Southern Thing Column

Let’s not judge 2020 too harshly; after all, someone invented Golden Girls masks

The column excerpted below appears on It’s a Southern Thing. To go to the full column now, click here.

Poor 2020. We need to stop blaming it for all our woes. But here we are nearing the halfway point of the year and already its reputation is so damaged it’s unlikely to recover. Sure, we’ve had a global pandemic that pretty much put our lives on hold but on the plus side, the creativity and quantity of cat videos has been unprecedented.

2020 has become the April 15th of dates – it’s hard to find something positive about a date when Lincoln was killed, the Titanic sank, Notre-Dame Cathedral burned and taxes are due. But I’ve never seen an entire year take such a beating, not even 1975, when over the course of 12 months, more than a million Americans bought Pet Rocks, even though they were, you know, just rocks. Like the kind you find in your yard. You could neither feed them nor walk them, although you could let them sleep at the foot of your bed if you were so inclined. All I’m saying is, other years have had their issues and they managed to muddle through.

Let’s face it, with the lovely glamor-glow filter of hindsight, we tend to forget most of the bad bits. Just think about Y2K. It could have been remembered by the grand title, “the Dawn of the New Millennium,” but instead it lives in the shadow of the worldwide computer glitch that never was and a nickname that sounds like a Star Wars ’droid. It will go down in history not only for the Y2K scare, but as the year the Spice Girls and the original Peanuts comic strips faded away. Talk about a year with much to overcome. Bless its heart. And 2012 is still struggling under the weight of the whole Mayan-calendar-end-of-the-world thing.

But for the most part, the reputation of a particular year is all relative. For example, if you tend to suffer the ill effects of the hemorrhoids, you might be fond of the year 1926 when Preparation H was invented.

To read the full column on, click here.

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