As an adult, I usually find myself in December wondering where the year went. This year was different for me though – maybe for you as well – as I end the year feeling like, “Finally!” Maybe it’s the newly acquired speed of news cycles driven by social media fervor, or maybe it was the level of stress associated to this years current events… or maybe I just had a long year personally, but I continuously find myself thinking, “Oh yeah… That was this year!”
That said, I’ve decided that just for fun – and since it’s an abhorrently slow work day – to break down some of the wildest, most popular and most important news stories of 2014. One thing we certainly learned in this new information era is that you can’t just ignore things and make them go away anymore… As a note, this is only 10 things (in no particular order), and as I implied there was a TON of news this year. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!
1) Beyonce made headlines repeatedly this year and it seems like she can never lose. Following a December ’13 release of her now 5X platinum self-titled visual album, the vernacular of music’s top-grossing woman seemed to empower every woman, and even JJ Fish, who came through with the ill remix. Everything she does is news. She even dropped a music video on what appears to have been either her iPhone or a Go Cam that now has nearly 80 MILLION views on YouTube, despite the fact that it dropped last month. Wow. Even when her sister attacked her husband in an elevator, the focus was about Beyonce. “How you choose between your man, and your blood though?” was the question that set Twitter afire. Meanwhile…
2) Ray Rice had a drunken elevator incident all his own, knocking his clearly devoted fiancee (and now wife) unconscious in what turned out to be the tip of an NFL-sized iceberg. NFL commish Roger Goodell nearly lost his job as he played patsy to the media following TMZ released hotel video of the very short fight, which naturally brought forward all sorts of legal issues as he’d already served a suspension. It also brought tons of pressure from sponsors who moved to distance themselves from the NFL’s shifty domestic abuse policy. To make things worse, Ray got in trouble again later after punishing his son with a switch.
3) Donald Sterling is probably the only person in sports to create as much ruckus as RR, as he was recorded exercising his right to be a racist over the phone with his Black mistress. Apparently jealous of virtually HIV-free (but still possibly infected) Magic Johnson (and his johnson), Sterling destroyed any remaining traces of respect for himself by following up with insincere apologies that only seemed to reveal deeper racist ways. It was like Paula Deen times 20. Further investigations re-ignited previously hushed controversies within his other businesses (i.e. unfair housing practices) and by mid-Spring the NBA had superstars threatening to abandon the league. A few insanity claims and divorce threats later, Donald stepped down (kinda).
4) Lux the Psycho Kitty might be 2014’s most bizarre new star after taking advantage of some very Portland-ish family who adopted the 22-lb cat from a shelter, only to end up locked in a bedroom with their baby and their (useless) dog fearing for their lives. They later pledged to stich with their new family member, and vowed to get it counseling. When I saw the news hit AP, I cracked up. Word has it Lux was later given to a new family whom it also terrorized, and is now in the care of the nationally reknowned cat therapist Carole Wilbourne. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
5) Police made themselves front page news for basically the whole year. This Spring, the nation took notice to the now infamous Blue Monk incident in which nearly 30 police surrounded a tiny jazz club where a local rap show was going on for essentially no reason at all. But this paled in comparison to the new practice of publicizing police killings, which by and large are of unarmed Black males. From Eric Garner, to Michael Brown, to Ezell Ford, the nation was forced to pay attention to the endless news coverage and rotating hastags of #Ferguson, #Every28Hours, #BlackLivesMatter and many more. The riots, protests and die-ins and have dominated news cycles, and with 2 NYPD officers ambushed and killed by a suicidal Black man, things are only getting more tense.
6) Damian Lillard’s Shot Heard ‘Round the World put him in the national spotlight, icing James Harden and the Rockets to advance in the playoffs. No lie, he pretty much hit the same shot again during a 43 point outing the other day in which he iced the Spurs in OT, and these sort of clutch plays have become his calling card as the Trailblazers are in NBA Finals contention. (Cover photo by Bruce Ely, The Oregonian)
7) The Sexy Felon (aka Jeremy Meeks) made actual headlines after his mugshot for felony weapons charges went viral and women were drunk in lust for the light eyed criminal. His wife was reportedly unhappy with all the attention, which ranged from photoshopped photos to love letters… you know, typical social media foolery. There was even a debunked rumor that Oprah had bailed the young thug out of jail, but it’s no secret that Jeremy did go and get himself an agent. To make matters more hilarious, many men on the internet (who are probably still single) felt the need to scold women for lusting over a violent criminal, which resulted in a 2-day gender war which generated approximately 57,845 stupid memes.
9) Rappers love strippers until they breakup. Actually, everyone loves strippers, but most of us have the God-given sense not to engage them in serious relationships. This ain’t Independence Day and y’all ain’t Will Smith. Nonetheless, social media LOVES a good Twitter/IG breakup (trust me, I know…) so couples like Chris Brown and Kombucha Tran, Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose, and Tyga and Blacc Chyna were all the buzz as the relationship drama of others filled our timeline complete with self-victimization, half-apologies and soft-porn pics that scream “I’m not over my ex!” Throw in Drake, Nick Cannon and Jhene Aiko rumors and the speculatable sub-pots are endless. We thank you ever-emotional celebs for the endless entertainment.
8) Iggy Azaelia… When I first heard Murda Bizness a few years back, I was equal parts in tears and intrigued (see what I did there?). I mean, there’s room in hip-hop for everyone, right? But Twitter continues to drive celebrities to expose their stupidity to the masses who can then ether them. Fortunately for Iggy, she has TI’s bodysnatcher defending her and he was doing a much better job (even convincing Snoop to fall back) than he’d done defending his wife from Floyd Mayweather… that is until Azaliea Banks and Q-Tip got involved. If you missed the rants, you gotta go find em.
Y’all so worried bout Drake smacking on Chris Brown’s gal but you ain’t even allowed to tag your man in Facebook pictures.
— Fidel Cashflow (@MacSmiff) December 7, 2014
10) Disappearing News Stories, or perhaps I should call them failed distractions, are shocking events that dominated mainstream media for a short while and then died without resolution. My condolences to the families of those lost on MH370, but you mean to tell me that an entire airplane can disappear in the 21st Century and NOBODY can find it? Did anyone ever bring Nigeria’s girls back? Do people in the US still have Ebola? Cuz for a minute it seemed to be spreading like bird flu… You have to wonder how these stories get so big so fast and where the attention to them goes.
Or you can not… I hear there’s something going on in Temecula…