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The Year in 'Meh': When 2013 Was Just OK

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Oh, sure. Reminisce all you want about the best dressed, the most influential, the most important events in 2013, but will that really tell you about what happened this year? WILL IT? What about all those moments that hit the middle note, the ones we shrugged away, the ones others shrugged away? You know, those moments that made you say, “Meh.” Don’t these moments provide a more eloquent vision of 2013? I think so.

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10. Orange Is the New Black, the Real Story

In case you were under a rock, Piper, a Smith grad and middle class white woman, goes to prison for a drug offense committed in her youth. Compared to the high drama and picturesque depiction of the Netflix series, the real story pales by comparison. The biggest disappointment? In the real story Piper does not do time with her ex, the drug-dealing convict who turned her in. (Though there was a brief encounter when the two were called to testify in a drug conspiracy trial.)

9. That Time When Nothing Happened at the G20 Summit

The foremost issue at the G20 Summit was the civil war in Syria — and we all know how that turned out. Nothing really came out of this meeting of the minds, except President Obama did call Mr. Putin a ‘jackass.’ “I should be afraid of this skinny man?” retorted Mr. Putin. “I wrestle bears.”

8. IKEA: the Waning Love Story

Maybe it’s just because my futon fell apart, but for any of you that were on the fence about IKEA, this year provided a deal-breaker: the ever-popular Meatballs sold at the IKEA food court were found to have traces of horse meat. Why, Ikea, why?

7. Facebook Fatigue

Two studies and all my friends seem to point to an impending mass exodus from the social media giant. While 61% of users regularly take self-imposed Facebook vacations, teens have started to lose interest — mainly because there are too many adults creeping the site. All those with Facebook fatigue remember to share about it on Facebook! Hashtag: conflicted.

6. Man Who Helped Steamroll Print Media Buys Washington Post

For a man who never seemed to care about the state of print, Jeff Bezos’ buy-out doesn’t make sense. Here are three totally-legit reasons why Bezos is the right guy to head the Post (according to Business Week): Instead of using Powerpoint in meetings, Bezos urges people to pass print-outs of summaries (this guy obviously loves the printed page!). His annual letters to shareholders are widely read (he’s obviously an accomplished writer!). Finally, when his editorial business failed he came to the conclusion that computers, not people, were better at recommending products that customers wanted to buy (he won’t replace writers with robots, no, really!). Is this the attack of a total nihilist on the world of print? Only time will tell.

5. JK Rowling Writes a Serious Adult Book Under Pseudonym and It Bombs

With only 1500 sales before the big reveal, The Cuckoo’s Calling was just a crime novel liked by some and disliked by others. It had some praise, then it was over. That’s when the Sunday Times of London received an anonymous tip that the real author was not Robert Gallbraith (wasn’t this a Harry Potter character?) but JK Rowling. Sales skyrocketed.Read the best review around by NPR’s Maureen Carrigan, aptly titled, “The Only Surprise In Rowling’s ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ Is The Author.”

4. Vogue Allotted 12 Pages to Models Wearing Google Glass and Still No One Wants to Wear Them

In an apparent effort to put some vamp in the awkward device, Vogue did a twelve-page spread of taffeta-clad models in all kinds of futuristic scenarios wearing Google Glass (they moodily regarded Mars-like landscapes! investigated spatial murder! got in cat fights for men — in space!) but one study found that 38% of smartphone users would not buy Google Glass even if it was priced in their budget, 44% do not find the device appealing, and nearly 45% think it’s socially awkward. Nice try, Vogue. Nice try.

3. Miss USA Wears a Transformers Get-up and Nobody Likes It

This is the closest to conceptual art that the Miss Universe pageant will ever get. Too bad it got Miss USA nowhere. As many of her Instagram followers pointed out, Transformers are actually a Japanese import.

2. Russians Fail to React to a METEOR

Russian drivers captured dramatic video of the meteor cutting across the horizon via their car dashboard-cameras, while many were surprisingly underwhelmed by the spectacle.

1. Economy, Shmonomy: Republicans and the Debt Ceiling

The Fiscal Cliff. Sequestration. The House Republicans. A sign of how unpopular Congress was this year? A poll of American voters revealed that the following were held in higher esteem than the 113th U.S. Congress: root canals, Nickelback, cockroaches, colonoscopies, traffic jams, and lice. Congress edged out Lindsay Lohan by a slight 4%, and won decisively against the Kardashians! Go Congress!


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