With the end of the year comes the usual round up of top ten lists, and among the 10 Best Cars, Movies, Songs, and Crappiest Science Job Lists comes the Associated Press’s Top Stories of the Year. It’s an idea crafted, no doubt, out of the noblest journalistic ideals – the opportunity to write an incredibly easy “news story” about things people already know all about, while simultaneously writing about one’s self. Real important.
This year’s top stories were, in order of the AP’s ranking:
1. The Virginia Tech massacre – 32 people gunned down by a mentally deranged student.
2. The mortgage crisis – the housing market hit a slump so big, you’d think it must have given up juicing. (But it hurt big banks hard, which makes me happy. Call me selfish, but anytime I hear CitiBank is on the skids, I start praying they go under so I don’t have to pay back my college loans.)
3. The Iraq War – while Dubya’s “surge” seemed to reduce violence in the country, the country remains mired in political sewage. Oh, and thousands of people died. Again.
4. Oil Prices Skyrocketed – at one point, brushing $100/barrel. Gas now costs almost half of what Europeans pay. (!) Amazingly, it seems to have actually caused Congress to get off its collective ass and pass a law forcing automakers to boost their vehicles’ overall fuel economy by 10 miles per gallon by 2020.
5. Chinese Exports Recalled – the Chinese are trying to kill our pets and children. (What, 1.5 billion to 300 million not a big enough advantage for you?)
6. Global Warming – There are now only about twelve people left on Earth who still don’t believe global warming is real. Also, Al Gore won both an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize for this. All he must do to fulfill the prophesy now is kill ManBearPig, and the last seven years will be erased.
7. Minneapolis Bridge Collapse – 13 people died and 100 were injured when a section of I-35 fell gave way. Once again, the Justice League did not respond in time.
8. Presidential Campaign – you know what, no, AP. No more. We are all so freaking sick and tired of this shit…I mean, can’t we just have one week…one day where we don’t have to hear about this? Please? I mean, this thing’s already been going for over a year, and we’ve still got eleven months to go…I’d vote for a chimp at this point if it meant this would be over…or worse, Mitt Romney…
9. Immigration Debate – rich white people feel threatened by poor Hispanic families. Also, we continue to chip away at the principles upon which the country was founded. Apparently whatever’s cooking in the melting pot doesn’t involve beans.
10. Iran’s Nuclear Program – Bush says they want nukes. Mahmoud says they don’t. CIA says they haven’t been trying to build them since 2003. Analysts suspect Dubya wants Iran because he’s been trying to win an incomplete game of Tic-Tac-Toe started by Clinton on a map of the Middle East.
But you know what? I’m not very impressed. Anyone can barf back up the news they’ve been fed over the year and sort through it for the most interesting chunks. (Disgusted yet?) It takes a real man to guess the events that will be in the news this time next year. So, coming up next: the Top 10 events of 2008, one year early. Tune in if you want to know who wins the presidency, what celebrity hijacks a train filled with nuclear waste (and which celebrity stops them from killing all of Los Angeles!), how to defeat the Martian invaders, and why you should get your fill of tonic water now…before it’s outlawed forever.