In 2017, we saw many things happen. The majority of these are probably things that we wish we could see unhappen, but such is life.
Another thing that suches life is the need for everyone in the world to summarise all of the events that happened in a calendar year when that calendar year ends. Well, 2017 successfully came to an end, which means that if you are one of the unlucky individuals who had to sit through jokes from your coworkers about whether or not there would be a 2018, you had the last laugh. You should enjoy this moment, because your last laugh may well be superseded by your coworker’s even louder laugh at the inevitable disaster that is sure to prompt the cancellation of 2019.
Note: As 2018 proceeds, please begin to think about who and what should receive awards in 2018. Nominations may be made on Twitter using the hashtag #inominatethefollowingpersonplaceorthingfora2018goobnetawardinparticulartheawardforinsertawardnamehereforyourconsiderationpleaseandthankyou.
Detection of GW170817
Wen says: On THU 17 AUG 2017, two gravitational wave observatories, LIGO and Virgo, both detected a gravitational wave signature. It was later traced to a collision between two neutron stars due to corroborating observations as a gamma ray burst lasting about two seconds, and a spike in a variety of electromagnetic wavelengths. This was the first event to be observed simultaneously by both a gravitational wave observatory and electromagnetic wave observatories. Honourable mention to the Falcon 9 launch on THU 30 MAR 2017, the first time a stage of a launch vehicle was reused.
Sacking of Harvey WEINSTEIN, United States
Debbie says: A situation that could also have earned the Sark’s Abolution of Feudalism “Well, It’s About Fucking Time” Award, Weinstein was dismissed from his own company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This was the result of reporting in the New York Times detailling a career’s worth of sexual assaults and settlements with confidentiality clauses, which has been followed with further details coming to light about the coercion and scare tactics he used to enforce silence. At the same time, attention has been drawn to the Me Too movement, showing that nearly every woman in the world – and quite a few men – have a horrifying story to tell. We would say that Earth is saying that enough is enough, but really, this is a case of Earth saying that way, way, way too much is enough.
Attacks on Rohingya, Myanmar
Debbie says: For some forty years, the Rohingya ethnic group have been persecuted in Myanmar, including torture, denial of citizenship, illegal detainment, land seizures, and restrictions on travel and on having children. This has culminated in the crisis of the last year, during which the military of Myanmar has slaughtered residents, torched houses, and detained civilians to be tortured and raped. In recent months the military has begun a systematic attempt to drive the Rohingya out of Myanmar, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. During this time, the state counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, has failed to act, or even acknowledge the crisis.
Failure to implode the Silverdome, United States
Amber Lynn says: The Silverdome, a domed stadium in Pontiac, MI, USA, opened in 1975 and hosted four matches at the 1994 Men’s World Cup. It was home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions for 36 years and the NBA’s Detroit Pistons for ten. It was supposed to be torn down on SUN 03 DEC 2017, but the attempt failed due to a wiring error. The crew had to try again the next day.
Failure to qualify for the 2018 Men’s World Cup, Italy, Netherlands, Chile, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, United States [tie]
Amber Lynn says: The fact that several high profile teams failed to qualify for the Men’s World Cup is being used as evidence to support the expansion of the tournament in 2026, but in fact these teams’ eliminations are evidence that the qualifying process is effective and does not give anyone a free pass. On the bright side, these teams will all be active next summer, as they will be participating in the Bender B Rodriguez Blackjack and Hookers Cup. Dishonourable mention to the US Federal Communications Commission’s decision to end net neutrality.
Debbie says: Women made an impact in every walk of life this year: marching on the streets, directing and starring in a superhero film, taking over late night satire, forcing the removal of several prominent figures who had assaulted women and then covered it up, preventing the election of an accused statutory rapist, and being the Doctor.
Amber Lynn says: Harvey, Irma, and Maria together devastated the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, and Houston, TX. Dishonourable mention to earthquakes, which struck Italy, Mexico, and Iran.
Mass shootings, United States
Reg says: According to Mother Jones, there were eleven mass shootings [at least three people killed] in the United States in 2017, totalling 117 people killed and 587 injured. Dishonourable mention to sexual assaults, bombings, the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, and just about anything that happened in Syria.
Wen says: Maybe it’s a spacecraft from an extraterrestrial civilisation! Well, probably not, but any excuse to reread Rendezvous with Rama is a good excuse.
Get Out, United States
Reg says: Jordan Peele’s début as a film director borrowed horror tropes to draw attention to race relations in the United States of the 21st century, in particular casual racism and missing black Americans.
Power Rangers, United States
Reg says: Dishonourable mention to The Mummy [a remake of a remake], Baywatch, and Smurfs: The Lost Village.
Kit advertising, NBA
Wen says: This season, the National Basketball Association permits advertising on team uniforms for the first time. Is this an inevitable step toward placing the league in a more advantageous position and maximising revenue, or is it a cynical ploy to grab cash from every pixel of screen space? The second one. If we band together and refuse to buy replica uniforms with advertisements on them, we can tell teams and leagues to stop doing it. In the meantime, every time you see one of those advertising patches, just imagine Mr Yuk instead.
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