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2014 seemed to me to be a Year of Denial, writes @TedRall

It was the weirdest of times.

It always is.

I don't use drugs. Even with de facto legalization, why spend the money? Keeping up with current events gives me all the surrealism I need and more.

Politics never fails to entertain, especially in California under a governor whose total domination of state government gives him an unusual ability to push through expansive reforms.

2014 seemed to me to be a Year of Denial -- an era of pretending that everything is just dandy while millions of Californians continue to struggle with unemployment and underemployment following the big 2008-09 economic meltdown. Like, what are developers doing bringing back McMansions at a time like this? Who is buying these hulks? Apparently, lots of people -- who cares if they have to double or triple up to afford to live in a place they can't, er, afford?

Of course, it's good news for the landlords who create unlicensed apartment units. These days, apparently, it's too much trouble for the city to enforce zoning codes. So the law? That's just a mirage.

Ahem. We're broke. America is over. OK, so the mayor says there's no way, no how, the city will pay to bring the NFL back to L.A., but if you've been around longer than since late yesterday, you know these teams have a way of tapping into taxpayer cash once the martinis start flowing at tables surrounded by Important People in Suits. So excuse me if I asked, why are we even thinking about an NFL stadium?

Living in a fantasy world.

It's not just economics. It's sex.

Like the state's new "yes means yes" law. In its original draft, it would have required California college students to receive specific affirmative verbal consent to each discrete act of sexual congress before being allowed to proceed. Have members of the state Assembly or Senate ever actually had sex? (Spare me the jokes about how they're sticking it to the state.) The final version wasn't quite that silly, but still quite silly -- a reflection of politics detached from the real world.

Then there was that election. You know the one. Gov. Jerry Brown ran against He Who Must Not Be Named in the Media in a campaign that looked less like David vs. Goliath than Godzilla vs. Bambi. Why did we bother to vote? There was less than zero chance that Neel Kashkari could have prevailed, yet there we were, being repeatedly entreated to cast our votes. What for?

By far the most fantastical farce of a year full of them was a wacky millionaire's outlandish scheme to split the Golden State into six teeny weeny statelets. Because, you see, government is more responsive when the state capital is closer to the people. This, obviously, is why the streets of Sacramento are paved with gold.

Next year? A wormhole will appear by Saturn. Jerry Brown will appear on the other side and beckon us through, and … just you wait.


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Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @tedrall

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