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Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 Year In Review - Fads & Trends

All right, so let's not beat around the bush here.

2016 - you sucked.  You sucked BIG TIME.  You sucked so much that I don't even think you know how bad you sucked!  I mean, if we were to look back at the teen years once we enter the year 2020, I would hazard a guess that 2016 would be the person that completely sucks all of the life energy out of the entire room.

And yet here I am - supposed to do a full fledged recap of the year that must never be spoken of again.  I don't know...can I possibly have the guts to revisit a year that many of us don't ever want to see again?

I guess I really have no choice in the matter.  I've done a year in review at the end of each year that I've written this blog. 

But, my goal is to try and find some gems in this cubic zirconium year that we call 2016.  Surely there has to be some positive things to say about this past year, right?

I'm thinking that maybe I should focus on a subject that is lighthearted and fun for the first installment of this look back at 2016.

Yes...I think we need to have a look at the fads and trends that helped define the year 2016.  In some cases, everything old has become new again.  In other trends, we find that splashes of colour can make anything much more delicious.  And some trends should have been forever ditched the same way acid-wash jeans and pet rocks were back in the day.

So, what sorts of things did people go crazy over in 2016?  Let's have a look!


Now, here in Canada, we do not have Powerball.  The closest we have is Lotto 6/49, and as far as I know, we have never had a billion dollar jackpot.  But as 2016 began, that's exactly what the jackpot climbed up to.  And people were buying up tickets to hopefully stake their claim on the cash prize.  In states in which Powerball was not played, many drove for hours to a state that did sell the tickets in order to play.  I even believe that some Canadians tried to get in on the act.  Finally, on January 13, the prize was split by three different winning tickets.  The end prize?  $1.6 BILLION!  That'd buy a lot of lottery tickets!


These days, you don't hear too much about this app.  My guess is that it's way too cold in some areas to catch Pokemon now.  But when the Pokemon Go app was released in the summer of 2016, it mesmerized millions of mobile phone users all over the world and inspired them to catch 'em all.  The app used virtual reality that allowed a person to wander their own world in search of Squirtles, Jigglypuffs, and Mewtwos.  Although some locations were questionable (graveyards, private driveways), the game did get people out of the house and kept them active.  Jury's still out on whether it will still be popular in 2017.


Remember back in 1985 when the Nintendo Entertainment System revolutionized the gaming industry?  Well, flash forward thirty-one years later, and Nintendo has relaunched the console in a miniature version one can plug into their televisions with the aid of an HDMI cord.  Thirty games come preloaded onto the machine.  Unfortunately, a supply and demand issue came into play, which caused lots of people to go without one - including this blogger.  But I'm sure that in 2017, more will become available.  At least, I hope so anyway.  And since we're on the subject of toys...


It seems hard to believe that these little eggs would cause so much heartache for many parents and their children.  These guys debuted in toy stores in late 2016, and they have become the most requested toy this year for the holidays.  They're also considered one of the rarest.  Consider the Hatchimal the Tickle-Me Elmo of 2016.


I am probably one of the only people in the world who has never used Snapchat.  To be honest, I find it to be a huge turnoff.  But I will admit that some of the photos and screenshots that I have seen of Snapchat filters in use have been quite creative.  I mean where else can you dress up like Santa without donning a beard, or change your voice in a video?  Granted, unless you have screenshots saved, those moments disappear in a few seconds anyway...but still, it is a neat idea.  Well, neat even though it generally makes some of us more narcissistic as a result.


Now, this is one that I had never heard of until now, but apparently these were all the rage in New York.  The popularity of these multi-coloured treats quickly spread across the United States, and now it is one of the food fads that defined the year!  They actually look too beautiful to eat!


You know how many people nowadays when they go shopping, they don't even bother to put on jeans?  They just wear pajama bottoms?  Well, somehow some designers capitalized on that trend to bring us pajama suits.  These are actual suits that are designed to look like bedclothes that one can pay a fortune for!  Personally, I think the only thing worse than these were the leisure suits guys in the 1970s wore...but that's merely my opinion.


In 2013, it was Gangnam Style.  In 2014, it was the Harlem Shake.  In 2015, it was Whip Nae Nae.  And this year, we had Pen Pineapple Apple Pen.  It's one of the stupidest viral video hits that has ever come out of Japan, and yet it somehow made Pikotaro a household name for a few weeks.  It's strange how things become popular, isn't it?


This is another trend that I have absolutely no idea why or how it became so popular.  The entire shtick is a guy named Daniel appears on the screen doing a random activity and someone off camera shouts "Damn, Daniel".  That's pretty much it.  Thankfully, you don't hear too much about damn Daniel now.


Finally, we have a trend that is popping up as a direct result of the crazy 2016 American Elections (which you KNOW I'll be discussing at some point in this week long retrospective).  During one of the presidential debates, Donald Trump referred to his competitor Hillary Clinton as a "Nasty Woman", and this set the stage for that phrase to be used in solidarity by millions of women in the United States who were not very pleased with Trump's choice of words.  As a result of this, the "Nasty Woman" slogan appeared on dozens of products including T-shirts, sweatshirts, and pajama pants.  I can only imagine that quite a few are sporting their "nasty woman" apparel right now as they read this.

See also for men: Bad Hombres apparel.

So, that's my list of trends and fads for 2016.  How many of you will admit to following one or more of these?  Although 2016 hasn't been that much fun to get through, I will say least we tried to have fun doing it.

So, tomorrow we take a break for the Tuesday Timeline.  And Friday, we'll have the latest edition of Jem Reviewed.  But here's the tentative schedule for the remainder of the week.

December 28 - 2016 YEAR IN REVIEW - TELEVISION
December 29 - 2016 YEAR IN REVIEW - MOVIES
December 30 - JEM REVIEWED
December 31 - 2016 YEAR IN REVIEW - MUSIC
January 1 - 2016 YEAR IN REVIEW - NEWS & EVENTS

So join me this week as we finally kill off 2016 in style!

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