Saturday, January 7, 2017

Was 2016 the Worst Year Ever?

Hello again, my rapacious rankles! I'm back again and this time we're going to cover a recent question that was plopped into my inbox: was 2016 the worst? Now, I could just join the masses with hyperbole and say that it was. I mean, it definitely wasn't a fun year for a lot of us. I myself had to deal with some very irritating problems with my body trying to revolt against me and had yet another person exit my life in a rather unhappy manner. Well, less exit and more one of their obsessive friends came at me in a vaguely threatening manner and I decided the friendship wasn't worth putting up with that bollocks.

Trust me, toxic people and relationships are not worth the effort.

Then there's the clear thing most everyone goes to in regards to last year, which is all of the notable deaths. Not just deaths but the deaths of icons. People who many of us idolized, admired, and were inspired by throughout our lives were taken away last year and it left a bit of a sour taste in all our collective mouths. How can we bounce quite as happily to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" now? How are we expected to watch the newest Phantasm film when we know that the Tall Man is gone and there may never be a plot resolution? And how am I supposed to ever smile when I know our lord and saviour, Dan Haggerty, has departed this mortal coil? It's a struggle, let me tell you.

I'll never forget you or the beauty you brought to this world, sir.
And, of course, there's the other big thing from last year: the election. More accurately, the devastating results of the election. For the next four years we're going to have an accused rapist/misogynist/bigoted reality TV star as the president of the United States. To call that rough is an understatement. But that doesn't mean the entire year was a complete pile of shit. Just parts of it were. Large parts of it that make it hard to focus on the good parts.

Yeah, it's hard to focus when people invade native land illegally & the police spend more time protecting the ones in the wrong.
But since we're not really a political blog...which I admit may be hard to tell sometimes...we're going to focus on the entertainment side of things. So, what was good about last year? Well, we got some of the best horror I've seen on television in years. Between Stranger Things and Channel Zero: Candle Cove, it made me weep with joy to see something good in the horror genre on the tube that wasn't neutered or canceled outright for going too far. Not only that, but it looks like this has started a trend towards people trying to achieve something near as good, meaning we'll possibly be getting some similarly good programming out of this.

Of course, I doubt that anyone will ever top the charm of Dustin.
It was also a really good year for films, which made my top then best films list incredibly difficult to compile. Seriously, there were several films that I kept shifting on and off that list before I finally decided on the ones there. Captain America: Civil War gave us a better story than the comic it was (barely) based on with excellent performances all around and action scenes that I never get tired of watching. On the other side, we got Deadpool in a film finally and it was so relentlessly entertaining. Even when it liberties, it did so in a respectful and entertaining way. Hell, the movie that shocked me the most with how much I enjoyed it? Storks. Yeah, that movie that almost no one talked about those birds that deliver babies.

Then again, it wasn't the only good animated film that mostly got ignored by the public in favour of something more generic.
If you haven't had a chance to see it, Storks is a hilarious and endearing film with great performances from the cast. It also made sense of the story about how storks deliver babies in a way that kids will understand that I really found interesting. And in films I've not yet seen but am fairly certain will be amazing, we got some Asian horror films that wowed a lot of folks (Train to Busan & I Am a Hero) and a sequel to a movie I adore (Another WolfCop) got shown off to other people who are much more well known in the world of film criticism than I am. Then there was the truly exciting news that made me explode with joy...because my favourite series got revived from the dead.

Which instantly made 2017 feel a lot less hopeless.
And yes, I know it might seem silly and shallow to look at these things as good things worth celebrating. But here's the thing, you've got to find your own reasons to keep going. Because giving up? That's selfish. I nearly gave up so many times in the past when things felt like they couldn't possibly get better but I refuse to do that to the people around me. They deserve better from me and so do I. We all deserve better than letting ourselves cave in to the pressure of terrible people and events. So, while it may sound silly, take some time and try to focus on things you enjoy. Things that make you smile. It can be a cartoon, a video game, a book, a movie, or whatever. Let yourself languish in it for a while and maybe things will feel a bit better. We've got at least four rough years ahead of us, so let's at least try to find ways to help ease the pain.

Especially if it involves shipping two characters and pissing off homophobes by doing so.
I don't know if this year will be the best ever or the worst, but I do know that really comes down to us. We decide how we handle things and how we deal with adversity. Take it from a lonely occasionally suicidal demisexual with depression, things can get better but not if all we do is wallow in our own misery. Whether it's going out to protest against injustice or staying in to watch a superhero cartoon that keeps you from offing yourself, every little ounce of fight counts. I'll keep fighting and I genuinely hope you do too. In the end it doesn't matter if last year was the worst because it's subjective. What matters is what we do with our year moving forward.

Stay strong, bleeders.

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