We are more than a month into 2019, but the Eagle Eye is going to take one final look at 2018 before moving on.
Instead of focusing on our best memories, we’ve picked our top five worst things about 2018. On one hand, it may be better to not even mention them; but on the other, we hope naming them will help us learn valuable lessons.
Illustrations by Daniel Jurek (’21)
The Tide Pod Challenge
Tide Pods, a colorful medley of laundry detergent in a transparent pod, made the headlines after some teenagers posted videos on YouTube of them eating the pods. This eventually turned into the “Tide Pod Challenge”, which dared teens to consume the package of cleaning chemicals. According to a January 2018 CNBC report, there were there were 86 reported cases of teenagers consuming the pod that month, compared to 53 in all of 2017. A spokesperson for Procter and Gamble, manufacturer of the Tide Pod, had to issue a statement reminding the public that their product is not safe for consumption. In my opinion, this challenge tops the list when it comes to the dumb things that teenagers are willing to do for a moment’s fame on the Internet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gun-related deaths in the U.S. were at a 50-year high in 2017, with more than 40,000 deaths resulting from firearms. Unfortunately, we don’t think 2018 did any better even though the official statistics have not been released. Here’s a list of just the mass shootings that took place in 2018:
The Worst of YouTube
Logan Paul’s Suicide Forest Video: In case if you don’t know who Logan Paul is, he is a famous YouTube video creator with more than 18 million subscribers. After releasing a video in which Logan filmed a dead body in the Aokigahara forest in Japan, he received backlash for demonstrating poor taste and disrespect towards suicide victims and their families. Logan eventually took the video down.
KSI vs. Logan Paul: In August 2018, Olajide Olatunji, a British YouTuber more commonly known as KSI, went up against Logan Paul in a real life boxing match. The match resulted in a draw, disappointing many fans.
YouTube Rewind 2018: This recap on the “best” videos of 2018 became the most disliked YouTube video of the year as viewers were disappointed with the exclusion major YouTube events and content creators like Shane Dawson (especially for his Docu-series on Jake Paul and Jeffree Star), the battle between the Paul brothers and Olatunji brothers, and the fight for the most subscribers between Pewdiepie and T-Series.
The Worst of American Politics: Government Shutdowns
The longest government shutdown in history went on for 34 days, from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019. The shutdown was a result of the standoff between President Trump and the Democrats over the funding of Trump’s proposed border wall. Millions of federal employees did not receive their paychecks during the shutdown.
To all those not mentioned in this list, they will still be remembered dearly in our hearts:
Billy Graham, departed February 21
Stephen Hawking, departed March 14
Barbara Bush, departed April 17
Avicii, departed April 20 (suicide)
Kate Spade, departed June 5 (suicide)
Anthony Bourdain, departed June 8 (suicide)
XXXTentacion, departed June 18 (shot to death)
John McCain, departed August 25
Stan Lee, departed November 12
President George H. W. Bush, departed November 30