Saturday, December 27, 2014

Objects in Mirror 

What a year, huh? What’s the warning from our side view mirrors? “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.” That’s how looking back at a year feels to me. It’s funny how things that you thought happened last year was really two or three years ago. Stuff that happened this year seems further back somehow. Maybe because it was kinda crappy. Except maybe the Olympics - which also seems crappy in retrospect.

obligatory year in review graphic

How about those Sochi Olympics? Those crazy Russians. Remember that one thing messed up in the opening ceremonies but we didn’t care because a police choir sang Daft Punk’s Get Lucky with Russian accents. Crazy. Remember how good the Canadian athletes were? Remember that insane comeback by the Canadian women’s hockey team? Remember when that Cossack beat Pussy Riot with a whip? You don’t see that everyday. Then again, this was a government that made promoting gay stuff illegal. Not even the Pope is against gay folks anymore. Hey Vlad, you can’t stop a gay party, because a gay party just don’t stop (see above Daft Punk reference)! Then the whole annexing Crimea thing? Crazy Russians.

And if one Malaysian plane hasn’t gone missing without a trace another one is getting blown out of the skies by, you guessed it, crazy Russians. We’re still in shock from atrocities in the Syrian conflict. At least we can talk about that one, unlike the conversational black hole that is the Israeli army chasing down Hamas and bombing schools in the process (let’s just agree a lot of bad stuff happened). Then those beheadings by the Islamic State? State of insanity, am I right? They aren’t beheading people at Saudi rates but it’s still pretty bad. They rolled through Iraq like a Target hacked credit card transaction. Which is to say, with ease. They made Boko Haram’s kidnapping of kids look cute by comparison – young school girls in fact, because you know, “Western” education is bad. Besides, boys make better child soldiers than child brides which young girls are perfect for. We’re all for protecting girls - unless they were raped at a party and shamed on the Internet - or those women criticizing the video gaming industry. Being shamed and bullied on the Internet is such a first world problem, not like that ebola. That just scares the crap outta me. Not like someone suffering from ebola, but still… a lot.

And extremists? Extremist terrorists just can’t stop with the weird scariness and slaughtering and the raping. From South Sudan to the Central African Republic to Nigeria to more civil war in Libya to a cafe in Australia to school in Pakistan. That world is full of things that can kill you, like prosthetically assisted sprinters who will shoot their girl friends, right through a closed door, without even asking, “Babe, is that you?” You should always ask, “Babe, you in there?” before shooting through a closed door. It’s just impolite not to. Well, he learned his lesson: if you cry in court you’ll probably only get five years for cold blooded murder. Or no time at all, like the cop who shot an unarmed black teen-ager in Ferguson, Missouri, or that cop who shot that black 12-year-old in a park for carrying a BB gun, or the cop who shot a black man in a Walmart when he failed to put down the toy guy he was buying for his son, or that cop who choked the black man to death for selling cigarettes illegally. Pretty bad year to be black.

It was also a bad year to be a lady. I guess a lot of years are violent if you are a lady. If you weren’t a teen being cyber-bullied, you were a journalist or critic covering gaming or a ride sharing mobile app and being threatened for it. Being threatened on Twitter isn’t serious is it? Oh, right, it’s a public forum so it is kinda serious. It’s bad. Like being mentored by Bill Cosby (which involves being drugged and raped – just say “No” to unpaid, rapey mentorships ladies!) Or like working for or being alone with Jian Ghomeshi, or being in an elevator with a NFL player or getting your picture taken by Terry Richardson, or working on Parliament Hill. Maybe ladies should just stay at home until we’ve all evolved a little more. It’d be safer. Safer than the White House, where you can just, you know, jump the fence with a weapon and run in there like a big jerk. You really shouldn’t run holding anything other than a ball. It’s not safe.

But, at least in Toronto we finally got rid of our homophobic, xenophobic, racist, crack-smoking, alcoholic, buffoon of a mayor and narrowly escaped having his guileful, bullying knob of a brother becoming mayor. Of course, he had to get cancer to step down from his candidacy, but that’s politics for you. One minute you’re a divisive, narrow-minded, weak-willed, self-destructive, political hack and the next minute you’re a real live human being.

Who knew you could land on a comet?

And don’t forget a bunch of scientists landed a spacecraft on a comet after chasing it for ten years. They landed it right on the comet, sort of. But then it ran out of power. That’s the type of stuff we really want to hear about. We want fun stuff to distract us from the stuff that I have previously outlined. Like all of those videos of people dancing and singing along to Pharrell Williams’ song, Happy. Yeah, that was fun, that is until we found out that young Iranians who did their version were arrested for vulgarity and forced to repent on state television because that makes sense. No dancing. What a year, huh?

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