21 Paragraphs About 2021 - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
21 Paragraphs About 2021

As the commissioned pitchman for the year almost past, I find “2021, even better than 2020” as the most captivating slogan for my client not in violation of hangups over truth in advertising.

The Oxford English Dictionary named “vax” and Merriam-Webster “vaccine” as the word of the year. In defining “allyship” as the word of the year, Dictionary.com defined itself.

Coronavirus killed more Americans in Joe Biden’s first year in office than during Donald Trump’s last. But people drank in bars, crowded the stands at sporting events, and flew on airplanes, so it worked, relatively speaking, as a good year, at least for those surviving it.

Events conspired in 2021 to force QAnon Shaman, like Mr. Potato Head and Aunt Jemima, to drop, if only in the Officer Obie-like legal proceedings confronting him, the name we came to know him by. If the mob had only looted a Nordstrom’s in Nancy Pelosi’s district instead of rummaged through her workplace, then they would have walked free — and we would have remained free of the notion that the guy who put that MAGA hat on a statue of Gerald Ford amounted to Spartacus, the gentleman who took a sheet of Pelosi’s stationary Robespierre, and the man posing with the speaker’s podium Che.

The mob’s collective hallucination proved contagious as congressional Democrats spearheaded the impeachment of Citizen Trump as though he remained the chief executive. Even Joe Biden caught the pretender bug in believing himself, and not Joe Manchin, the real president.

In a setback for liberationists, America lost a sexual orientation in 2021. Cuomosexuality, a once popular fetish — indulged by Chelsea Handler, Trevor Noah, and the editors of Rolling Stone — in which one desires a man resembling the offspring of Abe Vigoda and the uglier Menendez brother, again became seen as the compulsion of deviants.

A war that began with surreal scenes of airplanes and people falling from the sky ended with surreal scenes of airplanes and people falling from the sky.

Despite the replacement of a supposed Putin sycophant with a friend of Ukraine in the Oval Office, Russia amassed 100,000 or so troops on the border with its former vassal state.

Gasoline, roast beef, cars, and just about everything else skyrocketed in price. The government, whose appetite for gargantuan spending compelled the creation of massive amounts of money, blamed the greed of businessmen rather than its own. “Supply chains” became Jedi Mind Trick magic words shielding the responsibility of politicians and central bankers for devaluing our money.

Kyle Rittenhouse and Jussie Smollett took the stand to vastly different results. Juries nevertheless found the media guilty in both cases.

The popular internet pastime of dubbing others “alphas” and “betas” and now even “sigmas” as a means of ranking people on some gorilla-esque hierarchy — what Greek letter describes humans who look to the animal kingdom for assessing social standing? — seemed so very 2021. So, too, did the decision to name coronavirus variants “delta” and “omichron” — the former sounding like an aspiring fraternity-row date rapist; the latter, a supervillain in the next Marvel movie. Might we resolve in the new year to banish the use of these letters to, well, Greece?

The year’s most 2021 song, Wet Leg’s “Chaise Longue,” a clever, striking number, nevertheless plays as a combination of the freshest sounds of 1988 and 2001 cellophaned. Sequels, reboots, and movies based on familiar comic-book characters composed nine of the top-ten movies at the box office in 2021. Broadway continued to package plays based on the Wicked Witch of the West, Harry Potter, The Lion King, Mrs. Doubtfire, and other worn characters; even after an act of God shut down production, they did not take the hint that repeats belong on late-night UHF stations (which are so not 2021). This nostalgia trip extended to sports in Tom Brady winning his seventh Super Bowl. That “new” rhymes with 2022 brings hope that fresh replaces 2021 overdone.

After the death of Larry King but before the passing of Bob Dole, their impersonator, Norm Macdonald, who told not even his family and friends about his cancer, manipulated scores to react to his death by uttering one of his familiar punchlines: “I didn’t even know he was sick.” In contrast, Rush Limbaugh braced us for his death by telling us the talent always came on loan from God. Yet this incessant reminder and his cancer diagnosis strangely did little to prepare his fans for the void he left. We also lost Anne Rice, Phil Spector, Stephen Sondheim, Prince Philip, Charlie Watts, Hank Aaron, John Madden, Cloris Leachman, and others famous, infamous, and anonymous. But 2021 witnessed 140 million babies enter the world; some of them forgo the obligatory face tattoo of the future and do magnificence.

For the first time in his life, Alec Baldwin wished he were Daniel Baldwin.

Atlanta took revenge on Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game from Georgia by bringing the World Series title there.

El Salvador, perhaps realizing that the value of paper money makes as much sense as the value of binary-code currency, recognized Bitcoin as legal tender in September. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) proved that supply and demand, rather than utility, beauty, or some other factor, influence price most. The artist Beeple, whose record for selling a print stood at $100 a little over a year ago, sold an NFT for $69 million this year. Rubes: do not blame the artist because you do not understand his art.

The media depicted a contestant born a man becoming the highest overall female earner in Jeopardy history as Billie Jean King instead of Bobby Riggs.

Progressives confused “bathroom lobbying” for “backroom lobbying” in pleading their case to Senator Kyrsten Sinema behind a stall in the ladies’ room. The up-close-and-personal approach evoked work smarter, not harder. Build Back Better failed before it even came for a vote in the Senate.

“Let’s Go, Brandon,” a lost-in-translation chant of NASCAR fans, replaced “Make America Great Again” as the favored political slogan of Joe Biden’s opponents. By year’s end, even Joe Biden was saying it.

Jeff Bezos, who conjures up images of the Martians in Dimension X’s “The Parade,” brought William Shatner, Michael Strahan, and other Earthlings to space. His physiognomy makes one wonder whether he plans to bring space to the Earthlings in years to come.

In what surely came as a blow to Kristy McNichol, Suze Orman, and K.D. Lang, the word “hentai” overtook “lesbian” to become the top search term worldwide and in the U.S. on PornHub for 2021. Yes, people now look at images of Japanese anime characters doing weird things more than any other category of pornography. It is later than you think.

Daniel J. Flynn
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Daniel J. Flynn, a senior editor of The American Spectator, is the author of Cult City: Harvey Milk, Jim Jones, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco (ISI Books, 2018), The War on Football (Regnery, 2013), Blue Collar Intellectuals (ISI Books, 2011), A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, New York Post, City Journal, National Review, and his own website, www.flynnfiles.com.   
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