I have no doubt at all that 2016 brought many troubles, turmoil and uncertainties to the world around us. For some, I guess it really was the lowest point.
We suffered the loss of many creative minds; ranging from pop stars to beloved gorillas… we endured the confusion of Brexit and indeed, the sheer disbelief that came with the US election to dabbing, Pokemon Go, Zika virus and terrorist attacks… yes, we were all put off at some point or another.
But, looking back, most of us survived, (the death rate actually dropped), so here I give you 4 and ½ reasons why we are being way too harsh on poor old 2016.
The year is 2014, you are walking through the supermarket, minding your own business. Casually strolling along or violently crashing through the aisles to get your Vegemite chocolate before anyone else has the chance to hate it before you do. And sweetly fades into your ears (over the sound system that is) those four hits of the D key on a piano- you already know you bout to break down dramatically in the middle of a public place.
2014 music. We all still listen to it. Let Her Go, Counting Stars, Pompeii, Demons, Sweater Weather, Everybody Talks, Hey Brother, All of Me, Don’t You Worry Child, Wrecking Ball, Team and Timber. And that was before, Taylor Swift’s 1989 album, the rise of Iggy Azalea, Katy Perry’s Prism, Coldplay’s Ghost Stories, Ariana Grande (when she was still kinda cute), 5SOS, One Direction’s mature stuff before they were a foursome, G.R.L, Shot Me Down, Trap Queen, Centuries by Fallout Boy, Selfie from The Chainsmokers (we’ll come back to them in 2016), Que Sera, The Fault In Our Stars Soundtrack and the almighty, Anaconda by Nicki Minaj.
And then, 31st of December 2014 11:59 pm, it all ended.
The world went silent.
2015 was cold, bland and above all else...absolute trash.
THEN 2016 HAPPENED!
Beyoncé dropped her Lemonade and my God, we dived for it. Sia’s This Is Acting was important for so many reasons. Drake ran the world. Lady Gaga made me forgive her. The Suicide Squad playlist was just as awesome as the movie. Fifth Harmony’s last album together was everything. 7 Years, I Took A Pill In Ibiza, Closer, CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!, Stitches, Dancing On My Own, Fast Car, Cold Water, Don’t Let Me Down, Say You Won’t Let Go, Hymn For The Weekend, PILLOWTALK, Treat You Better, i hate u, i love u and Panda. Panda, Panda, Panda. Talking about pandas…
Pandas are no longer endangered
I don’t know a lot about pandas apart from the fact that I love them. And that they were endangered. I basically think of them as big Asian Koala’s without claws, (Koalas look like they want to scratch your eyeballs out), BUT NOW I KNOW THIS.
Pandas were moved off the endangered species list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2016. There are thought to be a population’s well over 2,000. They are on the way to being saved! Along with other less cuddly animals like the Amur Tiger, Arabian oryx, Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, Chatham petrel and the Iberian lynx, whatever that is.
Politics doesn’t suck everywhere
Okay, for real, the US election was just unbelievable. I don’t agree with either candidate, in that Hillary Clinton had very little political validity or appeal apart from her being a woman, (and before I get yelled at, just remember she’s no Michelle Obama, right?), and um, then there was Trump. I saw it coming yet it still hurt. It’s going to hurt a lot of people for a little longer than we’d hoped. But also there were a lot of other nations that overcame so much worse things last year.
There’s finally peace in Colombia, Non-violent protests helped impeach a president in South Korea, Gambia voted out a dictator, The military no longer rules Myanmar, Lebanon picked a leader – after 45 tries and A Pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch met for the first time in 1,000 years.
If that doesn’t give you hope, I don’t know what will… maybe my next point?
2016, I think brought out the best in our generation. Yes, we were heartbroken, we were crushed and confused and just in sheer disbelief. And how did we deal with that? I’ll tell you. ‘Challenges’, puns and memes. Thanks to the ice bucket challenge, researchers found new genes that may help cure ALS. I don’t know what the mannequin challenge did apart from helping us make fun of ourselves and made Rae Sremmurd a legend. The bottle flip challenge distracted us for hours and confused everyone who wasn’t in on it and disgusted everyone who was. The 22 pushup challenge raised awareness for veterans committing suicide. The running man, the backpack challenge, the grey sweatpants challenge, and the Trump is coming challenge.
Damn Daniel, the weird Spongebob, Arthur’s Fist, “Haters will say it’s fake”. Harambe Memes, ?so Harambe pull me closer like the kid in your enclosure?, Get you a man who can do both, Kermit vs Evil Kermit, Name a More Iconic Duo… I’ll wait, Confused Mr Krabs, the frog on the unicycle, Joe Biden and Obama, Cash Me Ousside and Salt Bae. We dealt with everything very healthily with a big dose of universally understood sarcasm.
Honestly, the whole world banded together in ridicule and support for each other, and that’s pretty impressive.
And now that ½.
4½. Also this stuff too…
The ozone hole over the Antarctic is starting to heal. The Paris Agreement to limit global warming is now international law. The unemployment rate is the lowest in 10 years, Americans gave to charity more than ever before. There’s hope for a new HIV vaccine. China bred good mosquitoes to fight the bad ones. West Africa is Ebola-free (and an experimental vaccine is 100 percent effective). Gambia and Tanzania banned child marriage. The death penalty is illegal in more than half the world. There may be a ninth (or tenth depending on if you include Pluto) planet in our solar system. Juno made it to Jupiter (after five years). Scientists found an Earth-like planet just 4.2 light years away. We’re getting more serious about putting humans on Mars. The Super Moon. The Rio Olympics and Lemonade.
“Smell ya later,”
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