Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 Recap

A lot happened in 2016, like with every year to precede it, yet perhaps a bit EXTRA it seemed. For example, who saw the end of Vine coming? Below is a recap of the year's highlights and lowlights. Since I wrote about many of these events along the way, you can click on hyperlinks in text or accompanying photos for additional details as you take a stroll down Memory Lane.

Every year features some pointless leisure activities. Previous ones have given us acts such as planking and dabbing. 2016 gave us water bottle flips and mannequin challenges.

The US Treasury agreed with me and many others that Harriet Tubman is most deserving to grace the $20 bill. I continue to be baffled that anybody bothered to voice a tepid rebuttal and suppose that kudos must be given to Andrew Jackson for his impressive run.

The stature of Beyoncé and devotion of the Beyhive expanded to unprecedented size as she invented (or if not invented, certainly perfected) something called a visual album, causing countless minions to stand in formation while sipping lemonade.

Donald Trump’s inexplicable rise to power morphed from easy jokes material to genuine fear that common sense would not eventually prevail and send him back to Reality TV Land.

OJ Simpson recaptured our collective imagination and fascination without stepping one foot out of jail yet.  At this point he is probably more beloved than Bill Cosby since at least Juice is paying his dues.

We got a Roots miniseries reboot.  Less compelling than the O.J. soap opera but still plenty of good stuff.

We lost a Prince. #TheDayTheRealMusicDied

Then we lost The Greatest – Muhammad Ali.  And the count of VIP R.I.P.’s would continue to grow at a relentless pace throughout the year. 

Premier NBA legends called it a career. Tim Duncan left quietly but memorably in true Tim Duncan fashion. The far flashier Kobe Bryant went out as you would expect, shooting nearly every time he touched the ball until they turned out the lights in the building. 

The Olympics happened and provided many inspiring moments, one act of entitled American swimmers gone stupid in the host country followed by folly on US soil, and one awesome moment of frustration over lame excuses captured in a magical GIF.

After a bitter battle with so called “Bernie Bros”, the inevitability of Hillary Clinton breaking the Oval Office’s glass ceiling was reluctantly accepted by many (but not enough) of her detractors.

Way too many unarmed black people were gunned down by cops. One tragic hashtag bled into the next.

Domestic terrorists without badges also committed horrific acts. Makes you wonder who people capable of such monstrous acts idolize. Gun regulations continued to yawn at the possibility of anything being done to strengthen them.

The year of #OscarsSoWhite was supposed to be replaced by a year cinematically dominated by Birth of a Nation. But a not so funny thing happened on the way to the forum of glory.

Colin Kaepernick repeatedly took a knee and transformed from a once promising quarterback to a lightning rod freedom fighter.

There was plenty of talk about the need for more diversity of perspective in literature, pleas for brighter light to be shed on “our own voices”. Or so was the case in my social media timeline anyway. I didn’t see much change in the book publishing landscape as result but am able to state that I did try to make a difference - no matter how small. 

Diversity of representation did make some inroads though. After presenting a black Star Wars movie lead the previous year, 2016 teased us with the idea of a black James Bond on screen and gave us a black Hermione Granger on stage, black mall Santa, and a predominantly minority cast of Hamilton, the Broadway hit that earned all kinds of acclaim and awards.  The usual suspects lost their minds and threatened to boycott everything in sight of their trailer parks. 


August Wilson’s brilliant work finally made its big screen debut. Tyler Perry movies hold an insurmountable lead, but nevertheless, still cause to celebrate literacy.

Some songwriter named Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature but didn’t bother to show up to receive it.  Book writers remain accustomed to being snubbed. Or is that just me?

Athletes got in trouble for various infractions, including neglecting to read the banned substances list. Yes I’m looking at you – Maria Sharapova.

While not a great year in sports for the teams I root for (Jets have been trash, Knicks are mediocre with potential as shaky as Derrick Rose’s health and luck in winning rape lawsuits), 2016 is notable for being the year that THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES.

The unthinkable took place and we now have to deal with it for at least four years. Or until impeachment for grabbing what isn’t meant to be grabbed, which is far more likely to happen than that much discussed wall being built. I tried to make sense of it. I probably failed.

Final year of the coolest presidency in my lifetime. Here’s a look back (I’m just not ready to look ahead yet) at how it began.

Matters of Convenience was published!!! Time to come up with a plot for novel #3.

Oh, I almost forgot that one of my tweets went viral in 2016. That was cool.

And now let us joyfully welcome 2017 because even when it's raining that doesn't mean you can't dance and sing.