After trying and failing to come up with a year-in-review that was entertaining and enlightening, I’ve decided to be lazy — I mean, creative — and regurgitate old quotes in the name of narcissism — I mean, find relevant and informative excerpts from my writing this year to highlight the best and worst of the year.
6th: “We once stood with Stalin against Hitler. We can stand with Cheney and Manchin against QAnon.”
30th: “One-way traffic, as they say. Well, it’s actually four-way traffic, as the USA pass the ball all over the place with nothing moving forward. Eventually, Pepi gets an awkward shot from an awkward angle that goes awkwardly out of play.” (The Guardian: USA-Canada World Cup qualifier live coverage)
5th: “The men’s free skate is the next event in the figure skating team competition. Canadian Roman Sadovsky will get us started with a program set to the Snow Patrol song ‘Chasing Cars.’ Is that the one with the repetitive two-note guitar riff or the one with the repetitive two-note guitar riff?” (The Guardian: Winter Olympics Day 2 live coverage)
7th: “And back to the big air — the skiers go in reverse order of their two-jump scores in the last round, and those who are out of contention are having some fun. Norway’s Sandra Eie landed upright at last. The USA’s Darian Stevens did not, going for a 5000 septuple cork inverted stalefish meat-grinder scrum-half flippy floppy and bouncing up with a big smile and shrug after failing to finish it on her skis.” (The Guardian: Winter Olympics Day 4 live coverage)
2nd: “DIRECTOR: Well, it doesn’t fit the story, but OK. How do we make it interesting?
“PRODUCER: Tommy does a lot of cool tricks with his sticks and then looks like he’s putting himself in an armlock.
“DIRECTOR: That works.
“PRODUCER: Tommy? You cool with that?
“(Band snorts cocaine)
“PRODUCER: It’ll be fine. Here’s a pile of money.”
3rd: “I’ve given up news for Lent, but I have something complicated to discuss … Shamrock Shakes are NOT just vanilla shakes with food coloring.” (Facebook)
10th: “The women, though, have more work to do. They’ve convinced a lot of supporters and columnists that their legal fight was essential. Now they need to convince those who actually look at the federation budget.” (The Guardian: Women’s team got equal pay, but not everyone in US soccer is happy)
11th: “The blonde woman in the nice SUV counting out change with shaking hands to buy two boxes of Chardonnay at 7:30 a.m. at the 7 Eleven next to Madison HS is either having a better day than I am or a considerably worse day. (She did drive away from the school, so that’s good.)” (Facebook)
15th: “So on that note, to quote Frank Costanza, I’ve got a lot of problems with you people …” (Medium: A Good Friday airing and burial of grievances, 2022 edition)
4th: “But just for fun, should we tell Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that aliens are coming in from space? I’m sure his response to fortify an atmospheric border would cost Texas taxpayers a lot of money, but it would be less destructive to the rest of us than the extra layer of border security he added before realizing, ‘Oh, right! Food comes across the border!’ Total cost to Texas: roughly $4,000,000,000. And the rest of us need to pay a bit more for produce, thanks to this self-inflicted knot in the supply chain. The word for that is ‘inflation.’ Or, as some people might say, ‘Damn, these avocados are expensive.'”
18th: “Who has two thumbs and just saw a faint line on his COVID test that likely means a positive?
… wait … where’s my other thumb? …” (Facebook)
23rd: “More recently, she owned the stage in the world’s most dramatic paint ad.”
23rd: “And what happened to the Tea Party? Hello? Libertarians? Are you high? Oh … you are. Yay, you got a victory on one issue. Have some brownies.” (Medium: Expanding upon Elon Musk’s view of polarization in cartoon form)
26th: “‘My three-year-old could’ve made that call!’ exclaimed commentator Kaylyn Kyle after an apparent handball wasn’t called at the end of an NWSL Challenge Cup game between OL Reign and the Washington Spirit. Unfortunately, most three-year-olds who grow up to be soccer fans will be armchair referees rather than being on the field where they’re actually needed.” (The Guardian: Referee numbers are plunging and aggression is to blame)
13th: “So I’m back for Round 3 with another program. I’m starting by watching a tutorial video on how to watch the tutorial videos.” (Facebook)
18th: “So apparently, the big thing in Wilmington is to cruise on Front Street on loud motorcycles or in tricked-out Jeeps blasting hip-hop and occasionally hard rock and I’ve never wanted so much to drive up and down a street in my RAV4 blasting Tori Amos.” (Facebook)
25th: “So you’re upset that people hate Donald Trump. A majority of people. A substantial majority of people. But here’s a surprise for you: We don’t hate you.” (Medium: A letter to the person leaving the F— BIDEN stickers at Starbucks)
14th: “I don’t know how to reach low-information voters and explain the realities of climate change, COVID prevention or domestic terrorism. What I do know is that we’re not going to fix the problem with doomscrolling. It’s not a coincidence that the longest song on the new Metric album, maybe the longest they’ve ever done, is called Doomscroller.”
19th: “It’s 2032. At long last, humans have landed on Mars. Back on Earth, US sports fans have a simple question: Is the Mars colony in the Big Ten or the SEC?” (The Guardian: College football realignment winners and losers)
24th: “Reconstruction! Not as cool as R.E.M. made it sound. The Ku Klux Klan kicks into high gear. The Republican Party, founded in 1854 in large part to prevent the spread of slavery to new states and territories, is trying to be the good guys, held back a bit by Southern Democrats stuffing boxes with ballots and stuffing people with bullets.”
1st: “I think the only thing more surprising than Robert Fripp’s sudden career turn would be if Pauly Shore started making popular videos analyzing the evolution of iambic pentameter.” (Facebook)
3rd: “The purpose here isn’t to put forth some sort of Milquetoast Moderatism. There’s no middle ground between “the left” and the people who ran into the Capitol alongside people bearing Confederate flags and anti-Semitic slogans. The people on the “left” who commit political violence are swiftly denounced and hold no real power; the people on the “right” who do so are given political cover by a party that refuses to participate in an investigation of an assault on democracy.
“But there’s no reason We the Common People Who Have Things in Common can’t rise above all of the hatred, all of the ignorance and all of the fundamental disrespect that manifests itself everywhere from political protests to merge lanes on the interstate. We have more in common that we think, and we need to demonstrate that in a show of strength to disarm the haters.”
10th: “Rob goes on entertaining personal digressions. He has a unique style. Which, of course, I have felt compelled to parody, like Weird Al doing Eat It or Ridin’ Dirty. So this is also full of personal digressions that I hope are entertaining. Either that or you’re going to come out of it saying you now know way too much about me.”
19th: “When a hotel says something on its room service menu is “housemade,” does that mean it can’t be made in an apartment? If I were to order avocado toast right now, would someone have to run a few blocks to a house, make the toast, then run back?” (Facebook)
2nd: “What must it be like to know that every swing of the racket could be your last in competitive singles tennis? What must it be like to do that in front of a packed stadium with millions watching on TV? Then what must it be like to see your opponent suddenly hit long and give you a break point? Maybe Serena Williams can answer whenever this ends, three minutes or 30 minutes from now.” (The Guardian: Live coverage of Serena Williams’ final match)
7th: “But nowhere in the Laws of the Game does it say, ‘… but don’t call it if someone makes a fantastic play immediately afterward.'” (Soccer America: TV commentators’ over-the-top VAR criticism)
9th: “Who else would love to see King Charles III come out and say, “Parliament is dissolved. Brexit is herby rescinded, and we shall rejoin the European Union. Also, we’re sending our military to reclaim our American colonies — the good ones, anyway. Monarchy’s back, bitches!”” (Facebook)
29th: Third-grader: “Mr. Dure? Why is your hair so disorganized?”
Me: “Because it’s been falling out since I started working here.”
(Which is true but coincidental.)
30th: “Not particularly happy with humanity at the moment. Thinking we should turn the planet over to dogs and dolphins.” (Facebook)
11th: “I generally think complaints about ‘wokeness’ are overblown and that young people have a lot to say. Then I hear someone from Harvard on a town hall griping that their generation is the ‘most financially underserved in history.’ (Facebook)
27th: “The Greek goal was offside in the Monty Python sketch, by the way. Confucius needed VAR.” (The Guardian: Croatia-Canada World Cup live coverage)
10th: “In Grant’s case, I keep thinking that I should send him a message to express my sympathy. I can’t process that the fact that he can’t answer. When my wife came running up to say, ‘Grant Wahl died,’ I heard what she said but couldn’t understand those three words in that order.” (Duresport.com: Grant Wahl: 1974-2022)
16th: “The women’s legal team’s filing includes plenty of self-aggrandizement about the landmark settlement and the collective bargaining agreement that followed, the latter of which was a multiparty conversation that would be at best tangentially related to the lawyers’ aggressive posture. What’s mentioned a bit less frequently is one little detail: They lost the case. (The Guardian: Lawyers seek big money from US women’s soccer team)
16th: “Comparing teams’ records across groups is always awkward because some groups will be a Group of Death and some will be a Group of Sharks and Minnows.” (Soccer America: Thinking outside the box to create best World Cup format)
16th: “What would famous philosophers suggest regarding USA Curling? Plato would say we’re living in a cave, observing only the shadows of Niklas Edin and Tabitha Peterson. Ayn Rand would let the free market decide, which means we probably wouldn’t have any curling on TV at all. And Rene Descartes would say curling doesn’t think; therefore, it is not.” (Duresport.com: Why support USA Curling?)
16th: “If I’m found murdered in the next few days, please check my latest Guardian piece and my latest blog posts for suspects.” (Facebook)
24th: “Google’s Santa Tracker says he’s in Beirut. NORAD’s says he’s in Luanda, Angola. Whom are we to believe? This is a matter of national security, and we can’t even place him on the same continent? We’re in grave danger! Shut your chimney flues and close your blinds!” (Facebook)