Happy New Years. Welcome to 2017, the Alec to 2016's Daniel Baldwin. And we can all admit, 2016 felt like it put us through the ringer. 2016 felt that jerk house mate who got drunk, ate our left-over chicken, threw up in the bathroom and use our tooth brush to clean his furry teeth and our towel to mop up the vomit spill. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then peed on our bedroom door in the last few minutes of the night.
It was a pretty rough year. We had what felt like a record number of celebrity deaths. This I think was just a reflection of how iconic many celebrities from a certain time were. Who didn’t know who Alan Rickman was? Who hadn’t taken curiosity in David Bowie through his music, his acting career or his effect of fashion? And you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't at least know of Carrie Fisher’s work as Princess Leia even if, God forbid, they had never seen a Star Wars film.
Let’s face it, there has been a succession of generations that encourage their children to share in their own favourite shows. I know of the two Ronnies because my dad had me watch reruns with him. I have friends with children now who are indoctrinating their own children into the Star Wars universe. Shows from Family Guy to Suits constantly reference pop culture icons (trying to convince us how clever the lead characters are?). We have seen a lot of deaths of such icons. I can’t help but wonder if there will be the same thing in 30 years’ time or will today’s characters be remembered as the guy who reference that famous dude.
Politics were also a rough year. England voted and decided, surprisingly, to leave the EU. Americans in the US voted and decided to employ a mediocre business man as president over any experienced options. And these were rough and surprising results for a lot of people. And when we were told the reason, people looked to accept fault for a week but then went back to the mocking attitudes that isolated a majority and decided it was everyone else's fault but their own. After Trump was elected a lot of media reported on a thing called Fake News.
Now fake news is not new, it’s just it has now heavily affected our world. Bad at the dawn of internet and email a guy wrote an email that spurned a number of fake facts and too this day people still believe that the daddy long legs is the most venomous spider. Since then the internet has expanded, we got Facebook, twitter, and numerous cheap news sites. Information is readily available but correct information to drowned by sludge. Some of the information is up to interpretation and opinions (Pro-choice v. Pro-life) but for the most part there is a lot of false information being purported to be true.
And internet and media has also shaped now the speed at which trends come through. Rather than taking a few months for Flash Mobs to catch on and be featured on morning TV (which in my opinion is when you can tell a trend is over) something like Pokémon Go grows quickly and then peter out just as quickly. We have so much information on pop culture, politics, sexuality, science and much more so readily and quickly available to us we just need time to learn to filter it and read it as intended.
I personally am excited for 2017 and have a hope that it will be better than 2016. I mean, the worse that could happen is we end up with a Stephen Baldwin kind of year…