This is always the best end-of-the-year article. In 2017, it’s amazing to remember how many bizarre unbelievable stories filled the news.
Meanwhile the big emerging journalism story is the Russians, who, according to many unnamed sources, messed with the election. Nobody seems to know how, specifically, the Russians affected the election, but everybody is pretty sure they did something, especially CNN, which has not been so excited about a story since those heady months in 2014 when it provided 24/7 video coverage of random objects floating in the Pacific while panels of experts speculated on whether these objects might or might not have anything to do with that missing Malaysian airliner. You can tune into CNN anytime, day or night, and you are virtually guaranteed to hear the word “Russians” within 10 seconds, even if it’s during a Depends commercial.
President Trump, following in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, tweets out a video clip from the internet in which he body-slams a wrestler with a CNN logo superimposed over the wrestler’s head. This in itself is so embarrassing that everybody assumes the story cannot get any stupider, but CNN rises to the occasion by announcing that its “KFile” investigative team has ferreted out the identity of the image’s creator, a private citizen who goes by the internet name “HanA**holeSolo.” (We are not making this up.) In a lengthy story on this journalistic coup, CNN magnanimously declares that it will not reveal HanA**holeSolo’s identity because he apologized and “showed his remorse” for other things he has tweeted that CNN, in its constitutionally prescribed role as Internet Police, deemed unacceptable. And thus the republic is saved.
Let’s hope 2018 is a bit better.
They year hasn’t ended until Dave Barry posts his Year in Review. And you know this one’s going to be a humdinger:
Let’s begin with the gruesome train wreck that was the presidential election. The campaign began with roughly 14,000 candidates running. Obviously not all of them were qualified to be president; some of them — here we are thinking of “Lincoln Chafee” — were probably imaginary. But a reasonable number of the candidates seemed to meet at least the minimum standard that Americans have come to expect of their president in recent decades, namely: Not Completely Horrible.
So this mass of candidates began the grim death march that is the modern American presidential campaign — trudging around Iowa pretending to care about agriculture, performing in an endless series of televised debates like suit-wearing seals trained to bark out talking points, going to barbecue after barbecue and smiling relentlessly through mouthfuls of dripping meat, giving the same speech over and over and over, shaking millions of hands, posing for billions of selfies and just generally humiliating themselves in the marathon group grovel that America insists on putting its presidential candidates through.
After all that, the American people, looking for a leader, ended up with a choice between ointment and suppository. The fall campaign was an unending national nightmare, broadcast relentlessly on cable TV. CNN told us over and over that Donald Trump was a colossally ignorant, narcissistic, out-of-control sex-predator buffoon; Fox News countered that Hillary Clinton was a greedy, corrupt, coldly calculating liar of massive ambition and minimal accomplishment. And in our hearts we knew the awful truth: They were both right.
It wasn’t just bad. It was the Worst. Election. Ever.
This is the one thing right before New Year’s I always look forward to. And Barry doesn’t disappoint.
I guess 2015 wasn’t … too bad. We didn’t have an election, so that’s always a plus. Um … the Star Wars movie was pretty decent. Uh … help me out here.
OK, yeah, 2015 kind of sucked. And 2016 is looking worse, what with the parties gearing up for an election between a Democrat with massive ties to big business who supported or masterminded three of the biggest foreign policy disasters of the last decade and a “Republican” who supports, well, God knows what.
I’ll be here to cover it. And hopefully you’ll be hear to read. I always appreciate the clicks, views, references and comments. As we ramp up to actual voting, it’s going to get exciting in the same way that cliff gets exciting as your car goes over it.
In the meantime, have a safe and Happy New Year’s. And hopefully, you’re celeberating with a little assist from Jim, as I am:
In the meantime, here are some end-of-year review articles, with my commentary.
Read more… »
Dave Barry has his Year in Review post up again and it’s definitely worth your time. One of my favorite quips:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, having dealt with all of the city’s other concerns — disaster preparation, for example — turns his attention to the lone remaining problem facing New Yorkers: soft drinks. For far too long, these uncontrolled beverages have roamed the city in vicious large-container packs, forcing innocent people to drink them and become obese. Bloomberg’s plan would prohibit the sale of soft drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, thereby making it impossible to consume larger quantities, unless, of course, somebody bought two containers, but the mayor is confident that nobody except him would ever be smart enough to think of that.
the Democrats gather in Charlotte, N.C. for their convention, during which they declare their near-carnal passion for the Middle Class and celebrate the many major achievements of the Obama administration, including the killing of Osama bin Laden, solar energy, the winning of the War on Terror by killing Osama bin Laden, the Chevy Volt, bold presidential leadership in the form of making the difficult decision to order the killing of Osama bin Laden, wind power and many, many other major things that the administration has achieved, such as killing Osama bin Laden. The Democrats acknowledge that the economy is not totally 100 percent “there” yet but promise to continue moving steadfastly forward with their relentless attacks on the root cause of economic stagnation and continued high unemployment, namely, George W. Bush.
Read the whole thing. We need some humor right about now.
Dave Barry reviews 2011, which was a pretty crappy but probably less crappy than previous years. I mean, it can’t be all bad when bin, Laden Gadhafi and Lil’ Kim all went to that Great Torture Chamber Down Below. Still it takes someone like Dave Barry to make us laugh at it.
But all of these developments, unfortunate as they were, would not by themselves have made 2011 truly awful. What made it truly awful was the economy, which, for what felt like the 17th straight year, continued to stagger around like a zombie on crack. Nothing seemed to help. President Obama, whose instinctive reaction to pretty much everything that happens, including sunrise, is to deliver a nationally televised address, delivered numerous nationally televised addresses on the economy, but somehow these did not do the trick. Neither did the approximately 37 million words emitted by the approximately 249 Republican-presidential-contender televised debates, out of which the single most memorable statement made was, quote: “Oops.”
Barry’s takes on the debt, the Casey Anthony case, Anthony Wiener and OWS and just as good.
Back in May, I titled 2011 the Year of False Hopes, for very personal reasons. Hope for a Grand Bargain on the budget was for naught. Hope for a sane Presidential race was for naught (and it’s now taking two years, God help us). Hope for Europe was … Jesus Christ, I don’t even want to look. Is Europe stil there? Tsunamis, earthquakes, cats and dogs living together.
But … we made it to 2012. Here’s hoping you and all of us have a much better year.