Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Anniversaries

I had fun with this last year so what events happened in years ago* ending in 3 or 8 (since we care only about 5's and 10's):

1918:  World War I ended.   Woot!  The Flu epidemic.... not so woot.  I just learned that (at least one) one of my great aunts died due to this epidemic.
1928:  First regular TV programming!  Kellogg-Briand Pact outlaws aggressive war, so everything was cool after that (yeah, folks now say it was super-influential, but this is a snarky semi-spew).  King Zog is a thing!
1938: First ski tow in the US.  Woot! Anchluss!  Not woot.  Sudentenland.  Nuremberg Laws. Kristalllnatch.  Perhaps 1938 will remain worse than 2018.  War of the Worlds broadcast.
1948:  The Marshall Plan! Perhaps the smartest foreign policy in US history while spawning bad analogies for at least seventy years. WHO?  Yeah, WHO.  Ok, International Organization humor is inherently lame. Berlin Airlift and the cold war gets mighty toasty.  Truman ends segregation in the US military... which echoes very strongly these days.
1958:  The first Saideman of my generation is born, and immediately is handed responsibility for taking care of our parents sixty years later.  Some irredentism via United Arab Republic--some said it wouldn't last.  The Avro debuts, demonstrating that Canadian defence procurement has been broken for more than 60 years.  Alaska becomes a state, making Palin jokes possible way down the road.
1968:  Did anything happen this year?  Probably not. Let's move on.
1973:   UK, Ireland, Denmark enter EEC.  45 years later, um, yeah.  US part of Vietnam war ends, sort of. Last Laugh-In... one of the first shows I remember.  My family movies to Miami ... and we don't like it.  Heaps of Watergate, including the firing of special prosecutor.... which may just be a precedent we re-visit in 2018.  The more things change, eh?  Mets are most mediocre team to win the World Series?
1978: Panama Canal is turned over to Panama.  Prop 13 in California starts run of bad ideas becoming bad policy, making a great state somewhat less great.  Grease and a summer camp counselor get me started on that drug that is rock and roll.  Oh and Olivia Newton John... oh my.  Camp David Accords negotiated on the same mountain as the place I spent that summer and many others.  Jimmy Carter signs a law allowing homebrewing of beer, making him the bestest President.
1983: Internet starts.  Return of the Jedi!  Dragon's Lair which is brought back to relevance by Stranger Things 2.  Invasion of Grenada, providing heaps of fun stories about inter-service inoperability.
1988: My first drive from coast to coast with the future Mrs. Spew as I start grad school at UCSD.  I spent much of the fall wondering whether I should stick around with the lack of any idea of anything plus the cool cohort of folks helping to keep me around.  Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq-Iran war ends, leading to decades of peace and stability... alas not so much.
1993: I finish my dissertation and get a temp job at U of Vermont, leading to the second cross country drive (seems like a theme this year).  Deep Space 9 debuts.  Kim Campbell becomes Canada's first female Prime Minister and first Prime Minister to follow me on twitter.... decades later.  ICTY is created.  Blackhawk Down, shaping views and limiting policy options ever since.  EU becomes a thing... for a while.
1998: and burning Mary Poppins into our brains until the end of time.  Good Friday Agreement ends th Toddler Spew has surgery, making parents blearye troubles... until Brexit potentially screws that up.  House forwards articles of Impeachment against Bill Clinton for lying about an affair.  Oopsie doopsie. He committed far graver sins, and this effort in 1998 makes the GOP dodging of responsibility in 2017 (and, I am predicting 2018) especially appalling.
2003: US invades Iraq with heaps of arrogance and not much of a plan.  Good thing the consequences were mild and short-lived.  We lose the Columbia, damn.  Second Congo War ends... kind of. 
2008: For Kin and Country is published, woot!  Financial crisis hurts sales of aforementioned book?  Kosovo declares independence, inducing much confirmation bias among separatists.  Russia and Georgia have a short war.  Obama wins, creating expectations he can't possibly meet. 
2013: Snowden... oy.

I guess my attitudes towards the current time frame have shaped what I noticed and expect to be meaningful anniversaries.   I promise to be more fun as wingman to my daughter as we drive across North America. 

* Funny how this song came on my computer while I started writing this. 


Anonymous said...

1968: Tet, Paris, Prague-to name a few.
Happy new year to all Spews, with health

Anonymous said...

...MLK, RFK. You just dont get Steve's irony about 68.