A black-coated wolf sits next to a trumpeting elephant as they celebrate the new year in a blue void. The image above is one I found on Pixabay, representing the excitement of new opportunities. Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

2022 Rewind

Many things happened. Many things did NOT happen. Where am I going with this? I don’t know. 

One year has passed, and personally, I have learned nothing. I have not changed whatsoever, and I would even go so far as to say, I have become a worse person. But I’m not here to inspire you, or even help you realize your visions of the future. I’m here to summarize the last twelve months. Sit down and read this one in full (please, I need this). 

New Years Day, January of 2022, Portland Oregon: 70% humidity. The sun rises at approximately 7:30 AM. A high of 28 degrees and brisk winds, announce yet another day of winter. But this day is different; it is the first day of a new year. Michelle Obama wishes us a happy new year in a tweet, and someone in the replies attempts to sell Ms. Obama a blue checkmark in exchange for one million dollars, signifying that 2022 is already off to a great start. 

National holidays of January include, but are certainly not limited to: National Spaghetti Day, National Squirrel Appreciation Day, National Fun At Work Day, World Religion Day, and my personal favorite, National Green Juice Day (Do NOT ask what this means). January represents, at least for the middle-aged suburbanite class, a chance to start anew. However, by February, visions of improvement are inevitably diluted by “treating myself to just one more glass,” and the cycle continues. 

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson admits to having treated himself and other elites to a cute “bring your own booze” party amid the United Kingdom’s first COVID lockdown, which is a perfect encapsulation of the rampant political shenanigans of 2022. January ends with a bang when The New York Times buys out Wordle for a few million dollars, but the news is dampened by the sudden passing of rock singer and American icon, Meat Loaf. 

February, 2022: Adele gets another award. 4 million bottles of beer were destroyed in Kano, Nigeria during a government crackdown; yet another instance of the government reducing our ability to have fun. Globally, most of February was wrought with flooding, hurricanes, civil unrest and warring, as well as general mismanagement by the big man upstairs. 

March, 2022: Scientists in Spain uncover another transcendent mystery regarding the formation of stars in the Milky Way, yet our minds still remain caged by mortal burden. On the other hand, football quarterback Tom Brady returns after a 40-day retirement. However, good news reached the US in March, when it was found that North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) reached new levels of accuracy and power. The ICBM’s range could now reach as far as the mainland of the United States. 

The Oscars were so boring that, for the only time ever, I decided to put my computer’s safety first by closing the premiere pirating service website it was aired on, namely 123movies. The best picture winner, “CODA,” is a movie I had not seen before, and do not plan to in the future. Based on the covers, it seemed like just another two hour white-country and family-Hallmark production that I did not want to be a part of (disclaimer: these criticisms are completely unwarranted, I just really didn’t like the Oscars). On the upside, “Dune” and “Encanto” won a whole bunch of awards, and the cast of “Encanto” even sang that one song where you’re not supposed to talk about Bruno. And unfortunately during the Oscars, Timothée Chalamet wore an outfit that reminded me of Adam Driver’s high-waisted pants fiasco. 

April, 2022: The White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) was held on April 30. The WHCD is an event put on to demonstrate the camaraderie between the media and White House Officials. Attendees included comedian Trevor Noah, CBS correspondent Steven Portnoy, president Joe Biden, anchors for CNN and Fox News, and for some ungodly reason, Pete Davidson. This event is seen as a mostly light-hearted gathering of media members, political pundits, and celebrities. Jokes that are made at the expense of anyone at the gathering are usually bland, and societal commentary is kept to a minimum. From the perspective of the average citizen, it’s obvious that The Correspondents Dinner is an almost cartoon-like indulgence in political schmoozing. The broadcast of this event shows handshakes between powerful people, and Joe Biden… Oh wait, is he…? Is he falling over? No, not yet. Be patient. 

April is also when taxes are due, but according to the US government, the tax gap (the difference between what people owe compared to what they actually paid) in September of 2019 was 496 billion dollars. 

May, 2022: May, as in “may” I please be forgiven of my sins, 2022. Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson reveals some “interesting” headlines of May, some of which include “Biden administration is close to giving WHO power over every intimate aspect of your life,” “Elizabeth Warren wants control over gasoline,” and “This is the cause of the baby formula crisis,” a segment in which I can only imagine Carlson breaks down and divulges his troubled relationship with his mother, while intermittently taking swigs out of a sippy cup filled with a mysterious liquid (this joke got out of my control). 

Former president Trump hides under a golf cart and waits for his subpoena to just blow over. In addition, a  $2 million dollar tabernacle used in a Catholic church in Brooklyn was stolen. The tabernacle, which looks to be at least five feet tall and is constructed of gold, iron, and other metals, was completely ripped from its position at the back of the church. 

June, 2022: Halfway through the year. This is the point where the sun, at least in Portland, begins to reveal itself to us for a period of three days or more at a time. However, I’m going to be completely honest, June was a bit of a bummer. I really had to search for some headlines that didn’t make me sad; in Bangkok, Thailand, a woman was stopped and her luggage was searched when a  member of airport security saw something mysterious on the x-ray machine. Inside, 109 live animals were found, including 35 turtles, 50 lizards, and 20 snakes. 

Moreover, a redo of the Titanic almost took place when a cruise ship, “The Norwegian Sun,” collided with a small iceberg in Alaska. According to CNN, “ the smaller pieces of floating ice are considered ‘growlers’ or ‘bergy bits.’” I will be attempting to use both of these terms whenever possible, e.g. –

“Could you pass me those bergy bits?”

Additionally, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 70 years on the throne. 

A Wall Street Journal article I found, and did not read, was vaguely titled “Why ‘Doing Something’ Won’t Work,” so I guess we should just sit tight until they tell us it’s okay to do stuff again. 

And finally, in June, Joe Biden falls off a bike.

July, 2022: A study published by The Journal of Safety Research reveals what we all already know; SUVs result in more fatal accidents with children than any other car. Furthermore, we get some good views of cute penguins in Patagonia, and, across the world, the citizens of Sri Lanka take a dip in the royal pool, and the US economy begins its dive into a recession. 

August, 2022: Bed, Bath & Beyond’s death throes show us a whole new side to the hyper competitive world of sleep-and-bath-based products. 

A man successfully impersonated a Homeland Security agent for multiple months by integrating himself with the other agents by giving them gifts, such as rifles and paid off apartments. Truly an inspiration for my next article in the Franklin Post. 

Pope Francis finishes a trip to Canada where he hoped to apologize for the years of abuse against indigenous children, but the apology essentially amounts to “whoops, sorry about that one. Won’t happen again.” 

September, 2022: The Biden Administration kicks off September by starting his student loan forgiveness program, and Amazon doubles down on marketing a dog-like security robot named “Astro.” To add up to the technological aspect, America’s favorite human incarnation of white bread, Mark Zuckerberg, invites Walmart into the metaverse, creating an engaging virtual version of the already renowned Walmart shopping experience. Instead of having to drive to Walmart, you could instead fully undress in your living room, dawn your VR headset, and browse the produce aisle while a digital security guard keeps a close eye on you. 

“Dahmer” briefly becomes the biggest show on Netflix, showing us that Evan Peters can somehow make us all even more uncomfortable with white people in glasses and high-waisted pants. Harry Styles’ “Don’t Worry Darling” releases to gigantic box office numbers, which I didn’t see solely because Styles described it as “[A movie] that feels like a movie,” which is not really something I enjoy. 

November, 2022: If you like looking at naked elderly people, The Guardian’s November issue of “Australia’s best photos of the month” will surely butter your biscuit. If for some reason that doesn’t interest you, Bank of America’s CEO said that the oncoming recession will be “brief and mild” in relation to the housing market, and NO ONE who manages large amounts of money has ever been wrong in their predictions regarding the housing market, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.  

In Mathura, India, our rodentia brothers and sisters partook in more than 700 kilograms of marijuana that was being stored in a police station evidence room, chewing through the ground and eventually eating nearly all the marijuana. North Indian police forces say that rats ingesting and destroying evidence is common. One court in Mathura said, “rats are small animals, and they aren’t scared of the police,” two things on which I couldn’t agree more. 

Trump’s tax-evasion Mar-A-Lago situation gets worse when the FBI finds classified White House documents in his estate, while Trump looks at the ground with his hands clasped behind his back, making nervous little circles with his feet, shyly telling the FBI agents he’s clueless about those papers. 

December, 2022:  The last month of the year. Although there has been an immense amount of unnecessary suffering and pain, even when taking recency bias into account, we are not unique in our emotions. Every generation of humans has experienced nearly identical feelings of isolation, devastation, hopelessness, and frustration. However (and I really do hate to get sentimental, but I feel like it’s warranted this time), we are unique in a sense that the people alive today have no idea what the next year will entail, which is a good thing. 

We all get to experience completely new and genuine events as they come. Inevitably, there will be a lot of difficulty, but I choose to believe that the coming 365 days will be far better than the last ones. I completely understand that everything I just wrote will most likely age with all the grace of an animal carcass, but I couldn’t not say it. In the words of stock market analyst and investor Nancy Pelsoi, Happy Shwanza. 

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