Year in Review: 2022 by
Dave Barryfor Miami Herald
The best thing we can say about 2022 is: It could have been worse.
For example, we could have had nuclear Armageddon. This briefly appeared to be a possibility, at least according to the president, who broke the news in October at (Why not?) a Democratic Party fundraiser at the home of a wealthy donor in New York City. That must have been an exciting event! One moment everybody’s standing around chewing hors d’ oeuvres, and the next moment WHOA WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?
The next day, after the news media ran a bunch of scary headlines, the White House Office of Explaining What the President Actually Meant explained that the president wasn’t suggesting that we were facing Armageddon per se, but was merely, as is his wont, emitting words, one of which happened to be “Armageddon,” and everybody should just calm down.
So we dodged a bullet there.
Dave Barry & Carl Hiaasen talk politics for Miami Herald
Here are a few LSJohn-chosen excerpts from Dave Barry’s 2022 ‘Year In Review’:
In entertainment news, the venerable Rolling Stones announce that they will hit the road this summer for their “Drool on the Microphone” tour. This will be the Stones’ seventh tour since 2003, when their physical bodies finally disintegrated into small piles of dust and they were replaced by holograms. The good news is, ticket prices for the new tour will start as low as $150. The bad news is, the $150 seats are so far from the stage that the sound will not reach them until after the concert is over.
Elon Musk says he wants to buy Twitter for $44 billion, which works out to one dollar for every apocalyptic tweet emitted about the sale by alarmed verified Twitter users who are deeply concerned about the precedent of allowing billionaires to buy major media platforms, which have traditionally been small mom-and-pop operations like the Washington Post and Facebook. Another verified concern is that Musk favors “free speech,” which we are putting in quotation marks because although it SOUNDS good — Free speech! — if everyone is allowed to have it willy-nilly, the public could be exposed to misinformation that has not been verified by the verifiers, as opposed to the current situation, in which everything on Twitter is 100 percent accurate.
On the economic front, inflation continues to get worse despite intensified efforts by the Biden administration to have the president read teleprompter statements about it between trips to Delaware.
Americans learn that there is a new medical danger for them to be nervous about: “monkeypox,” which gets its name from the fact that it is the disease that killed Tarzan. The CDC, in an official statement, notes that there are “very few confirmed cases” and urges the public to “remain calm,” adding that “we all have to die sometime.
Meanwhile parents of newborns scramble desperately to find baby formula amid a shortage that has left U.S. store shelves bare, although there are plentiful supplies abroad. In an emergency effort reminiscent of the legendary Berlin airlift, the U.S. government provides temporary relief by using an Air Force transport plane to fly 35 tons of American babies to Germany.
In economic news, Americans grow increasingly alarmed as the price of a gallon of gasoline and the value of the average 401(k) plan rapidly converge from opposite directions.
California environmental regulators, always in the forefront of efforts to save the planet, decree that by the year 2035 it will be illegal for any vehicle on the state’s highways to have wheels.
Martha’s Vineyard responds to DeSantis’s stunt by welcoming the migrants with open arms and offering them a permanent home for nearly two full days before having National Guard troops ship them off to the mainland. For its part, the White House blasts DeSantis for undermining the administration’s program for dealing with the humanitarian crisis at the border, which is to pretend that there is no humanitarian crisis at the border.
But the big story in October is politics, as voters prepare to cast their ballots in what everybody on cable TV agrees will be the most important and historic midterm elections since the dawn of time. At issue is nothing less than the fate of the nation, with the voters choosing between two opposing philosophies of government, as clearly laid out to the American public in several billion dollars’ worth of paid political commercials: On one side is the party of far-right, election-denying, coup-supporting, anti-democracy, environment-destroying, racist sexist homophobic transphobic gun-worshipping pro-slavery Handmaid’s-Tale fascists who are literal Nazis; on the other side is the party of extreme radical leftist, anti-family, anti-border, pro-rioter, criminal-coddling, tax-raising, economy-wrecking, godless un-American Communist baby-killing groomer pedophile sex perverts. The choice is yours, voters!
The problem is that Elon Musk intends to charge people $8 a month for a blue checkmark, which would mean any non-elite rando could get one, which would be a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Twitter Verification Clause. Some verified users go so far as to declare, on Twitter, that they are seriously considering leaving Twitter, although it is not immediately clear what they would do with the extra 14 hours per day.
On the political front, there’s a refreshing new “vibe” in Washington as the two major parties, finally past the toxic nastiness of the midterm elections, look forward to the new year — an opportunity to end the cynical partisan gamesmanship and instead seek common ground in a sincere effort to solve the problems that the American people actually care about, such as the epidemic of illegal drugs that we apparently ingested before writing this sentence.
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