Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year In Review Of Palatable Things That Happened

By: Ben Johnson

What a year! We here at Total Bozo Magazine are sad to see 2014 go, but before we turn the page, here’s a look back at some of the incredible things that happened this year which will not be upsetting to potential advertisers:

That Time The Morton Salt Factory Collapsed, And Definitely No Mention Of Mike Brown Or Ferguson Or Eric Garner Or Tamir Rice Or Wenjian Liu And Rafael Ramos Or The NYPD And Bill de Blasio

Just in time to still be on this list, on December 30th, the outer wall of the Morton Salt factory in Chicago collapsed, spilling a small mountain of salt onto several cars parked outside of the neighboring Acura dealership. Reading about this and gawking at a picture of a big pile of salt should take some of the sting out of a half-millennium of slavery and endemic consequence-free racialized violence on an institutional level, enforced as ever by a loosely knit working-class community whose collusion, through hard and largely thankless work, in the mechanism of institutional racism grants them just enough petty but palpable economic advantage to become cheerleaders for the predatory capitalism which is the root cause of the racism, which in turn further exploits them by doing things like using their disproportionately garnished tax dollars to subsidize legalized wage theft. Look at all the SALT. Does anybody have a margarita glass?! LOL.

Okay, We Will Talk About The Interview, But We Won’t Really Discuss Some Of The Troubling Results Of The Sony Hack, And We Will Definitely Vilify North Korea Which Is A Nation Full Of Poor People Which Does Not Participate In Capitalism, And Also We Are Not Talking About The Torture Report Even A Little Bit; Boy We Just Feel Bad For Seth Rogen?

Seth Rogen had a difficult end to 2014, with his irreverent comedy The Interview being pulled from theaters in the wake of a hacking scandal. North Korea is not responsible for the hacking, and is not a legitimate threat to U.S. National Security except insofar as its totalitarian government might require some evidence of punitive U.S. actions to solidify its ideological hold over the North Korean populace, who are impoverished and oppressed to the point of U.N. censure for crimes against humanity, but who are at least not forced to participate in a oligarchic global economy which is actively and greedily destroying the global ecosystem. Also, FYI, according to the Senate’s torture report released earlier this month, the CIA paid $80 million tax dollars to two Air Force psychologists who had no experience with counterterrorism to design a program which tortured the living shit out of people and yielded negligible results. The film had a modest opening weekend box office take of $1.8 million in only 331 theaters. Hang in there, Seth!

While We’re Talking About Movies, Who Could Forget Sharknado 2? (Let’s Not Mention That Probably More People Remember Sharknado 2 Than The 219 Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Still Under The Control Of Boko Haram)

Look out! Sharks! The 2013 pop culture phenomenon that was Sharnado returned with a sequel that took a big bite out of television viewership for the SyFy network in late July. Dear God, those girls… we are still doing nothing to actually help them… nobody is doing anything, anywhere… we have all just agreed that this is a regrettable thing that happens sometimes, a thing that humans can and will sometimes do to each other, regardless of our ability to prevent and rectify it, and we have turned our backs on the fact of this collective decision of ours, and have left unquestioned the utility and purpose of a human society which allows for this kind of thing to happen, and yet through cognitive flaws in our adaptable brains we are somehow able to go about our days and call this a world worth living in… If you’re looking for a Sharknado fix, don’t worry: plans for Sharknado 3 are already in the works.

Nobody Could Stop Talking About The Serial Podcast (Despite The Fact That The Case It Reports On Is Actually Not That Bad Of A Miscarriage Of Justice Within The Context Of Our Broken Criminal Justice System)

The first episode of serialized investigative This American Life spinoff podcast Serial came out in October, and since then over five million listeners have downloaded the podcast from iTunes! That’s almost as many people as the 6.9 million who are currently under correctional supervision in the U.S.! Imagine if every single person who ever listened to the Serial podcast had to serve a court-mandated sentence of some kind, those are the kinds of numbers we’re talking about here! Meanwhile, Adnan probably did it, and his case is an instance of a young black man’s testimony actually holding up in a court of law and leading to a murder conviction! If you haven’t listened to this podcast, you’re missing out! We’re hooked on it (as if it were free prison labor)!

And What About That Missing Plane? How Come They Haven’t Found It? Is It A Conspiracy Or Is It Just Because It’s At The Bottom Of The Ocean And We Don’t Get To Know Everything Even Though We Want To, And We’re Not Omniscient Or Immortal Or Even Particularly All That Smart Or Capable Compared To How Amazing We Seem To Think We Are

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 went missing on the 8th of March and we still haven’t found it! We are going to keep looking, though, because airlines are for-profit businesses while little Nigerian girls are not. The basic principle at work is that people who have enough money should have the right to fly from continent to continent without fearing for their lives, while people (especially brown people) without money can’t be guaranteed the right not to be kidnapped and forced into being child brides for militant extremists. Nevermind that intercontinental travel is not a basic human necessity like food or water or not being owned by another human. We’ll treat intercontinental flight like a basic human necessity if we want to, and we will demand immediate explanations for why a giant pollution-burping metal thing designed and constructed by fallible humans might have fallen out of the sky, where no law of God or nature entitles us to be. They should have found that plane by now! What’s the holdup, people?!

Gwyneth Paltrow And Coldplay Lead Singer Chris Martin Broke Up But Called It A “Conscious Uncoupling” And No Way In Hell Are We Talking About The Suicide Of Leelah Alcorn

They seemed like such a lovely couple, but alas, even the best things must come to an end. Such as the tragically short life of a young trans woman whose suicide highlights the feelings of shame and uselessness faced by thousands of Americans whose cowardly families would prefer them to be “correct” rather than happy, an echo of a broader familial and societal psychological undercurrent of many of the large-scale issues American found itself bumping into in 2014. Looks like our hopes for Apple getting a little sister named Pear have been dashed.

After Suffering A Crushing Defeat In 2013, The San Antonio Spurs Obliterated The Miami Heat In The NBA Finals, Please, Just Let Us Enjoy This, Do Not Force Us To Think About Bill Cosby Or Ray Rice Or Gamergate Or All The Ways Men Are Horrible To Women On A Routine Basis

It's okay to like basketball, right? I think we can all agree this is one good thing that for sure happened. A basketball thing.