Why 2016 was not the worst year ever

I was having dinner with a few friends last night and noticed, whilst munching through a Brussels sprout with the elegance of a confused manatee, that we had each cursed the year 2016 in some capacity and with ball-aching rigour.

By almost any metric, 2016 has been a total dustbin of a year: Brexit, Trump, Berlin, Bowie, Prince, Aleppo, Brangelina, Zika (this is obviously not in order of magnitude). Even Harambe was not safe from 2016.

On a personal level, I experienced my first flat tyre and realised that twenty years of formal education had utterly failed to equip me for that particular crisis. (I’ll take this sob story elsewhere given I received sympathy from, well, nobody, and especially not Europcar.)

2016 has been so lacking in clemency that the hashtag #worstyearever is even trending on Twitter. However, I’d like to inject this ostensibly fashionable pessimism with a sense of much-needed realism;

1) Whilst it maintains its own unique brand of shittiness, 2016 is not a credible contender for the “worst year ever” award. 1348 took the cake when the bubonic plague killed off about a third of the human population.

2) Next year could be worse than this year. Without wanting to indulge unnecessarily sensationalist theories thrown out by hysterical tabloids… we simply have no idea what will pan out in Syria, whether Brexit actually means Brexit, what Putin and Trump’s bromance really means for an already terrified liberal audience, and whether Daenerys Targaryen will succeed in winning the Iron Throne.

3) Some pleasant things did happen. Juno entered Jupiter’s orbit, we got new emojis including a colossally useful avocado, Patagonia donated all of its Black Friday sales (yes, sales) to charity, we made significant strides towards curing ALS and Alzheimer’s.

You may be wondering what the point of this rant was. Maybe I just intended to waste your time in order to make your 2016 that little bit worse. Or perhaps I wanted to offer up some verbal ammunition to use when you are next at a dinner party and someone inevitably sighs and extends a gratuitous moan about how sucky this year has been.

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