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Everyone’s pretty pissed off about 2016 on account of the whole gorilla thing, and the election thing, and the protest stuff, and celebrities dying all over the goddamn place. Hating on the year 2016 is trending. It’s hip. It’s cool. It’s jive, baby.

Personally, I think we’re fine. It’s OK to have an off-year every now and again. Hell, every other year is an off-year for Eli Manning. Bad years help you appreciate the good years, and you don’t want to live in a world where everything is good literally all of the time. Remember those books they made you read in high school about futuristic utopian societies that (spoiler alert) actually turned out to be dystopian societies? Man, those books sucked.

Anyway, here is 2016 in review. My biggest takeaways for the year:

2016 was the year in which everything became a meme.

Have you noticed that everything on the internet is being referred to as a “meme” all of a sudden? It’s confusing the bejesus out of me.

According to the cool kids like Erin Vail, Damn Daniel, The Mannequin Challenge, and Harambe are all memes. What? I thought one was a kid on Snapchat, one was a challenge, and the other was a fucking gorilla. The only thing these three have in common is that they’re on the internet! Is everything on the internet a meme? Is this Wikipedia page for the city of Tampa, Florida a meme? Is this video of Jayson Werth hitting a walk-off home run in 2012 MLB playoffs a meme? I’m on the internet: am I a meme?

2016 in review

I should be, goddammit!

2016 was the year in which animals learned how to talk.

It seems like every other movie is about talking animals these days. Between Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, The Jungle Book, and Zootopia, four of the top six grossing movies in 2016 are about animals that speak English. By contrast, in 2015 the only talking animal movie to crack the top 20 was The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which finished in a measly 18th place.

Hell, Idris Elba alone voiced three different animals in three different movies this year.

2016 in review

A seal, a tiger, and an ox? The dude’s got range.

Is this trend going to continue? Will talking rabbits, and puffer fish, and lizards continue invading our screen-filled world? I have zero fucking clue. But, as long as it keeps Idris Elba gainfully employed, I’ll be happy.

Finally, 2016 was the year in which I died inside.

This last one is obviously more personal than the former two, but it’s no less important. This year, I stopped liking Aaron Carter’s music. When Aaron Carter’s hit single “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” came out in the year 2000, I was a wee pup, just 7 years old, and I thought I found salvation.

I mean, the kid had it all: the voice, the frosted tips, a love triangle with Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. He (along with Mike Piazza) was my role model, he was our generation’s Michael Jackson, he was the chosen one!

2016 in review

He was personal friends with Shaquille O’Neal for crying out loud!

So, I’ve spent the last 16 years absolutely flabbergasted as to why Aaron Carter is no longer a pop music superstar. Where did it all go wrong? Then, a couple of weeks ago while I rummaged through my old mix CDs (which contained a lot of Los Lonely Boys btw), I listened to “Aaron’s Party” again… And I hated it. The beat was cheesy, the lyrics were childish, and even Aaron’s angelic voice could not stand the test of time for this devoted fan. Is this evidence that 2016 was the year in which I died inside? I don’t know. Probably.

So where does that leave us?

The point is, everything is going to be OK. With the exception of a bunch of celebrities, we all survived this big, gigantic, meme of year. And as we ring in 2017, you can find solace in the fact that we are one year closer to Aaron Carter’s inevitable epic comeback tour and, God willing, a frosted tips renaissance.

Jack O'Shea

Jack O'Shea was voted "Most Likely to be a Great Dad" in high school. He likes to drink Mountain Dew in his spare time.

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