Welcome to the darkest timeline, friends.
With just over a month left in 2016, we move into that time of year when everyone looks back with nostalgia on the last 12 months. However, it seems for this year, when reflecting on the events of 2016, one shared thought comes to mind: what the fuck was 2016? Here is a recap of what the hell happened in the past 11 months . . .
#1: Racial tensions/protests: With over 800 fatal police shootings in the US according to The Washington Post, frustration, anger, and riots were common. Black Lives Matter protests were some of the most prominent, as they called for an end to police brutality. These conflicts highlighted the persisting racial tensions in the US despite being the self-proclaimed “land of the free.”
#2: Terror attacks: The bombing of a Brussels airport, the shooting at the Pulse nightclub, the Baghdad bombing, among several other terror attacks have left hundreds dead.
#3: Celebrity deaths: 2016 saw the passing of many big names in a variety of industries. David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Edgar Mitchell, and Gordie Howe are among those who passed away this year. May all these great talents rest in peace.
#4: The UK leaving the EU: The infamous Brexit. Many thought it wouldn’t happen, but by a margin of 3.8 percent, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. After generations of being part of the EU and other similar organizations that preceded the EU, the UK decided that 2016 was the year to put an end to this “cooperation.” #ThanksFarage
#5: Shooting of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo: The story behind the meme. After an unattended child fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, officials decided to shoot and kill the gorilla named Harambe, in an attempt to protect the child. Public response quickly grew, and shamed the zoo for its actions. We then were forced to scroll through Harambe memes for what felt like an eternity. All around, a sad event.
#6: Zika outbreak: The aggressive spread of the Zika virus that saw an equally aggressive response from the World Health Organization and countries from around the world, including a mobilization of 220,000 soldiers from the Brazilian army to reduce the spread of the virus.
#7: Brock Turner: So many parts of this story just make you feel gross. Whether it be Turner’s father’s quote about “20 minutes of action,” or the fact that this convicted sex offender only spent three months in jail after sexually assaulting a woman . . . A lot of people can agree that this is a low point for 2016.
#8: North Korea being North Korea: In case you forgot about North Korea with all the other crazy headlines going on in the world, this is your friendly reminder that in early September they detonated their fifth — and reportedly largest — nuclear weapon in a test. Great.
#9: Samsung’s explosive new phone: Usually when everything starts going wrong and you want to escape it all, you can go home, lie down, and spend hours scrolling through social media to get your mind off things. Unfortunately, if you had the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, 2016 took that away from you by making your phone have the brand-new feature of catching on fire.
#10: Chicago Cubs win the World Series: Not as dark as other events this year, but ending their 108-year World Series drought after being down 3–1 to the Cleveland Indians certainly was a twist that not many were expecting. Guys, this is proof we’re in the darkest timeline.
#11: Trump becoming president: No discussion about 2016 would be complete without mention of “The Donald.” Back in 2015, ESPN gave him 12 to 1 odds of winning the entire election, so when president-elect Trump won the Republican nomination, he surprised many. He went on to shock many more when he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: 2016 sucked. That is completely understandable. However, there is one event that occurred in 2016 that you may be happy about, considering the other events of this year.
If seeing all this makes you think “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore,” there is one glimmer of hope: Elon Musk held a press conference discussing his company’s intention to send people to Mars. The year is almost over — just hold on long enough to get your ticket to Mars.