One great thing about the New Year: a much-needed chance to start over. And I don’t mean the New Year’s resolutions you may or may not follow through on. I mean the simple opportunity to leave some of humanity’s follies in the past. While 2016 might not have been the worst year ever, it was certainly one of the weirdest. In that weirdness we got some good, some bad and some downright ugly. Here are 16 things I’m hoping we’ll leave far behind in 2016.
1. The Election
We were all pretty tired of it about a month before the actual balloting took place. If anyone wants to draft a law prohibiting people from running presidential campaigns until a year before an election, you’ve got my support.
2. Gawker and the Outrage Industry
One big boot and leg drop were delivered (with a big assist from the real MVP, Peter Thiel) to the entire industry centered around witch hunts and outrages du jour. Maybe we can get some kind of actual journalism going on in 2017.
3. The Olympics
This year’s Olympic Games were an absolute mess. Gone are the regal days of international friendship and competition through sport. Here are the days of doping, destruction of communities and a largely uninterested population.
A sexually transmitted flu resulting in pinhead babies. Nope, it’s not a dystopian disaster flick from the ’70s; it’s real life in 2016.
5. Honey G
I don’t really know much of anything about Honey G except that I’d rather know even less.
This should have been on the list of things to leave in 2014. Unlike man buns, which are pretty universally recognized as something that some guys can pull off (but most can’t), the undercut hangs on like a fart in an elevator. Sigh.
These weren’t a good look in the 90s and they’re not a good look now. They’re now starting to resemble crash victim neck braces, so it’s time to put this trend out of its misery.
8. Everyone’s a Personal Trainer
Just because you downloaded the Stronglifts 5×5 app, stopped shoveling 3,000 calories of chicken tenders into your mouth for every meal and discovered the wonders of green tea concentrate affiliate sales doesn’t make you qualified to teach anyone anything.
9. Male Crop Tops
Do you really need to be told this? Apparently you do. Stop it already.
10. Celebrities With Opinions
I’m talking to you, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and most of all Lena Dunham. (Editor’s note: Scott Baio, too.) Just because you sing and dance on TV for a living doesn’t make you qualified to speak on matters of import.
11. Woke 8 Year Olds
Your 8-year-old child does not have a single opinion on anything you didn’t put into its head. Stop broadcasting your words in their mouths on social media as some sort of noble savage wisdom. Let your kids be kids and don’t terrify them with your hot takes on gun violence, the Syrian Civil War and immigration law.
12. Threatening to Move to Canada
You won’t. By the way… why not Mexico?
13. Giant Ice Cubes
I’m a man who likes to munch on whiskey-flavored ice cubes after a nice Manhattan. I get that the giant ice cube melts slower and waters my drink down less. That might matter to someone who drinks at the pace of an old lady with a walker. I drink like a grown man, so the melting is not a concern.
14. Calling Things “Hacks”
“Life hacks” was bad enough. Now everything is some kind of “hack.” What’s wrong with just “tips” or “advice?”
The music isn’t that good and the worshipful attitude toward this mediocre piece of schlock is obnoxious.
16. “It’s 2016”
The year on the calendar isn’t evidence of anything but your inability to form a coherent argument. And thank God, it’s not going to be 2016 for much longer.