“I liked it. All in all, a solid year.”
— Vladimir Putin
“Hated it. Terrible. Zero stars.”
— Barack Obama
“2013 was good until I realized it wasn’t 1863.”
— Paula Deen
From the same team that brought you 2012 (the year, not the movie), 2013 was a year filled with excitement. It had everything we’ve come to expect in a year, plus Miley Cyrus. The special effects were breathtaking — remember that meteor?
If the amount of coverage is anything to go on, the most important event of 2013 happened in November 1963.
A few other news stories managed to penetrate the thick fog of JFK-anniversary headlines. The year 2013 picked up right where 2012 left off, with the inauguration of President Barack Obama to a second term. Beyonce made news by not singing, which surprised people even though Britney Spears has built an entire musical career on not singing.
Dennis Rodman ran out of friends to play basketball with, so he went to North Korea and became pals with a terrifying dictator instead of joining a MeetUp group like the rest of us.
For a few awkward weeks, we all pretended we’d been paying attention to Syria for years. Fortunately we all stopped because some celebrity had a baby or something, and babies are news, whereas there will always be plenty of humanitarian catastrophes to go around.
It turns out the National Security Agency has been snooping in my emails and phone records to find out what I am doing, which makes me sad because it means the NSA must not be following me on Twitter.
Gay people got married in more states than before. A meteor hit Russia. These two events were unrelated, no matter what the “Duck Dynasty” guy says.
The federal government shut down but then started back up with a new operating system that didn’t work, either.
Drones droned on and on. Anthony Weiner somehow performed the incredible feat of ruining the Weiner family name. Everyone you didn’t want to get a pixie cut got one.
Chris Christie won the 2013 GOP primary that is imaginary and run by pundits. Unfortunately, the actual primary is not until 2016, and it is run by real, live Republican voters.
George W. Bush’s paintings revealed that he should not have quit his day job. (Actually, at the time of writing, the paintings had gotten us into zero wars, so, never mind.)
There were some hairy moments. We all remember how the year’s early efforts to explore themes of race in a thoughtful way had disintegrated, by October, into Julianne Hough’s Halloween costume.
But all in all, I would recommend this year, with some reservations. For instance, the news relied too heavily on anniversaries. Also, isn’t it a bit early to start the Hillary 2016 speculation? Did we really need so many babies?
And there seemed to be some redundancy with the theme of government dysfunction, which was explored sufficiently from 420 B.C. to A.D. 1992 and from 2000 to present, with pauses for the Clinton era and Visigoth invasions. This has been played out, and for 2014 it would be great to see more exploration of such themes as peace, prosperity and functionality, all historically underrepresented.
Still, a solid year. Three stars.Petri writes the ComPost blog at washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost.