Hey, these quite good things actually happened in 2016
While the world goes to shit, we have a lot to be thankful for
2016 has been a bad year, guys. It’s been a bad year. It’s been bad. If it hadn’t, why would everyone keep telling us it has been?
But in the doom-and-gloom narrative we’ve accepted as the months have tumbled upon us, it’s easy to forget that, while a lot of it has been dreadful, there actually have been some bright spots this year.
Don’t believe us? Well, take a seat. These are some of the purest, most bittersweet things that happened while the world burnt around us.
Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar
With everything that’s happened in the last year, it’s easy to forget that it all kicked off with the purest moment of all time. He did it! Leo actually did it!
Who cares that most of the other times he didn’t really deserve it (The Wolf of Wall Street? The Aviator? BLOOD DIAMOND?), or that Fassbender and Redmayne were objectively better, or that The Revenant was really just three hours of grunting while rolling around in snow and entrails. Leo got his Oscar!
— Joey Salads (@JoeySalads) February 29, 2016
Beyoncé dropped Lemonade
No, not literally. Queen B dropped the best album of the year out of nowhere, prompting the entire world to come together in a rapturous chorus of yaaaaaaaaasssss. Well, apart from Jay Z.
— Lourdes (@gossipgriII) April 24, 2016
Other joyful releases include the laborious reemergence of Frank Ocean through tedious livestreams of him doing DIY, Kanye’s glorious Life of Pablo (which you learnt to love once it moved off fucking Tidal), and the joint return of I-just-want-to-hug-them sad indie sweethearts James Blake and Bon Iver.
Before this year the wider world hadn’t even heard 7 Years by Lukas Graham, the four-piece Danish band who convinced everyone they were one guy called Lukas Graham despite having no members called Lukas Graham. Imagine.
That kid didn’t get killed by Harambe
The world mourned, first seriously and then very much not, at the death of a Cincinnati Zoo gorilla in May who quickly became the first martyr of the age of memes.
And while it is awful that Harambe was killed by trigger-happy zookeepers, he also didn’t get the chance to tear a three-year-old limb from limb in the sort of frenzied bloodlust gorillas are famous for. So, you know, every cloud.
Hasn't even been a year and people already offering sacrifices for Harambe. pic.twitter.com/fWrMF0qQDy
— Meme (@WhiteGuyMemes) December 15, 2016
We got rid of a lot of idiot politicians
Brexit was an absolute shitshow – don’t pretend otherwise. The pound went into freefall, racist abuse in the UK skyrocketed and our idiot nation became a “don’t do what they did” life lesson for every other smirking country in the world. Well, until America, but we’ll get to that.
If we did profit from Brexit, though, it’s that we got to see a lot of slimy politicians get their long-awaited comeuppance. Watching Boris Johnson bumble through his resignation was somewhat satisfying, as was David Cameron slithering off the scene after realising he’d well and truly ruined everything for himself and everyone else in the UK.
The best, though? That goes for the fall of king snake Michael Gove, who managed to wipe out his running mate, turn the entire country against him and torpedo his own political aspirations, all in the space of about a week.
Leicester won the Premier League
When they miraculously avoided relegation at the end of the season, we cheered on the underdogs for a bloody good turnaround. Then, when they hit the ground running, we cheered again and joked about Leicester City, Leicester City, winning the Premier League.
But victory after victory mounted up, both the Manchesters were left choking in their dust, and even a heartbreaking Arsenal defeat couldn’t stop no-one’s first choice Premiership team achieving one of the most ridiculous sporting victories of all time.
We now live in a world where Jamie and Rebekah Vardy are profiled by Hello! Magazine. If that isn’t something truly special, we don’t know what is.
— HELLO! (@hellomag) May 30, 2016
Did they marry Louis Tomlinson too?
The orcas got their freedom
In a groundbreaking turn of events, Blackfish viewers rejoiced when the California government passed legislation to outlaw the breeding and captivity of orca whales. Roam free, Willy.
We had the best TV year for ages
In what other years would we get to see an entire hour of John Snow fucking shit up on the battlefield, an ’80s-themed science fiction extravaganza about an 11-year-old-girl called 11 who can kill people with her brain, and a series about a Wild West robot theme park which somehow doesn’t suck?
Yes, 2016 has been an incredible year for TV, but we would still have swapped it all just to watch the bobcat from Planet Earth 2.
They grew a flower in space
Not sure why, but man oh man they grew a fucking flower in space!
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 16, 2016
Still not as good as Wigan putting a pie in space though is it?
Pokémon GO came out and then thankfully went away
Our collective consciousness dropped a few IQ points in July when Pokémon GO was released to the masses, and it seemed like the rest of our lives would be devoted to watching friends up and leave restaurants to catch Magikarp, or reading headlines like this.
Luckily, within about a month the game had all but disappeared, and we were back to playing mobile games like they were meant to be played – inside, sad and alone.
We won a record amount of gold medals in Rio
Britain. We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Bradley Wiggins, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott, Katherine Grainger, Chris Hoy. Mo Farah’s right foot. Mo Farah’s left foot, come to that.
Bigger countries only respond to strength, so we were prepared to be much stronger – by winning 67 medals, only three less than China.
Speaking of the Olympics, we got these guys
How could it be a bad year with these guys?
The world’s tiger population increased
In other good wildlife news, the World Wildlife Fund carried out a tally which found the world tiger population had increased from 3,200 in 2010 to almost 4,000.
They’re aiming for double that by 2020, so soon this could be a reality for everyone.
Some good came out of the election
What? Donald Trump got elected president you doofus, I hear you say. And yes, while the pussy grabber-in-chief and his merry band of dickheads may not exactly be my ideal choice for leaders of the free world, there were still some positive changes on election day.
Catherine Cortez Masto, the USA’s first Latina senator, was elected; Oregon elected Kate Brown, the country’s first openly LGBT governor. Add to that the likes of Ilhan Omar, Kamala Harris and Pramila Jayapal, and the future of US democracy may not be as bleak as you thought.
Remember – without the election, we’d never have been graced with this.
Wow, a cow made of butter. My girls would love it. In fact, the first sentence Caroline ever said was "I like butter" pic.twitter.com/TzBZJmVFKT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 9, 2014
Amazon delivered something by drone
Despite everything, the wheel of technology thunders on, as demonstrated by the fact that Amazon actually delivered an actual package with an actual drone this week. Yes, it may signify the start of the eventual murderous robot uprising, but it’s still pretty sweet.
Elsewhere, you can finally have groups on Snapchat (!), zoom in on Instagram (!!!) and use Virtual Reality, for real. So if the world really is that shit, you can just pop on some goggles and pretend it doesn’t exist.
And James Blunt didn’t release any new music
If you thought 2016 was bad – I'm releasing an album in 2017.
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) December 13, 2016
Yep, 2017 is gonna suck.