Mandatory Best of 2019: Ranking the 10 Greatest Moments of the Year
2019 ended the second decade of the 21st century like an exclamation point. From pop culture to science to sports, big events inspired extra feels. While the year is not without its tragedies, it also had its share of triumphs. New heroes emerged, sometimes wearing the face paint of old villains. The long night yielded to more visible terrors. Upset victories, shocking defeats and everything between came and went. For example, Keanu Reeves became an internet god. In addition, scientists discovered an exoplanet that could support life. Above all, a friggin’ fruit sold for six-figures at a Florida art festival. And, it wasn’t even organic. With the new year around the corner, we decided to look back at the 10 greatest moments of 2019.
Cover Photo: JOSEPH PREZIOSO / Contributor (Getty Images)
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10. U.S. Women Win World Cup
The U.S. dominated the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup from the outset, smashing Thailand by an unheard of 13-0. From the neon swoosh of Megan Rapinoe’s mane to the goal-scoring machine Alex Morgan, these ladies are champions in more way than one.
9. Banana Sells For $120,000 at Art Basel Miami Beach
At Art Basel Miami Beach, artist Maurizio Cattelan taped a banana to a wall with a price tag of $120,000. Though a performance artist ate one of the bananas, at least two were sold at sticker price, showing the art world really is all about monkey see, monkey do.
8. Jeffrey Epstein’s Mysterious Death (Or Murder or Disappearance)
The death of a pedophile pimp to the stars and possible intelligence asset is definitely a good thing, if you believe he’s really dead and didn’t just bribe his way out. Even more important are the powerful people with suspicious connections to him, who are still alive and in power.
7. ‘Midsommar’ Brings Horror Into the Light
The midnight sun was never half as horrifying as in Ari Aster’s folk-horror masterpiece Midsommar. From breathtaking visuals to a fascinating exploration of the power of ritual, this film’s bright terror could have taught the showrunners for HBO’s Game of Thrones a thing or two about exposure.
6. Toronto Raptors Become First Foreign Team to Win NBA Championship
2019 hasn’t been kind to U.S. basketball or the NBA, which was spanked like a bad baby by China for tweeting about the uprisings in Hong Kong. One country’s loss is another’s gain, as the Toronto Raptors swooped in from the north, becoming the first non-U.S. team in history to win the NBA championship.
5. The College Admissions Scandal
There’s nothing quite as sweet as watching wealthy douche nozzles getting their comeuppance. The college admissions scandal exposed how D-list celebrities like Jay Leno and Lori Loughlin had to bribe officials and Photoshop pictures to get their low-IQ parasitic spawn into schools which actually aren’t even that hard to get into if you aren’t a narcissistic nitwit.
4. Scientists Discover Planet With Water Vapor In Its Star’s Habitable Zone
A Hubble telescope discovered water vapor in an exoplanet’s atmosphere for the first time. This distant super-Earth is within its red sun’s habitable zone, begging the question of whether it may be home to alien life.
3. The Ascendance of Keanu Reeves
Since we are living in The Matrix now more than ever, it only makes sense that the internet’s boyfriend Keanu Reeves is here to save the day. Though most injustices go unpunished in our corrupt society, John Wick makes sure that those who hurt animals get a special punishment.
2. ‘Joker’ Gets The Last Laugh
Joker is the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time and is a triumph for both director Todd Phillips and its star Joaquin Phoenix. This subversive dark comedy transcends its genre more than any other comic book film before it.
1. Baby Yoda
Like a tiny hand made of pure light, Baby Yoda has not only pierced the Beskar steel of Mando’s armor to touch the killer’s battle-hardened heart but also brought together the warring factions of the Star Wars fandom. Even if the new trilogy’s final installment detonates like a Death Star, at least we know there is another hope.