It’s time to look back at some of the memorable “endings” that captured our attention in 2014. The Busted Halo® Team noted things from television to Congress, sports to Hollywood. What did we miss?
Democrats controlling the Senate — In November, the Republican Party seized control of the U.S. Senate and retained its majority in the House. This is the first time that the GOP has had control of both houses of Congress since 2006.
George Clooney’s reign as the eternal bachelor — Remember when we all thought that George Clooney would never marry again? Clooney insisted he wasn’t the marrying type. That is, until beautiful, intelligent, successful human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin caused a change of heart. In September, the couple married in an intimate star-studded gathering in Venice, Italy.
Derek Jeter’s baseball career — After 20 seasons as a New York Yankee, America’s favorite shortstop hung up his pinstripes for good. The Yankees drafted Jeter out of high school in 1992, however, he didn’t make his major league debut until 1995. Jeter became the captain of the Yankees in 2003. He had the send-off of a king and was loved and respected by all (even Red Sox fans!) for his upstanding character, commitment and consistency on and off the field.
Adult male dominance of the Nobel Peace Prize — Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Pakistani human rights activist, made history in 2014 when she became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yousafzai made international headlines when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head for refusing to stop going to school. She made a miraculous recovery from critical wounds and now addresses audiences around the world about the importance of all children having access to an education.
TV losses — This year we’ve tearfully kissed goodbye or happily shooed away: The Colbert Report, Sons of Anarchy, The Newsroom, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Californication, How I Met Your Mother, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Public silence about injustice — Americans came together in large numbers to protest the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in 2014, showing a kind of vigor and unity that has not been seen since the Civil Rights Movement. Protesters chanting “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” took to the streets again in mid-December in efforts to ignite discussion and dialog about racial justice.
Angelina and Brad’s endless engagement — After nearly 10 years, six children and a prolonged engagement, Hollywood’s “it” couple finally tied the knot. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie married August 23 at their French estate with their children and closest friends and family present. Angelina even had her children’s illustrations embroidered onto her custom-made veil and gown.
Donald Sterling’s Clippers — After 33 consecutive seasons as owner of the L.A. Clippers, Sterling was banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million for racist comments he made about his team members to his alleged mistress. Sterling has since apologized and in August sold the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Detroit’s bankruptcy — Detroit will be released from its $7 billion debt by the end of the year, after having declared bankruptcy in July 2013, concluding the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history.
The NFL’s blind eye to domestic violence (we hope) — After tapes of Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice beating his then-fiancée surfaced, he got away with just a two-game penalty. Fans balked, and Rice was cut from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely. He was eventually able to get his suspension overturned, but it is unlikely that any team will touch him again. Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson was similarly suspended after footage of him harshly “disciplining” his son surfaced. Hopefully, these penalties mark the first step in the NFL cracking down on domestic violence perpetrators.
Pinwheel iPod — Apple will no longer manufacture the iPod classic, which rose to be the top MP3 player in the world. In our advancing, touch-screen world, the simple (yet revolutionary) device no longer has a place.
Feminism being a bad word — We’ve come a long way from the stereotype of feminists burning bras and yelling their hatred for men. More people than ever before now understand that true feminism is about believing in equal rights, equal compensation and equal respect. In fact, in most parts of America feminism isn’t the “F-word” anymore. It’s a new day!
Rising divorce rates — Married couples are getting divorced less and less these days. The rapid divorce rates of the 70s and 80s gave marriage a bad reputation, but in the three decades since, divorce has been on a steady decline. In fact, 70% of marriages in the 1990s got to their 15th anniversary, and those who married in the 2000s are divorcing at an even lower rate.
Internet’s boyfriend = Off the market — It is the end of an era. British actor, meme character, and the reason for the terms “Cumberb***hes” and “Cumberbabes” is no longer single. To the surprise of many, Benedict Cumberbatch announced his engagement to his girlfriend of one year, Sophie Hunter, in London’s The Times. Hopefully his massive fan base will stay just as devoted now that he’s settling down.