In these last few hours of 2013, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.
Let’s recall moments from the past year that we may want to remember for years to come, remember with ambivalence or, instead, forget.
Events we choose to remember:
1. Australia votes in a new government.
This year Australia voted in Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. The man with the “not bad looking daughters” has claimed that it’s unchristian to seek asylum, that climate change is “absolute crap”, homosexuality is threatening, Indigenous Australians have to do whatever job is out there for them, including “picking up rubbish around the community”, and soldiers die because “shit happens”. Let’s remember this moment so that we don’t make the same mistake again.
2. The U.S. government shuts down…then turns on again.
The Land of Freedom and Democracy was temporarily closed this year because officials couldn’t agree on how to best spend U.S. money. Politicians in congress questioned whether or not they should ask Canada for help, plead the Queen to reinstate the country as a colony, or actually agree that all U.S. citizens deserve an affordable healthcare plan.
3. Egypt throws out a president…again.
Consequently, protests by Morsi supporters ensued, their loyalties marked by a yellow ‘Rabia’ symbol that his since been banned in Egypt. On the (comical) flip-side, supporters of the military are showing their allegiances to the military leader, General Sisi, with poorly photoshopped posters of him posing with lions and eagles.
4. Nelson Mandela passes away and humanity shows bad form.
A fake sign language interpreter is only the tip of this rotten iceberg. International double standards came to attention with world leaders offering condolences citing Mandela as their role model despite perpetuating the exact politics he opposed. Universal poor education standards came to attention with young people confusing Morgan Freeman for Mandela.
Events for which we express ambivalence:
1. The birth of the Royal Baby.
In a year that, once again, was riddled with countries at war, countries turning a blind eye to discrimination, and countries turning the rich richer and the poor poorer, we really needed the ever so important reminder that the Royals can procreate, and we must pretend to care. Thank you, George.
2. Justin Bieber retires.
Calm down. It’s not true. Bieber was just trying to teach everyone a lesson about how fast (non fact-checked) news can travel. Well played, Bieber. Well played.
3. Margaret Thatcher dies.
Mixed feelings and mixed reactions abounded. Thatcher divided a nation in death, just as she did in life.
4. Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad replace The Vampire Diaries and Glee in the hearts and minds of many. Twilight’s presence is erased by the second installments of The Hunger Games.
These days everyone wants to watch shows and movies about meth labs and decapitating people in a post-apocalyptic world. What has happened to Disney-induced positivity?
Events we choose to forget:
1. George Zimmerman acquitted in the Trayvon Martin case.
George Zimmerman (a White, Hispanic male) followed an unarmed minor (Black male) then fatally shot him despite police instruction. Florida State acquitted Zimmerman because he ‘stood his ground’. Nevertheless, Zimmerman has chosen to drop his weapon for a paintbrush. He sold his first painting four days ago on eBay for USD $100,099.99.
2. Liberal MP Fiona Scott links traffic problem in Western Sydney to asylum seekers.
The candidate with sex appeal has claimed that asylum seekers cause overcrowding on the M4 and in the emergency department of Nepean Hospital. So, in 2014, when you’re sitting in traffic twiddling your thumbs, know that the traffic jam is not caused by the 617,861 people residing in the Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountain areas. Nay, the traffic jam is caused by 161 asylum seekers.
3. The death of feminism came in the form of Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus.
Need we say more? Here’s to a twerkless 2014.
4. Packed to the Rafters ended.
Don’t fret! Australian television brought us a new show with an all-white cast, Wonderland. Bring on 2014!
By Shahd Al-Janabi and Miran Hosny
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