What is the story behind 2016?
Inevitably what this question is really asking — at least, in large part — is, ”So, what’d you think about the election?”
I want to keep this bit as abbreviated as possible, so here are some month-over-month tweets in which I talk about politics (but also gyros). Interestingly enough (maybe) we see a story arc that predicts a plausible Trump presidency:
My car got towed, so I ate a gyro #2016
(a picture of Big Foot is on the cover of Newsweek)
[the year is 2028]
Son: Dad, tell me about what journalism was before it died in 2016.
Here’s your five-day Twitter forecast:
Today – Women’s Rights
Tomorrow – Trump
Thurs – Trump
Fri – TGIF!
Sat – Trump
Gyro: you’re my favorite mistake.
Note: Despite date, I was not high. I just really love gyros.
Hillary: You’re a xenophobic hatemonger!
Trump: You’re a manipulative warmonger!
T: We really should hang out more.
I can be your gyro, baby.
The #RNC2016 is the best sketch show I’ve seen in a while. Lots of bold characters. Really liked the Trump bit.
Dreams come true. Sister Hazel was a successful band.
“Your opinion is important!” – The Internet
I’ve been tweeting about politics too much. But so has everyone else.
Anyway, knees are weird, right? #knees
Dr: How many fingers?
Dr: What year is it?
Dr: Who’s president?
P: *long sigh*
Dr: Ok, you’re good to go
Now, on with business. Three observations about 2016, and what they could mean for the future…
- Celebrity deaths somehow became more important — but this is only because the mourning became more amplified, the reason being that said celebrity fan bases are at an age where they have social media accounts. This means, theoretically, that the eventual death of a celebrity like Cher will be more heavily broadcasted (and thus feel more significant) than say, Audrey Hepburn (and definitely more than Judy Garland). Cher gets to be a bigger story because we will all create a mass of content — ironically more for our own attention than hers — which will make it seem like a more significant event than it really is.
- In the wake of a Trump presidency, I have held on dearly to the Freakonomics assertion that it doesn’t really matter who is president. However, the article author’s argument is an economic one: One person simply cannot shift the national economy. However, one thing that is true of the president is their narrative and how they serve as a symbol. This is what makes Trump significant — and the most dangerous.
- The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series, so there really aren’t any more great sports stories out there to summate. Maybe a Browns Superbowl? No, that won’t do. Sports will continue to tell great stories, but not on a historical level. It will be more based on a short-term situation. We’ve already seen this with the story of this past year’s NBA Finals: The team setting the regular season win record, a.k.a. Teamwork (The Golden State Warriors), against The LeBron James Road To Redemption Tour, a.ka. LeBron James (The Cleveland Cavaliers).
- Turns out dinosaurs had feathers. This softens their bad boy image, but maybe a feathered villain is actually more terrifying? Ultimately, our children will decide.
I do have one resounding feeling when it comes to 2017, looking forward. It feels like a new frontier. Really, it does. Although the aesthetic of a blank sheet of paper is bleak, the opportunity to fill it in — the narrative possibilities — should be exciting to all of us.