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Long Read of 2017 About 2017…. So Far: Dave Barry’s 2017 Year in Review

As the full, hideous picture comes into focus, you curl into a ball, whimpering, asking yourself over and over: Did that really happen?

That’s how we 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.

Take “covfefe.” Remember? For a little while, it was huge. Everybody was talking about it! Covfefe! But then, just like that, it was gone. What the hell WAS it? Did it even really happen?

And were there really thousands of people marching around Washington wearing vagina hats?

And did the Secretary of State really call the President of the United States a “moron?”

And did the president (of the United States!) respond by challenging the Secretary of State to compare IQ tests?

We want to believe that we imagined these things. But we fear we did not.

There’s one thing we definitely remember happening in 2017: the “fidget spinner” fad. This was huge, and for a good reason: It was extremely stupid. In terms of mental stimulation, fidget-spinning makes nose-picking look like three-dimensional chess. You mindlessly spin the thing around and around, accomplishing nothing. It’s an idiotic, brain-cell-destroying waste of time.

So it was the perfect fad for 2017.

Meanwhile the big emerging journalism story is the Russians, who, according to many unnamed sources, messed with the election. Nobody seems to know how, specifically, the Russians affected the election, but everybody is pretty sure they did something, especially CNN, which has not been so excited about a story since those heady months in 2014 when it provided 24/7 video coverage of random objects floating in the Pacific while panels of experts speculated on whether these objects might or might not have anything to do with that missing Malaysian airliner. You can tune into CNN anytime, day or night, and you are virtually guaranteed to hear the word “Russians” within 10 seconds, even if it’s during a Depends commercial.

This focus continues in …

MARCH

… when Washington is consumed by Russia Mania, to the point where the panels of expert speculators on CNN are being fed intravenously on-air so they don’t have to take even a moment’s break from speculating about all the alleged things that the Russians have allegedly been up to. Adding fuel to the fire is FBI Director James Comey, who tells a hearing of the House Committee on Holding Hearings that the Russians definitely were involved in the 2016 election and currently control the Department of Commerce, the Coast Guard and as many as eight state legislatures.

For his part, President Tweet declares — and Fox News confirms — that the allegations that Russia helped him are FAKE NEWS and furthermore the Russians had numerous contacts with Democrats, including Barack Obama, the Clintons, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. This raises the question: If all these Russians were over here making contacts and interfering with our elections, who the hell was running Russia? Poland?

Read all about the whole sorry hot mess of a year at Dave Barry’s 2017 Year in Review | Miami Herald

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  • RM December 31, 2017, 11:07 AM

    The coffee, Gerard. It burns. Way up in my nasal passages. Because of this: “In terms of mental stimulation, fidget-spinning makes nose-picking look like three-dimensional chess.” The next time you make me laugh like that I am simply going to spit it out all over my keyboard. Yes, it’s the expensive alternative but the pain will be far less. Happy New Year!

  • ghostsniper December 31, 2017, 3:06 PM

    I don’t know for fact that any of the weirdness actually happened.
    What I do know is that I saw all of it on the internet.
    I don’t know any of the weird people, saw very little of the supposed videos, none of the TV stuff, and in a way all of it had a sort of comic book “feel” to it. Crazy pictures, even crazier verbage, yeah, very comic bookish, in a Neil Gaiman kinda way.

    Couple times I even questioned whether it was me. You know, did someone slip my ISP a mickey, whatever a mickey was? When I see real people with my real eyeballs we never spoke of the insanity on the web as it has very little existence out here in the hinters compared with our everyday lives and the things that happen. Was my new Win 10 machine really that bad, that it was trying to program me? I already despised the thing but was it much worse than I thought and was it some devious Microsoft ploy to convert my brain through gaslighting my ass? I had no way of knowing for sure but what I did know was that the world in my computer screen was nothing like the world all around here. Was I losing my mind?

    I restored Win 10 4 times, back to the day it was born, on 2 different computers. I installed and uninstalled 8 different browsers. I had wiped the modem and the router at least a dozen times each and had all new Hughes satellite gen 5 hardware installed at great cost. But each and every time I turned any of it on there it was, wall to wall insanity and everyday all of it got exponentially worse.

    My best thinking is done in the shower in the morning and for the past 11 months I haven’t been able to invent amazing things or cure earths ailments there because my mind was occupied with the strange shennigans on the internet that just……did……not……make……sense. Either 95% of this planet was insane, or I was. But how was I to tell which was which?

    I started to wonder if all this isolation out here in the forest where I see very few people is a bad thing. It’s not unusual to go several days or even a week without seeing anyone but my wife and she confirmed all of the things I had seen on the internet cause she had seen them too. But there’s that old wives tale (no pun intended) that after a long time wives and husbands start to become like each other, so maybe both her and I were simultaneously losing our minds.

    But yet all other things seem fine. When a neighbor comes by all is well, when we go to a metropolis we see no evil, and there is certainly no russian in the wood pile. And there are some things on the internet that seem normal. But still, the commonest of the internet insanity was striking. Then I tried something just the other day. I found out that in Google news I can go behind the scenes and block entire swathes of topics with broad based key words which I did and when I loaded google news guess what I saw? Nothing. The screen went blank. Then I downed an extension for Chrome and did the same thing, and when I did google searches none of the insanity was seen. What the????? This gave me hope, belief that the bizzarrity was not within me but rather in the select exposure of certain entities within the internet itself. And though the exposure was cast broadly it’s source material was rather small. Sort of like taking a small handful of dry dog food and casting is widely out onto the pond for the basses. A small amount spread widely, but to each lucky bass that received a nugget it seemed like a lot.

    But since I am physically detached from a certain aspect of reality I don’t really know if that reality really exists or if it is simply a manufactured scenario created by giant tech industry-hollywood sci-fi movie creators into the largest real-life propaganda device ever created. What I do know is that it’s getting dark right now, my belly is growling, Shannon is starring at me, my water mug is empty and my wife is making her lengendary stuffed peppers with smashed spuds for supper and I’m gonna tread through the snow in -4 temps with Shannon where we can partake of that real life reality just like we do every day at about this time and this goddam internet can just kiss my white ass for a couple hours. Yeah, I’m a raccissss…..

  • Jim in Alaska January 1, 2018, 9:06 AM

    & 2018 is the year of the dog and gonna be a real son of a bitch.

  • Sam L. January 1, 2018, 9:35 AM

    I lost interest in Dave Barry yearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs ago. And I can’t get it back.

  • ghostsniper January 2, 2018, 4:29 AM

    Same here Sam, I bored of his goofiness back in the 90’s when I still occasionally read a newspaper.