Opinion

Top Ten Worst Calamities of 2016

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Top Ten Worst Calamities of 2016
  1. The Orlando Massacre. On June 19th, Omar Mateenmassacred 49 innocent people in the Pulse nightclub, in Orlando, Fla. Mateen, a snivellingcoward whose previous greatest hits included threatening the lives of his coworkers and beating his wife, was a regular at Pulse before the attack. The massacre, the most deadly mass shooting in American history, was an explicit attack on the Latino LGBT community in Orlando, and was the most violent homophobic atrocity ever carried out in the United States. 

 

  1. All the Fucking Celebrity Deaths. I know y’allwill get pissed off that Bowie doesn’t get his own number; that Prince’s death isn’t a category of it’s own. Deal with it. This was sucha shitty year, that everyone famous who died–well, they get lumped into #9. Alan Rickman: after all this time? (Always.) Gene Wilder, who was the salt of the earth, but not an idiot. Zsa Zsa Gabor: the original Hollywood bad babe. Muhammad Ali, floating like a butterfly up to heaven. Leonard Cohen: singin’ Hallelujah with the angels now. 

 

  1. Kanye West Lost His Damn Mind. Turns out Ye’svolatility wasn’t an act, it was a symptom. On Nov. 20th, Kanye went on a bizarre rant from the stage in Sacramento, accusing Beyonceand Jay of abandoning him, and fully endorsing President-elect Donald Trump. A few days later, Kanye was briefly hospitalized for “exhaustion,” and most recently, Kanye could be seen at Trump Tower, taking a meeting with the PEOTUS. It’s the latter that puts him on this list–mental breakdowns are one thing, meeting with that douchebag. . . . That’s something else altogether. 2016 was the year all of our illusions about this dude finally were put to rest. 

 

  1. The Deaths of PhilandoCastile and Alton Sterling. These black men, from separate parts of the country, murdered within days of each other by police officers, their blatantly unjustified deaths caught on camera and uploaded onto social media, prompted weeks of protests, reminding America and the world of the continued relevancy of the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

  1. Atmospheric Carbon Levels Pass a “Global Tipping Point.” Climate scientists, this year, announced that carbon levels have probably reached a point of no return–400 parts per million (ppm) has been the lowest level recorded this year, with “safe” levels of carbon considered to be around 350 ppm. Barring a miracle, we’re probably stuck here, which means that we’re pretty much fucked, because there’s probably no miracle to be had.

 

  1. The Death of Vine. Come on, 2016. Why’d you have to take away the one thing that could consistently make all of us laugh? No matter who we were, where we were coming from, we could all gather around our iphonesand watch Jay Versace make weird faces, or Thomas Sanders do something #relatable on a loop, or watch a kitten struggle to escape a serving bowl. “Do it for the vine”: not in 2017, you won’t.

 

  1. Aleppo. I have the dubious honor of putting on this list an atrocity that is currently happening. As I write this, children are being murdered in the city of Aleppo; Assad’s forces are closing in, and innocent civilians are being slaughtered. Our government is doing nothing to help these people. The international community is doing nothing to help these people. In a few years they’ll make a movie about Aleppo, the tagline will be “Never Again”, and Leonardo DiCaprio will win an Oscar for playing the relatable diplomat/photojournalist/aid worker.Maybe then we’ll care.

 

  1. James Comey Decides to be a Goddamn Snake. Recall October, if you will. With the election nearly in the bag, Hillary Clinton was doing a victory tour. She had pulled out of active campaigning, she had directed the DNC to funnel money into Senate races, to shore up the “inevitable” flip of Congress to the blue side of things. And then FBI Director James Comey’sOctober surprise came–a letter “proving” Hillary had played fast and loose with national security information (spoiler alert: she hadn’t)–and suddenly, the race turned. Look, I know there were problems with Clinton’s campaign that went far beyond what Comey did. Not only was Clinton incredibly unlikable, she ran a shitty campaign, failing to effectively fight for the votes of the working class. She failed to get a real read on exactly how appealing Trump was to swing voters, and that’s probably what sunk her, in the end. But you know what? That fucking letter didn’t help anything. So it gets a goddamn place on this list. 

 

  1. Brexit. On June 23rd, the unthinkable happened. Britain, a country whose economy is largely reliant on the European Union, decided to exit the European Union, because a certain segment of English society (namely: those who don’t feel sick when looking at Nigel Farage) decided that they had had enough of Polish housemaids flooding the labor market. Within a matter of hours, Prime Minister David Cameron had resigned his post, global markets had tanked, and whispers began swirling about a potential disunion of the United Kingdom. Tough break, we Americans said, as we scrolled through our twitter feeds the next morning. Those poor Brits, we said, smug in our knowledge that nothing like that could happen here. . . .

 

  1. The Election of President Donald Trump.  . . .and just months after British society imploded, we had an electoral disaster of our own–this time, packaged just for America. On Nov. 11th, 2016, we elected a walking, talking butthole wearing a toupee and a cheap suit. Donald, after accepting the results of the presidency, proceeded to nominate and appoint every alt-right scumbag, every corporate tycoon, every right-wing ideologue he could find to every position in the executive branch he had control over, which is all of them, because he won the fucking election, remember? Just in case you had forgotten. The election of Trump has made our prospects for 2017 that much worse, if you’re at all interested in the survival of the planet and the avoidance of nuclear winter.

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