Goodbye 2018

new-years

It’s the end of December, and 2018 is rapidly fading away.  Time moves on, and another year is gone.  Here are just a few WD observations from 2018, a year that will soon be relegated to the dusty pages of history.

Kim Jong-un, the Grand Exalted Imperial Poobah of North Korea, promised he’d get rid of his nuclear arsenal.  Sounds legit!  After all, this is the guy who claims he invented the hamburger, is the best golfer in history and never goes to the toilet.

Rosanne Barr has a big mouth.  Who knew?

The word of the year was “toxic.”  It replaced sexist, racist, homophobic and hater as the go-to word that means: I don’t like it, and you’re to blame.  Thus, “toxic masculinity” became the complete and total explanation for everything that’s wrong with the world.

Bill Cosby went to jail.  (One down; one Weinstein to go.)

Ben Affleck decided to hide out in Detox until his #metoo moment blew over.  God!  That guy is an even bigger hypocrite than I thought.

There were so many resignations and “You’re fired-s” flying around the White House that they installed a revolving door.

The biggest news grabber of the year was the British Royal family.  Prince Harry got married.  So did Princess Eugenie.  The Duchess of Cambridge had a baby.  So did her Royal wanna-be sister, Pippa.  And Prince Charles turned 70.  But when the newly-minted Duchess of Sussex actually closed her own car door, Social Media truly lost its mind.

The scariest news of 2018 is the Age of Merkel is over, and the even scarier news is the Age of Macron might just be getting started.

Speaking of which, the latest fashion out of France is yellow vests.

There was good news, too!  More ordinary people killed virtual people playing the video game Fortnite than all the world’s soldiers combined did on the battlefield.  Who says humanity isn’t making progress?

Canada legalized marijuana, but most Canadians didn’t notice.  They were too busy eating Skip the Dishes chicken wings and watching Sausage Party on Netflix.

Apparently, Bitcoin (Bitcoins?) lost most of their value – again.  (Those things jump around more than a toddler in a Bouncy Castle.)  However, nobody really noticed, so it’s pretty safe to say they probably weren’t actually worth anything in the first place and – oh, yeah! — Mr. Barnum was right.

Mark Zuckerberg got into trouble when it was discovered that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal information of over 50 million Facebook users.  This is bad … but … think about it!  Since the vast majority of Facebook is Clickbait, cat videos and sappy homilies, Cambridge Analytica didn’t really get very much, did they?

At the movies, people were still fascinated by superheroes with Black Panther, The Avengers, The Incredibles, Deadpool and Crazy Rich Asians pulling in hundreds of millions at the box office.

In more entertainment news, Scarlett Johansson decided not to play transgender Dante “Tex” Gill in a movie because of a massive Social Media campaign that pointed out she is not transgender.  This might very well be a watershed moment for Hollywood.  Perhaps, in the future, only aliens will appear in Star Wars movies, only the undead in zombie movies, and since Transformers don’t actually exist, this could be the end of that jackass franchise.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

But the biggest news story of 2018 was:

When Stephen Hawking died in March, it actually lowered the average IQ of the entire planet.  And, honestly, folks, I don’t think we have that many points to give away.

 

2018 — You’re Goin’ Be A Good Year!

2018

OMG! I’m old enough to remember when 2001 was science fiction, so 2018 is beginning to stretch the limits of my imagination.  When I was a kid, 2018, if it happened at all, was going to be a bleak combination of all the best bits of Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, Death Race 2000 and A Clockwork Orange.  In short, as a know-it-all 20-something, I didn’t think we were actually going to get this far.  However, here we are — and we survived 1984, Y2K and the Mayan Calendar.  Not bad considering that, at various times, half the population was convinced all three of them were going to wipe us out.

Here’s the deal: humans are a resilient species.  Unlike every other mammal on this planet, we have the ability to adapt to whatever difficulties Mother Nature and our own inherent stupidity throw in our path.  Plus, we have the audacity to challenge the awesome power of our unforgiving universe and the skill to bend it to our will.  Again, not bad considering half the population gets its information from Twitter — 140 characters at a time.

The trick is, human beings are the sum of their parts.  For every Kim Jong-un threatening to turn our children into nuclear French fries, there are ten Dutch engineers turning wind into electricity so those same kids won’t choke on industrial waste.  For every Boko Haram, there are ten Nigerian dads taking the early bus so their daughters can go to school.  And for every stupid Trump tweet, there are at least ten Americans, out there somewhere, saying WTF? — because in the entire history of human existence, for every dark slice of yesterday there’s always been a whole new tomorrow.

I lost my after-dinner pessimism somewhere between Maggie Thatcher and the Fall of the Berlin Wall.  And although, these days, it’s soul crushing to watch a snarling pack of self-important middleclass slacktivists systematically dismantling the Enlightenment, I refuse to surrender my optimism.  Saner heads will prevail!  They always have, and I believe they always will.  So, 2018, come ahead!  You’re gonna be a good year: I can feel it.