In many ways, it would be hard to disagree. In the United States, political and racial polarization seemed especially deep, and across the globe things got pretty scary. Russia annexed Crimea and sent its forces into eastern Ukraine in an effort to undermine the new Western-oriented government in Kiev. In the Middle East, the Islamic State displaced al-Qaida as the region's bad guy. The euro-zone economies stagnated, even compared with how they performed in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. Ebola terrorized Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and threatened many more countries. As the year closed, two cops in Brooklyn were fatally shot at point-blank range, and the Pakistani Taliban committed a heinous massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar. And to top it all off, a boy dictator in Pyongyang even threatened to prevent the rest of us from weakly laughing at Seth Rogen.