And just like that, 2015 is over. It seems like only yesterday we were talking about how miserable a year 2014 was. I, for one, think that we managed to surpass all expectations this year. It was the most miserable yet. We kept injuring ourselves falling off of bikes, stages and those Segway-like things that aren’t actually hoverboards. We agreed when Jared Fogle got arrested that rape jokes can be funny. We landed a probe on a comet, and immediately lost track of it. And we got really, really into the finer points of air pressure in a football. The sooner we get through this, the sooner we can get started with 2016. Grab a bottle and let’s do this.
Young people who don’t watch award shows upset
The nominees for the Academy Awards were announced and Twitter was all, well, atwitter with the news. Mostly, people were upset that all 20 of the nominees for acting awards were white, the third time it’s happened since 1998. Highlighting their point was the fact that “Selma” was all but shut out of the nominations. But everyone eventually moved on because a woman said a nominee’s name was “Dick Poop.”
The Summah Olympics
The U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as the city it would run for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Boston beat out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Why Boston? Because if international sports fans can take a poverty-stricken, crime-ridden city like Rio de Janeiro, they’ll love a city where packs of Irish mooks all named Sully or Murph rove unmolested. Later in the year, the people of Boston told the committee where to stick their nomination.
Scientists announced that they captured in real time a radio signal burst from unknown origins deep in space. Researchers insisted that the signal was caused by some kind of natural source, and that there was no message in the burst. But we all know that it was Casey Kasem getting on Heaven’s airwaves. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2015 edition
Pope Francis — first of his name; ruler of guys who still wear gold chains and most of anywhere soccer is called “football;” defender of faith-based incense — just wrapped up a very successful tour of the U.S.
The Holy See went and holy saw Washington, D.C., New York City and even slummed it up (for only an afternoon) in Philadelphia. And everywhere he went, he urged us to be the kind of people we like to think we are: to take care of the poor and maybe stop arming so many dillholes. He even convinced House Speaker John Boehner to quit his job and spend more time at home with his bronzer.
All-in-all, U.S. liberals got to sleep easy knowing that the foreign leader of a faith that mostly doesn’t apply to us is one of us. Hey, we might even start going to church again!
On Friday, non-terrible people across the country celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The decision came toward the end of Pride Month, and the international LGBT held impromptu celebrations. Landmarks were suddenly lit up like Rainbow Brite had come to town. It was a victory for love.
But that hasn’t kept the nation’s Wrong Side of History movement down. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said that county clerks in his state don’t need to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples if it is against their religion (read: if they have a problem with it and claim to be Christian). Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he is exploring legal recourses to the decision (spoiler alert: there aren’t any). Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said his state doesn’t have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, because the decision didn’t come with a specific order, because “It is so ordered,” isn’t clear enough. Amazingly, the South isn’t totally on board with social change.
Being cool is a lot harder today than it was a decade ago, thanks to the progress of the internet. Ten years ago, the things we watched we on TV, and the music we listened to was on the radio. It was mostly how we learned about what the new cool thing was. Today, there are so many things to watch in so many different places online, and there’s so much music available to stream for free, you’re probably going to miss a lot of it. And now, James Taylor has the No. 1 album in the U.S. James Taylor. I no longer understand what’s cool. If you were busy selling your soul for success this week, odds are you missed it.
Love wins in split decision
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to marry. The 5-4 decision immediately made gay marriage legal in all 50 states. So if you see people nervously looking at the sky, it’s just homophobes waiting for God’s wrath to strike America.
Flags of dishonor
Following the murder of nine African-Americans by a white supremacist last week, the South Carolina legislature said it would consider removing the Confederate battle flag known as the Southern Cross from capital grounds, after state leaders called for the move. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordered the flag to be taken down from the state capitol. For those of you keeping score at home, it only takes the U.S. 150 years to fix important societal problems. So watch out, crazed, angry people: you’ve only got until 2165 to buy guns.
Señorita Los Estados Unidos
Following Donal Trump’s slurs against Mexicans in his rambling announcement that he was running for president, Univision said it wouldn’t air the Trump-owned Miss USA pageant. In response, Trump has banned all Univsion employees from playing at his golf course in Miami–you know, like a president would do.
Should you be able to marry your laptop? One man in Florida thinks so.
A man in Florida has filed a motion to intervene in a gay marriage case on behalf of another sexual minority, namely, those who want to marry their laptops. What may be the most surprising there is that even though the case is filed in Florida, it’s not simply filed because some dude really wants to make an honest computer out of his laptop, he’s got another reason.
Protests are taking a weird turn right now. Maybe it’s because the government is shut down, and with it the parks where protests would happen, along with the agencies that can give them the permits to do so. Yesterday, someone dumped a big bag of money on the lobby of a Senate office building. That was in protest for some food quality thing. Today, and all weekend long, we’ve got a few Tea Party truckers who are circling around the Beltway trying to slow traffic, in protest against corruption, or fuel regulations, depending on who you ask. If you crashed a college party to do an acoustic “Gangsta’s Paradise,” odds are you missed it.
What do Tom Hanks and Paula Deen have in common?
During an appearance on David Letterman this week, Tom Hanks announced that he has type 2 diabetes. He said he has had high blood sugar since he was 36, and it finally turned into the disease. Some point to his weight fluctuations for roles in movies, like losing weight for Philadelphia and Castaway, or gaining weight for A League of Their Own, but I think the problem began when Hanks dropped down to 0 lbs. to achieve weightlessness in Apollo 13.
This is what happens when you fire the papal copy editor
In honor of Pope Francis’ first year of being pope, the Vatican had over 6,000 commemorative medals struck in gold, silver and bronze. But they had to be called back this week when a typo was found on them. They misspelled Jesus’ name, printing it as “Lesus.” The Vatican apologized, saying they meant to put “Yeezus.”
This fight can only get trashy
This week, Jenni “JWoww” Farley attacked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for his stance on gay marriage. Last year, the state legislature passed a bill to allow same-sex unions, but the portly governor vetoed it. It’s unconscionable that two people who love each other can’t get married. If you want to win an argument with him, JWoww, put it in terms of food. If two hot dogs love each other, shouldn’t they be able to share the same stomach?
You may have thought that the season of Lent was leading up to Good Friday and Easter, a snap count to the death of Jesus, the original comeback kid, but you’re wrong. This year, it’s a countdown to Major League Baseball’s opening day. Baseball is staying true to its Jewish and Muslim roots by kicking off the new season on one of the biggest Christian holidays. Some scholars believe that Pontius Pilate invented the game itself, beating Abner Doubleday by a good 1,800 years. If you were busy apologizing for having an affair this week, odds are you missed it.
Gays get their days in court
This week, the Supreme Court heard two different cases regarding gay marriage, or marriage equality, or the freedom of marriage, depending on where you are on the issue and which trench you’re in in the war of words. The justices are not expected to make a ruling until June. Between now and then, they will probably review the arguments made by all parties, then consult the Constitution, while Justice Antonin Scalia is expected to go cruising for bears in some of the seedier D.C. bars. Observers are uncertain of how the court will rule on California’s Proposition 8, but seem confident that the justices will reach around and overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.
So begins a 13-month retirement party
It was a scant 50 years ago that a plucky reporter named Barbara Walters came on the journalism scene, one of the first women to make it to the national level. She has covered everything from the Nixon administration to Whoopi Goldberg, but in May 2014, she’s going to retire. The 83-year-old Walters said her reasons were the desire to have more free time and the fact that there aren’t any softer lenses to blur her image any further, short of pixelation.
And in entertainment news
Lindsay Lohan is back at it again. This week, she walked off the set of Charlie Sheen’s show Anger Management with jewelry, then she flew to Brazil to promote something, probably a fancy Brazilian vodka or lemon-scented crotch wax. She was at a club in Sao Paulo and began drawing attention, so she hid herself under the DJ booth table, because no one would look there. Lohan’s actions are part of her ongoing spiral into oblivion, but hey, what’s more entertaining than standing by while someone cries for help?
With the end of the holiday season, and the beginning of “Oh crap, we still have months left of this miserable weather” season, we often try to find things to believe in. We all need that thing to hope for, to look forward to, to get us through. It’s a stupid mental trick we do to ourselves.
It’s time we stop tricking ourselves into looking forward to things. It’s going to be crappy for a long time, and the sooner we all acknowledge this, the better our chances are of moving on. We don’t need winter escapism, we need to face reality and somehow make our peace with it. It’s unfair of us to put so much pressure on these things we hope for.
Change.org has collected more than 5000 online signatures to petition Sesame Street to marry off long-time eligible bachelors Bert and Ernie.* The armchair activists believe that showing children a partnership fraught with fights and bubble baths could teach them that it’s OK to be gay … just so long as you do it right and get married.
The common law marriage will hopefully put an end to questions about the two Muppets’ sexual orientation, just like the Bachmanns.’
*If the two aren’t married, the petitioners would be happy if Sesame Street introduces a transgender character, a void which has already been filled by Oscar’s hermaphroditic earthworm friend, Slimey.
They warned us. They warned us that legalizing gay marriage would lead us down a slippery slope that would eventually see man-on-dog and woman-on-baby marriage. Well, it’s now clear that what happens on Broadway affects Utah in more ways than The Book of Mormon: polygamists now want the legal right to pretend to be married and share a mortgage and kids.
Sure, they’re not really all married—just some dude to one woman and a bunch of girlfriends—but, let’s call this what it really is: pretty f%@king cool.