The year 2008 was marred by the global financial crisis -- a year when major banks collapsed and big economies receded. It was the most dangerous crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930's. The upside? Asia was looking up, as China replaced Japan as holder of the world's largest pool of foreign cash savings as well as overtaking Britain as the fourth largest economy, and challenging Germany. China also held the biggest and boldest Olympics during the summer.
Vacations and traveling worked as a coping mechanism -- wide landscapes and natural scenery are therapeutic after all, and photography seems helpful in channeling the stress.
However, it was also the year when the entertainment industry and pop culture allowed average citizens ourselves to escape from the issue. The collective consciousness was majorly shaped by works of fiction that emulated real life as well; the premiere of the iconic American show Breaking Bad proved that.
And then there were some who followed Batmania as the Batman: The Dark Knight hit the box office (rest in peace, Heath Ledger). Gritty Gotham was very much like reality. Other icons, deemed heroes, emerged -- like the first African-American president Barack Obama and Robert Downey Jr. debuting as Iron Man.
In 2008, the reality was stranger than fiction.
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