December 2023

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Because we’re still celebrating our Rugby World Cup victory, in some ways it’s feeling like 2023 was a good year. Every day when I ask my three-year-old how his day was, his answer is the same: “Good and bad.” In his way he continues to remind me that no day or week or year is ever one or the other. But when December rolls around, we look back on the year and put a label on it anyway.

So, 2023... good year or bad year? Well, it depends who you ask.

Things weren’t looking good for the soon-to-be Charles III because so many artists reportedly declined to perform at his coronation. Eventually Kylie Minogue’s less famous sister agreed as did the not-so-famous members of the band Take That. But the new king didn’t seem to mind. After all, he got Lionel Ritchie.

It wasn’t such a great year for the king’s countryfellow and employee of the British Museum. He was fired after stealing over 2000 artifacts from the museum’s vast collection. (Did he mention in his defence that most of those artifacts were already stolen anyway?)

It was a good year for cultural phenomenon Barbie when she became a cultural phenomenon all over again. Her movie passed the $1-billion mark at the box office, and it’s still going. What isn’t still going is the equally iconic Phantom of the Opera, which brought down its final curtain on Broadway this year after 13 981 performances.

Elon Musk’s year was a mixed bag because he confused millions of people by changing Twitter’s name to X. (Do people still tweet, or do they now... who knows what it’s called?) Actually most people refer to it as “X, formally known as Twitter”. So it’s unclear whether 2023’s biggest rebranding exercise was really worth it.

Musk also launched his SpaceX Starship rocket, which exploded four minutes into flight. The first space tourists on Virgin Galactic had a better time, reaching the boundaries of outer space.

Back on earth, 2023 wasn’t great for New York City because its air quality was declared the lowest in the world. Across the country, however, Minnesota celebrated the world’s heaviest pumpkin which was big enough to make 687 pies.

Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or again, making this his eighth victory. And medical science marked a victory of its own this year with the world’s first eyeball transplant.

2023 brought all kinds of natural disasters and the hottest temperatures ever recorded. So it’s easy to feel a little anxious and wonder what’s to come. Speaking of which, “AI” has been voted the Word of the Year by Chambers Dictionary. Where is that going to lead us? (Plus, “AI” is not actually a word, but no one seems bothered...)

In the interest of festive celebration, let’s focus on our four-time World Cup winners and what that felt like for all of us. Our electricity may come and go, but true power stays with us... and launches us into a brand new year.

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This newsletter article is authored by EyeMark.
The views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the optometrist.