This was originally published on the TED Fellowship Blog
As 2013 inexorably rolls into 2014, social justice comedian and filmmaker Negin Farsad has a few choice words for the outgoing 365 days…
You started 2013 thinking it was gonna be a real hoot. There was an inauguration for a president, a bunch of balls, Beyoncé sang, spirits were high!
2013 had its moments! You saw the royal baby, the Kimye baby, the brilliant death of Walter White. You got a colorful iPhone, you started Instagramming your favorite cappuccinos, you actually used all the Pilates classes you got in that one Groupon. You gave up snark for smarm, you tried kale for the first time, and you finally replaced your desk chair with an exercise ball! You were doing GOOD.
But things got murky with ol’ 2013. Take Miley Cyrus, she was suddenly full of haircuts, tongue gestures and twerking – or was it tweeking? Or was it butt-clapping? You resolved to keep better track of popular dance moves. But how could you? You hadn’t logged onto Twitter in like a week! You may as well be dead. So you start furiously tweeting pithy one-liners about Carlos Danger, about crack smoking mayors, about Paula Deen hating black people, about fictional fat Santa’s race.
You were super in love with Obama until his website didn’t work immediately and then you were super mad at Obama. Your 3D printer keeps jamming, which is probably Obama’s fault too. You ended up with health insurance but you were still inexplicably mad at the Prez.
You get excited because there might be a House vote on the immigration bill. No wait, there isn’t. No wait, there is. No wait… You look at your toilet, you realized that by carting off your family’s pooh throughout the year it has done more than all of Congress.
You try to figure out the rules on being gay – you can marry in some states (woo hoo!); not in others (boo!); you’re welcomed as Olympic athletes in some countries (woo hoo!); shunned in others (boo!); beloved by the pope (woo hoo!); scorned by people who sell duck calls (boo!). The rules are too complicated so you ditch that and play Minecraft.
And pow! There’s a government shutdown, bitches! You realize that little joke you made about Congress and your toilet is actually true! You also realize that apparently the US government ain’t no match for the minority wing of an already unpopular political party that’s obsessed with tea and three cornered hats. Hell no it isn’t!
You learn that all your carefully crafted text messages, voicemails and cell phone calls were being saved, archived, tapped, reread, reviewed, and re-enjoyed all by the country’s very own National Security Agency. You decide not to think about civil liberties or privacy or like “law” or whatever, and focus your attention on Edward Snowden, the dude with the laptops. Did you know he had a stripper girlfriend? Now there’s something to post on Facebook!
Oh yes, Facebook’s stock was down and then up again and… does it even matter? Because once you log on you’re reminded that all of your friends have BETTER LIVES THAN YOU. They’re au courant on Walking Dead episodes and have interesting thoughts on the morality of Snapchat. They post multitudinous photos of the kind of joy you couldn’t possibly ever achieve because you’re single with no kids or because you have too many children or because you hate your husband or because you’re divorced and plan on hating all future women… Aw man! 2013 has you feeling like garbage.
But forget 2013, it just soiled itself. Its like the last one left at the party, it won’t get the hint. The hosts are already clearing out the empty bottles. Its time for it to go! 2013 is goosed, it’s cooked, its burnt on one side, it will never taste good in these buns, gah!
But here comes 2014 and 2014 is the year you’re going to remember to vote, to jog, to care, to be fair. You’re gonna clean the gutters and stand on the side of justice and you’re not gonna let Ted Cruz or the NSA or duck hunters keep you down. You’re gonna get all inspire-y like Malala, you’re gonna get in the trenches like Madiba. This is your year to throw on your Google Glass, punch the boogeyman in the dick, and tell all them schmos to tread lightly ’cause 2014 is about to Turn. This. All. Around.