The year that was: Looking back on 2014
As we put Christmas in the rear-view mirror for another year, it’s time to celebrate two major events: The end of Christmas advertising and the beginning of a new year.
I’ve seen a lot of years come and go during the course of my life, and 2014 was certainly one of them.
As I look back on it now, some good things happened, but 2014 wasn’t a great year, and some tragic things happened; but it wasn’t a terrible year, either. Taken on whole, I think 2014 was kind of like my first marriage; it had its moments, but its not something you’d care to live through again.
It was a year of notable but ultimately puzzling scientific achievement. The European Union, led by the French, reportedly landed a spacecraft on a distant comet. More accurately, they crash-landed a remote controlled spacecraft on a distant comet and like most great moments in French history, it was a bold and daring move achieved with the help of others and more impressive to the French than anyone else. Let’s face it, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck crash landed on a comet years ago … this is old news!
Another notable but head scratching scientific breakthrough was achieved this year at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine right here in the good ole’ US of A. Researchers at the Institute report that they have grown a fully functional artificial penis in their laboratory. They further reported that the artificial penis was successfully attached to a rabbit who used it to father a healthy batch of new bunnies. There is still no word as to why anyone would grow an artificial penis in the first place; no case was made establishing a penis shortage (insert your own joke here) and we are left wondering if any experiment that results in rabbits reproducing is all that impressive.
2014 was a particularly bad year to fly on Malaysian Airlines but a good year to invest in waterfront property in Havana.
Earlier in 2014, prior to invading the Crimean peninsula and inciting unrest in Ukraine, the Russians demonstrated their love of world peace by hosting the Winter Olympics. My most vivid memories of the 2014 Olympics are those sexy Canadian hockey mom’s shouting “HARD!” and “WHOA!” as they swept their way to the gold medal in women’s curling. I was also struck by the fact that ice dancing is still considered an Olympic sport; if your event involves make up, choreography and costumes and you can’t play defense, it’s not a sport.
In 2014 Germany played Argentina in Brazil for the World Cup title; I mention that because I’m pretty sure you didn’t know it … I had to look it up because I’m an American and I had no idea, but apparently it’s a big deal among people who can’t catch and soccer hooligans.
This year the North Korean government is reported to have intimidated the Japanese-owned Sony Corporation into not releasing an American comedy movie. Naturally, all good Americans are outraged by a foreign government denying us our basic human right to the pursuit of happiness any way we see fit … only our own government can do that!
Inspired by North Korea’s success, tyrants in Oklahoma and Nebraska filed suit with the Supreme Court to force the people of Colorado to change their marijuana laws. One has to believe that things are going pretty darned good in Oklahoma and Nebraska if their respective attorneys general have the time and money to worry about a Colorado state law. I guess they’ve finally gotten those pesky meth labs and domestic terrorists under control. Good for them!
A lot of famous Americans died in 2014 including Admiral Jeremiah Denton. He was a great American who spent more than seven years in a North Vietnamese POW camp. He famously blinked the word “TORTURE” in Morse code while being interviewed for a propaganda film. That was back when there was no excuse for torture … we’ll miss you Adm. Denton.
Yup, 2014 was one strange year … but its over now! In the words of a fictional Italian race car driver, “What’s behind me is not important!” Hoist your glass and toast the buffoonery past and future that keeps our tongues planted firmly in our cheeks. To quote Oscar Wilde (and you should always quote Oscar Wilde), “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.”
Happy New Year!
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.