Updated: Dec 31, 2022
If anything apocryphal was to have happened in 2022, I can’t recall. Did I miss it?
But 2022 – Year 3 of COVID Times -- was a year of psychic pain and angst. In May, this country marked 1 million recorded deaths from COVID 19.
God had saved the Queen, across the pond, for almost a century; alas, she left us at 96. We also lost Nurse Ratched of my favorite movie, 1975’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
The world was no less cuckoo. God did not spare us Elon Musk. At year’s end, the second-wealthiest person on earth cemented his identity as the most despised person named with two four-letter words.
Roe v. Wade was overturned by the highest court of the land, only for Kansans – in the geographic and maybe geopolitical hub of America -- to assert their state authority and decide that women can make their own choices about their reproductive health.
Meantime this year, the onetime Tweeter in Chief hid out in full view in Florida with all the top secret documents he could confiscate from We the People. Ironically, he started a social media platform called Truth Social -- perhaps the perfect oxymoron of our times.
On February 24, his Brother in Harm -- another madman and egomaniac -- invaded Ukraine. As the year wound down, Putin was doubling down on the ginormous miscalculation of his “strategic military operation.”
As 2022 arrived, we weathered the first “anniversary” of that day of ignominy for our democracy, January 6. Its perpetraitors, starting their confinements, cannot be assessed too harshly for their deeds.
This year was 10 years since the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary, the axis point of our mental health crisis and protected access to guns. The unbending resistance to sensible gun laws continued, enabling Uvalde.
In the New Age of Crazy, it isn’t just free speech, gun rights, and political “tolerance” that makes space for abject fools the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Steve Bannon, and Matt Gaetz. There’s a ready appetite among many for crazy – as if crazy is good. MTG, Boebert and the like are the poster crazies for gaslighting – anointed the Word of the Year for 2022. Most easily defined as “perception by deception,” gaslighting encompasses so-called fake news, conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes.
In the real world, we can remember and honor these 2022 heroes and martyrs, some among the 40 million brave and proud inhabitants and refugees of Ukraine:
Alexie Navalny, jailed Russian opposition leader and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin
Marina Ovsyannikova, television producer who dared protest the war while on-air on the Kremlin’s Channel One network
Olha Sukhenko, mayor of the Ukraine village of Motyzhyn, and her family, abducted and murdered
Moscow envoy and diplomat Boris Bondarev, who resigned his appointment in Geneva, in protest of Putin’s “aggressive war”
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, defender of the independence and freedom of Ukraine, recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and First Lady Olena Zelenska
The year ended with Qatar hosting the World Cup FIFA futbol tournament – we call it soccer -- at which the global sports powerhouses Morocco and Croatia were two of the four finalist competing countries. Neither reached the championship game, but each punched way above their weight.
Oh, and this “Truth Social” pearl of whiz-dumb came December 3, posted by the relentless Trump: “Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”
“Even” Constitutions are not sacred to this con man.
May 2023 give us more heroes and less crazy.