War, death dominate headlines in 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Each year the Associated Press releases the top stories of the past year. As you would have guessed, the rise of ISIS once again topped the list this year.

In fact, terrorism by one name or another has made its way into the AP list every year since the Twin Towers attack in 2001.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that come a year from now, terrorism will once again make the list, though the Presidential election here will likely nudge it from the top spot in 2016.

Prior to the release of the list, we had some office water-cooler predictions and it's not a surprise that most of our collective guesses were fairly accurate.

Gay marriage ruling by the Supreme Court, the ever-popular climate change, random mass shootings and more terrorism worries made it to the list this year.

It's always been a prevailing notion that bad news sells and good news is largely ignored. This year's list seems to prove that thinking.

With time on my hands, I browsed through past top 10 lists from the AP and found that tragic news always seems to dominate our headlines.

I almost became nostalgic reading the top story of 1969 when an American stepped foot on the moon. That historic event prompted a barrage of American pride that has perhaps been unmatched since.

Through the following years it was Watergate, the Gulf War, Monica, 9/11 and the election of our current president that all topped the list.

While perusing those past top stories, I was struck by how similar they really are. The old adage of good news versus bad news is much more than simply an adage - it is, unfortunately, a fact.

I will admit that I was not surprised but puzzled on two of this year's top 10 stories because - in my opinion - both narratives were built on somewhat shaky grounds.

The Black Lives Matter movement sprang from the patently false narrative of Hands Up, Don't Shoot which has been proven false from the beginning. And yet it birthed the BLM movement.

And climate change - just to rile those progressive readers - is built on ground shakier than a sand castle. In short, weather anomalies do not a climate change make.

One year, perhaps far into the future, the top story may well be that the medical community has at long last found a cure for cancer.

Until then we're stuck with war and death and upheavals that have yet to surface.

And with that, 2015 bites the dust.

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