Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: A Year in Review

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At the commencement of each calendar year, our focus shifts from remembering what caused the last twelve months to be memorable, to making ambitious promises to ourselves and our families which will inevitably fade into obscurity after a few weeks good-ish faith efforts.  The past year brought personal challenges--and hopefully some personal victories--to most, and provided culturally pertinent events to those with access to media, literacy, and an attention span.  Now, with promises of finally trying hot yoga and short distance jogging on the horizon, we look back at a retrospect of what made 2013 so sadly, triumphantly, and frustratingly memorable.

Chelyabinsk Meteor
On February 15, 2013, a meteor believed to be approximately 20 meters (or ~10.94 fathoms) in diameter exploded in the Earth's atmosphere above Russia.  While many around the world watched countless videos captured by the dashboard cameras of Russian vehicles and grappled with the idea that we are all pointlessly arrogant specks of carbon who will inevitably one day fall victim to the sociopathic entropy of the universe, many more wondered why the hell there are so many dashboard cameras in Russia.  The answer?  Because the #4 pastime in Russian following vodka, gymnastics, and topless horseback riding is insurance fraud.

Boston Marathon Bombings
When two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, a city and a country experienced both the highs and lows of which humanity is capable.  Photos and stories surfaced of people running towards the explosions to help, spectators tending to victims, and marathon participants running and additional 1.5 miles to Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood.  When the dust cleared, the manhunt ended, catchphrases were hijacked by local sports fans, and generalized Muslim insensitivities began to recede back to normal, but likely still inappropriate levels, Boston began to grieve, and already sedentary Americans were left with yet another reason not to get off the couch.


Edward Snowden and the NSA
In May of 2013, former CIA employee and National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information detailing global surveillance programs being conducted by the NSA.  Many Americans demanded answers, saying that through collecting data from the internet and from cell phone carriers the NSA was invading their privacy.  After a few weeks of intense media coverage, many forgot about the deeply personal wrongs which had been perpetrated on their private lives and went back to cheating on their spouses and posting detailed information about themselves on the internet.

Carlos Danger
2013 was a year that proved--probably as much as any typical year in politics--that while background checks are probably a good idea for those wishing to own a firearm, they may also be a good idea for those whom we elect to be paid with, and be responsible for, our tax dollars.  Former New York congressman and guy-who-really-doesn't-seem-to-understand-the-permanence-of-the-internet Anthony Weiner found himself in another high-publicized political situation, this time in the race for New York City mayor.  Apparently hoping that everyone in the country had the memory of a gnat, Weiner ran despite the fact that his last name was a word for penis, and that he previously was embroiled in an online scandal involving his actual penis.  Once reports surface revealing that Weiner had continued his inappropriate online, extramarital communications under the name Carlos Danger, the potential success of his candidacy shrank to nothing more than a flaccid, unimpressive version of what it once was.  Had Weiner won, however, it would have been arguably his greatest erection.  I mean election.  Sorry.

George Zimmerman
Man, that guy sure was something ranging from a racist monster to an American hero, huh.

The Royal Baby
On July 22, 2013, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton pushed 8 pounds 6 ounces of pure, British majesty through her Royal Birth Canal.  In anticipation of the event, England's collective national productivity came to a screeching halt, and news outlets seemingly shifted their focus towards covering the event so thoroughly that some bloke from Stratford-Upon-Crumpetson could have waltzed into the Barclays on Edgware, nicked all the rhino in the vault, taken a fancy long stop at the loo, and made off before Scotland Yard was any the wiser.  Currently, the 5-month-old Prince George of Cambridge is fluent in Olde English and scoffing at peasants and has tea every Thursday with Paddington Bear and Neville Longbottom.

The Government Shutdown
In October 2013, the public servants elected by the citizens of the United States to conduct such tasks as making informed policy and budgetary decisions based on the will of the people by whom they were elected, did the occupational equivalent of sticking their fingers in their asses, childishly stamping their feet in protest of doing what they are paid handsomely to do, and jerking off onto their own faces.  If any one of us who isn't employed by a seriously creepy art studio did those things, we would be fired without a second thought.  Those public servants, however, whose actions resulted in serving the public an arrogant, twelve-knuckled middle finger in the form of losing the United States an estimated $24 billion dollars over sixteen days, were continued to be paid while their government-employed constituents across the country lost wages and health coverage from being forced out of work.  I have nothing eloquent to say about this.  I hope everyone responsible gets scurvy.

Rob Ford
Every once in a while, something so magnificently spectacular happens that you can't help but smile at someone else's drug abuse and associated buffoonery.  These feelings of good tidings and joy are only amplified when it so happens that said drug abuse and buffoonery belongs to a Canadian politician.  Throughout 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford conducted himself with grace, poise, and eloquence in the same way that Charlie Sheen does.  Ford admitted to purchasing and smoking crack cocaine while in office, drinking and driving, and allegedly sexually harassed former staffers and restaurant employees.  It was as if Canada--that polite, quiet man living a floor above the unsavory, corrupt, back-alley strip club (and two floors above Mexico)--was finally found out to actually be a drug-addicted sexual predator.  And given that Ford plans to run for reelection in 2014, America will collectively keep the popcorn and beer at the ready and point their lawn chairs north in hopes of getting a good view of the impending shit storm.

Healthcare.gov
In October 2013, the Obama Administration finally launched Healthcare.gov, which was designed to handle open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act.  The rollout was a complete disaster, and America witnessed Republicans opposing the implementation of the law experience the equivalent of an uncontrollable, involuntary ejaculation of joy.  The resulting happiness orgasm lasted for several weeks, and numerous aftershocks were also reported.  Many report feeling week in the knees for much of the month of October, and male Republicans fell into a deep sleep after the excitement subsided, much to the dismay of their female counterparts.

In Memorium: Famous People We Lost in 2013
  • Roger Ebert - Known best for making a comfortable living critiquing the artistic expression of others in a way that most of us could only fantasize about, Ebert died in April 2013 after a long battle with cancer.  Critics give Ebert's life 3 1/2 stars.
  • Peter O' Toole - Known best for playing the leading role in the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, O' Toole was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars eight times without ever securing a win.  To put that in the proper perspective, O' Toole has won one less Academy Awards than Three 6 Mafia.
  • Nelson Mandela - Remembered most appropriately for leading the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and becoming the first black president of the African National Congress.  Remembered most inappropriately for aesthetically resembling Morgan Freeman.  Mandela was 95 years old.
  • Margaret Thatcher - Thatcher had a smile that could light up a room.  During her tenure as the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Thatcher was known as the "Iron Lady," presumably because she was considered to be well-liked and a sultry sex symbol by the metal workers union.
  • James Gandolfini - Gandolfini was best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano in the HBO series The Sopranos.  It is still unknown if Gandolfini actually died or if our TV's went out and no one has been able to track him down since.
  • Sylvia Browne - Browne was a "psychic," and rose to popularity by appearing on The Montell Williams Show and because people are really fucking stupid.  She predicted she would die at the age of 88.  She was 77.
  • Journalism - Dating back to the fifteenth century and perhaps even earlier, Journalism spent hundreds of years intelligently informing the literate public of pertinent current world events.  With the invention of ADD and social media, Journalism became seriously ill, and its health began to decline noticeably in the past decade.  When writers began quoting comments from online message boards and posts from Twitter instead of actual sources, Journalism was diagnosed with a terminal disease.  With its dedicated loved ones at its side, Journalism was taken off life support August 26th, 2013 when CNN's top story covered Miley Cyrus reverse-air-butt-fucking the MTV VMAs.  No investigation report is able to be filed concerning who is responsible for Journalism's death; however, sources indicate that the ability to financially exploit humanity's stupidity and short attention spans are largely to blame.  I assume that no one who made it this far will be offended by that.

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