Think of this as the anti-list
There are plenty of things we could make lists about, and probably will over the next couple of weeks. One of the big ones, though, is the list of things we really don’t want to see in the next year. With everything we’ve been through this year, there’s not much we really want to carry over. In fact, we’re rather selective about anything new that might be coming along. We’re concerned about what might happen over the next 12 months.
The thing about the future, of course, is that it is what we make of it. No one has a lock on what might or might not happen. We can make the next year better if we put forth the effort.
Of course, I’m not sure I have any faith in people putting forth the effort. We don’t exactly have the best track record given the way we’ve behaved over the past 12 months. So, here’s our list of things that absolutely, positively, unquestionably, should not happen in 2017. And if any of them do happen, we’re going to publicly shame whoever is responsible.
The Bottom Five
10. Awkwardly flavored soda. Actually, we don’t need any new soda at all, but I’m sure someone at Coca-Cola or Pepsi will convince executives that they have a can’t miss proposition that scored really well with a test group that has never actually had soda before. The problem with new sodas now is that, having already explored most of the flavors that occur naturally, all that’s left are the mashups one gets by standing at the soda fountain mixing different flavors together in uncertain quantities. While popular among 14-year-old males, these strange mixes are really just bad ideas with mediocre marketing. No more.
9. Cookie mashups. What are we, two-year-olds trapped in a high chair? I swear, half the new snacks we’ve seen this year have to be the products of parents who were trapped at home with their toddler on a rainy Saturday. Oreos with Doritos? No thank you. Honey-dipped cheese sauce? Please, there’s a reason the kid didn’t actually eat that combination. What’s worse is that these new snack combinations are doomed to some of the worst marketing ideas we’ve ever seen. Honestly, Hershey’s, the Snack Patrol? Someone’s been watching too many late-night reruns. Try keeping things simple this next year.
8. Book sequels not written by the original author. I don’t envy book editors whose job it is to publish material that is going to be profitable before it is actually released. The number of great authors is limited and, for better or worse, a number of those who might have penned blockbuster novels are choosing to self-publish instead. There are a number of classic novels that, at least on some level, seem to demand a sequel that the original author never wrote. Once a writer is deceased, however, there are fewer ethical problems with hiring someone else to write the sequel for them. There’s just one problem with that: the sequels stink. In fact, quite often they stink when written by original authors. Let’s just limit the sequels not part of the original literary plan, okay?
7. New social media sites. Nope, don’t need ’em. I don’t care how wonderful the idea seems. Social media has picked its dominant tools. Only Twitter has any chance of being replaced by a newcomer, and that’s only if it captures the fancy of the Great Orange President. New social media applications are dangerous. We sign up for them, find them to be the most boring things ever, and then promptly forget that we signed up for them, leaving the information in our half-finished profiles open to hackers. Making a bad situation worse is the fact that the hacks are so insignificant that they never get reported. As a result, we don’t know that our information has been hacked. So, let’s try going 12 months without signing up for anything new, okay? Give it a try.
6. New photography/art sites. Photographers and artists are so desperate to sell anything to anyone that they’ll jump on every new site that comes along without bothering to think whether there’s really any chance of one site working any better than another. There’s not. People don’t buy art online in significant enough volume for any site to actually boast any success. Of course, part of that could be due to the fact that the creative work being put on these sites isn’t commercially viable in the first place. Still, we really don’t need any more creative sites that do nothing more than waste our time with empty promises.
The Top Five
5. New terrorist organizations. Sorry, we have too many terrorist groups to keep track of already. I don’t give a fuck how niche your religious beliefs might be or how passionate one might be in their zealotry. Just stay home, keep your fucking opinions to yourself, and put up that bomb-making kit before someone gets hurt. Terrorists need to learn that we’re not going to give in because of violence and they’re not going to win any favor by trying to kill everyone on the planet who doesn’t agree with them. We’re tired of this shit. If you’re thinking of starting a new terrorist organization, just go fuck yourself and call it a day.
4. Attacks on civil rights. One of the most disgusting aspects of 2016 has been the severity with which civil rights have been attacked. This nonsense needs to stop right now and shouldn’t be carried over into the next year. If you’re a member of the KKK or any other white supremacy group then feel free to kill yourself. We promise to not mourn your passing. Hate is a blight on this world and you’re doing nothing but making the planet a less tolerable place to live. And don’t give me that shit about those who dislike hate groups being intolerable. Hate is a choice we can no longer accept. If you choose to hate, you need to not be present in the next year.
3. New reality programming. Reality TV has been nothing but disastrous, culminating this year in the election of a reality personality as president. Given that each new reality program inherently tries to do something more absurd than the shows before it, we simply cannot risk anything new over the next year. We aren’t likely to survive anything more ridiculous and dangerous than the Trump administration. This has to stop here. Please. For the sake of all humanity.
2. Celebrating people who have done nothing of value. This goes hand-in-hand with the reality programming, and for the same reason. Our national obsession with making celebrities of people simply because they’re rich has to stop. We don’t need any more Hadids or Jenners or Trumps. This stupid and nonsensical obsession damn-near destroyed democracy this past year and has placed us on the brink of complete destruction. It is time we started celebrating people who actually help society, people who know what it means to actually work rather than just bossing people around and firing them for stupid reasons. Leave this bad habit right here. No more.
1. Ignorance. Come on, we’re entering 2017. We have access to every bit of wisdom ever recorded and we can get that information at any time on our phones. So, why are we, collectively, so fucking stupid? We need to leave the stupidity behind and make a concerted effort to become a more intelligent and better-informed society over the next year. By doing so, we will inherently eliminate many of the problems that have cause 2016 to be such an incredibly horrible and distasteful year. We also would be taking a giant step toward ensuring that our species won’t be exterminated in the next hundred years or so. If we are going to survive, we have to put ignorance and all the problems it creates right here in 2016. There is no place for it in the future.