I love reading all of the year in review stories whether they’re about politics, music, films or people. Some of the stories that were in the news were heartwarming, terrifying, or just plain sad. What I hope for the New Year is that it’s better; a better government, a better people, and a better conversation. I’m hoping for a year that doesn’t end with head scratching and a discussion about what went wrong.
Too much of 2013 was spent beating each other down or feeling sorrow after a preventable mistake or tragedy. Here are 10 things I hope we aren’t still talking about in 2014.
10. Facebook Mom – Yes, Maria Kang is fit and yes, she doesn’t mind letting you know that with her in your face question, “What’s Your Excuse?” but I think we should just feel motivated by how fit she’s is and not trash her (or ourselves) for it. She just released a calendar of inspiring moms who’ve changed their lives and their health. Let’s talk about that.
9. Kanye and Kim – Kanye West released one of the top 10 best albums of the year according to music critics at Rolling Stone, NPR, Entertainment Weekly and most everyone who’s listened to it. But the creation of what some say is a masterpiece is dwarfed by the circus that is Kanye and his wife, Kim Kardashian. I know, it’s hard not to talk about Kanye when he gets in a hilarious (not to him) fight with Jimmie Kimmel on Twitter, and hard not to giggle at the couple who makes out on a motorcycle in a music video. Here’s hoping that they become boring old parents and drop out of the public eye in 2014.
8. Gwyneth Paltrow. Why, why, why do people hate her so? Honestly, she’s not that interesting. She’s not mean or flashy. She hasn’t had crazy plastic surgery. She has good taste, eats healthy, and speaks perfect Spanish. She even has a new show that is all about people making positive healthy changes in their lives.
7. Another Politician embarrassing himself (notice that I don’t say herself because we all know that women don’t do these sorts of things). Dear Politicians of the United States, everyone has a camera phone and although your ego may tell you that you can get away with anything, in the Internet age you clearly cannot.
6. Miley Cyrus. Come on, think of all of the stupid things that you did in your early 20s that you were lucky enough not to have done on camera. With that in mind, then try to judge her. However, if she’s still twerking at 30, well….
5. Racist Tweets whenever a Latino does anything. When Sebastien de la Cruz, 11, sang the National Anthem at a professional basketball game, the racists came out in full force. They said horrible things, not to be repeated, and told him to go back to his country. Ironically, he was in his own country. The same happened with mega superstar Marc Anthony when he sang it at a Major League Baseball game. He too was born in the U.S. And then there was Jennifer Lopez’s tribute to Celia Cruz where people said terrible things and questioned why she was singing in Spanish at the American Music Awards. That’s because in America our ancestors come from all over the world, which is what makes it great. Latinos are here to stay, people. Get used to it.
4. The government shutdown. I hope we don’t talk about it in that I hope it’s not repeated. I’m seriously moving to Canada if history’s least productive Congress repeats its childish breath holding that cost the United States $24 billion for absolutely no good reason.
3. Another mass shooting. This is something that I pray does not repeat itself again. How many of these tragedies can happen before we talk about real and reasonable gun control? It’s gotten to the point where a mass shooting is a blip on the television screen. We can’t become used to seeing people killed by guns. What we should be talking about is how to stop it.
2. The Obamacare Website Technical glitches. There were catastrophic glitches that impacted people’s ability to access the website to sign up for healthcare. It was a huge cluster-you-know-what, but it appears to be fixed. The Obama Administration announced that 1.1 million Americans signed up, which isn’t great and far below expectations. But they’re signing up.
1. Privacy. 2013 has been the year of the NSA, Edward Snowden, drones, surveillance, and the absolute shattering of any notion of privacy we once might have had. Our entire lives now seem to be just one giant data stream waiting to get sucked up by every overreaching government agency. We should have the right to privacy – it’s implicit in our Constitution and Bill of Rights and is fundamental to our freedom as a democratic nation. I really hope the courts, government, and companies, and media finally commit to ensuring rather than destroying privacy. That way, we can talk about something else in 2014.
Well, we can always hope….
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