It’s June, which means two things. One, the most important anniversary in human history takes place – June 22, the date I emerged into this mortal plane, hell bent on bending it to my will.
The other important note is that we’re halfway through the year, meaning it’s time to take stock of how 2016 has stacked up so far. It’s time to look over the calculations for whether your year has been great or crap, and if you need to pull up from a nosedive or hang on for dear life.
Maybe you lost your job, giving you plenty of free time to work on your “World of Warcraft” character (just kidding, no one plays WoW anymore; how’s “Dark Souls 3” going?). Maybe you just graduated and are frantically looking for that apartment in New Orleans to just rent out on AirBnB.
But that’s for you to decide, and I don’t know you. I don’t necessarily not want to, but I feel that I can safely assume you might be terrible. It’s just statistics.
No, I’m going to be performing the autopsy on the top half of 2016’s pop culture. Music, movies, TV and politics. Oh, politics.
Let’s start there in fact. North Carolina introduced a really dumb law, and now all the United States can talk about is bathrooms. Anthony Scalia died, and now we’ve got a vacant seat on the Supreme Court with this stupid bathroom law probably going there before Christmas. Basically, politics still suck.
The presidential primaries are wrapping up and sweet lord has it been depressing. On one side, you have a candidate with a late swell in popularity seemingly stymied by the party establishment. The other side is Donald Trump’s new reality show, titled “How Long Will This Charade Last?”
Seriously, what is going on with our presidential election? The Republicans seem to have caved on all that morality talk just so they can beat Hillary Clinton, who has been seemingly using all her connections to keep her presumed nomination hers. I won’t comment on the actual credentials or politics of the candidates because the average person won’t either.
Just about everyone in this race is unlikable to a significant portion of the country. Fortunately, you have plenty of time to mull over whom you hate less for when you don’t vote in November.
The only good thing from the primaries have been the memes. It’s mostly been Trump, but a lot of the memes have been from last year. As far as this year’s memes are concerned, it’s been… well it’s been weird.
There was the “Damn, Daniel” thing which died off pretty quickly; the Internet isn’t known for its positivity, after all. The best meme of the year is still Squidward Dabbing, which you should pull up on your phone NOW if you have not seen it. It is literally
applicable to every situation.
You landed a big job? Post Squidward dabbing. Got dumped? Let Squidward dab on that schmoe. House burned down, lost all your earthly possessions? At least you can still go to the library and watch Squidward hitting that dab perfectly.
I know that memes may seem silly and immature, but we pay more attention to a frog on a unicycle than the Gaza Strip, and use these dumb images to communicate now. If you aren’t keeping track of how the Internet is leaking into day-to-day life, you’re a bit behind the curve. Pretty soon everything’s gonna be virtual reality headsets and 360 degree videos and you’ll be shaking your fist at the kids on whatever stupid way to avoid walking comes around in the next six months.
Traditional pop culture has been sort of a mixed bag. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” sucked worse than its title, and the Oscars basically missed the point. But Radiohead released a new album that reminded us how insane Thom Yorke still is! “Game of Thrones” came back, and everyone forgot to stay off Twitter.
In terms of world events, the only thing I can make jokes about is Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo, because everything else is suicide bombings and ISIS. Which, y’know, isn’t funny.
The fact that El Chapo escaped capture via a drug running tunnel late last year was funny. First his capture in early January, then the video of his escape – He just disappears behind a curtain and hasn’t been heard from since? Hilarious.
The sports world was eclipsed by two major events this half year: the Golden State Warriors breaking the record for wins in a season set by Michael Jordan’s 1996-97 Bulls and Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show. I was at a party full of old white folks — I thought someone was going to set something on fire during that. Which means it slayed.
Overall, the first half of 2016 has been sort of a downer. I mean, Prince died. That sucks. It hasn’t been catastrophic, and with the Summer Olympics in a few weeks, it can only get better. I’m giving the first half of 2016 a solid six out of 10 – it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t good either. Just put that Squidward video on again and you’ll feel better, I promise.

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