2010 was a year of escalating divisiveness in America. White Americans demanded that foreign-looking people show their papers, but at the same time objected to being searched at airports. Some Republican politicians were incensed that an Islamic cultural center might be built near the site of 9/11 bombings but Republicans also refused to address legislation to provide health benefits to 9/11 first responders.
BP Oil, whose well leaked massive amounts oil into the Gulf of Mexico, was the most hated organization in the United States until we found out about WikiLeaks. Leaked catty remarks about foreign dignitaries are much more damaging than mere billions of gallons of oil in our seafood.
Football players, including Ben Rothlisberger, Brett Favre and the entire NY Jets team got in trouble for harassing individual women. That was nothing compared to the outrage created when basketball player Lebron James screwed the entire city of Cleveland.
It was the year of the bedbugs, literally, in terms of infestations and also in the sense of “crazy as a.”
Christine O’Donnell, campaigning for Senator in Delaware, appeared on TV stating that she is not a witch, with her husband Darrin and daughter Tabitha by her side for support. Her mother, Endora, refused comment.
Glenn Beck held a rally to restore honor and said he wanted to “reclaim the Civil Rights movement”. I think he meant to take back the rights that were gained since the 1960s.
Sarah Palin who began her campaign for President by resigning as governor of Alaska in 2009, stepped up her political efforts by getting a reality TV gig showcasing her life of leisure and by getting her daughter onto “Dancing With the Stars”, because it was too late to book her on “16 and Pregnant”.
In other entertainment news, the decrepit Larry King retired but Betty White found work on Saturday Night Live and in Snickers commercials.
Miners rescued from a collapsed coal mine in Chile was probably the biggest rescue story of the year. Runners up for best release from an uncomfortable situation were:
Steven Slater who left his flight attendant job at Jet Blue by jumping out the emergency slide on a plane
Tipper Gore, separating from Al
Elizabeth Edwards dieing to get away from John
Dr. Laura, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, and Juan Williams losing media jobs due to making others uncomfortable with their opinions.
Maybe the story the best epitomizes 2010’s essence of controversy over trivia and the battle of us-against-them is the Four Loco controversy. Four Loco is an alcoholic energy drink – a contradiction in terms and intent if there ever was one. Companies making alcohol & caffeine drinks were investigated by several attorneys general of various US states. The FDA issued warnings about these drinks, “there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern.” They also state that concerns have been raised that caffeine can mask some of the sensory cues individuals might normally rely on to determine their level of intoxication. Really? It seems like a lot of stodgy old people upset and confused about some new fad they can’t understand. After getting Four Loco, this “new” type of drink, banned, legislators celebrated with several rounds of Irish Coffee.