A look back at 2018

Emily Rojas, Staff Writer, Photographer, Editor, & Designer

Just 12 months ago, we were looking into the year of 2018 with hearts filled with hope and joy for what this year held. Now, it is December and 2018 has come and gone with all of its ups and downs.

January set 2018 off to a rough start. On January 24, former US Olympic team doctor, Larry Nassar, was found guilty of molesting over 150 girls and was sentenced up to 175 years in prison. However, January had regained its sense of hope for the coming year when the Marvel film “Black Panther” first premiered in Los Angeles on the 29. The movie created much representation and inclusion in black communities because it was the first mainstream superhero movie starring a black hero.

February was a memorable month for sports. On February 4, Super Bowl LII took place. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 for their first Super Bowl victory. As well as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, where the USA won nine gold medals. However, the athletic high was terminated when on February 14, ex-student Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 staff and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida before being captured.

March started off quite comical. On March 3, “The Emoji Movie” earned a Razzies award for being the worst movie of the year. On March 14, the year got more serious. Schools nationwide participated in a walkout to honor the memory of those lost in the Parkland shooting in the previous month, as well as to speak up about gun control in the United States. The following day on March 15, toy chain store “Toys-R-Us” announced they would be closing all stores.

April was a generally calm month. However, on April 24, breaking news headlines blew up in everyone’s faces as they announced that there was a break in the “Golden State Killer” case for the first time in over 30 years. Citrus Heights resident Joseph James DeAngelo, was arrested in connection to 13+ murders, 50+ rapes, and 120+ burglaries throughout California from the years 1974-1986.

May started with a ‘Boom!’ On May 5, Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover released the music video to his new song “This is America.” It sparked many conversations around police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement within younger generations. Ten days later on May 15, a new phenomenon took over social media. A debate was ignited when an audio recording was shared, and listeners could not agree if the audio was saying “Laurel” or “Yanny”.

June began incredibly. After nearly 14 years after from the release of the first movie, “Incredibles 2” premiered in theaters on June 15. The movie attracted audiences of all ages, as well as created nostalgic feelings for those who grew up watching the first “Incredibles” movie. The music world was faced with another event when on June 18, rapper XXXTentacion died at the age of 20 by a fatal gunshot wound. However, on June 23, a cry for help struck the world. 12 boys and their soccer coach were stranded in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand as a result of monsoon flooding.

July began with terror. The 12 boys and their coach were discovered in the cave after nine days of being trapped which prompted rescue efforts on July 2. On July 9, Starbucks announced they were going to eliminate their use of plastic straws by the year 2020 in order to help reduce the plastic pollution problem the world is facing. On July 10, all 12 boys and their coach were successfully rescued from the cave with no fatalities. On July 24, former Disney star and American pop artist Demi Lovato was hospitalized after an apparent heroin overdose.

August began with a rich scene. On August 7, Hollywood film, “Crazy Rich Asians” premiered with the first all-Asian cast in American cinema history. However, the month was dimmed when “The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin passed away at age 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. On August 24, tennis player Serena Williams received much hate and criticism from her Nike “Black Panther” Catwoman suit which prompted many conversations surrounding body-image and body shaming.

September began and ended with political events. On September 4, NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who had previously been criticized for kneeling during the national anthem, became the new face of Nike’s 30th-anniversary advertising campaign, causing much controversial feedback. On September 7, rappers Nicki Minaj and Cardi B had a physical altercation at a New York fashion event, prompting the viral meme of Cardi B’s swollen face. The same day, American singer, rapper, and record producer Mac Miller passed away from a fatal drug overdose. On September 16, “The Washington Post” published a piece which accused US Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the 1980’s. On September 25, American comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3-10 years in jail for a 2004 sexual assault. Cosby also became the first celebrity jailed for sexual assault following the #MeToo era.

October began with a cloud of grief. On October 6, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed and sworn into the US Supreme Court despite protests and after an FBI investigation. On October 19, the “Halloween” film remake starring Jamie Curtis earns a record $77 million. It was a horror film with the biggest debut any film with a female lead over 55 in the US.

November was filled with surprises. On November 8, the deadliest fire in Californian history began. The Camp Fire started at Plumas National Forest and spread to Butte County destroying the town of Paradise, with more than 13,000 buildings demolished and leaving at least 88 dead. Amid Californian forest fires, President Trump accused state forest management of “gross mismanagement” for the responsibility of the fires, as well as threatened to withhold funding. On November 12, former first lady Michelle Obama published her memoir titled “Becoming”, which received much praise for its empowering message. On the same day of November 12, American comic book artist, writer, and creative leader of Marvel, Stan Lee died at the age of 95.

December marked the beginning of the end of 2018. On December 1, Ariana Grande released the music video to her single “Thank U, Next” and became the biggest ever launch on Youtube Premiere, raking up over 55 million views in only 24 hours. On the same day, former 41st president and 43rd US vice president, George H. W. Bush died at age 94. This initiated a national day of mourning for the former president as he lies at the Capitol Rotunda, Washington.