2016 has more or less come and gone by this point. A lot of guys were posting their end of the year retrospectives during the week, but I’d prefer to wait till the 31st. That way, I can guarantee something like the death of Carrie Fisher won’t sneak up on me right in the middle, and completely throw my retrospective out of wack.
A lot of people are going to tell you that 2016 was the worst year ever. I’ll get you money at least 50% of them are democrats who are still butthurt over Hilldawg losing to Trump, and drinking the party Koolaid about how Russia hacked an election instead of admitting to themselves Hillary Clinton was a shit candidate, a neoconservative warhawk in democratic clothes, and the worst thing that could happen to America since George W. Bush. In fact, knowing what I know now on top of everything I knew going in, the only reason I’m convinced Hillary isn’t the antichrist made flesh is because Dick Cheney isn’t dead yet. Somehow.
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t looking forward to a Trump presidency any more than a Hillary presidency. To paraphrase a famous quote: “I’m disappointed Trump won, but I’m glad Hillary lost.”
Still more people see 2016 as a sort of celebrity meat grinder. More famous people died in 2016 than any year I can think of. Yeah, I’m bummed about some of those celebrity deaths (Carrie Fisher, Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten, Jonie Laurer, Lemmy from Motorhead), but for the most part, it didn’t really bum me out as much as it bummed other people out. This is America: the place where you can become a god for starring in a halfway decent movie, TV show, or put out a listenable album. These people aren’t immortals: they’re human beings, and their batteries run out just like they would for nonfamous people. I won’t deny it’s sad to see them go, especially if you’re friends with them or related to them, but it’s not the end of the world because Prince is dead. Then again, I was never an especially huge Prince fan, so that probably explains why I’m not as devastated.
2016 to me had its ups, and it had its downs.
in 2016, I began my career in self publishing. After years of trying to appeal to literary agents, publishers, and the mainstream, I finally quit, and discovered Amazon Kindle Direct. If I’d discovered this in 2012, I’d probably have probably never touched Outskirts Press, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing learned, right? I’ll admit, my reader base is relatively small, but at this point, I’m almost happier with the fact I have a way to put stuff out there than whether or not it’s selling. At worst, that’s a 2017 problem.
2016 was also the year I’d found my most recent girlfriend. Only for her to break up with me a few months later. It figures the moment I was thinking about amending my comment of “being impaired means getting used to the idea you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life” is the moment she decides out of the blue to prove me right all along. She fed me the old “it’s not you, it’s me” jargon, but I’ve got a side bet going that she dumped my ass because I wouldn’t vote for her gal pal Hillary. At the time, I was going to vote Johnson, which led to our first, and pretty much ONLY real fight that ended with us both joking about voting Vermon Supreme. If she’d stuck around a month later, she’d watch me come to the revelation that she was right all along about Johnson being a “welfare hating mongoloid”… Although writing in Bernie Sanders probably wouldn’t have sit well with her, either in hindsight.
2016 is also the year I ended up gaining about ten pounds. All I can say in my defense is Sarpino’s clearly puts crack in their pizza sauce. That, or getting dumped sent me into another “if I feel full and bloated, I won’t feel so fucking empty inside” fit that went a little overboard this go-around. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!
2016 was the year the only rock station in KC decided to establish a cutoff date at around 2004. Lately, they’ve made some exceptions to that rule, but if you want to hear anything new that wasn’t put out by Metallica, then you have to call in and request it. And if you liked Red Sun Rising, Ghost, Otherwise, any Drowning Pool song that isn’t “Bodies”, or several other bands they used to play that were brand spanking new, or had something brand spanking new to show off, you’re fucked. Five years ago, if you told me I’d end up missing Five Finger Death Punch, I’d laugh at you. But hey, at least they still play AC-FUCKING-DC into the fucking pavement still. And they’re right back to doing it to Led Zeppolin and Jimmy Hendrix. *sigh* Way to prove me right about the entire fucking state of Kansas being stuck in a timewarp, KQRC.
2016 was also the year I got the news my cat will probably be toothless by 2019. Because that poor cat hasn’t had enough go wrong in her life.That’s a blog entry all by itself right there.
2016 was also the year Avenged Sevenfold redeemed themselves for “Hail to the King” with their kickass album “The Stage”. It was also the year Ghost seemed to explode onto the scene here in the states, but maybe that happened a lot sooner than I realize. Like I said, Kansas is in a bit of a heavy metal time loop. Rock is dead, Kurt Cobane killed himself so he wouldn’t be charged with it’s murder, and AC/DC is god’s gift to music. Or at least that’s what you’d believe if you lived out here.
2016 was the year Metallica FINALLY released the album they’ve been working on since… I want to say 2011? It’s a two-disk love affair with the E-chord, and I’m mystified they went that route. Surely, you could’ve fit those twelve tracks on one disk. SURELY! If you wanted to include a live album in the packaging with the new album, that’s fine. But really?
2016 was also the year of the most ambitious season of South Park I can remember. Yeah, I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore. I usually put Adult Swim on at night out of habit. Also because King of the Hill and Bob’s Burgers are on there, and maybe Squidbillies if I stay up late enough… I’m getting sidetracked.
This season of South park was the most ambitious thing Stone and Parker have done since Imagination Land. And in the end… I found it to be a bit tedious. Maybe I’m just not used to my season of South Park taking on overarching storylines that take for fucking ever to get through. My friends and I refer to this as “the Netflix formula”, because a lot of Netflix originals we’ve watched over the last year or two do this all the time, and it’s part of why we see the series to the end. Even when it sucks. I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black. The Netflix formula works when everything is up and ready to view. When you have to wait for it once a week, though, it gets boring. Also, what the hell happened to the memberberries? They hinted at big things possibly happening with those little guys, and then, in the home stretch, we seem to have forgotten all about them. Are we seriously going to have to wait till season 21 to see where the memberberries plot goes?
Overall, I give them an A for effort… And a B- at best for execution.
2016 was also the year the Curse of the Goat was lifted at long last, and The Chicago Cubs won the world series. Tell you the truth, I’m not a huge baseball guy. Sure, I paid really close attention to The Kansas City Royals when they made it to the world series last year, and the year before as well… But it was lip service at absolute best. I went to those parties for the chance to hang out with friends who aren’t always in town to hang out, and for the food more than for the actual ball game. The Cubs, on the other hand, are a different story. It’s not every year you get to watch a team legendary for sucking for over a century suddenly winning the big game. And whew boy, if they made that any closer, I know at least one guy in my circle who’d probably have a heart attack. The Cubs became the world series champions this year. Too bad The Chicago Bears couldn’t keep that hype train going, said the Chiefs fan.
2016 was the year of the Olympics. It was also the first time in a long time I actually paid attention to gymnastics. As much as I’d like to insist I was mostly watching for the purpose of making Gael as accurate as possible, but really, I ended up liking what I saw a lot more this year. Maybe I growing to appreciate gymnastics as a sport the older I get, maybe I’ve always liked it and I just didn’t want to admit it out loud in public. Or maybe I just have a super creepy infatuation with Simone Biles. There’s part of me that’s about 90% convinced that girl is, like, sixteen or something. Another part of me is more convinced it’s because she’s about four-foot-eleven or something, and if my last girlfriend is any indication, I might actually like little people a little more than I realized. Maybe more than I SHOULD.
Great, now I have THAT moral quandary kicking around in my head. Thanks a lot, 2016. You jerk.
There’s a lot of other bits and pieces to 2016, but I’m not entirely sure they’re worth noting here. Also, I can’t think of them at the moment. So here’s to the end of an era. And here’s to the encroaching darkness known as The Religious Right taking this country over for the next 4 to 8 years.