Reflection on the Year of 2016

I mean I think we can all say that the year of 2016 argued by some to be the ‘worst year in history’ is something we’ll all be happy to say a big “goodbye, thanks for nothing and f*ck you” to.

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It was the year of political atrocities in the circus of the US election providing us with one disappointing candidate and the other a sick joke, then slapping us across the face in electing this sick joke with zero political experience, accused of sexual assault and threatening of racial cleansing, the utter brainless of Brexit and the re-entrance of Pauline Hanson into Auspol.

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The world rightfully so weeped and prayed for Orlando, Brussels, and Nice; our entire world was shifted into panic mode.

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However, we stood silent watching as Aleppo crumbled into nothingness, we were ignorant and unchanged when ISIS terrorised Baghdad in the holy month of Ramadan, killing over 300 hundred and injuring hundreds more and the Boko Haram attack on a North Nigerian village at the end of January, killing 65 and burning some alive? Well I had to Google that to find out it actually existed.

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We lost the greats of Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Prince, Harpar Lee, Harambe, David Bowie and as if the world thought it still hadn’t had the last laugh the beloved Carrie Fisher was taken from us as well.

Gun laws still remain legal in the US despite the losses they have brought, at a time where ‘love is all we need’ hate crimes towards the LGBTQ and Muslim communities have dramatically increased in the US, whilst in the UK hate crimes and racial abuse have also surged, and there was an outbreak of Zika viruses making the lives of those who had it tough – even tougher. The Dreamworld Thunder Rapids freak accident yet again brought us to tears for all those involved and there was an overwhelming sense of ‘that could have been me’,  as many around Australia had on multiple occasions enjoyed that very ride. A burkini ban was imposed in Cannes begging the question of how much have we really changed since the times where women’s clothing was dictated by men?

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The victim’s statement of the brutal Stanford rape case was powerful and moving, yet the pathetic Brock Turner received an almost non-existent sentence and is now released, bringing to attention the ignorance,  patriarchy and white-privilege coursing through the legal system.

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I guess it would be pretty safe to say that 2016, was the year where we realised our capabilities in hypocrisy, ignorance and off-handed racism, sexism and homophobia as a collective human race. Also other things that made this year the worst were the Brangelina split (and all the other ones), Alex and Richie from the Bachelor Australia bathing in chocolate and Batman vs Superman.

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So far all of this has been all doom and gloom and I mean – fair enough, but a lot of goodness has occurred that has gone past simply unnoticed which we desperately need to recognise and remember for the sake of our sanity. Pokemon re-emerged and the excitement it brought contagiously swept through the world, we were blessed with a Harry Potter prequel/spinoff with Eddie Redmayne gracing our screens,  Jon Snow came back to life and GoT gave us life, Chrissy Teigan’s tweets spoke our every thought and Deadpool reached out to me on a spiritual level. Lemonade got me frantically researching possibilities of who “Becky with the good hair” was, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are a thing, we got to see Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s perfect children, The Crown more than satisfied my long-lived curiosity into the world of the royals and Netflix’s sneak peaks of the Series of Unfortunate Events got me super duper keen.

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Leo finally won his Oscar – and we lived long enough to see it, Tatiana Maslany  won her much deserved Emmy and James Corden’s Car Pool Karaokes made us happy.

Then there was Paul McCartney taking part in the mannequin challenge, the guy dabbing his way through graduation and perhaps 2016 being the pinnacle in the production of dank memes. 200 strangers attended the funeral of a homeless WWII veteran with no family, 70 000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against ISIS, Micheal Jordan donated $2 million to try help bridge the connection between police and the community, and 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls were released by Boko Haram and reunited with family members with Government officials vowing to keep negotiating the release of additional captives.

Toys R Us offered quiet shopping hours for children with Autism and two brothers saw colour for the first time through specially designed glasses. Now there’s a vaccine to fight against Ebola, volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours and for the first time a solar powered plane flew around the world. It was a leap year which means the Olympics where good things happen to a lot of people but it’s worth noting that for the first time ever there was a Refugee team, represented under the Olympic flag.

Babies were born, birthdays were celebrated, people got the grades they worked hard for, received promotions, survived cancer and overcame depression.

It is easy and often necessary to focus on what is wrong in our world (and there was a hell of a lot in 2016), so we can get up and actually do whatever possible to fix these problems; but lets not forget that in everything there are triumphs that we should applaud and be reminded of once in a while. I’m not saying 2016 was the greatest, but there has been worse – like the black death of the 1340s and we preserved, getting through that; so I’m sure that we can deal with the repercussions of this one. All in all, many including myself will be more than glad to say “cya” to 2016. 2017 – please be kind to us.

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X 1/2 of your Two Crazy Youths

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