Popular consensus seems to be that 2014 was just the worst. We had ISIS, Russia invading Ukraine, Ebola, Police assassinations, Gamergate, disappearing airplanes, the GOP taking over Congress and most of the states, and assorted other horribleness. I certainly can’t argue with any of that, but it also strikes me that things seem worse because of the way our culture is evolving: There’s always something terrible happening somewhere, and we now have more ways than ever to bring those terrible things into our homes.
To illustrate, take Slate’s fabulous “Year of Outrage.” It’s a great piece, and outrage has certainly become the steam that fills the Internet’s tangled tubes, but their methodology presumes a new outrage each day, whether that outrage consists of millions of raised voices, or just a few hundred. I’m not sure whether the core problem is that Internet though-leaders are constantly manufacturing outrage, or that readers sign on not wondering “what’s happening in the world today,” but, “what should I be angry about today?”
At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I doubt it’s healthy for any human psyche for the individual to rate his or her quality of life based on everything that’s happening worldwide. So while I sympathize with the families of those harmed by all the horribleness, I have to say that 2014 was a pretty good year for Yours Truly. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of the year’s highlights–all positive–in no particular order. Continue Reading