We haven’t seen too many “2016: Year in Review” articles/stories/blog posts yet, and that might be because it’s just now December 20th, but it’s probably far more likely that everyone required to write reviews is so dreading the prospect of reviewing a year so awful, so heinous that recapping it will almost be as bad as having had to live through it.
Fortunately, our task here this morning will be a bit different. We don’t have to do any of that listing of all the famous dead people who died in 2016, the horrible deaths of the not-so-famous, or the terrible things that we could spend 100,000 words retelling and only get to half of the terrible.
Nope, we don’t have to do any of that because this is my “2016 Year in Review” and I really don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like either writing or reading such a post. Moreover, I don’t really feel like anyone should have to write or read such a thing.
In fact, I’d like to offer all the currently still-employed journalists required to write such a review the chance to walk into their editor’s office and say “Scot says I don’t have to write that Year in Review piece.” I wish I could also offer you some financial assistance in addition to your impending unemployment compensation from performing such an act, but at least I’m allowing you to use my name in your declaration. You’re welcome.
Or instead, maybe we can just place a moratorium on the typical “year in review” for 2016 and basically just do what I’m doing here: cherry-pick some of the very few cherries scattered among the giant piles of horseshit which constitute 2016 locally, nationwide and throughout the world.
So, here’s your “2016: Year in Review.” We’ll do it in something akin to the section layout of newspapers, principally as a reminder to ourselves of the world back when there were newspapers.
- The fire at the Carlisle didn’t burn down any of the nearby businesses, at least we don’t think so (okay, I think you get the general tone of this “Year in Review”).
- The new Carlisle has about a 100% chance to not be as ugly as its first iteration.
- There are still a few Albuquerque residents who haven’t had their car stolen yet this year.
- @ABQPolice has been provided with countless chances to work on its 140-character descriptions of cars being stolen while warming up in the driveway.
- Most of the gang members in that one gang (we can’t keep track of which one, there are so many) have been arrested.
- “Better Call Saul” and other movies/TV shows shot in ABQ continue to do well, providing South Valley restaurants with daily usage fees and BernCo Sheriff deputies with plenty of overtime blocking traffic during takes.
- Albuquerque dramatically expanded the amount of green paint designating bike lanes and bike boxes, widened bike lanes in many places, including Osuna, MLK and Zuni, and generally made major improvements in increasing cycling safety in many places around town. Note: Not everybody think this is “good” news, particularly that guy honking his car horn behind you on Zuni or the bike lane on Zuni.
- 2016 has been a FABULOUS time to be in the local orange barrel road detour business. If I only had a nickle for every one currently in place around town…
- Albuquerque Public School’s Board did not listen to Boardmember Peggy Muller-Aragón and instituted a bathroom policy for transgendered students. It is unclear whether the Board will institute a needed policy to never listen to Peggy Muller-Aragón.
- With every rising of the Sun in the East, Susana Martinez is one day closer to not being Governor of New Mexico.
- The entire year has given New Mexicans the chance to strangely pronounce the word “pizza” and still get a laugh. Every time.
- Not every NM Cabinet member has been forced to resign this year. It is only December 20th, however.
- New Mexico continues to only have the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the nation. Thanks, Alaska!!!
- The State strategy to keep taxes low, state services laughably incompetent and our revenue heavily dependent on what some rich folks thousands of miles away think the price of antiquated fuel sources should be continues to pay off fabulously if you’re a payday lender, unemployment compensation attorney or Democratic candidate for Governor in 2018.
- Regardless of how you felt about Election 2016, we can all agree that it’s pretty much over now, and that is probably the very best we can say about the whole unpresidented debacle.
- A bunch of famous people died, particularly exquisitely talented musicians, but some of them died several months ago and we might have forgotten whether they died in 2016 at this point.
- “Spotlight” won the Oscar for “Best Picture,” and while it seemed the Academy had pretty much declared that no African-Americans were even allowed in the building except for Chris Rock, at least the “Best Picture” was a good one.
- All but one of the unpresidentedly lousy Republican presidential candidates did not win.
- There were days scattered throughout the year in which multiple people were not killed in incidents involving firearms.
- In a heart-warming story of redemption and grace, Rick Perry has been offered to head a federal department he couldn’t remember wanting to eliminate.
- The New York Yankees did not win the World Series
- The Dallas Cowboys did not win the Super Bowl and the next one isn’t until 2017, so there’s that.
- UNM won its bowl game, again, which everyone again pretended was not “theirs” and an actual bowl game.
- LeBron James was more successful in helping his basketball team win than his choice of Presidential candidate. I wonder if he would trade the two outcomes at this point.
- The Summer Olympics gave everyone around the world another chance to forget about nation/states and instead celebrate our shared communal, worldwide existence as humans. Oh, who are we kidding? USA! USA! USA!
- Some famous people divorced other famous people, vital diversions that were certainly worth it regardless of the personal pain felt by the famous people and their families.
- The United States experimented with the idea that someone who really should just be on the Entertainment, and/or Crime, pages should become President. Because, what could go wrong?
- Some famous people married other people, many of whom were also famous. We found ourselves lingering far longer on such stories in 2016 than in many previous years, just to avoid reading the rest of the paper.
- Kanye West did a few things, but was mentioned far more often because, just putting the name Kanye West in your newspaper/broadcast/blog post means clicks, baby, clicks!!!
- This journalistic namedropping extended to first certain Presidential candidates, then a certain President-Elect. Because, what could go wrong?
- The Canadian Dollar is at .75 of the USD, while the Euro is down to only 1.04 USD, thus offering significant savings to Americans in moving costs.
- The Brits chimed in as well to help Americans moving there by both crashing their currency and eliminating preferences in immigration to Europeans.
- That one fascist guy didn’t win election in Austria, thus making it 43-1 in fascists/not fascists election results worldwide so far this year.
- Oh yeah, we forgot Justin Trudeau! Damn, he won in 2015. Okay, still 43-1 this year.
- The year has somehow not yet included detonation of a nuclear weapon, at least that we know of.
- Man…we got just about zero cherries to pick here. What a brutal friggin’ year.
- Oh yeah, Bob Dylan is not only not dead (at least as of this morning), but also won the Nobel Prize in Literature and stood up the Nobel Ceremony for reasons that aren’t exactly clear. Note that compared to 99.9% of the other news in 2016 this is both remarkable and pleasantly comforting.
P.S.: The photo atop this review is of the building that was hit at the corner of 2nd and Coal downtown. The image seems to sum up 2016 somehow.