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article imageOp-Ed: 2014 — The best of times, the worst of times

By Glen Olives     Dec 25, 2014 in Lifestyle
A truly wonderful, weird, horrific, hopeful, hateful year, there's something in 2014 for everyone whether your pollyannaish or plutocratic, smart or smarmy.
2014 was a mixed bag of notable news. On one hand, we entered what looks like an extended economic recovery. On the other hand, it seems that only the rich are "recovering." Bill gates bumped Carlos Slim from the top spot for the world's richest man, and Thomas Piketty published his seminal work explaining how the wealth inequality can only increase.
Pot smokers in Colorado and Washington rejoiced as cannabis was legalized for recreational use, following a growing trend in state drug liberalization laws. And drug use is down. In Mexico, meanwhile, the drug murder tally exceeded 120,000 people. Speaking of Mexico, legal immigration to the U.S. outpaced illegal immigration, and nobody noticed.
Researchers discovered why we mistake stupidity for knowledge.
The U.S. entered a climate change agreement with China. And an Australian turtle that breathes through its butt-hole is going extinct due to global warming. NASA discovered possible traces of life on Mars, and the list of newly discovered planets continues to grow.
Race relations in America came to an arguably all-time low with high profile deaths of black citizens at the hands of the police.
Jay Leno retired to tinker with his car and motorcycle collection. Jimmy Fallon took his place. And Stephen Colbert was anointed to replace David Letterman. Jon Stewart still going strong. The Republicans briefly shut down the government, an otherwise troubling development, but it led to the hilarious SNL video with Miley Cyrus, so I actually didn't mind.
North Korea unwisely hacked Sony, only to have there own Internet infrastructure shut down. (I wonder who's responsible?)
An Islamic holy war erupted in the middle-east, where Bronze Age blood feuds are being literally settled with swords, adding to the the already sickening civil war in Syria. Christopher Hitchens was remembered on the third anniversary of his death, and it's sad that he's not around to say, "I told you so."
I cried when Mexico was knocked out of the World Cup, then came down with a case of foamy explosive diarrhea after eating some bad fish tacos in Tulum.
States began to experiment with letting homeless drunks drink in homeless shelters, and academics confirmed that creativity is sexy.
The usual Nobel prizes are handed out to the winners who will now cease to do any more important work.
Gay marriage turned its swag on.
But of course some things never change. We continue to worship celebrity as if it were some virtue. We continue to cling to our unsupported opinions. We continue to be cruel to one another. We continue to hate Obama without really knowing why. We continue to love our children and pay our mortgages. Come to think of it, 2014 was not much different from 2013. Impossible to get bored on this planet.
Happy new year.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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