The Word of 2018 was “WTF?”
CNN announced that the word of 2018 was “Justice.” I’ve read on Medium that the word of 2018 was “Trauma,” “Resist” and “Moments.” Also, “Truth,” “Rage,” Fuck” and “Listen.”
The Word of 2018 was “WTF?” I know. That’s not strictly a word. In a year like this, though, we need a bit more, dontcha think?
Certainly, after the bizarre shitshow that was 2017, the idea that almost anything could surprise is absurd, and yet 2018 held more WTF? moments than any year I can recall. By the way, Trump is not on this list. Nothing he did or said was remotely surprising this year. Neither was the reaction from either side of our most vocal, strident Rage Profiteers. All sadly exactly the same as 2017.
Are any of these statements surprising to you?
If so, you’ve been Rip Van Winkling the last few years and maybe you should just stay asleep. So, that shitstain aside…
While, at this point, a white guy getting butthurt and responding by shooting up a public space is no longer something we can truly be shocked by, the ascendence of the Parkland teens, coming together in tragedy and, without using the pettiness of the callout culture methodology and without defaulting to the we have a right to be angry and will scream because we can strategy of so many, managed to get in there and persistently change laws and perceptions. Yes, teenagers aren’t all phone screen obsessed morons and can see the difference between being a victim and standing up for a cause.
Remarkably, the movie that offered definitive proof that films with black casts and black issues can make serious cash was not an indie picture directed by an outlier but a fucking Marvel (re: Disney) film with a villain we kind of root for rather than eyeroll our way past his speechifying. The fact that Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira aren’t considered the sexiest two people alive on Earth (despite bizarre dot-scars representing kills on him and a shaved head on her) is truly jaw-dropping.
In the meantime, Amazon managed to become the richest company on the planet despite the fact that their package deliverers still leave boxes sitting on porches so that the second most significant underground economy has become people stealing said boxes and reselling your shit on Craigslist.
It shouldn’t be a huge surprise but the fact that Brett Kavanaugh is now a sitting Supreme Court Justice is just fucking unbelievable. I’d sooner find it credible to have Brock Turner on the board of RAINN or Harvey Weinstein producing the next Wonder Woman movie than to have the guy who worked for Ken Starr on the Clinton impeachment campaign sitting next to RGB with an equal judicial voice.
Likewise, in the This Really Shouldn’t Be a Surprise category, the fact that the country (ignoring the world because those people don’t count in any real sort of way) experiencing a couple of massive hurricanes, the most ridiculously outsized fire in California history, and the warmest temperatures on record and we still would rather argue about 70-year old Christmas songs and blaming immigrants for taking jobs you wouldn’t take if your kids were starving and bloated than address climate change is at least a palm smack to the head.
Bourdain committed suicide. What. The. Fuck.
The fact that Roseanne got killed off because she’s a racist shithead isn’t surprising, but the fact that the network revived her show in the first place still leaves me scratching my head in disbelief.
Salman Rushdie is a true man of words, a master of the language and one of the most prolific writers alive and yet still texted a potential hookup “You look so gorgeous and hottt.”
Hannah Gadsby did not change comedy but made queer storytelling in the guise of comedy mainstream.
The most ludicrous viral trend of the year was not Trump tweeting horrible, stupid things but white women calling the cops on black people: sleeping, peeing in a Starbucks bathroom, swimming in a public pool, selling bottled water, using the WiFi at a Dunkin’ Donuts, and otherwise existing in American cities. This alongside the rash of citizens of all colors calling the police about bad customer service indicates that many simply don’t understand what constitutes an emergency.
Faceborg is bullshit. Again, I shouldn’t be surprised that the Big Ape of Social Media has turned us into screens of advertising data and rampant assholes online but it still gives me a sense of the surreal that a platform designed to pick up “gorgeous and hottt” chicks in college continues to usher in the wholesale destruction of the 242-year old democratic experiment.
2018 was the year of #MeToo, of the Blue Wave that put the Democrats back in the game (if not, regrettably, in the driver’s seat), of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of the slow realization that the majority of us are not a part of the Rage Profiteering cults that have grown in factions if not in numbers. It was the year of beginning to recognize White Supremacy and Intersectionalism as mirror images of each other and waiting for Mueller to make his case.
Hopefully, 2018 marks a close on Trump Anxiety, movies that consistently feature casts of POC that are not specifically about being POC or the struggles of race, and faith in social media to be the fix-all of communication. I mean, call me an optimist or a fuckhead, but we fuckheaded optimists are all we have to keep us sinking into a dystopian future resembling our worst nightmares.