2014 In Review; Welcome 2015


The passing of a day sometimes marks the passing of a year, and this day marks the passing of this year. 2014 has officially ended, depending on your timezone, and in 12 hours time, even that won’t matter. Here, in Merry Old England, 2014 is over. It will always be over, and it will never come back.

But that doesn’t mean that, at least internally, we shouldn’t reflect on the events of 2014. They say that history repeats itself because nobody listens. If that is true, then we all ought to listen to what happened in 2014, so as not to repeat the mistakes that were made, and to replicate the great things that occurred. I myself know that a lot of great things have happened in my life over the last 12 months.

For example, thanks to events that have occurred this year, I now have a child on the way (a boy, who we plan on calling Henry), we live in a wonderful three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a shed and I now own a typewriter. Life is on the up, and so 2014 is a year of greatness for me. Sure, there are low points, but that’s the thing about low points. They are low, and not the norm, and thus, although something to be worried about, not something to despise the times for.

So what do I think of 2014, then? Well, there’s a lot that has happened, and I’ve far too busy to comment on all of it, but here are a few pieces that I want to comment on, and later on we’ll hear from Benny and That Other Guy.

This year saw the Ebola epidemic, the mysterious disappearance of Flight 370, the Scottish referendum on independence and the landing of a probe on a comet. All in all, this year has shown us exactly what humanity is capable of. Not only have we managed to lose an airplane an hour after take-off, but we’ve managed to successfully track and intercept a lump of ice flying through space at God knows what speed, with the only flaw in the entire plan which should have been dealt with earlier, being the batteries. If only they’d used Duracell, eh?

We’ve seen some amazing things as a result of humanity, this year. Sure, Ebola has killed a shit-load of people in West Africa, and sure, we’ve not been so successful at stopping it, as of yet, but we are working together, with people sacrificing elements of their own lives in an attempt to make life just that little bit better for someone in the affected areas. Even the most divisive point on the UK’s political spectrum over the last few years has, for now at least, been resolved, with the referendum having gone through and there being so little complaint about the result. Democracy at its finest, I would say.

Then again, we’ve seen some atrocious acts befall various parts of the world this year too – shootings in America, the whole IS / ISIS situation in the Middle East, the lone gunman who went to the café in Australia, and, although not the worst thing to happen to the world this year, but certainly somewhere on the list of “fuck, that should not have been allowed to happen”, “Anaconda”, the song.

But, being humanity, we’ll bounce back, we’ll pull together, and we’ll fix whatever we need to fix to make it work. And if not because of what happened this year, then because of what happens next year, or the year after that, or after that, or…

For the most part, humanity, you’ve done us all proud. Stand up and cheer for what we’ve done, because in the grand scheme of things, looking at everything in moderation and assuming a net shift for each action and inaction performed or otherwise, the world has become a slightly better place this year, and for that, we should be happy. So cheer not the passing of, generally, a sort of crappy year, but rather, the improvement that must surely come next year, should we let the momentum take it there. We did some amazing things this year, but next year, well… Next year we could end up doing stuff that makes landing on a comet after 10 years look like hitting a dartboard. Let’s try, shall we?

That Guy

And now, let’s hear from That Other Guy, who has written a piece the below for us.

*****

Well, a lot happened this year, and quite frankly, it hasn’t made that much of an impression because i can’t remember most of it. So i will fill in the things that i noticed and remembered, as they must be the most important things to me. If you disagree with this review being purely opinion based, feel free to leave your opinion in the complaints page or in the comments. I do love a good argument 🙂

Pewdiepie became the biggest Youtube channel
Yes, i’m a bro, and proud of it, because not only do i find the unique and talented Youtuber Felix Kjellberg entertaining, but so do over 33 million people. He has soured to stardom but there were those who always doubted he would overtake the Youtube music channels, as they are used by so many people for free music, most notably Vevo; but this year saw him do it. Amazing work by a truly great entertainer. I doff my cap to him.

Malala Yousafzai
This girl won the noble peace prize at 14 years old! She was so humble accepting the reward, saying words to the effect that peace shouldn’t be prized, it is something everyone should try to do. She stood up to the Taliban when they told her she couldn’t go to school. She spoke out against them so much that she became the unofficial voice of education for young girls in Afghanistan. So much so the Taliban put out a hit on her and she got shot in the head in a school bus. She survived and fully recovered and it was that recovery that has allowed her to go to America, write and publish her book and speak on peace and education for young girls in the middle East and against religious extremism, and ultimately win the Noble prize.
Her stand has inspired people out of apathy and into action. Her age is another thing, making me think, at near as damn it 21, what have I done with my life? She is a really amazing person and all i can do is aspire to be even the tiniest bit like her.

The death of Robin Williams
We lost a great star. A kind, generous man. A member of the family…. Robin was all that and more to so many people. His passing, his tragic suicide to depression, came as a great shock, and an even greater loss to us all. He is immortalized in cinema history. His movies and t.v. shows will carry his legacy for years to come, but he will be sourly missed.

The Ice Bucket Challenge
 This started for a good cause. It took off on Facebook and became a phenomenon. People started doing it without donating, just for the crazy fun of it. Then it escalated, some people did it more than once, some people did it in drag. I saw a member of the Stamford Rugby team have his fellow players tip a wheelie bin full on his head; and it got even crazier than that! Many of the big stars got involved, and it was a lot of good hearted fun. I can’t wait for next year great nomination craze for charity!

Scotland’s Referendum

They finally had their chance for freedom after the SNP won the majority Parliament a few years ago. Eye, they voted no in the end, but I’ve never known a political decision to be so even-handed. There were points for and against independence, and as some would profit from it, others would fail or leave Scotland all together. The truth simply was no one knew whether an independent Scotland would be better or worse, and we still don’t know now the decisions been made.

Taylor Swift

I think this girl has smashed it this year! Especially in the last few months she has produced some smash hits, she’s hotter than the coal on the winter fire and I expect she’ll carry her success over to next year.

The Racial protests in America

These are the peaceful political protests made by many people across America at the death of a Black American due to heavy-handedness of the policeman who knocked him to the ground as he just tried to get home, on a street that happened to be in the area of an ongoing riot. It’s happening across America as a response to the outrage of the very light sentence that the Police officer received when found guilty, and the fact that he has been allowed to continue being a police officer.
After all that has happened in the past seventy years or so to try to get equality for all people of all races in America, how can an injustice like this be allowed to happen; and how can the response be to peaceful protests of the states inaction, to use police to kettle those peaceful protests. I’m actually glad i live in England, not America because of this exact thing. It makes you wonder, for all there rights, laws and appearances and having Barrack Obama as President and trying to lead the world in understanding, multiculturalism and equality…… How much has actually changed?

Disney running out of ideas

Yes, they had a smash hit with Frozen and with the song Let It Go but with the reboot of Sleeping beauty Maleficent, I just feel there running out of original stories. They’re doing the new Star Wars next year so I can wait and see what that’s gonna be like….. :L
Sorry Disney, you’re getting old.

That’s about it from me, That Other Guy

*****

And finally, let’s hear from Benny, who has written the below, rather personal, piece for us.

*****

 While I could talk about any number of the important things that happened this year (The attempted rebellion by our Scottish ‘friends’, the tragic death of the truly brilliant Robin Williams and Tony Benn and the Ebola outbreak) but as you can see above, both That Guy and That Other Guy have already discussed these events. Instead, I have decided to focus on what is without a doubt the most important moment of what will inevitably be seen by future historians as one of the most important years of my life; the separation of my parents. Yeah, bummer right?

 

Here’s a kitten, now shut up

Here’s a kitten, now shut up

 

I won’t go into a great deal of detail here but the basic facts are these. My Mother, disillusioned with a marriage that was often unfair, had an affair that spanned at least two years. Now, originally I labelled my father the victim and my mother the villain but after a few months this viewpoint changed and my ultimate conclusion is that, while her actions are somewhat understandable, there were other things she could’ve done that would’ve had a similar effect and would’ve been beneficial to all involved. When it comes down to it, my mother did what she did because she wanted to hurt my father and I doubt very much that she thought about other people involved at all. My father deserves his share of the blame too, he was never an easy man to live with and was often more concerned with his own problems than those of his children or his wife. On a personal level I think they each deserve about equal blame.

 

Here’s a bunny. He’s fallen over. Oh, how delightfully whimsy.

Here’s a bunny. He’s fallen over. Oh, how delightfully whimsy.

 

The really strange thing about this situation is that I don’t think the impact of these events has fully hit me yet. I still feel slightly detached from the situation, it’s incredibly strange. Who knows what may happen should I ever fully come to grips with it, I might go crazy. Not completely crazy mind you, but crazy nonetheless.

 

Probably somewhere between Geoffrey Howe and Jeffrey Dahmer
Probably somewhere between Geoffrey Howe and Jeffrey Dahmer

 

Although it is likely that emotionally, and perhaps even psychologically, I have been repressing my parents separation; I’ve been aware of the situation to the extent that I have learned more about them in the last year than I have in the nineteen that preceded it. The fact that my mother did what she did shows that she was willing to do something morally broken and somewhat selfish but the fact that she took so long to do it meant that she was too weak/oppressed to act with such strength before. Furthermore, I have become acutely aware of similarities between myself and my father. I can see myself wanting to react the same way that he has, and I have been tempted to react in such a way to things in the past. Most importantly though, I see my parents in a wholly human way. They are both deeply flawed in their own ways; prone to selfishness, bitterness and cruelty as all people are. Perhaps I should’ve seen this sooner, but it has taken the events of the last year to realise that my parents are so painfully human; warts and all.

Well, there you have it. My overall views on the biggest event of my year and arguably the most interesting thing to happen to me since the infamous milk scandal of 2008. I suppose I ought to say some minor thing regarding the year’s other events. Um. Ebola sucks!

*****

And there you have it – on behalf of the team here at TGTRS, I want to wish you all a fantastic New Year, and a prosperous 2015!

That Guy
That Other Guy
Benny4700

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