Rearview Awards II
Misnomer of the year: The Affordable Care Act. With health insurance premiums dramatically rising, even supporters are finally taking cover. As for Obama's promise that you can keep your plan, April Fools' Day is never ending.
On the road to number 1: According to Britain's Office of National Statistics, "Mohammed," in its various spellings, is now the second most popular baby boy's name in England. Tally ho!
Nonstory of the year: According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Obama administration has deported more immigrants in five years than the George W. Bush administration did in eight. Where's the coverage and outrage?
2013 Political Laurel: Mark Steyn. Steyn is one of the most astute writers of American politics: "Michelle Obama's school lunch program was dropped by many schools because kids weren't eating it. They should try her husband's diet; he stays thin. You have a big breakfast and a full dinner but nothing in between because Vladimir Putin eats your lunch."
Words of the Year: "Oversharenting" and "Selfie." "Oversharenting" is when someone, through social media, shares too much information about their children. One study found that 94 percent of new parents post pictures of their newborns on Facebook 57 minutes after the birth. "Selfie" is a photo taken of oneself and uploaded to a social media website. Both "words" are just two more examples of the unrelenting dumbing down of American culture.
Selfie of the year: Obama, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron took a "selfie" at former South African president Nelson Mandela's funeral. It's as if we've all turned into members of the paparazzi, but instead of shooting celebrities for profit, we're shooting ourselves. Selfie-mania is another product of contemporary America's peerless narcissism and the signature undertaking of the times.
The 2013 Charlatan: One European marathon runner tried to dodge a drug screening by using a fake penis called the "Whizzinator" that's filled with someone else's urine. In retrospect, perhaps "Whizzinator" should be word of the year.
Best bumper sticker: "I miss Chicago." To make up for it, someone smashed their window, stole the DVD player, slashed a tire and added an Obama bumper sticker, leaving a note on the windshield that said, "I hope this helps!"
Comeback champion: Hostess Twinkies. After a two-year hiatus due to labor issues, Twinkies are back. Just in time, too. Mexico has displaced the U.S. as the fattest nation, and the arrival of Twinkies is like Henry Hynoski returning to the Giants and leading them to another Super Bowl victory.
Ebenezer Extortion trophy: Super Bowl parking. Cost: $150 per car that includes stringent tailgate restrictions. You are allowed food and drink in your vehicle, provided you are within the boundaries of a single parking space. You are not allowed to have any chairs or grills outside the vehicle.
Stuffed turkey award: Oprah Winfrey. Obama presented Winfrey the Medal of Freedom two weeks after Winfrey labeled older white Americans racists who "just have to die." Talk about lack of gratitude, it was those older white folks who made her TV show a success and Winfrey a billionaire.
2013's best justification: Marathon runners. The median U.S. marathon finish rose 44 minutes from 1980 to 2011. Running experts blame "performance-related apathy" among Millennials who think competing and racing against the clock is not cool. This seems to explain their apathy toward the country's mounting and unsustainable debt.
Game of the year: Knockout Game. It's the rage with black teens, in which the object is to sucker punch an old white person. Bonus points are awarded if the victims are World War II, Korean or Vietnam veterans.
Statistic of the year: ObamaCare. In order to meet its target of 7 million enrollees by March 1, ObamaCare needs to enroll approximately 46,358 Americans per day. On its opening day, it fell 46,352 short. At that pace, ObamaCare would reach its target of 7 million enrolled by the year 5209.
Only in America accolade: Michael Blair. In 1994, Blair was sentenced to death in Texas for the murder of a 7-year-old. DNA proved him innocent. While serving this sentence, Blair confessed to raping two other children, crimes for which he's currently serving multiple life sentences. Blair is suing Texas for a million dollars over the original murder conviction.
2013's best call sign: Mushroom. It's Obama's with the Secret Service. Why? Because he's always in the dark.
To continue to honor the memory of my longtime friend who, along with his son gave his life in the defense of his home during Hurricane Sandy in the Fox Beach section of Staten Island last year, the winner of the second annual John Filipowicz Ironman of the year: Nick Dunn. Dunn, a junior at Shikellamy High School, suffered a broken arm in his first varsity football game against Mount Carmel last year, but battled back from rehab to lead the Braves' baseball team in hitting while breaking the school record for the highest seasonal batting average that stood for 47 years. This season on the gridiron, Dunn led the Braves in receiving. Well done.
(Maresca, a local freelance writer, composes "Talking Points" for each Sunday edition.)