We as a society like to do this whole worst-year-ever thing a lot, probably because it can be a clean, almost therapeutic way to recognize all the failures of the recent past in hopes we don’t repeat them in the coming year.
But 2016 was an uncommonly awful year. Maybe you slipped into this year’s thick malaise following the Pulse nightclub shooting, because of course another mass shooting targeting one of society’s most vulnerable, stomped-on communities would happen in 2016. Perhaps for you, 2016 went full-blown nightmare when the presidential candidate who joked about sexually assaulting women and called Mexicans rapists somehow made it to the White House. Or maybe you got caught in the costliest storm in Texas history, which dumped $1.4 billion worth of hail damage on San Antonio this year.
Then there were all the brilliant, creative minds we lost just as we needed them most. The never-ending headlines about the baby-deforming Zika virus and exploding cell phones. We ended the year watching, either shocked or numb, as civilians in Aleppo live tweeted and streamed their deaths amid a horrific bombardment that caps year six of one of the bloodiest humanitarian crises of the modern age.
So, to all that, we say: What the actual fuck, 2016? This week, we reflect on some of the forces that combined to make this year a supremely shitty one. — Michael Barajas