Review

Truth - Looking back is critical to helping us look forward. 2016. What a year. Let's let that statement marinate just a little bit. Who would have thought a year that brought us a flurry of amazing musical achievements in album form would pretty much be garbage in every other way possible. I kid, I kid. Perspective really is everything, and hyperbolizing about an abstract concept doesn't do anything to change it. It's when we stop, take a look around, and learn from our surroundings, with a little bit of review, that we know what to do next or at the very least what not to do.
 
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Barack Obama

Can we please have a small discussion about the ways in which this year, namely 2016 aka the year the of our Lord's departure from this Earthly purgatory, has taken on its own persona and been anthropomorphized like never before? The collective human consciousness has given life to this dastardly being known as 2016 and by and large it has become a sort of pithy, acutely self-aware running joke that's so awful it's funny. How did 2016 become a person, and the absolute worst person at that? Tracking this logic's trajectory throughout the year is an arduous task but to sum it up incident after incident just kept happening. Most notably would be the slew of influential persons' deaths and the (dis)organized chaos of the election season.

My diagnosis? Well, I gather that this one of those human phenomenon that serves as a massive coping mechanism. (Hopefully) we're all aware of the real causes of the long list of happenings that went on, but there's to be said about being able to relate to anyone just by mentioning how abysmal this year seems to have been. It's this easily recognizable slump that pretty much everyone seems to be in. We can blame this temporal anomaly with the moniker 2016 for all the melancholy nonsense we've endured. It is escapism? Is it a delusion? Is it a denial of the reality of our lives, our society, and our world? Maybe yes, and maybe no. Who actually knows? All we do know is that a lot of things that made us feel ... well - everything happened within this calendar year. It might be the world's largest inside joke - finally one that most everyone is in on. So let's raise a glass and wash our woes away. To 2016 - the most malicious year that we've been alive for yet. We'll unfortunately never forget you.


*In keeping with tradition - here's my rundown of best and worst of 2016!

Best of 2016
Artist - the 1975  New Artist - Troye Sivan Song - Rihanna ft. Drake "Work"  
Album - Bruno Mars 24K Magic  Dance - Ju Ju on the Beat
Movies - Captain America: Civil War & Fences TV ShowJane the Virgin  
New ShowPitch  Netflix Picks - Luke Cage, Sirens, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
 Celebrity - Mark Ruffalo & Zendaya Political Figure - Bernie Sanders
 Personality - James Corden & Ellen DeGeneres
Actors - Viola Davis & Ryan Reynolds 
Book - Ta-Nehisi Coates "Between the World & Me"
Magazine - Vanity Fair Video Game - Quantum Break
Athlete - Simone Biles & Usain Bolt Twitter - Jessie Williams
Instagram - TheOutbound Viner - Danny Goonzalez. 
Vine Trend -  Youtuber- Conor Maynard Facebook - Jasmin Luv
Trending Topic - #TheseAcademicHands Invention - Amazon Echo
 Food - Frozen Desserts Slang - Bet, Honestly, Lit, Finesse, Trash
Hashtag - #NotMyPresident  Memes - Evil Kermit & Arthur Memes
App - Gify Fashion Trend - Chokers & Henleys 
Emoji - Looking Eyes  Color - Thyme
 

Things that Need to Stop (in no particular order)
  • 2016
  • Donald Trump, and his Twitter Account (delete it)
  • Fake News, journalistic objectivity, opinions as fact & media illiteracy
  • Partisan Standstills in all branches of the government
    • (do your jobs, represent your constituents, create change or get out)
  • Misconceptions on social justice, public aid programs, and civil rights movements
  • Celebrity deaths (Prince, Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman, etc. and way too many more)
  • Internet Hacking
    • (Leslie Jones, DNC, and the 2016 presidential election to name a few)
  • Commodification of blackness & cultural appropriation
  • Racism, Xenophobia, and Religious Intolerance
    • (this a multi-ethnic/multi-national country with freedom of religion ... deal with it)
  • Divestment from public and higher education institutions
  • Harambe references (fratty white guys enough is enough)
  • Face swapping, dog filters, and rainbow vomit filters
  • Going live on any social media platform
    • (experience life instead of putting it on display; nobody cares what you're doing or where you are)
  • Reboots, remakes, sequels/prequels - get some new ideas
    •  (give lesser known creators a chance)
  • Show cancellations - give them a chance 
    •  (cut seasons down to 15, 12, or 10 episodes and get more shows on air)
  • Whitewashing (stop casting white people for roles where race is key to a character)
  • Kanye West and the Kardashian/Jenner Clan
  • White Supremacy aka the Alt-Right "movement"
    • (Richard Spencer and your cronies GTFO)
  • Policing women's bodies
    • (looking at you old white men in gov't)
  • Murdering people of color, LBTQ* folx, and other marginalized communities, etc.
  • Life hacks, DIY videos, and tasty food recipes
  • Lifetime's Unauthorized Biopics (they were disallowed for a reason)
  • Dog-Whistle Politics and subtly bigoted rhetoric
    • (say what you mean, and own your bigotry)
  • Tomi Lohren, Fox News, and Trump Supporters
    • (the "forgotten white middle class" my ass)
  • HGTV contestants having no taste and irrational wants w/o reasonable budgets
  • Apple Airpods, exploding phones, and cellular carrier commercials w/ digs
  • Global Warming denial and negating anything with scientific proof
  • And way too many more ...

In all seriousness this was one of the most tumultuous years I have ever had for so many reasons. Beyond my personal life, the world and this American society went through a lot. While I think it is important to be present where and when we are, gratitude can only take us so far. I don't think giving thanks for what we are afforded is mutually exclusive from being impacted by what occurred this year. We don't have to choose. We get to remember this year for all it was, good, bad, and all the morally ambiguous shades of dystopian grayscale in between. What we must do is be sure to validate this year for what it was, learn from it, and commit to doing better, being better, and taking control. The one thing in life, in this world, and this time that we are masters of is ourselves. Everything might seem to be falling apart, and might literally be falling apart but we ourselves do not have to. We pick our battles; we take what life gives us, and we make the most out of it. Someday we'll look back and see how far we've come - it'll all be in review. Here's to not just hoping, but taking action in ensuring 2017 is a year of activism - whatever that means for you. Cheers! X

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