Volume 94, Issue 61
Thursday, January 11, 2001
Y2K: A year with more zeros than we knew what to do with
Sigh. I look back fondly upon the year 2000. She was good to me.
On a personal note, I was only directly responsible for the collapse of two of my romantic relationships (usually the count is much higher). This year, I was never hit by a car or beaten with a large stick and that pesky, invisible leprechaun has stopped speaking to me telepathically.
Despite the fact that I like to pretend I'm the centre of the universe, there are many noteworthy events which take place on our wonderous little planet. Here's a recap of some of the top stories in news, sports and entertainment from the year 2000.
The year began with a whimper, as the Y2K virus failed to live up to expectations. In a related story, computer technicians and gun suppliers across the globe were caught flashing perma-smiles throughout most of January. Later that month, an auditor's report uncovered the mismanagement of $1 billion by Human Resources Development Canada.
When confronted with the scandal by reporters, Minister Jane Stewart allegedly said "Hey look, a unicorn!", pointed over their shoulders and subsequently leaped through a third-story window.
January also saw Industry Minister John Manley withdraw a federally proposed plan to assist Canada's National Hockey League teams. When asked for his reasoning Manley might have said: "I apologize, but the Liberal government doesn't give away free money unless your a friend of the prime minister who just happens to be in the hotel industry."
On Jan. 27, the Reform Party announced its intention to create a new political party which could help unite the conservative vote across Canada. As all of you kids already know, the initiative brought us the nationally beloved Canadian Alliance. When asked by the press whether the forming of the new party would bring about fresh ideas and political concepts, a party spokesperson should have said: "No. We're still the same bunch of tax-cutting, baby-eaters we used to be."
It was the year of reality TV, as the show Survivor became permanently embedded in pop culture. An evil, fat, frequently naked, gay man won the $1 million prize, forever shattering the female stereotype that "all the cute guys always end up being gay." King Richard, kudos to you. Besides, let's face it, Kelly was a bitch.
In the sporting world, Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins drilled Donald Brashear of the Vancouver Canucks over the head with his stick during an NHL game on Feb. 2. Two days later, he was made commissioner of the World Wrestling Federation.
The Summer Olympics took place in Sydney, allowing Canadians to watch a superbly trained Australian team show us everything that is wrong with the Canadian junior athletic program.
The year 2000 also brought us Pope John Paul apologizing for 2,000 years of sins committed by the Roman Catholic Church. An unidentified Cardinal was later heard saying: "You thought that stuff was bad? Just wait to see what we're cookin' up for the next millennium."
On the international political scene, Boris Yeltsin stepped down as the Russian President to focus more time on drinking vodka and dancing with hussies. Yugoslavia became a democracy, as their dictator Slobodan Milosevic was forced to accept defeat. The world prayed (and continues to pray) for an end to the escalating violence between Palestine and Israel. And finally, a little boy named Elian was used as a political tool in a power struggle between nations.
In a year that saw the most uninspired and negative Canadian federal election campaign in recent history, there were few things which touched the patriotic chords of Canadians. On one hand, there was Joe from the "I am Canadian" commercials, who inspired me drink too much and pass out in my friend's backyard.
But more importantly, there was the passing of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Love him or hate him, he was a prime minister who had a vision for this nation. Depending on who you talk to, Trudeau's vision may not have been the right one, but it was one driven by passion, leadership and determination. No wet suit or little red book will ever inspire the same kind of spirit and hope in people. The memories Trudeau brought forth in the Canadian consciousness made the empty rhetoric of this year's campaign all the more apparent.
We will not see another like him.
After a five-week legal circus and constitutional crisis, the American presidential election was finally handed to George Dubya Bush, who is in this writer's opinion, the most ignorant, inept man ever to be handed the keys to the Oval Office. It's damn scary. Now, he's got the bombs.
Cross your fingers kids.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000