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Pop culture brought some positives to a negative 2016

It’s only a matter of weeks before 2016 finally comes to an end, and at the rate things have been going, we’ll be lucky to make it to 2017 without a meteor hitting the Earth.

The past year, we’ve lost idols like David Bowie and Prince, endured an election cycle from hell and even mourned a certain iconic gorilla who need not be named. But in the spirit of optimism, here are some of the slivers of good news from the burning dumpster that was 2016.

Frank Ocean emerged from the shadows.

After a four-year musical drought following the release of his phenomenal 2012 album “Channel Orange,” the R&B singer finally reappeared, mysteriously built a staircase on an Apple Music livestream and then blessed us with two new albums, “Blonde” and “Endless,” before vanishing again. A fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things, but a beautiful one, nonetheless.

Obama finally got to loosen up, and it was hilarious.

Regardless of what you think of his politics, Obama is a cool dude. With his time as president coming to an end, he got the chance to have some fun. From the “retirement plans” sketch he starred in to the dad jokes he shamelessly let loose at his final turkey pardoning, funny Obama was in full effect, and it was awesome.

The Cubs won the World Series.

Even if you don’t watch baseball, the breaking of a 108-year curse is something for the history books, and getting to see that firsthand is, well, fairly cool.  It’s not everyday that a phrase synonymous with “when pigs fly” actually comes true. Then again, the election results aren’t really helping that point either.

Donald Glover accomplished everything a human being can hope to accomplish.

Okay, maybe not everything. But the man has been incredibly busy doing and making amazing things that you should feast your eyes and ears on, like his hit TV series “Atlanta” on FX and new music under his alias Childish Gambino, including two singles from the upcoming album “Awaken, My Love!” On top of that, he’s been named the next Lando in future Star Wars films. What did you get done this year?

Leonardo DiCaprio created an incredible documentary about climate change.

Yes, he was amazing in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Titanic” and everything else he’s ever been in, but with his new documentary, “Before the Flood,” the Oscar-winning actor masterfully sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our lifetimes. He even brought his buddy Mark Ruffalo along with him to the University of Miami to screen the film this October.

Finally, the best news of all: 2016 is almost over.

No, Jan. 1, 2017, won’t be the day the world magically fixes all of its problems, but it’s a fresh start, if only symbolically. We can finally put Harambe, Pokémon Go, Vine, the election and “Damn Daniel” behind us. Let’s cross our fingers in hopes that everything just mellows out a little come the new year.

November 29, 2016


Jon Vilardi

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