Did anything happen this year? I can't remember

If anything happened to improve our lives, please report immediately.
Photo: Jodi Aris trial/ AP

NEW YORK, December 26, 2013 —  Amnesia hit me as I sat down to write the official “year in review.”  We are talking national and global, not family. So what happened during the past 12 months that is worth remembering? Plenty, I am sure, but most of it eludes me. Was it a good year – 2013 – and if so, congratulations. Obviously I missed the fun.

Or is it true that nothing happened?

If anything happened to improve our lives, please report immediately.

A man named Barack Obama is still president of the United States (and the world). That is easy to remember. But what has he done? Other than give good speeches. This comes to mind: he flirted with Denmark’s lollypop prime minister. Michele was not happy. But Barack was happy.  Anything else?

Oh sure. Obamacare. Nobody, except Obama, is happy about this, but that is all people were talking about.

Is that 2013 in a nutshell? I think so.

Nothing happened between the races. Nothing all that bad, and nothing all that good, either.  Wait a minute. There was the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, and this caused friction between the races, especially when people like Al Sharpton chimed in to blame White America.

There was absolutely no racial tension when Dustin Friedland was murdered by African American suspects at The Mall in Short Hills, New Jersey.

There certainly was no Al Sharpton anywhere to be found. America was silent. So nothing happened.

Here is a nugget. Just did a search and found that, according to Yahoo News, the number one news item of 2013 is this – are you ready?

The Jodi Arias trial.

Really? Really. Will someone please fill this in? Something must have happened, and it must have been important.

In other news, even after all the money we spent and all the blood we spilled, Iraq is still Iraq. The Arabs over there are still killing each other day after day.

This does not even make the papers anymore. Same goes for Afghanistan, which means that Afghanistan will always be Afghanistan.

On the diplomacy front, John Kerry was trying to achieve “peace in the Middle East.”

As a first step he demanded that Israel surrender every inch of its territory in order to make the Palestinians happy – the world’s number one goal. This was tried before, under earlier secretaries of state and under previous Israeli prime ministers, who offered to surrender 90 percent of Israel’s most historic and vital territories – and that still was not enough and the Palestinians were still not happy.

So there is nothing new there, either.

Throughout the year, Iran kept building a bomb to wipe Israel off the map. Obama and Kerry suggested that it is worth a try, if not in so many words.

Egypt was at war with itself throughout 2013, and so was Syria, but that too is an old story. Nothing new to report.

In England, the young royals gave birth, and it was a boy. Congratulations. But other people also gave birth.

Back home, there was the Boston Marathon bombing, committed by two brothers, those Tsarnaev boys, who should not have been in this country in the first place.

But there are quite a few people who should not be in this country in the first place or second place.

Almost forgot. That Weiner guy and Spitzer, as if men behaving badly are worthy to “stop the presses.”

Also, Paula Deen. Anybody remember? Something racial. Likewise Alice Walker. Something anti-Semitic.

Truly, nothing new. Nothing happened from January to December.

Wait, we eulogized John F. Kennedy. He promised to get us to the moon and he delivered. He invigorated this nation.

We could use a dose of that come 2014.

The latest from Jack Engelhard, bonus edition Slot Attendant, A Novel About A Novelist here


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Jack Engelhard

Jack Engelhard enjoys international fame as a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, which was turned into film starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His memoir Escape From Mount Moriah has been acclaimed for excellence and a movie version was an official selection at CANNES. Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist is Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer. Engelhard’s journalism covers all topics, with special focus on  the absurdity of human behavior, and reaches around the globe. He can be contacted at www.jackengelhard.com


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