Monday, January 1, 2018

Illustrated news - Looking back on the year that should never have been

Here’s the Mournday Mourning illustrated news from AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona. I’ve wrapped some of them in commentary on 2017 by the Washington Post’s featured humor columnist: Dave Barry’s Year in Review: Russia Mania, covfefe and the Category 5 weirdness of 2017

From Russian with Love
Biggest foreign investor in 2017

… how we here at the Year in Review feel about 2017. It was a year so surreal, so densely populated with strange and alarming events, that you have to seriously consider the possibility that somebody — and when we say “somebody,” we mean “Russia” — was putting LSD in our water supply. A bizarre event would occur, and it would be all over the news, but before we could wrap our minds around it, another bizarre event would occur, then another and another, coming at us faster and faster, battering the nation with a Category 5 weirdness hurricane that left us hunkering down, clinging to our sanity, no longer certain what was real.

  • … Greg Gianforte, a Republican running for Montana’s vacant congressional seat, gets national headlines when he body-slams a reporter for the Guardian newspaper. He is immediately hired as director of customer relations by United Airlines. No, seriously, despite being charged with assault, Gianforte wins easily, yet another indication that in much of the nation journalists enjoy the same level of popularity as head lice.

  • … Trump’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director triggers the resignation of press secretary Sean Spicer, followed by the departure of chief of staff Reince Priebus, whom Trump replaces with John Kelly, who immediately fires … Anthony Scaramucci! These events reinforce the growing perception that, in terms of managerial sophistication, the Trump White House is basically a Chuck E. Cheese’s with a Rose Garden.

The three MAGA
The three MAGA (plus one)
  • … white nationalists and Nazis converge on Charlottesville for a Unite the Right rally that ends in tragedy when a woman protesting the rally is killed by a car driven by a man linked to a white supremacist group. In response, President Trump, displaying a degree of moral discernment seldom seen outside the flatworm community, declares that there was blame “on many sides,” further noting that there were “some very fine people on both sides,” apparently a reference to the Nazi party’s Salvation Army branch.

  • In other political news, Republican congressional leaders suffer a legislative setback when a Senate Budget Committee staffer notices that the GOP “tax-reform bill” is actually the owner’s manual for a Weber Genesis II SE–410 gas grill. The Republicans decide to continue pushing it anyway, because, in the words of “Mojo” McConnell, it contains “important safety information that will benefit the middle class.”

Shame of Puerto Rico
How America's values supported Puerto Rico

Finally this hellish year, which by any standard of decency should have been canceled months ago, draws to a close. The American people, wearied by the endless scandals and the relentless toxic spew of partisan political viciousness, turn away from 2017 in disgust and look hopefully toward the new year, which by all indications will be calmer and saner.

We are of course joking. By all indications the nation is going to spend 2018 the same way it spent 2017, namely obsessing spitefully over 2016. So the best we can do is enjoy the brief reprieve offered by the holidays. In the spirit of the season, let’s try, as a nation, to forget about our differences, at least for a few days. Let’s remember that we’re all Americans, and let’s give our friends and loved ones, whatever their political views, a big old holiday hug.

No, scratch that. No hugging! Give your friends and loved ones a formal holiday handshake, then back away slowly with your hands raised in plain view.

Then have a happy new year. Or at least try.

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