2013: The Year in Review

I was fairly intent on the world ending in 2012, as promised by the ultimately unreliable Mayans, but as that didn’t come to pass, I was a bit ill-prepared for 2013. Nonetheless, the year came and went and I dealt with it as best I could. Rather than a lengthy critical analysis of the year past, I’ve captured the highlights of the year which I believe speak for themselves:

Technology

  • Google finally dispensed with the pretenses and essentially admitted that it was intent on creating an army of killer robots to enslave humanity. Meanwhile, Google (ironically) launched a company whose purpose will be to “radically extend the human lifespan”, because curing mortality is likely easier than fixing YouTube’s fucked-up comments and copyright systems, and immortality is probably the only incentive that will actually convince people to sign up for Google+.
  • Apple once again released a series of incremental upgrades to increasingly stale product lines and expected the masses to prostrate themselves and utter hosannas. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs remained steadfastly dead, despite Tim Cook ordering his body exhumed and relocated to a pet cemetery built atop an ancient Indian burial ground.
  • Microsoft and Sony released their “next-gen” consoles, igniting yet another series of bitter fanboy campaigns to declare one inalienably superior. Presumably, once the 2013 year-end sales figures have been released, the console having sold the most will be declared victor and anyone having bought the inferior console will be marched into the street and publicly executed, although in reality, most of them will just eventually end up buying both.
  • Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was apparently spying on every living being on the face of the planet. This revelation was met with shock and outrage by the general populace, who shortly thereafter returned to posting compromising pictures of themselves on Facebook for all to see. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden, the self-described messiah of individual privacy, fearing prosecution, persecution or execution by the U.S. government, sought asylum in Russia, whose president would have likely shot him on national television and had his head stuffed and mounted on his office wall, had he pulled the same thing there.
  • Amazon announced that they will begin delivery services using a fleet of automated drones, because the UPS driver apparently doesn’t beat the hell out of my packages quite enough, as is.
  • Smartphone manufacturers decided that we need “smartwatches” as well, because pulling my phone out of my pocket to actively ignore the outside world or piss away my time was too much hassle.

Entertainment and Culture

  • A bratty, rich, twenty-year-old girl shook her ass, smoked a joint and said “fuck”, which spurred discourse on a level I would ordinarily associate with healthcare reform. Prior to that, millions of teenaged and twenty-something girls shook their asses, smoked pot, and used coarse language in relative obscurity.
  • My wife listened ad nauseum to a song performed by the son of the father from Growing Pains, who can best be described as the Canadian Ricky Martin.
  • A crazy redneck who sells duck calls made anti-gay remarks and for some reason, people were shocked.
  • Legions of fans were incensed when Superman blatantly killed General Zod in Man of Steel, because prior to that, everyone assumed that he had lived out the rest of his days quite peacefully at the bottom of the dark abyss Kal-El pitched him into at the end of Superman II.
  • Somewhere in the multiverse, there exists a probabilistic branch of reality in which Justin Bieber died of autoerotic asphyxiation.
  • Disney owns Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I’ve largely made my peace with this. I would be tempted to ask, “how could they fuck it up worse than George Lucas?”, but I’m sure they’ll provide a suitable answer.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness pulled off the nearly impossible feat of taking a giant shit on my already astoundingly-lowered expectations.
  • The Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year was “selfie”, because the Oxford Dictionary has given up and just subsumes whatever pops up as the word of the day on Urban Dictionary.

Politics and World Events

  • The federal government was shut down for approximately 16 days so that a couple of asshole senators could grandstand and verbally masturbate under the pretense of serving the public trust.
  • The new government healthcare website, which was stitched together by approximately 5 million sub-contractors who never spoke to each other and was never tested, went catatonic shortly after launch, and people were surprised. Ted Cruz insisted that Jesus crashed the website because Obamacare was drafted by Satan himself.
  • Congress accomplished absolutely nothing of merit. Democrats accused Republicans of fucking the American people. Republicans accused Democrats of fucking the American people. Meanwhile, the American people just got fucked.
  • Newly-elected Pope Francis declared that the Catholic Church apparently had better things to do than debate the translation of the Nicene Creed and launder mob money.
  • Approximately 40 people and one FBI K-9 dog were killed in 6 mass shootings in the U.S. The NRA issued a statement mandating that, in the interests of public safety, in addition to every man, woman and child in the country, dogs should have guns, as well; preferably strapped to their heads and activated by a predetermined series of barks.
  • A typhoon in the Philippines killed 5,000 people and left another 800,000 homeless, and 100,000 people, give or take, died in the Syrian civil war. These stories were a very distant runner-up in popularity to a twenty-year-old strumpet bobbing her flat ass up-and-down at the VMA’s.
  • A couple of asshole weekend jihadists detonated homemade bombs at the Boston Marathon. Meanwhile, the NSA confirmed that their Orwellian surveillance of American citizens was apparently pretty goddamned useless.
  • A garment factory (i.e., sweatshop) in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,100 workers. The majority of North American clothing retailers (such as Gap and Walmart) refused to sign a legally-binding international accord to improve worker safety conditions. However, Gap reiterated its commitment to improving working conditions worldwide by providing office workers with access to reasonably-priced chinos.
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was videoed smoking crack and subsequently just being a crazy asshole, which briefly made us feel a bit better about our own dysfunctional government.
  • The rich got significantly richer, while the economy in general remained steadfastly in the toilet, but most people were too busy tweeting about a twenty-year-old girl shaking her ass to notice.

In summary, civilization largely survived another year, but remained on its unwavering course of inching its head ever-further up its collective ass until collapsing into a singularity of narcissism and self-indulgence. As for me, I didn’t win the lottery, nor was I diagnosed with a terminal disease, so I consider the year relatively uneventful. Here’s to 2013, then, and whatever crazy and improbable shit awaits us in 2014.

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