Popular culture may see 2013 as the year our childhoods were dashed by the “death” of Hannah Montana followed by the rise of a seriously misguided Miley, and our grandparents may think we’ve taken another step in the wrong direction towards complete reliance on the newest iterations of Apple i-Devices. But this year held much more than just new technology and all-too-frequent twerking. Our nation’s spygames were disclosed by Edward Snowden, a new prince was born into the English royal family, Mitt Romney returned to his supporters at CPAC in Washington, DC, I turned 20, and I landed a position right here, as a columnist. It was a crazy year, it was a good year, but it held a lot of ups and downs for Americans, and especially for millennials.
Immigration, gun control, healthcare, and the budget dominated political headlines. President Obama has again found himself unable to enact real change or even get the simplest of legislative goals complete. The sequester, the fiscal cliff, a federal government shutdown, and filibusters galore (rife with Green Eggs & Ham) made it an odd year for punditry. The government shutdown and consistently unpopular grandstanding by the right mixed with the plagued rollout of Obamacare made it a losing year for both sides of the aisle.
Hillary Clinton faced her Waterloo (perhaps part deux?) when she testified on the terrorist attack that took place on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. Her emphatic rebuttal asking, “What difference at this point does it make?” regarding the slain diplomats and soldiers seemed to cripple any chance of a second Clinton in the White House, but democrats and liberal media alike continue to rally around the former First Lady and Secretary of State as a contender for 2016.
The Harlem Shake took over YouTube, Vine made 6-second stars, and selfies raised equal amounts ire and adoration.
Our episodic entertainment took on a new look with original productions from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, many of which featured fictitious politicians working through today’s problems. Unfortunately, the internet provided a new outlet for real bureaucrats, and 2013 proved to be a year of crazy politicians. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Congressman-turned-mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner (or should I say Carlos Danger?), and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner all found their personal indiscretions aired for the world to see. I guess the silver lining in all these gentlemen’s stories is that the public did call for accountability, although they also received some measure of celebrity through their ordeals.
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