As promised, "hot takes" are now being served, beginning with the most recent news items and working our way backwards. America's cold war with Iran might escalate, after the Revolutionary Guard's Major General Qasem Soleimani was killed by a drone strike. This action was sanctioned personally by POTUS: like his predecessor, Trump has grasped the potential of UAVs to do surgical strikes without the risk of putting any of the troops directly into harm's way.
No one is mourning the posthumously promoted Lieutenant General, except perhaps his brother Sohrab, former warden of Iran's prison system. The family trait for terror ran deep, as Lt-Gen Soleimani had led the Islamic Republic's Quds Force since 1998, which has helped the likes of Hezbollah, as well as Bashar al-Assad. To put it bluntly, Soleimani had earned a Hellfire missile with his name written on it.
Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., the airwaves are full of noise about impeachment. What needs to be clarified is that when it comes to this uniquely American Constitutional device for removal of a president, the direness of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" is in the eye of the beholder, including whether they even qualify as such. That Pence is not already president is all the proof needed to show no smoking gun has been found. This stunt will only hurt Democrats.
We shall be viewing Boris Johnson's "huge, great, stonking mandate" next, but it bears repeating that those on the Left in the Anglosphere refuse to accept the votes cast almost four years ago by people fed up with a system that felt unaccountable and fossilized. Instead of any kind of alternative, save Maoism, the Left and its allies have tried to reverse 2016's decisions by any means necessary, only to be rebuffed as shown by polls, fundraising and Britain's election.
Brexit will be happening, even if it means a great shock to the economy of the world. In a moment of historical irony, a century after everyone tried to pass off the bills for war debt to each other resulting in a depression as well as another global conflict, the exact opposite arrangement has caused only slightly less strife: the loss of autonomy and anemic growth for over a decade has brought the European Union to the brink of breaking up into its traditional local allegiances.
BoJo defeated Jeremy Corbyn - anti-Semitic in rhetoric, ambiguous on Brexit - thanks to his uncompromised stance: "let's get it done." Indeed, like the Blue Wall broken by Trump in 2016, BoJo managed to take down the Red Wall of Labour ridings which had stood for decades. The realignment has manifested, yet many on the Left continue to quibble and curse, using both high-brow sneers and low-brow slurs to describe opponents, but refusing to answer the people.
And now for something completely different. The divination of meaningless culture might be the last step to becoming a "crank." Yet I'll admit to suffering through both Cats and The Rise of Skywalker this holiday season: the former was a dumpster fire, the latter a pulverized horse carcass; but at least the actors in Cats could dance and sing; the participants in Star Wars IX, even after $300 million, could not manage a coherent plot, let alone compelling performances.
I looked up how they did at the box office. Surprise, surprise, the uncanny valley and furry fetishists devoured Cats for less than half its costs; meanwhile, the nearly 150 minute toy commercial grossed over three times its budget. Conclusion? We paid people to disobey all the rules of their own fictional universe, while scourging an adaptation that failed spectacularly. We voted with our wallets - turns out we'd rather be treated with contempt than try something new.
That more than anything might bode ill for the 2020s. It's a tired old line, but if the 2010s taught us nothing else, it is that we are in need of some new ideas and the courage to try them.