Thumbs up, thumbs down on the year that was 2018



Now that 2018 is behind us, I thought I’d look back and offer my own evaluation of the past 365 days. As I have said here in prior New Year’s columns, I don’t do resolutions. But this year I wanted to look back on some things that were big (and not so big) in 2018 and rate them: either thumbs up, or down.

One of the most popular things this past year was the video game Fortnite. My son played it (still does from timeto time) and I have watched him play it and I must admit, I didn’t really get it. The first-person shooter aspect of the game I got, the goofy costumes and dances of the character in the game I did not. After trying it a couple times and getting “killed” in the game within seconds by gun-wielding avatars controlled by random 12-year-olds, I put Fortnite aside and I have to give it a big thumbs down.

The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was a big deal. I personally didn’t care about the Wedding of the Year, but I understand some people were all swept up in the event. The best part of it, for the British people, is having an American in the Royal Family might loosen them up a little bit. Welcome to the 21st century, Windsor family. I’ll give it a thumbs up.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint hearing of the commerce and judiciary committees on Capitol Hill about the use of Facebook data in targeting American voters in the 2016 election. Let’s face it – Facebook has been loose with its advertising and the sale of its user’s data. I think some of that cavalier attitude was reigned in by the hearings, but Facebook still has a way to go. The hearings get a thumb’s up.

North Korean President Kim Jong Un met with President Trump, and while the meeting didn’t disarm the Koreans of their nuclear weapons, it did open channels of the communication and eased tensions in the region. That’s good enough to give the meeting a thumbs up.

Here in Michigan, I feel I must mention the recent actions of some lame duck politicians who tried to strip incoming Democrats of their power as they were on their way out the door. Former Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican whose eightyear tenure ended Monday, vetoed a bill that would have allowed lawmakers to intervene in court cases, a measure seen as an effort to dilute the authority of the new Democrats.

Other legislation that would have stripped power from incoming officials never made it to a floor vote.

Changing the game on your way out the door is not just poor sportsmanship, but its petty and wrong. I give Snyder a thumbs up for his veto of this bill. At the same time, I give those outgoing politicians who came up with this plan to strip their successors of power a thumbs down. Don’t let the door hit you on your backsides, people, and I hope you enjoy your return to public life.

Gary Gould is the managing editor of the View Newspapers. Contact him at 810-452-2650 or email him at

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