Screw 2018: The worst (and best!) headlines from the last year

by Amanda Push

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. It’s even harder to believe that we somehow managed to survive 2018, though there were plenty of times we thought we wouldn’t.

As usual, the end of the year is the time for reflection on the past and for turning a hopeful gaze to the future. We make useless goals. We swear to be better people. Alas, who knows what the future will hold. In all likelihood though, we probably won’t stick with our goals and will remain our same terrible selves. Sorry for being a Debbie Downer, but hey – if you wanted optimism you shouldn’t have come to a journalist.

As we attempt to wrap our heads around 2018 and the oncoming new year, we are focusing on the headlines that made us smile, the headlines that made us cringe and wonder if we needed to invest in an underground bunker, and the headlines that helped us remain hopeful for the future.

Obviously there are lots of things we missed, as one cannot possibly include everything single good, bad, or palatable thing in a 1,600 word article, but we tried our damndest to fit in what we considered some of the most notable events of the year.

We’re going to try to push down our cynicism and be hopeful for next year. Here’s to 2018 and the various improvements that ca – nay, SHOULD – be made next year.

The no good, very bad worst/most puzzling headlines of 2018Anything related to the presidencyOur Fearless Leader, aka Donald Trump, had quite a year, though that isn’t unusual for a man who thinks that “Trump Derangement Syndrome” is a thing. There are frankly too many head-scratchers and side-eyes to completely spell out, but some of the real highlights were Trump’s failure to call out Vladimir Putin; his never-ending saga in his quest to defeat the fake news monster; the continued investigation into whether there was collusion between his campaign and Russia; and his doubling down on wanting to build a border wall next to Mexico because “if we show any weakness, millions of people will journey into our country.”

The fires that ruined everything for everybodyIf 2018 was a good year for anybody, it was a good year for fire. A national state of emergency was declared as a result of the California fires, which destroyed the homes of those both rich and poor while killing people. Colorado and New Mexico also had their fair share of headaches from fires this year. Colorado’s 416 fire hit La Plata, Huerfano, Costilla, and Eagle counties, and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet referred to the wildfire season as “one of the most destructive to date and requires a robust response.”

Anthony Bourdain’s deathAmerican chef and traveling badass Anthony Bourdain’s death was a shitty time for everybody. It was hard to imagine that a man so successful and inspiring to so many people could die in such a tragic manner. Still, his death was a powerful reminder that suicide and mental health issues can seep into the lives of literally anyone, no matter how much you love them. We miss his dry sense of humor and non-fussy approach to food that made even the most hopeless of causes feel like they could cook, too.

Durango’s Southwest Sound closed its doorsWatching Durango lose its only music store was a real bummer. Southwest Sound, which had been operating in town since 1977, shut its doors in July after the owners failed to acquire a buyer. Upon its closure, owner Robert Stapleton said that he hoped Durango would remember “that we served a lot of great music, and we made a lot of people happy, everybody found what they were looking for, and we learned a lot and enjoyed a lot and had a great time.”

Everything related to the Brett Kavanaugh hearingsAh. Things that make you simultaneously triggered, so enraged beyond reason that you want everything to burn down, and so filled with sadness and despair that you wonder if you’ll ever smile again. From the bone-chilling moment when accuser Christine Blasey Ford testified that when she tried to scream during her sexual assault, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh covered her mouth, to Kavanaugh accusing the left of doing “anything to block my confirmation,” to Sen. Lindsey Graham unnecessarily screaming, it was impossible not to feel like you were watching the most depressing circus act unfold.

The never-ending stream of violenceThe Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida. The Capital Gazette newspaper shooting in Maryland. The Austin serial bomber. The California country music bar shooting. The bombs mailed to critics of President Trump. As per usual, every time you turned around in 2018, there was another horrible headline about a group of people who were senselessly murdered.

The ACLU scolding Durango on its camping banThe American Civil Liberties Union criticized the city of Durango in a strongly worded letter after the city enforced a camping ban and shut down a homeless camp. The ACLU stated in its letter: “It is cruel and unconstitutional to criminalize camping in public spaces when – due to city action – homeless residents have nowhere else to go.” Not a good look for Durango at the moment.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg scaring the shit out of all of usThe hearts of America collectively stopped beating for a moment when we all thought we were about to lose beloved Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she took a tumble and fractured three ribs, AND THEN had malignent tumors removed from her lungs. DON’T EVER DO THAT TO US AGAIN, RBG.

The golden headlines of 2018Turn of the tide in the mid-term electionDespite the shit show that is and has been the political climate, there were some pretty exciting developments in the 2018 midterm election. Colorado elected the nation’s first openly gay governor, Jared Polis. State Senator Sylvia Garcia and former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar became the first Latinas elected to represent Texas in Congress. Kansas (what?!) elected Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, to the House. Davids is the first Native American woman to serve in Congress AND the first openly gay person to represent Kansas. Not long after, Deb Haaland, a tribal member of the Pueblo of Laguna, won a House seat in New Mexico and is now also one of the first Native American women elected to Congress. Then there’s Somali-American Ilhan Omar, representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, who became one of the first Muslim women elected to the House. Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan was also one of the first Muslim women voted into Congress. So, despite all our long list of complaints, there were some nice things that happened.

The MeToo movement empowering victims of abuseAfter Harvey Weinstein was officially outed as one of the world’s creepiest men in 2017, there was a rainstorm of men and women coming forward with their stories of sexual harassment and assault. This year was no different. Among the accused: Morgan Freeman; New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; GUESS co-founder Paul Marciano; former “Fuller House” showrunner Jeff Franklin; Dan Harmon — Creator of “Community” and “Rick and Morty;” actor James Franco; and actor/comedian Aziz Ansari.

The soccer team that was rescued from that cave in ThailandThe whole world breathed a sigh of relief when a boys soccer team and their coach were rescued after getting stuck in a cave in Thailand due to heavy rainfall. The team ended up having to scuba dive to get out of the cave – a dangerous feat, especially considering one of the divers involved in the rescue died while bringing oxygen tanks to the team. Their rescue warmed our cold, dead hearts.

The cuteness overload of the royal weddingMeghan Markle and Prince Harry, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made us believe in love again. From their big I-love-you smiles to Markle wearing the ring that belonged to Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, their wedding made us believe for a smidge that true love could indeed be real.

The headlines we hope to see in 2019Average rent in Durango gets slashed in halfNo more rent! No more rent! OK, fine. We have to pay our rent, but in our ideal 2019, rent prices would be slashed so we can stop thinking about finding roommates or living out of our cars.

Existence of aliens finally confirmedAlien overlords, hear our pleas! For the love of Zuul, prove to us that once and for all you are real. Yes, we will probably lose our minds and burn everything down, and we will probably try to fight you, but we promise we are ready.

Weed becomes federally legalSlowly (ever so slowly) but surely, state after state is finally accepting that the reefer isn’t going to melt our brains out of our ears. However, it’s still not good enough. Let’s stop pretending like the War on Drugs was a good thing and that everyone isn’t doing it already anyway. C’mon federal government. Think of all the monies.

Our fearless leader gets impeached/resignsPlease, save us. SOS. Someone…anyone…

Journalism becomes profitableNewspapers and other media outlets start paying living wages. There are more job openings. The money is flooding in. People stop screaming “fake news” at reporters. OK, that last one might be asking too much, but boy, it’s nice to dream.

DGO Mag wins PulitzerIn which the nation is floored by our coverage of breakfast burritos/possible UFO crashes/strain reviews/our experience as the world’s shittiest bartenders. Just doing the Lord’s work over here.


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