THE BLOG
01/01/2015 08:39 am ET Updated Mar 03, 2015

Kim, Cosby and Kim: 2014's Greatest Fails

MY PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER Column (12/31/2014)

2014. Wow. What a fantabulous year for humanity. Getting killed seemed to be more a crime than the act of killing. Comedy lost Robin Williams, Joan Rivers and Bill Cosby. The only one getting hit harder than a defenseless NFL quarterback was a defenseless NFL fiancé. The deadly Ebola epidemic was set to wipe out most of the U.S. population until it was miraculously thwarted away from our shores when scientists came up with the cure: November 4 mid-term election. Same-sex marriage bans were deemed illegal in 35 states tearing apart most every respectable straight marriage in those states. North Korea took over the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) film rating system and worst of all, marijuana became legal in...hey look, a cow.

Even if you do not believe good can come from bad, negative news may just be the balance in life we need to survive. As Martin Seligman Ph.D., Director of Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania said, "If we just wanted positive emotions, our species would have died out a long time ago."

What we can learn from our missteps and adversity will many times offset the failures. While the prospect of patching up the road ahead may be bumpy, especially when you trudge through the potholes of 2014, some past wisdom may help us along the way.

I think the enemy is self-censorship. In a free society the biggest danger is that you're afraid to the point where you censor yourself. - Tim Robbins

Sony Pictures pulled the film, The Interview, which fictionalizes the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, due to threats from North Korean hackers threatening 9-11 type attacks if the film is distributed and yet not a peep about A Haunted House 2. Would it be that the hackers knew how much more civilization is being damaged by Kevin Hart and Adam Sandler films. Now Transylvania is promising a blood bath if Vampire Academy is not pulled from Netflix.

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. -Alexander Graham Bell

Like the past few years, the Phillies continued to say they've got what it takes to give fans a great time. What they mean is that they're giving fans plenty of opportunities to go to Great Adventures on game days.

For many it had a certain attraction. I think they call it gravity. -Ronnie Shakes

Kim Kardashian exposed most of her substantial naked derriere to our naked eyes for the first issue of Paper Magazine.

Torture fails to make us safe, but it certainly makes us less free. -Jerrold Nadler

The recently released Torture Report has been criticized in many corners but National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said it's a good step in straightening out the league. The only real opposition came from Former Vice President Dick Cheney who felt that rectal feeding of opposing quarterbacks should be allowed during the last two minutes of the game.

Racism hurts everyone, including racists themselves. -DaShanne Stokes

National Basketball Association banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life in response to a leaked recording in which Sterling made racist remarks. On the other hand, 2014 marked the biggest outbreak of unarmed black men mysteriously being murdered...by no one.

There are a few people who truly, truly walk the talk. -Olympia Dukakis

Bill Cosby, Jello and an alleged rapist: Which one doesn't belong? The second comma.

Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys. -Patsy and Ed Bruce

New Jersey governor sat with Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones during the Cowboy-Philadelphia Eagles game, a game played at the Linc, about a Walt Whitman Bridge throw from New Jersey.

By showing us live coverage of every bad thing happening everywhere in the world, cable news makes life seem like it's just an endless string of disasters - when, for most people in most places today, life is fairly good. -Gregg Easterbrook

A Malaysia airliner disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board. We know this because cable news told us 23 hours a day for more than a month.

It's gotten to the point that the only good reason for reading a newspaper is because it can be extremely helpful in a tedious trivia game." -Unknown

On January 1 Latvia officially adopted the Euro as its currency becoming the 18th member of the Eurozone.

Steve Young is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful...Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Steppingstones to Success. (www.greatfailure.com)