Vail Daily column: 2014: The year of exploding confusion

Richard Carnes
My View

When 2014 began the vast majority had never heard the phrase polar vortex.

Now it’s exploded out with every cold front capable of causing icicles.

It also began with Lindsey Vonn dropping out of the Olympics, Heidi Kloser and Mikaela Shiffrin dropping in, and Chris Christie dropping a metaphorical bomb on a bridge.

Unbeknownst to Christie, of course, but it did cause thousands of Jersey drivers’ heads to explode.

Heidi sadly exploded her knee in training but Mikaela exploded the Russians off the course (along with everyone else) and took gold in Sochi, yet unfortunately Putin retaliated by exploding the eastern edge of Crimea.

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Lionshead lost its namesake amongst the cliffs high above Minturn, a few weeks later a rock slide completely shut down Battle Mountain Pass heading out of Minturn, and just last week it happened again.

However, the only known explosions merely involved massive amounts of snow.

A Malaysian airliner presumably exploded and then disappeared somewhere over, well, let’s just say somewhere over the planet Earth with 230 passengers on board, and then a few months later another Malaysian airliner exploded with 298 passengers on board, but they found this one in a Ukraine field. A few days ago it happened again to an AirAsia flight, with 162 missing.

With the advent of spring, CBS picked Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman and Obamacare reached the 7 million mark just in time to be called a “success.”

And then Rush Limbaugh’s head exploded on national television.

Donald Sterling went on a racist/sexist rant, Rand Paul declared the “‘War on Women” over because the women in his household are all successful and Karl Rove said Hilary Clinton “might”be brain damaged in an attempt to convince potential voters she’s not worthy of the presidency.

Women’s heads exploded nationwide.

Summer began with another new word being entered into our American vernacular: ISIS, and they made al-Qaida look like little school girls, but only up to the point where al-Qaida’s minor league team, the Taliban, slaughtered 126 kids at a school in Pakistan in an apparent bid to prove who can be more dominant over children.

And then Texas Gov. Rick Perry claimed it was an “abuse of power” for a grand jury to indict him on two felony counts of “abusing his power.”

Many Texan heads are still exploding over this one.

In the Department of Ironic Comedic Sadness, Joan Rivers died during a botched operation and Robin Williams died during a successful asphyxiation.

Ray Rice was kicked out of the NFL for hitting his fiancee and Michael Sam was brought into the NFL as its first openly gay player. Sam was soon cut by two different teams that couldn’t figure out how to handle a black gay man in the shower, and the courts decided Rice was mishandled by the NFL and deserved a second chance to pick up the soap.

Football fans heads are still exploding.

Pope Francis declared the Big Bang and evolution do not conflict with his particular version of a supernatural deity, and that gays were now welcome into his church, thus supporting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to basically surrender to any more regulations on gay marriage.

And then Bill O’Reilly’s head exploded on national television.

In spite of its occasionally extremely violent history with England, Scotland voted to remain part of the U.K., while the Jefferson County School Board voted to “keep the bad stuff” out of its history classes.

Teachers’ heads are exploding everywhere.

And we’ll never forget when right wing militia types thought it their patriotic duty to fight for a wealthy Nevada landowner’s “right” to use taxpayer-owned land as their own, while Georgia legally earned the long-delayed nickname the “Gun Everywhere” state.

Sane people everywhere simply shook their heads in collective confusion.

Yes indeed, the explosion of ignorance in 2014 was confusingly rampant. Here’s to hoping 2015 explodes with a level of logic and reason never before witnessed by our species.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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