Let’s face it, 2016 can kiss the fattest part of my ass (credit: Peter Griffin, Family Guy). Between a highly questionable election of a guy who has a laundry list of things wrong with him, to the loss of many legendary figures who (if they were still alive) would probably make the year “Slightly irritating” instead of “Wholly unbearable”, there’s no doubt in my mind that this year can bite the big one, especially in light of this current week……………AND YET, despite just about all the doom & gloom that hit us in the head like a sack of nickels, I want to maintain the notion that this is a happy place without forcing myself to believe that this is a “Bubble” of some kind. I’m not going to ignore the fact that 2016 happened; if anything, this past year will only steel a lot of people’s resolves for the coming year, and for the most part I’ve come to accept just about anything/everything that went wrong like water off a duck’s back—I’ve moved on, we ALL should too.
That being said, I want to take a little time on this New Year’s Eve Eve to mention (and especially HIGHLIGHT) the seemingly low supply of Positive Moments that happened this year. Things that—if you Ever feel a sense of loss of humanity—will help you say to yourself “Hey, things aren’t THAT Bad!” This is Not one of my usual countdown lists, nor is ANY of this going to be entirely Original—if anything, I’m going to comb through a lot of Other websites’ “Best of 2016” lists to draw a little inspiration. I’m just going to point out a few things that slipped through the cracks—as well as the more obvious moments of joy this year in the hopes that instead of pushing the “reset” button on Sunday, maybe it might be smarter to unplug, let it sit for 10 seconds, then plug it back in again…a “Hard Reset”, if you will. So what happened this year that was actually Good?
*Let’s get the Biggest one out of the way first…CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! Yes, even though the Cubs taking the World Series in (arguably) the greatest Game 7 of All Time might Look like a sign of the Apocalypse to some; if celebrating a long-overdue championship is the 5th horseman, at least the end of the world will have some comic relief. At the same time; even though the Cleveland Indians Lost, and the entire City lost when the RNC came to town, there was still one other win in Their favor…
*LeBron & The Cavs Break Cleveland’s own Championship drought! Though not as Harrowing as the Cubs’ (or even the Indians’) losing Streak, this is a town that could use a ray of sunshine—especially since (according to Mike Polk Jr.) You can only see the sun 3 times a year there; not to mention the Lovefest for Republicans & Scott Baio that would take place there a few weeks later. Nevertheless, Cleveland hasn’t won a championship in ANY (Major) Sport since 1964, and this was a More than welcome sigh of relief…your Move, Buffalo!
*And let’s not forget our International readers; Leicester City FC won their First Premiere League title Ever. If you thought the Cubs had it bad waiting 108 years for their Title, Leicester’s First title was 132 years in the making. I wish I was more plugged in to socc….uh, I mean Football to appreciate this one, but I tip my hat anyway.
*Considering all the deaths we’ve seen this year, I have a personal rule that I would NEVER want to wish it on even the worst of humanity………That being said (and at the risk of getting a bunch of hate mail), Fidel Castro is the One exception to the rule this year…….honestly, unless you were directly affected by him in some way, I took his death as more of a “Meh”. Brutal Dictator? Yes. A Man of his People? That too. So, for argument’s sake, I’m gonna call this one a “Hard Neutral”—I can’t really say anything about it one way or the other; If you hated him, that’s fine. If you Liked him, then I would like to humbly welcome my new Cuban readers………Please don’t Kill Me.
*This one I’m borrowing from the London Telegraph: Global tiger numbers are up for the first time in a century, and conservation experts credit this improvement with better coordinated efforts among nations that serve as natural habitats for tigers. An estimated 3,890 tigers are alive today, up from 2010 when the count was about 3,200 worldwide…Still seems like a small number, but it’s progress!
*A By-Product of the passing of Prince earlier this year is that his fabled Paisley Park, MN estate is now (or at least soon will be) open to the public a la Elvis & Graceland. Yes, I know it sounds very much like “cashing in on a Celebrity Death”, but let’s be honest…who DOESN’T want to see how Prince lived/worked? Especially after creating such a mythos for himself over the years? Think of this as a gift that keeps on giving.
*They Fixed “Scary Lucy”! In her home town of Jamestown, NY, a statue of the legendary Lucille Ball was unveiled that—unlike her “scary” predecessor—actually looks like her (Though why do I have a feeling they might drag the old “scary” statue out for Halloween somewhere down the line?)! Speaking of Halloween…
*Every time SNL has a downward spiral, it somehow manages to pick itself up again (If all the “Alec Baldwin as Trump” sketches were any indication). This past October proved that point with Tom Hanks and the “David S. Pumpkins” sketch. It’s silly, it’s dumb, but sometimes Silly & Dumb just work in the right way…Any Questions?!
*From National Geographic, India planted 50 Million Trees in a Single Day…50 MILLION! Hopefully, this does something to not only clean the air up a little bit, but also to help reduce the smell over there.
*A Friend of mine pointed out a site called “IFL Science”; and while there Are a couple “downer” stories on their front page as of Press Time, the “Good” stories outnumber the Bad—Too many to list, so feel free to check the page out when you’re done reading here—and also enjoy what you see until President Tan-in-a-can outlaws everything scientific (C’mon, you know it could happen). While we’re on the subject of sciences, this was the year where certain genes were discovered that could help eliminate ALS; North, South & Central America are free of the Measles, Sri Lanka got rid of Malaria, and West Africa got rid of Ebola…Keep in mind, this does not necessarily mean the ENTIRE World is free of these diseases, but again…PROGRESS!
*Leo DiCaprio Won an Oscar (Finally)! Granted, he had to go to incredible lengths to get it…but then again Homer Simpson had a similar fate with a Panda—and I believe Dan Castellaneta won an voiceover Emmy that year………But that could just be a coincidence.
*Speaking of Pandas (and BOY do I know how to make a great segue!), They are No longer on the “Endangered” list of species—they’re still “Vulnerable”, but like I said about the tigers & the diseases earlier…PROGRESS!
*More kids are graduating High School, and less of those kids are getting Pregnant…I’m sure there’s a metaphor for this somewhere; then again, it’s been a while since I graduated High School.
*This much more uplifting story I’m borrowing from the NY Daily News (Which is probably one of the few times I can put the Daily News and “Uplifting” in the same sentence without giggling): “A group of Texas inmates noticed a corrections officer slumped over, unresponsive — and they broke out of their holding cell to help. The situation occurred in June at the District Courts Building in Parker County. The inmates began yelling when they noticed the officer struggling with a heart attack. They broke out of the holding area, banging on doors and causing a commotion, actions which authorities say likely saved the man’s life. As employees performed CPR on the man, the lifesaving inmates were returned to the holding cell”…………I mean…Damn! Some of these people are lifers, and they save a person’s life……you can’t beat that.
*Finally, This one is sort of on the “Sad” side, but I Really wanted to end this post on an inspiring note; Cindy Stowell’s 6-day win on Jeopardy. For those who don’t know the story, Stowell had terminal cancer AND was fighting a blood infection related fever on the days she recorded her appearances. She passed away by the time her episodes aired this month; but before everything was said & done, she had made an arrangement with the Producers of the show so that all of her winnings would be donated to charity. Game show champions come & go, but Cindy Stowell was a Champion for a Far more important reason.
And of course, 2016 saw the start of the website you’re looking at right now; and in the 7 months we’ve been doing this, nearly 4,000 people were genuinely curious as to what I had to say regarding a certain sketch comedy show, and other topics—I’m Especially amazed & astonished that I was read in places like the UK, Hungary, Australia, Rwanda, Malaysia, South Africa, Iceland, Argentina, Italy, Nigeria, Germany, Barbados, France, Ireland & Ghana; and I can only hope to cover more of the world next year. Speaking of next year, My main resolution for this page is that I not only hope to expand on the “Other Topics” at greater lengths next year, but also that the topics in question doesn’t make me (and others) want to bang our collective heads on our desks in frustration—though considering our future president will more than likely be low-hanging fruit, that’s a promise devoutly to be wished. What’s more, I hope for this place to remain a Happy place—because lord knows, we could use ALL the Happiness we could get right now. Otherwise, 2016 can suck it; but like a number of years before it, there IS a lot of Good to be found in this world—and that’s all we can ever hope for in the next year and beyond.
Happy New Year, everybody…oh, and 2017, we’re gonna be watching you VERY carefully—Like many of us, we’re only human, and we’re prone to make mistakes; but at least wait a few months before you screw things up, and we’ll be cool with you.