2013 was rich in silly/sad moments for the world. And it is not easy to limit those moments to just 10 but here goes.
10. Dennis Rodman to North Korea.
Rodman gives new meaning to the term clueless. Apparently he has no problems hanging out with a guy who used anti-aircraft guns to execute his uncle. There must be a nice chunk of change associated with this. How much does Rodman charge for his self-respect?
9. Pope Benedict retires.
A pope does not retire. It's a lifetime gig. When you're done they carry you out. Benedict was the first pope to retire in 600 years. Why? My theory is that he went to the Vatican Bank and discovered that the Pope Pension Fund hadn't been touched in 600 years. So, he took the money and ran.
8. Egypt's Democracy Hiccup
"We'll have elections," said the generals. "What? The Muslim Brotherhood won in a landslide? OK….ummm…well that was just a practice election. We needed to try out the voting system and clearly it's still flawed. We'll get back to you in a bit on this."
7. The Handshake
A US President…in this case Barack Obama shook hands with the President of Cuba, Raul Castro. The world gasped. "What does it mean?" the media screamed? Turns out…nothing. It was just a handshake. Now if he'd kissed him…THAT would have been a different story.
6. The New Royal Baby and the Media's Shameful Obsession
The media embarrassed itself once again with the all out obsession for the new royal baby. One of the year's lowest moments. I really thought that we in the media had at least a shred of dignity. But nope. Nada, zilch, niente. Once again, Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite are in a celestial bar somewhere crying into their scotch.
5. Iran's Liberal New President
Everyone was excited by the election in Iran of President Hassan Rouhani. "He's a liberal," the media shouted. "He's a good guy!! Why? Cuz he wears a white turban!!" And there was even renewed negotiations with the world on limiting Iran's nuclear program. So maybe….just maybe there's hope. Either that or, they've finished their bomb.
4. Berlusconi Gone
Ah….Silvio, we're gonna miss you. You finally ran out of aces in your sleeve. Even cats were saying, "Man, we've got nine lives….but THIS guy!!!" The world will be a duller place without you Silvio.
3. China's Air Defense Zone
In November China declared a huge new Air Defense Zone in the East China Sea and said all airlines and countries have to inform Beijing of their intention to enter the zone. To which the world said "pfffffffft!' And since then, nearly 800 foreign military aircraft have flown through. Proving once again that men are children in a playground.
2. Syria Used Chemical Weapons
Let me repeat that. Syria used Chemical Weapons. On its own people. And the world did…NOTHING. If anything, the intelligence agencies and military folks were thrilled. They got a lot of new data. But the world? Nothing. There was a lot of harrumphing, there were many "tsk's"uttered, statements of outrage, but in the end, nothing. A truly sad moment.
1. Snowden's NSA Leaks
The gift that keeps on giving. Ever since Fast Eddie flew the coop with those laptops filled with NSA secrets, the world has been hit with one revelation after another. We know so much more now than we did last year. Everyone was outraged. Privacy issues they screamed. World leaders had their cell phones tapped by the US. Again, much "harrumphing" ensued and then nothing. But in the end, Snowden's leaks on NSA methods to learn all about us were nothing compared to how much Apple, Facebook and Google already know about us, and how we give it to them voluntarily.
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Have a wonderful 2014!!!