Stupidest Things of the Year – 2021

(By the way, this will be my last post for 2021. See you in the new year!)

I recall reading of one holiday ritual that I firmly believe we need to do more often. On New Year’s Eve, go outside and start a large fire (in an appropriate fire pit or other safe place, naturally). As you and your friends stand around sharing good cheer, throw into the fire representations of everything you don’t want to follow you into the new year. The idea is that through “sympathetic magic”, the bad juju will burn up, turn to ash and smoke, and blow away on the wind.

If you can’t build a fire, simply writing the bad things on a piece of paper and burning that in an ashtray or other fire-safe container will work. If you must do it indoors, do it near an open window so you can blow the smoke outside.

This is also the time of year when various journalists prepare their “Best of the Year” lists.

How about a list of the year’s Worst? The stupid, awful, and inane things that should be left in the past?

I get that people want to be a lot more active on social media, sharing their thoughts and insights and jokes. We do need to be more “connected”; and not just because of COVID-related distancing. But becoming “famous” for simply posting short – barely a minute long – videos? Tik Tok Celebrities – people famous for nothing other than their stupid little videos – the entire concept needs to be tossed in the trash. Over fifty years ago, Andy Warhol noted that everyone will eventually become world-famous for fifteen minutes. I don’t think even he would have imagined that people would become “famous” for fifteen one-minute film clips.

Speaking of “viral” fame, can we dump the entire concept? Things are bubbling up so fast online that it’s impossible to tell if any one thing has any real value. Remember the fuss over sea shanties back at the beginning of the year? That wasn’t the only “fad” that sank as quickly as it rose. There was the artificially created to-do over GameStop’s stock, for one. And does anyone really know what the “metaverse” is supposed to be in practice?

The worst example of this 21st century “tulip mania” has got to be NFTs – “Non-Fungible Tokens”. For no apparent rational reason, people are forking over big bucks to claim “ownership” of a bit of infinitely copyable digital media, or some similar non-physical item. WHY? The only thing you can gain from it is bragging rights. You aren’t buying a physical object like a baseball card or Beanie Baby; you’re buying a piece of paper with directions to the file cabinet in a basement closet in a building where the “Certificate of Ownership” is stored. And you had better pray the building doesn’t have a fire or flood….

Trevor Noah sums it up pretty well:

If you don’t have the time to watch that, here’s a quick take:

 

I don’t ever want to have to hear about TikTok Celebrities (or TikTok in general) or NFTs ever again.

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