No matter how much you tried, there was no way to get away from Bastille’s Pompeii in 2014. It was on the rock stations, the pop stations, and (of course) the top 40 stations. It was released in January 2013, and it’s still in heavy rotation (at least here and Indianapolis). There’s a good reason for that. No other pop song summed up 2014 quite like Pompeii.
I was left to my own devices/Many days fell away with nothing to show
2014 was a crappy, crappy, year. Some of it is because of the way social media has trained us to respond to different events. Slate declared 2014 as the Year of Outrage. We were outraged about something every day of the year. And at the beginning of the year, so much of it was stuff not worth being outraged about (see: anything involving Lena Dunham, anytime a woman said she wasn’t a feminist). But dammit, outrage gets the clicks and likes and comments that we’ve been trained to crave.
Great clouds all over the hills/Bringing darkness from above
And then things got real. We weren’t treating each other well. Crime rates were up. There were the events around the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner. If nothing else, you have to admit the reactions by authorities lacked transparency and were bungled throughout the process. Then we had the GamerGate nonsense. The NFL shows how lax they are on the domestic violence issue. We were hit time and time again with images and commentary and things getting worse.
How am I going to be an optimist about this?
That’s the line that I relate most to 2014. I’m a bit of a hopeless optimist (to the degree I’m thankful to have realist friends to bring me back down to earth), I always try to find a silver lining. But between the national news and some friends going through some really shitty stuff, I just…couldn’t. Not this time.
Oh, where do we begin?/The rubble or our sins?
The dust is finally settled on 2014 and I find myself asking “where do we go from here?” It’s overwhelming. And I don’t know. But we have to do better.
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