13. “News” Continues Its Deterioration Into the Abyss of Blabbering
I cannot forget the shooting at the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C., when an idiot CNN reporter stood on the street and, as a first responder vehicle with sirens blaring went by, he said into his microphone, “Something is happening over there.” Duh. You think? In today’s world of 24-hour something, when there’s nothing happening, the effort of our news channel is to make shit up.
12. The U.S. Government Cannot Figure Out How to Work
Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, Progressives or whatever you want to call the disfunctionals in Congress, nothing seems to work anymore. Compromise is replaced with brinkmanship across the board. And rather than attempting to find a sandbox where cooperation can be found, all of the politicians take their toys and head home, claiming the others alienate the “American people.” I can be one of those among the “American people” and, right now, no one is speaking for me.
11. Racism Keeps It Real
Is Santa black, brown or white? Is George Zimmerman a killer or a defender and Treyvon Martin an attacker or innocent? Do Republicans hate everything but white, straight men? Does Paula Deen long for plantation days when white-glove service meant oppressing the colored. The question of race in American never really dies. We just chat it up with new nuances of post-Civil Rights era rhetoric that blusters a bunch of nothingness.
10. Twerk It
Pop culture’s contribution proved to be a dearth of useless, masturbatory moves by the likes of Kayne Wests and Mylie Cyruses of the realm. If I attempt to think of something substantial, I can’t, other than a foam finger. All the music I downloaded from this year on my iPhone could disappear and I don’t think I’d miss one… or even notice.
9. Time’s & The Advocate’s Person of the Year, Extreme Makeover Edition
Both venerable news magazine Time and the Gay & Lesbian news magazine The Advocate named The Holy Father, Pope Francis (formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio) earned this distinction for — get this — acting like a Christian. As the world’s foremost Christian, one who should not judge, one who should love all especially the least among us, it seems that Pope Francis is just doing what every head of the Catholic Church before him should have been doing. Pat on the back for doing what every other asshole before you should have been doing? No.
8. Advertising Not Learning the Lesson
Print and commercials still dominate the landscape. I’m left wondering what happened to the next generation of advertising. With new advertising opportunities like product placement, these are just “enhancements” to existing efforts rather than replacements. Seems to me the future needs to be about change, not just new places to stick on a logo.
7. Splintered Content Choices
I have HBO for “True Blood.” “Newsroom,” “Game of Thrones” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” I keep Cinemax for “Strike Back” and “Banshee.” I’m now hooked on Showtime’s “Homeland.” Now Netflix offers “House of Cards,” which has me hooked. The world of great television entertainment cannot continue to be splintered more, but I have a feeling it will. And I’ll likely pay for a couple of month to catch up with my favorites, discontinue then move on to the next one.
6. The American Voice Duets Sing X-Off Idol Factor
I’m really not the one who should pick on singing shows since my melodious voice is like a caterwauling feline in heat with a bronchial infection. But I’ve just about had it with all the damn singing shows. I used to love Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul as they worked through the process on American Idol. But now the mess of shows leave me indifferent. X-Factor sucks. The Voice is hoarse. All the rest are a mess.
5. Only the Beautiful
Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch got caught with its virtual pants down as it will attempt to reinvent itself in 2014 after a disastrous 2013 when CEO (and plastic surgery survivor) Mike Jeffries attempted to apologize for comments from a 2006 interview when he said A&F is”absolutely” “exclusionary” and only “want[s] to market to cool, good-looking people.” Other than Dove and its real beauty campaigns, society only gets more and more about beauty and less about realness (ask Elle magazine about Melissa McCarthy in October).
4. Guns Don’t Kill People, Crazy People with Guns Kill People and Only Crazy People Have Guns
The death toll keeps rising and despite the logical call for some reasonable control over certain assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, we have this opposition to any and all controls when it comes to guns. From a society that’s finding a dozen ways to control the amount of sugary drinks or potential marijuana or transfats we might intake, if a few bullets make it into the system, we don’t care. It’s a pry it from our cold, dead hands society.
3. Get Married and Get Fired
I’ll be able to eat wedding cake before it will be legal for me to keep food on my family’s table. More and more states are clearing the way for Gay marriage. Great. But there’s no protection in a dozen different ways to assure Gays and Lesbians are assured even more essential rights like being free from being fired or other workplace bias. I’m lucky today, but in the past, not so much. Just a vehicle ago, the word “FAG” was keyed into my door. We have our priorities all turned around.
2. Drone On
The killing machines for terrorist networks are about to get clearance to fly over American soil — not that these little, unmanned planes aren’t already around. Amazon.com wants to deliver packages and what do you want to bet pizza delivery will soon be unmanned in the next decade (sorry, Snow Crash). So much of the dystopian future indicates humanoid-like robots will become sentient and destroy us. But perhaps it’s 2013 that will mark the beginning when drones began to clog the sky. Do drones count as “climate change”?
1. The Death of Privacy
I knew we’d lost privacy a long time ago. When I was attending undergrad, someone asked me why I was on a government “watch list.” At the time, my father had a security clearance. Almost three decades later, I’ve lived in Washington, D.C., known people who worked for three-letter agencies that don’t exist and, as a marketing professional, found ways to observe the activities of potential customers. I knew privacy was gone, but now the American public knows thanks to the news coverage surrounding former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.