of public transportation makes it difficult for these people to visit the pub. “In rural parishes, that’s well we have—we don’t have anything else,” says Healy-Rae. “All they want to do [here] is talk to neighbors, talk to friends, play cards, talk about the match and the price of cattle, about such a lady going out with such a fella, and it’s harmless.” He adds that extreme isolation even drives many older people to suicide. “I see the merit in having a stricter rule of law for when there’s a massive volume of traffic and where there’s busy roads with massive speed,” he says. “But on the roads I’m talking about, you couldn’t do any more than 20 or 30 miles per hour and it’s not a big deal.”
Many others, including mayor of Kerry, Terry O’Brien, are dead against the measure. ”[Drunk driving] is incredibly dangerous,” he says. “I don’t know how anybody can be allowed to say: ‘You’ve had two pints, so you’re justified to drive’.” Alcohol Action Ireland rep Conor Cullen agrees: “Almost one in three crash deaths in Ireland is alcohol-related. Even in small amounts, alcohol impairs driving ability—any amount of alcohol increases the risk of involvement in a fatal crash.” In response to Healy-Rae’s argument about the link between suicide and isolation, Cullen counters that alcohol consumption is more likely to contribute to suicide and other health dangers. “It should be noted that the link between alcohol use and suicide has been well established and drinking alcohol will exacerbate not alleviate any mental health difficulties that a person may be struggling with, such as depression or anxiety,” he says. “Those in rural areas who may be suffering from isolation will not benefit from putting their lives and the lives of the other members of their community at risk by drinking and driving.” Cullen notes that Ireland’s anti-drunk-driving measures, which include lowered alcohol limits and driving checkpoints, have decreased road deaths by 42% in the last four years. The country’s current general blood-alcohol limit is .05%, compared to .08% in the US.
The star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” charmed practically everyone at the Oscars, where she was the youngest best actress nominee ever; she went on to film a remake of “Annie” opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen, who had 2012’s song of the summer with “Call Me Maybe,” released the fifth and final single from her debut album in January 2013. She toured the U.S. in mid-2013 -- just as Daft Punk and Robin Thicke battled to succeed her as icons of the summer.
Honey Boo Boo
2012’s biggest reality star, the young pageant contestant Alana Thompson, had a quieter time this year, with a second season whose ratings were strong but whose buzz was a bit muted. America was, by now, accustomed to young Thompson, and outraged or scandalized reactions were reserved for other TLC programming, like “The Man With the 132-Pound Scrotum.”
Ocean missed out on the top Grammys for which he was nominated in early 2013; he bounced back quickly with featured appearances on albums by Kanye West, Jay Z and Beyoncé, and is at work on a new album. Things are looking up!
The “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike” star had a marginally less charmed 2013, with “White House Down” failing to connect with moviegoers and “Foxcatcher” delayed until next year. It may get worse before it gets better: His big 2014 sci-fi flick, “Jupiter Ascending,” looks … well, a little weird!
With their third album in 21 months hitting No. 1 immediately upon its fall 2013 release, the boy band that broke into America in 2012 would seem to be here to stay for a while. Still, they looked a bit nervous in their reaction shots during the Video Music Awards’ ‘N Sync reunion; maybe not this year, maybe not next, but eventually, the Justin of One Direction is going to break out. For now, though, things look good!
Lana Del Rey
The famously uncomfortable “Saturday Night Live” musical guest overcame endless mockery from 2012 to land her first top-10 hit in the summer of 2013 -- a remix of a year-old song, “Summertime Sadness.” As the co-writer of “Young and Beautiful,” the love theme from “The Great Gatsby,” Del Rey is such a front-runner for the best original song Oscar (last won by Adele) that there has been a direct-mail campaign to academy voters against her. The song was also played at the most romantic event of the year: Kanye West’s stadium marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian.
Wilson, who charmed fans of 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” had a rockier 2013, with her sitcom “Super Fun Night” struggling creatively and in the ratings. Her next planned movies are both sequels, to “Kung Fu Panda” and -- hoping lightning will strike twice -- to “Pitch Perfect.”
Another 2012 music icon, Gotye won the record of the year trophy at the 2013 Grammys for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” He released no new singles in 2013, and has told the press he has been struggling to complete new material. Good luck, Gotye!
The golden boy of the 2012 Olympics, without feats of aquatic derring-do to distract the public this year, saw his always-tenuous persona completely shift from “amiable jock” into “utter dolt” with his E! reality series. Worst of all, the series was canceled.
In 2012, the young actress -- best known for her role in the indie “Winter’s Bone” and a supporting part in the “X-Men” franchise -- had marquee roles in the first “Hunger Games” film and in David O. Russell’s comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.” In 2013, she played to her strengths: After winning an Oscar, she starred in the second “Hunger Games” movie, on whose publicity tour she managed to charm everyone in America, and had another role in a David O. Russell comedy, “American Hustle,” for which she might just win ANOTHER Oscar. By 2014, she may end up running a major studio, or serving as president.
The breakout bikini model of 2012 made a repeat appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue -- and got to do high-fashion spreads in Elle, Vogue and Vanity Fair. She was cast in a Cameron Diaz comedy, too. Some types of appeal are eternal!
E. L. James
The “50 Shades” novelist now gets to help share some input into a movie adaptation set for release in 2015. She probably never needs to work again! Isn’t that great? Isn’t that … just … great?
The “Gangnam Style” phenom performed at New Year’s 2013, but will spend New Year’s 2014 flipping channels to find his pistachio ad, his goofy antics having been outdone in the past year by “The Fox” singers Ylvis. Nothing meme can stay.
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