The ‘End of an Ending’: Was 2021 Really The Worst?

As the days left in 2021 dwindle, you may feel that annual tug to judge this calendar year as cruelly as possible. After all, it was yet another year lived in a pandemic, on a warming planet, with teetering democracies and aspirational autocrats (tune in next week for that debate). But is it actually true? Did the world really get worse in 2021?

For this Very NYT Opinion New Year’s Eve* episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston called upon podcast listeners and Opinion voices like the columnists Michelle Goldberg, Farhad Manjoo and Jamelle Bouie, the editorial board member Michelle Cottle and the musician and contributing writer Tom Morello to make the case for whether the world will enter 2022 a little bit better, or a little bit worse for wear.

*close enough

[You can listen to this episode of “The Argument” on Apple, Spotify or Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

The ‘End of an Ending’: Was 2021 Really The Worst? 1
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(A full transcript of the episode is available in the center of the audio player above.)

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“The Argument” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Anabel Bacon and Alison Bruzek; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Michelle Harris; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Maddy Masiello.