Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Random 2013 Rewind

It’s that time again already, True Believers – for a tally of 14 random thoughts about some memorable 2013 moments. Presenting 13 things we all lived through in 2013, filtered through the eyes of those of us in the corner.

Boston Marathon Bombing – My beloved home town was rocked in April when a series of explosions made a time-honored tradition a living nightmare. Dozens of fatalities and injuries befell the tightly packed crowd of fans and onlookers. Though Police shot and killed one suspect and have the other in custody, the most famous and sought-after marathon outside of the Olympics has been changed forever. Stay strong, Boston

Paula Dean – The famous Southern Chef got a good padlin’ when her show was dropped by The Food Network and several sponsors for the flagrant use of racial slurs and bigoted commentary. While I do appreciate this 'Duchess of Desserts' for being honest in her confession, c'mon Ms. Dean, look around–the world has grown up, maybe you should, too. "Geez, Toto, we're not in 1955 anymore." Someone please share this with Paula, more butter, less N-word. 

Nelson Mandela – Look up the definitions for bravery, dignity or class, and you'll find this man. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for a cause he was willing to die for—the undeniable rights for all people in his native South Africa defying the racial tyranny of Apartheid. Upon his release, he was elected the new President of his country. So what did he do at his inauguration? He invited the former head of Apartheid to his inaugural ceremony. Class act. R.I.P.

The Launch of ('Obamacare') – I will sidestep the politics of this issue and simply say that millions of Americans now have access to affordable health care that never had it before. That is an achievement of human decency on a level that'll NEVER be fully embraced or comprehended. Like anything new, the web site and and electronic enrollment didn't work but there are, today, millions of men, women and children who sleep soundly knowing they are covered.

Jodi Arias – When you are hopelessly, madly in love with someone and they reject you, what should you do? If your answer is to murder them, violently, then your name is Jodi Arias. In a modern day, real-life fatal attraction, the psychotic Jodi brutally butchers her former lover and goes on trial to become national news. A sad and twisted news item that will haunt us all and reminds us to be vigilant of everyone in our world, even those we love. 

Twerking – This one couldn’t go away fast enough. Ladies, here’s an idea; let’s fight for gender equality for more than 2,000 years and when we get close to said equality, let’s develop demeaning, unflattering and just plain vulgar dances that undermines all those efforts. After all, we always liked the way you looked anyway. I mean why go for brain when you got back? Honestly, it would be okay if this just suddenly... stopped.

Selfies – Let’s take two of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind; the telephone and the camera. Then merge them and take endless photos of ourselves–particularly in mirrors–and post them to Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I don't know if I can think of a more useless, uninspired and utterly wasteful use of technology than what is personified in a selfie. Please pay no attention to the fact that I am typing this in front my bathroom mirror... ready? (click!) 

Government Shutdown – The gridlocked stalemate between the two major political parties caused the federal government to shut down–unnecessarily–for several weeks this past fall. Resulting in the NEEDLESS temporary suspension of the wages to millions of gov’t workers, the closing of parks, the mailing of federal benefits to scores of retirees and veterans, even endangering foreign policy by threatening a default on loan payments to foreign countries. (Sigh)

Ariel Castro  – After pleading guilty to kidnapping several young women and repeatedly rapping and torturing them for more than a decade, this convicted and sick-minded bus-driver-turned-sick-o pleads guilty of all his crimes, then kills himself days afterward. Those poor women will be traumatized for lives. Let’s just agree that this guy’s passing is not one for the ‘loss’ column. 

The Domination Of Streaming Entertainment – By the year 2020 which of the following will be completely obsolete? A.) DVDs B.) Blu–Ray Players C.) Cable TV or D.) All of the above. Yup, it’s ‘D’. Just think of how often you (likely) hear people catching something on YouTube, HULU, Crackle or NetFlix? While you may need to wait for the credit role on that one, one thing's for certain, streaming entertainment is here to stay.

Drones – Okay, none of us has our eye on this ball. We all have heard of how drones–pilotless aircraft controlled from far away–can conduct everything from humanitarian supply airdrops, to in-air refueling to spying to missile strikes on 'suspected' terrorists. Now even Google has committed to deploying drones to deliver packages to front doors, offices and housing communities everywhere with remote-controlled pre-programmed flying machines. Skynet anyone?

XBOX One vs The PS4 – Just when I was feeling confident about the state of gaming technology, here come new consoles! Well sort of. In a slightly baffling move by the gaming giants at SONY and Microsoft, new "next gen" systems were launched over the 2013 holiday season with really NO new games that anyone wanted and new shoulder shrug technologies. This has to be the biggest "meh" response to two gaming console launches... EVER.
The Climate – Okay, for some crazy reason this has become a political issue, which is the one polarizing topic I won't fully commit to on this blog. That said, worst-ever storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, Tsunamis, flash floods record snowfalls and blistering heat records and melting ice caps all point to the fact that something is going on with our world. There's a reason world leaders get together (G8 Summit) and talk about ways NOT to frak up our planet further. 
Kimye – The Dynamic Duo Of Dysfunction have been quite busy this past year. They made a video, a baby and every headline in every pulp magazine, periodical and TMZ-esque show worldwide. By the way, if your last name is 'West', don't name your kid 'North.' What's wrong with 'Adam'? And Kim, you're a Mom now, act like it, please. These two are the definition of a train wreck; you hate to watch but you I just can't look away.

Well, that should just about wrap up 2013 everyone. Keep tuning in as I'm sure we can spend another glorious year viewing everything from the corner. Dunce caps on... and... begin!

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