Here in America, we revel in excess.
Every year, everything we love gets bigger. Our Superbowl performances. The dollar menu.
Even our egos have become swollen to super-sized proportions.
Maybe it’s just a side effect of the ability (or the expectation) to have whatever you want, whenever you want it. But I’m not here to criticize—after all, it was Taco Bell’s extensive dollar menu that helped me survive late nights in college.
No, I’m just here to suggest a different course of action; a simpler course than our traditional direction of surplus and celebrity. With a fresh year ahead of us, there’s no better time to set the trends for what’s to come.
To put it frankly, some things have reached their breaking point. There’s too much of a lot of things out there, and it may be time to pump the brakes on some of the more ridiculous aspects of humanity’s crazy train.
I propose we make 2015 the “year of less.”
Or at the very least, less of these things.
10. Reliance on “cloud” storage.
If #TheFappening taught us one thing, it was not to trust the cloud. It’s not the all-powerful heavenly gift we once thought it was. It’s a sad, murky cloud that rains on children and looks down people’s shirts.
It’s not a great tool for data storage and keeping your iPhones from exploding from lack of space, but not for protecting personal information of any kind.
I think it’s a real good rule of thumb from here on out to treat everything we store on the cloud as something we’re sharing with the rest of the internet. At least, until we learn where the hell this cloud actually is.
9. Click-bait articles.
I could have titled this article something like, “We wrote a list of things to leave behind in 2014—and you won’t believe what happened next,” but, like most of those articles, you probably can guess what happens next (you would click on it).
The thing is, those tempting articles are not that compelling. They just rely on your curiosity to get you to click it. Some say that’s a good tactic, but I would say it’s misleading—not to mention crossing some major ethical lines.
The main purpose of journalism is to inform, and spread information. Just like magazines and newspapers can be guilty of ludicrously misleading headlines – so can digital articles. Not rocket science.
On that note, we have plenty of articles that are anything but vague—telling the reader exactly how they should feel about the article’s subject before they even read it, leading to many a heated argument in the comments section.
The thing is – if you’re going to call something news, write it objectively as such. And if you feel like stating an opinion, call it an opinion piece. Admittedly, this is something many major news outlets haven’t really figured out yet.
These kinds of articles are a step above tabloids, and while I may not be writing on the same level or with the same sophistication of the New York Times, I’m proud to say my calibre has not stooped to a two sentence lead-in that links to a re-blogged video of a puppy—the same one you saw six months ago.
I see you, Upworthy.
Let me be very clear from someone who studied journalism: most of the articles above should never be called journalism, unless you put the words “sensationalist,” “yellow,” or “incitement” in front of it. And for those “journalists” pushing this low-level crap—a pox on all your publications.
A pox, I say.
Easy all you Sir Mix-A-Lot fans out there—I’m not here to take on the tushy. I have nothing wrong with a delightful derriere in movies, music, or other pop culture outlets, but let’s face it; 2014 was the Year of the Booty.
From Nicki Minaj’s rumble in the “Anaconda” jungle, to Kim Kardashian attempting to break the internet with her ass – there was more than enough butts to go around this year.
Hell, by the end of it, we weren’t even trying to be clever with our innuendos. Iggy Azalea and J. Lo’s singing/dancing/gyrating collaboration was simply called, “Booty.” And for those who haven’t seen it—no, it has absolutely nothing to do with pirate treasure.
So this year, maybe we give the ole badonkadonk a rest, and focus on some other elements of females that we like.
Like their personality, for example.
7. Taylor Swift
Maybe just a little less Tay-Tay?
After her newest album 1989 being the third of her albums to go Platinum within the first month of release, no one is really buying the whole, “I’m just that small town girl you knew growing up and I’m so innocent and uncomplicated” anymore.
9 out of 10 of her exes will agree—it can’t all be our fault. Maybe it’s time we put a new name in that “Blank Space” on the Grammys for 2015.
6. Ebola panicking.
Or SARS. Or Swine Flu. Or Avian Flu.
Remember all those? Remember how the world was ending all those times and then it didn’t and we all forgot and moved on until the next potential threat to wipe out humanity popped up?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be cautious and we shouldn’t be aware of communicable diseases, viral outbreaks and how to stop their spread, but the raw panic that ensues is counterproductive.
“Ebola” was the number one search term in 2014, and as many in the healthcare profession have told me, the amount of people who came into hospitals believing—no, convinced—they had Ebola was staggering (some had never even been to the east coast OR Dallas, much less West Africa).
5. Michael Bay
Just stop it dude.
4. NFL behavior problems.
I know, I’m not the only one who is sick of seeing the spineless, vacant lump of excuses formerly known as Roger Goodell blathering on behind a podium about whatever scandal is currently going on in the world of “professional” sports. He’s got more empty promises than a politician, and less stature than a jellyfish.
But this isn’t an attack on Goodell—he may be an impotent figurehead of the National Football League, but he’s not the one perpetrating the acts (he’s just covering them up, which could be worse depending on your values and principles).
It falls to our beloved Sunday Soldiers to stop pairing their millions of dollars with ridiculously stupid decisions. And while I know this is really out of our hands, here’s to 2015 having fewer flags on the play.
3. Ice bucket challenges.
I know it was for a good cause. I know it greatly raised awareness. But mainly, it just felt like a really wet, cold chain letter with a lot more guilt than, “10 years bad luck.”
Please, no more of these unless it’s the Hot Magma/Swarm-O-Bees challenge—there are some celebrities I would love to see show their support.
Over twenty major movies that came out this year were sequels.
That’s not including Redbox throwaways, Indie films, or made-for-TV toss outs. A good majority of high-budget films this year were sequels, prequels, continuations of sagas or just one final gasping breath of a franchise. Now don’t get me wrong, many were great films and highly anticipated sequels or franchise extensions—namely, anything in the Marvel movie franchise.
But as great as it was seeing the X-men play with time travel on the big screen and watching Captain America face off with Robert Redford in a political thriller, this year was also host to such films as Rio 2, Expendables 3, Transformers 4, and Step Up: All In, which leads the pack in the “movies that really just didn’t need to be made and no one asked for” category, hereby known as, “Nick Caging.”
Sadly, it doesn’t look like much of this trend will change in the year to come, mostly because all the 2015/16 movies are already in production, and as this list will show you, there’s a WHOLE LOT of sequels on the way.
1. Justin Bieber
Actually, less Bieber isn’t good enough. Let’s try absolutely none.