Well look who finally got on the “this year sucked” train. I’ve been doing this for years, everyone just finally caught up. I have a theory that 2016 was the Rapture. Everyone you love who was good is gone. Now we’re just in a hollow wasteland, and there’s the devil about. Either that, or we’re old enough that famous people we’ve heard of are starting to die off. This year was a lot like 1941 — we all knew there was conflict, and the headlines were really interesting, then an awful day toward the end of year made nothing feel the same again. This was indeed the worst year yet. Kim Kardashian had something bad happen to her for once. We cheered for sad sack teams. The Supreme Court became an octet. We held a months-long funeral for a gorilla we’d never heard of. We bought some Cuban cigars. We stood really still in videos. Let’s do to 2016 what it did to a lot of famous people, shall we?
Let freedom wear a c@#k ring
The armed hicks occupying a tiny federal office building at a remote Oregon wildlife sanctuary complained in a video that people keep sending them sex toys, including a whole bunch of dildos. The group made an appeal to “real patriots” to send them supplies, as they were so busy packing their guns they forgot to bring food and water for their camping trip. America responded by sending them plastic penises, which is a phrase I’ve waited to write my whole life. Upon hearing the news, Cards Against Humanity co-founder Max Temkin, really, sent the occupiers a 55-gallon barrel of lube.
Blowing up the airwaves
North Korea said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, but experts weren’t so sure it worked. In any case, the test marked another act of defiance of international sanctions. In response, South Korea set up loudspeakers along the border and began blasting K-pop. These two countries are like feuding neighbors in an apartment building. One keeps making the floor shake with loud thumps, so the other cranks their music, in this case, Psy.
From Mexico with love
After capturing escaped drug lord El Chapo, Mexican authorities published his text messages on his phone. Many were shocked not only to see that he was in contact with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, but that his texts were quite romantic. He told her, “I’ll care for you more than my own eyes,” and even suggested having her meet his mother. Maybe we’ve got these guys all wrong. We just need to help these drug cartels find love and they’ll stop massacring entire towns. Continue reading →
If there’s an example of the crumbling of our one-great labor unions, it’s the law enforcement unions out there. Cops used to have a pretty good deal going. They got decent pay, they had good insurance and they got to beat people up now and then. They could be as racist as they wanted to be, and if someone called them out on it, they just ignored it and kept on being morally bankrupt, dignity intact. But since the early 1990s, police officers get their feelings hurt if someone writes a mean song about them. Then they pout and complain and ask people to boycott the artist who criticized them. That’s what they’re doing with Beyoncé now because they don’t like that she suggested that police officers shouldn’t shoot unarmed black people. I know there are a lot of great cops out there, and probably most of them aren’t racist. But if you are a racist cop, own it. Don’t act like you’re not, hiding behind your buddies, denying there’s a problem. If you’ve made the choice not to grow as a person anymore, just come out and say it. Don’t whine every time someone says you’re not perfect. If you were busy in a Twitter war with the pope this week, odds are you missed it.
Supreme Court position proves to be death sentence once again
When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died last weekend, politicians wanted to properly and soberly mourn the man’s passing by immediately telling President Barack Obama what to do. Democrats asked him to nominate a judge immediately, while many Republicans asked him not to nominate anyone. All 73 GOP presidential candidates shared this opinion because they want to nominate someone. Donald Trump said he would nominate his good friend Judge Judy, while Rep. Ted Cruz said he would nominate Judge Lance Ito to support diversity on the bench and because “that FX show is really cool.”
Data-collecting companies now defending privacy
This week, Apple said it would not comply with an FBI request to unlock the iPhones of the San Bernadino shooters, citing privacy concerns, and the fact that the terrorists are still dead. The move was praised by privacy advocates and criticized by those who want to see the investigation completed. In a letter explaining his company’s position, CEO Tim Cook suggested that the FBI instead set the iPhones’ date back to Jan. 1, 1970 and see what happens.
New musical overlords named
The 58th Grammys–or as the kids call them, The Grandmothers–were held on Sunday. Big winners included Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, and the cast of Hamilton. I don’t really have any gags for this one, I just needed an excuse to write gag in the first line.
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 →
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.
This is obviously still a very divisive issue. So what about a marriage issue we can all get behind? Continue reading →
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.
It appears that the U.S. Supreme Court fancies boobs. It seems a bit early in the year for the highest court in the land to start making hnews, but there you have it. I mean, we all knew that Justice Clarence Thomas was big on the ladies, and it certainly makes sense that the lady justices would be in support of women, but still.
You don’t know what I’m talking about? The Supreme Court decided not to hear the “I (heart) boobies” wristband case, which probably would have resulted in the greatest headlines in the court’s history. That means that the federal appeals court’s ruling that such bracelets are OK for students to wear will stance.
The state Supreme Court in Georgia ruled Monday that, while it is a crime to mail unsolicited nude photos of yourself without a warning on the envelope, it is not illegal to do it electronically.
But, let’s not lose focus on the nitty-gritty legal details here. (Although, side note: take caution opening text messages at work from The Guys for at least a week.) The important factor here is that Charles Lee Warren is free to text pictures of his schlong tattoo for as long as he can keep it up. (Keep up his camera.)
True, the married mother of young children who received Warren’s photo either wasn’t impressed or felt threatened, hence her charges. But, aren’t the rest of us just a little curious to see it since it’s tattooed to say, “STRONG E nuf 4 A MAN BUT Made 4 A WOMAN?”
There are so many unanswered questions here. Does it go down the shaft, or around it like the inscription on the One Ring? The phrase is pretty long, but did Warren resort to Prince/Sinead O’Connor title numbers because it isn’t long enough?
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.
So I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t get excited about things around the corner. Continue reading →