Eat a poop, 2021. You were terrible and everyone hates you

What Just Happened? | Stephen Whitworth | Jan. 13, 2022

Welcome back to the What Just Happened news desk! It’s freshly dusted and polished with lemon-scented wood spray to start the year. And what a year! 2022! We made it! Well, most of us. Actually it was awful. The world lost Betty White a couple of weeks before her 100th birthday, which is ridiculous but a fitting end to a crummy 365 days.

Here are some highlights of another sketchy-ass year.

JANUARY A year ago this time a lot of us were hunkering in our “bubbles” collecting CERB and being crabby our holiday plans got messed up by the raging Covid-19 pandemic, but aside from that all was well with the world if you ignore de-elected U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempt to steal the presidency and demolish what’s left of American democracy. The story of America’s slide into fascism continues as we start a new year.

In Regina, a Jan. 27 city council meeting dealt with limiting the ability of oil companies to promote themselves by sponsoring events, which seems a reasonable conversation given that we know fossil fuel use is driving catastrophic climate change and FFS can we please do something? Apparently not: the province’s oil stooges and petro-investors freaked out, lashing out as though council had called their child ugly then kicked their dog. On the bright side, if we somehow didn’t already know which industry runs our province, we sure did after this.

FEBRUARY–MARCH By the end of March, Saskatchewan residents aged 60 and older could book appointments to get their first dose of the vaccine. Was it the beginning of the end of the pandemic? Maybe? As of right now the stupid thing is still raging…

APRILRemember what we were just saying about who runs this province? On April 6, the Saskatchewan Party government presented a budget that included a new tax on electric vehicles, punching the province’s early adopters of environmentally friendlier transportation in the pocketbook. The budget also projected a $2.6 billion deficit, but that’s all right — deficits are only bad when the NDP or Liberals announce them. On the bright side, vaccination rates were rolling thanks in large part to a drive-through clinic at Regina’s Evraz Place that combined Scott Moe’s two favourite things: Covid strategies that aren’t politically unpopular restrictions, and cars burning fuel for hours in long lineups.

MAY A lot of Canadians woke up to this country’s epic genocidal history with the discovery of roughly 200 unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. This was the beginning of a summer of horror and reckoning as residential school gravesites continued to be discovered, including in Saskatchewan where 751 were found at the Marieval Indian Residential School in Cowessess First Nation. The number of children killed by this system easily number in the thousands. Also: total Canadian deaths from Covid hit 25,000 but the end of the month half the country had its first vaccine dose.

JUNE On June 30, Lytton, British Columbia was destroyed by out-of-control wildfires fueled by a heat dome that was almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. In November, BC would be devastated by climate-change-torqued floods that cut off roads to Vancouver and inflicted billions in damage.

SUMMER There was a federal election. It was gross. On September Saskatchewan only elected Conservative candidates. A solid third of the province ponders moving but Alberta is just as bad, Quebec is super racist, BC is on fire and flooded and Manitoba? Be serious.

SEPTEMBER Actor Michael K. Williams, who played Omar (the best character) on The Wire (the best TV show), died age 54. Well, sheeeeeeeit.

OCTOBER Saskatchewan was crushed by Covid’s fourth wave, which spiraled out of control thanks the provincial government’s refusal to bring in restrictions during a federal election campaign possibly because that might hurt local support for Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party. Anything to stick it to Trudeau, right? Anyway, from September to November, total deaths jumped from 607 to 926, with 157 people dying in October.

On Oct. 13, William Shatner, 90, blasted into space in Jeff Bezos’ extremely phallic rocket. I think reasonable people can acknowledge the commercialization of space travel is gruesome in a world crushed by income inequality, but still think it’s kinda nice to see Captain Kirk make it to the stars.

NOVEMBER–DECEMBER Everyone’s tired, the holidays got trashed by Covid, Omicron sucks and Betty White died on New Year’s Eve. On Jan. 17, celebrate her life by donating to a Saskatchewan animal charity (preferably one that isn’t opposed to people keeping pets) and watch Lake Placid, possibly White’s greatest film role and DEFINITELY her foulest mouthed. See you in 2022.