Hillary Clinton set a world record for sour grapes when she spent most of the year touring the United States and the world promoting her book What the Fuck?, a 500-page screed of excuses and blame mongering for her election loss to Trump. Of course her own name only appears on the cover.
The social justice wars heated up with wealthy white kids with iPhones and college funds violently opposing anyone with views that might differ from their post-modernist, neo-Marxist worldview. We were supposed to regard the enemies of these wealthy white kids as Nazis, but the black-uniformed and masked protestors looked more like SS enforcers to me than anyone they opposed.
Talking about intolerance, a guy at Google was sacked for circulating a critique of his company's gender equality policies, and a teaching assistant at a university in Canada was subject to a Maoist struggle session for playing her students an excerpt from a Canadian public television debate about the use of gender-neutral pronouns.
It was the year of 'Me Too', a phenomenon in which famous men were exposed for their sexual harassment of women. Weasels like Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein certainly deserved to be shamed but by the end of the year it had turned into something of a witch hunt with accusations being equated with guilt and trivial trangressions such as making inappropriate comments being treated as if they were sexual assault.
Here in New Zealand an unholy alliance of lefties, greenies and nationalists formed our new government, despite the fact than none of them could muster so much as a plurality of votes. The new prime minister set the tone for her reign with claims that capitalism has failed, although she wasn't too specific on what she planned to replace it with. Perhaps we will see Maoist struggle sessions here too.
It wasn't a year of big discoveries in science, with the most significant being proof of the existence of gravitational waves, substantiating another of Einstein's predictions and adding to our knowledge of what happened at the birth the universe. We also detected the first interstellar visitor to our solar system, an cigar-shaped rock called Oumuamua that some think is an alien spaceship in disguise. Science continued to be politicised, with the once-respected journal Nature listing Trump's presidency and 'separation anxiety' over Brexit amongst their list of significant scientific events of 2017 (really!).
Some famous people left us in 2017 including musicians Tom Petty, Glen Campbell, David Cassidy, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino; actors Roger Moore, Mary Tyler Moore and John Hurt; Playboy founder Hugh Hefner; Irish republican Martin McGuiness; and notorious murderers Ian Brady and Charles Manson. New Zealanders who died included cartoonist Murray Ball, businessman Doug Myers, the great All Black Colin Meads and the incomparable comedian John Clarke.
In concluding this review of another good year, I would like to thank you for reading my blog posts in 2017. I should stress that while I may express some concerns about the state of the world in these posts, I know that we live in the greatest time in human history and that our lives continue to improve exponentially due to greater individual freedom and the growth of capitalism throughout the world.
So, I will sign off for 2017 by leaving you with one of John Clarke's videos as the legendary farmer Fred Dagg addressing the United Nations on how fortunate we are here in New Zealand. May you have a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2018.