You know how you can be simultaneously happy and sad? Similarly, a year can be THE WORST GODDAMN YEAR THAT EVER HAPPENED and still possess moments of brilliance. Well . . . okay, 2020 sucked so much that we frankly found looking for bright spots challenging. But overall, a number of magnificent, awe-inspiring, and optimistic moments peeked through those dark, heavy, dreary, endless storm clouds. Here are just a few:
JLo and Shakira ruled the Super Bowl. Wanna feel good? Watch it again. Yes, the best Super Bowl half-time show performance on record was indeed this year.
Voters showed up. So many! 159.6 million voters turned out (or mailed in) for the November presidential election. That’s two thirds of all eligible voters, and the largest voter turnout in U.S. history. Eighty percent of Minnesotans hit the polls.
The Supreme Court protected gay and transgender jobs. In June, the Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that people cannot be fired for being gay or transgender. Yeah, you may have thought that that was already a law, but it wasn’t: Many states offer LGBTQ protections, but there was no federal law on the books.
Black Lives Matter happened. Millions of people used their pandemic downtime to improve the lives of people of color—one protest, vote, and reformed police department at a time.
Anti-racist books topped the bestseller lists. Say what you want about Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility (and many have), but it and Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist” topped mainstream bestseller lists, signaling that racial equality had formally entered cultural consciousness.
The Wall of Moms rose. Portland, Oregon’s nightly BLM protests got much more interesting with the appearance of The Wall of Moms, a blockade of middle-age activists who now appear at anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests nationwide.
We learned that The Bachelor: Seniors is in the works. Yep. ABC put out a casting call for senior citizens “entering their golden years and looking for romance.” Yaaaaaaaas.
Anderson Cooper had a really, really, really cute baby. People declared little Wyatt to be The Cutest Baby Alive, and unlike many of their prior Hottest/Cutest/Best pronouncements, this one was entirely accurate.