In many respects, 2017 has been a bit of a dumpster fire. The Russians hacked our presidential election, massive hurricanes and wildfires devastated the south, east and west coasts, and the San Francisco Giants lost 98 games in just one season. One of the worst years ever. But despite all that, there were some really cool things that happened in 2017.
Here’s the countdown in case you forgot.
#5 – Class And Decency Triumphs In Politics
Danica Roem was running for Virginia’s statehouse against a 13-term incumbent who’d held the seat for 26 years. But that wasn’t her biggest hurdle. Danica used to be a dude named Dan. She came out as transgender in 2013 and legally changed her name in 2015.
Incumbent Bob Marshall was fond of calling himself Virginia’s “Chief Homophobe.” He’d proudly sponsored a “bathroom bill”, opposing the rights of transgender folk to use the bathroom of their choice, and was a strong opponent of gay marriage and any rights for people of the LGBT community.
Bob refused to debate Danica, refused to address her as a woman, and ran a nasty attack campaign against her as a transgender person. Danica didn’t fight back and call Bob a bigot. She focused on local issues, vowed to reduce traffic in the district, and trounced Bob at the polls.
But best of all, Danica brought decency and class back to politics. When a reporter encouraged her to give some choice words about her abusive opponent, she set a great example for us all by saying;
“ I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”
Danica Roem helped make 2017 a classy, cool year.
#4 – Americans Invest $684 Million In Science
Well, sort of. This is the amount of money CNBC estimated was lost when 87 million Americans stopped working for a couple minutes to witness the solar eclipse in August.
Oregon was the best place to view the eclipse in the US, and they prepared for a crush of a million tourists to wreak havoc on their state. All kinds of suffering were predicted, from massive fuel shortages to human-caused wildfires to public health outbreaks.
But according to their office of emergency services, no deaths, injuries, or plagues came to pass. Just a little bit of extra traffic.
“The bottom line is, it went pretty darn well, People had a great time. People stayed safe. It was a fantastic event.”
Oregon businesses saw a very tidy profit for their trouble. So did the sellers of “eclipse glasses.” Americans across the country paid attention and used common sense so as not to burn their retinas staring at the sun. With one notable exception in the White House.
It was cool to see science make a comeback in America in 2017.
#3 – Protesting Became Cool Again
The day after the United State’s most divisive leader was sworn in as president, the force re-awakened. People were not going to let it go. They got out their signs and bullhorns and hit the streets.
The spirit of change took to the streets in a way reminiscent of the great protests for peace and civil rights back in the 60’s.
It started in January with the Women’s March on Washington. About a half-million people marched in DC, while over 10 million people at 673 events in 32 countries joined in the protest for women’s issues, social justice, and equality.
Since then we’ve seen protests against the immigration ban on Muslims, Neo-Nazis, police violence against African-Americans, and repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We’ve seen people around the world March For Science, and people around the country March To Impeach. There were May Day marches and work stoppages for immigrant rights, and NFL players throughout the league kneeled for the national anthem.
I think it’s healthy for people to exercise their right to protest. And we’ve seen a lot of progress in our society when people have stood up for their beliefs. If anything, 2017 was a strong year for advocacy and a bad one for apathy. And that, by any measure, is cool.
#2 – The Me Too Movement
Way back in 1991, Anita Hill came forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Though many people believed Anita, Clarence was confirmed by the Senate because there was no “proof.” It was just “her word against his”.
That will no longer happen in America. Not after 2017.
In what’s become known as the “Me Too” movement, women across the country brought accountability and consequences to sexual predators and harassers. Powerful men from all walks of life lost their jobs and were held to account in a way never seen before.
Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., Al Franken, Roy Moore, Matt Lauer, Mario Batali, and Garrison Keillor are just a few of the celebrities who have been fired in the past few months. There’s a huge and growing list of powerful men who are in trouble now for behavior that was swept under the rug in the past.
But not anymore. “Her word against mine” is no longer a defense for abusive behavior. I don’t know what took so long, or why it happened so suddenly this year. But 2017 will always be cool because lecherous d-bags got what was coming to them. Finally.
#1 – The S.F. Forty Niners Became Relevant Again
I know, we should be talking about the Warriors winning the NBA Championship. But that was expected. They’ve been so good for so long that nobody but Rhianna thought the Cavs could beat them.
But the Niners were so bad that players were asking to be traded to the Raiders (so long NaVorro Bowman!). They started the season 0-9 and gave the Cleveland Browns a run for the number 1 draft pick in 2018.
Then the impossible happened. The Niners traded for a quarterback and became watchable again. Jimmy Garoppolo came to SF from New England in a mid-season trade, and after sitting on the bench a couple weeks studying his playbook, he took command of the huddle and led the Niners to 4 straight wins.
Now they’re on a tear, having just hung 44 points on the NFL’s best defense. The Forty Niner Faithful have been in full voice at Levi Stadium, and with Jimmy G. ensconced as the franchise quarterback, they have valid reason to believe the team will rebuild in the draft and return to the playoffs next year.
Maybe 2017 Was Pretty Cool
There’s no denying the bad stuff. This year sucked in many ways. But there were at least 5 cool things to be grateful for in 2017.
So now it’s your turn. Review the year and come up with 5 cool things 2017 brought into your life. Then share them with us below.
Or better yet, join us this Sunday, for the 3rd Annual Resolution Invitational. We’ll review the year together for our personal wins, and use proven technology to set and reach our goals in the coming year.
Whether you agree with me about 2017 or not, whad’ya say we work together to make 2018 the coolest year yet?