Friday, December 30, 2016

The stories we all talked about in 2016

How does one even begin to describe 2016. The world definitely got shaken up a little, or a lot. Lets take some time to take a walk down (recent) memory lane and recap the events and themes that gripped 2016. Shall we?

Before we begin, I always add that these are the events that stood out to me. I'm an American who consumes primarily American news. I'm sure there are stories you'd add or even remove if this were your list. Let's talk about those in the comments below! Until then, please reflect with me on the biggest stories of 2016. 

Donald Trump was elected president. I didn't want to start this list with that, but there is no doubt that both domestically and internationally this is one of the biggest bombshells that will define 2016. 

People didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but they did vote for Donald Trump. You might be thinking, isn't this the same as the story above? Well, not really. A lot of what people thought they knew about what a politician is and should be is wrong. 

All the polls got it wrong. Political scientists now have a lot of work on their hands, reshaping maps and indicators that help determine elections. It turns out that what TV people watch was a better indicator of votes than prior electoral turnout. Culture and politics are more connected than what we thought. 

The Brexit happened. Britain excited the European Union. Most people thought it wouldn't happen, but it did. It was pretty complex, but a lot of it had to do with race and nationalism.

The Zika virus hit South America, the Caribbean, and the southern US. Pregnant women are on travel watch, big time. The only good news? There is a vaccine right on the horizon!

The worst mass shooting to ever happen, happened. It was at an Orlando LBTQ nightclub. The shooting sparked conversations about hate crimes, terrorism, refugees, immigration, and of course gun control. 

Pokemon Go took over everyone's social lives for a while. It changed the way we think about games, and brought back some sweet nostalgia to former fans! 

Eastern Aleppo totally fell, and the war in Syria got a lot more deadly and a lot more more serious. Americans still aren't talking about this as much as they should. 

Black Lives Matter is still relevant. Colin Kaepernick kneeled instead of stood for the national anthem. Some people supported him, others didn't. 

The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years! Diehard fans cried, especially elderly fans who didn't think they'd live to see it happen. Cleveland also lost their damn minds because the Cavs won the NBA championship. 

The summer Olympics in Rio. Just everything about them. Brazil did their best to hide their impoverished. Housing wasn't ready for the Olympians arrival. One of the pools was a gross shade of green. There was bacteria in the water. People were afraid of Zika. Michael Phelps says that it is his last. Simone Biles and the US female gymnastics team kicked ass (people were still sort of sexist). Ryan Lochte was an idiot. Like I said, everything about the summer Olympics was a story. 

Hamilton was awesome. It continues to be awesome and ever-relevant in the current political climate. 

A boy fell into a gorilla enclosure causing the zoo to shoot the gorilla named Harambe. Everyone talked about it. For a long time. 

People got obsessed with which bathroom people ought to use, especially in North Carolina. Some companies moved events from happening there in a sign of protest. Target was a leader in proclaiming that people ought to use whatever restroom they'd like. 

The mainstream media was under major scrutiny. Were they covering the right stories? Did they cover some things too much? Others not enough? Both presidential candidates had sticky relationships with the media. Now we're all talking about it. 

Beyonce released a visual album, Lemonade. She discussed infidelity in her marriage which had everyone wondering, "who is Becky with the good hair?" More importantly, she had African American girls and women feeling proud of being both African American and woman. 

So many celebrities passed away. David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Florence Henderson, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, and Muhammad Ali are just some of the icons that were laid to rest. 

Was it just me, or was the Gilmore Girls reboot hyped for all of 2016? I'm not complaining, but the reboot was way bigger than I expected it to be. It was alright. 

Russia interfered in the American election. Officials are still arguing about to what extent, but it is unprecedented either way. 

There was an attempted coup in Turkey. The US and a lot of the world had mixed feelings. Either way, it created more instability in the region. 

ISIS continued attacks across the world as well as lone wolf attacks inspired by the organization. 

Protests agains the Dakota access pipeline made headlines as the Standing Rock Sioux vehemently oppose for restricting access to resources. 

And so many more.

2016 truly has been a year of upheaval both culturally and politically. A lot of things we all thought for sure aren't so sure anymore. America is changing and showing its true colors. The world is responding to us in more different ways than ever. Many have been saying that 2016 has been the worst year in recent memory. I'm not sure we can call it the worst. It has surely been the most different, and all we can do is respond however we see fit. Some saw 2016 as a great year where their voice was finally heard! Others felt the total opposite, leaving them shocked and scared. I don't know much, but I do know that life is going to keep on moving. We can't control what happens in 2017, but we can control our response.

What story of 2016 was the most impactful to you? Let's talk in the comments below! 


  1. Hard to believe 2016 is almost over. You've highlighted some important and tragic events of the year. Im hoping for a peaceful 2017. HAPPY NEW YEAR. .

  2. Can't believe we're almost at NYE! Hoping 2017 is more peaceful and joyous world round.

  3. Wow, what a year! I can't believe everything that's happened this year. It might explain some of the comments I've been hearing about it. Well, here's hoping 2017 is a better year!! Happy New Year!


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