Looking back at the year that was

Seriously, I’m not going to do what my title says. I put it up there just to fit in with the crowd. 2014? Forget about it. If you’re actually looking for that kind of thing, then you haven’t been paying attention because news sites have been recapping 2014 since at least mid-November. If you’re looking for the ubiquitous list of celebrities who died this year just scroll down any news page for that thumbnail of Robin Williams RIP, which has been on every news site since he died in August. It’s like New Year’s Eve all year now. Even I got into the act, almost by default. The Facebook bot has created—for me, for you, for each of us—a personal “Year in Review” because we’re all shining stars, fireworks, y’know… kinda special. I haven’t bothered to look at mine because, well, you get out what you put into these things and I didn’t put that much into Facebook. So my Year in Review is quite short on details. These personal Year in Reviews remind of those Time magazine-sized joke mirrors that had “Person of the Year” silkscreened  on them. Person of the Year? That’s you! Har! Now give it to me, give it here. Now I’m Person of the Year! (doubles over laughing). Now put it down on the floor for the dog…

There is one person of the year who does deserve recognition. I will take a moment to salute this article by Robert Tracinski in The Federalist: My Person of the Year–Ben Trovato.

Also, I want to record my favorite quote this year. It’s actually a quote of a quote, so it has doubleplus goodness. It comes from Theodore Dalrymple in Taki’s Magazine, in a Dec. 28, 2014 column: The Allure of Omnipotent Explanations (okay, so this might not be my favorite quote of the whole year, but it’s the only one I remember liking because I read it a few short days ago, which incidentally proves the truth of the quote).

Those of us for whom the written word is of enormous importance, if not all-important, should try always to remember the words of Montherlant: Most people do not read; those who read do not understand; those who understand forget.

And finally I will make one prediction for the year ahead: Most over-used, hated word of 2015 will be “narrative.” I’m already sick of it.