GBA: Your News, The Best of 2014
The Good: We’ll go ahead and start with the good news. Here’s the best good news of 2014.
Festival Year 2014 – It seems that there are new festivals each year. This year, Sensible Reason acquired a team that gave you coverage of as many as possible. We brought you photos, stories, and interviews from some of the biggest festivals in the world including TomorrowLand, TomorrowWorld, The Catskill Chill, Electric Forest, Mysteryland and tons in between. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, we will continue to keep you in the know about all the biggest and best events and festivals out there. We are looking forward to another music-filled year!
Sensible Reason Reaches 1 Million Views – If you’re looking for coverage on festival culture, technology, art, or the most hot-button political issues, Sensible Reason is there to keep you in the know. This year we brought you great weekly series, enthralling opinion pieces, and up-to-date music announcements. Our hard work over the years has paid off and in 2014 the website reached its 1 millionth view. It’s the support of educated and interested millennials like yourself that help keep us running. We all want to say Thank You to each and every supporter. We couldn’t bring you coverage worth reading without you. We can only hope to continue to grow and have another million views in 2015.
Marijuana Laws – 2014 was a very politically-charged year. One thing that stands out as a 2014 first is the seemingly universal agreement for marijuana law reform. For the first time in its known history, marijuana has not only been decriminalized in many states and districts, but legalized in 2 states as well as Washington D.C. Polls show that over 80% of voters agree that something needs to change, and it’s a beautiful thing. Unproductive and discriminatory laws will hopefully be a thing of the past in the next years to come.
Gas Prices – Drivers rejoiced this year as gas prices began to fall and have continued to do so as we ring in the new year. The price of gas in 2014 fell to pre-9/11 levels! For the first time in years, drivers can get gas for less than $2. What this means for the U.S. oil industry is still up for debate, but for each broke driver NOT in the oil industry, the smiles are abundant at local gas stations.
The Bad: Sometimes we forget how fragile our everyday lives can be. Here’s what held the headlines in 2014.
Celebrity Deaths – Each year, the world weeps for our deceased Hollywood royalty. This year seemed especially tragic, as the lives of some of the most entertaining and funny celebrities in the industry came to their ends way too soon. Among some of our most cherished angels this year were funny man Robin Williams, who committed suicide, Joan Rivers, who passed away from heart problems, and Paul Walker, who died in a motor vehicle accident. We all wept, for we felt a friend had passed. Stay true to your own loved ones at home and be thankful for those close to you that have been there in 2014.
Ebola Outbreak – From March until November, the entire world watched Western Africa with a medical magnifying glass. An outbreak of Ebola took the lives of almost 5,000 people and shifted history for millions. Airports were shut down, medical personnel were sent from worlds away, and medical screening became the norm at most airports. The word “quarantine” is a good way to sum up the medical jargon in 2014, and fear gripped the world. Thankfully, the pandemic scare seems to be under control, but the outbreak proved that we are still not immune to a world-wide contagion.
ISIS – The most lethal and angriest terrorist group in the world, the Islamic State, seems relentless in their efforts to destroy everything with which they do not agree. Their number one enemy is Western culture, and even though the world may never agree on political or religious issues, everyone can agree that ISIS needs to be stopped. They’ve kidnapped and beheaded countless victims, and their endless bombing is destroying entire regions of the Middle East. News involving this group has been in the headlines all year, and we can only hope that world leaders can agree on a solution soon.
Killed by Police – This year, 2 police officers and 2 grand juries divided the country. The officers’ decisions to kill low-income, unarmed, African-American men (and the grand juries that failed to indict them) stirred tensions that only escalated. The idea of “justice” was thoroughly questioned when laws were broken and judgment fell to the whim of politics. Citizens started protesting and fighting back as the idea of “protect and serve” made increasingly less sense. It’s unnerving to think that those trained to help the community are fighting against it. Be safe out there, regardless of what side you’re on.
And The Awkward: Take it as good news, take it as bad news, but uh… here ya go, our favorite awkward stories of 2014.
Drake Handicap Signs – Drake has had an incredible couple years, but someone in his hometown won’t let him forget where he got his start. The rapper began his career as Jimmy, a basketball star-turned-paraplegic due to a school shooting in the well-known teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation. Stickers of Drake’s face began appearing on handicap signs all over Toronto. The street art could be taken many ways, but for those who remember Jimmy Brooks, it’s hilarious. Kind of makes you question Drake’s swag when you think of him as a teen actor…
Dog Eats 43 Socks – One U.S. family almost lost a loved one this year. Thankfully, though, they took necessary action and their family dog lived through 2014. One of our favorite stories from this year comes from a Great Dane from Oregon with a unique appetite….for socks. Her family found the 3 year-old dog howling in pain and instantly rushed her to the veterinarian, where an X-Ray revealed that something was lodged in her stomach. She underwent emergency surgery, and upon opening up the dog’s stomach, the vets proceeded to remove 43 and a half socks! If I lost 43 socks, I’m not sure if I would have any left over. I guess they can stop blaming the dryer.
Feather Headdress Debate – With festival season came festival fashion. With festival fashion came festival fads. This year’s fad became a summer-long debate that is yet to be resolved. Native American-style feather headdresses of all shapes and sizes filled the festival circuit around the world, and many people were not happy. The headdresses, traditionally used in a ceremonial fashion, were being donned by scantily clad festival-goers of all shapes, sizes, and nationalities, and there was nothing ceremonial about it. Festivals began banning their sale as well as banning them from being worn at all. Some believe in the freedom to wear what they want, others think that ceremonial wear should stay in a ceremonial setting. Hopefully next year a new and less offensive fad takes over.
Taylor Swift – The blonde pop phenomenon has had the year of a lifetime. She released her new album, 1989, and her music has filled every high school hallway ever since. Everywhere you turn, her face is on billboards. She’s appearing on TV specials, headlining awards shows, and basically living the life of American pop-star royalty. Unfortunately, with a year so awesome, it’s only a matter of time before the world that brought her up pulls her right back down. We can only hope that she doesn’t go into porn, shave her head, or end up needing rehab. Good Luck, T. Swift.
Stefan Matioc Presents – Bear and Bread:
2014 brought us many things. One of the funniest is our good friend Stefan’s comic Bear and Bread. This strip is clever, quick, and sometimes a bit vulgar, which is exactly how many of us are naturally.