Editor's Note: this blog post came out about fifteen minutes before the awful news broke about Carrie Fisher; there are no words. We have lost our Princess and we are devastated.
No doubt about it. 2016 has kind of been an awful year. With a multitude of celebrity deaths, starting with David Bowie and Alan Rickman at the start of the year, and continuing deep into December with 80s icon George Michael on Christmas day (and it's still going!) And then of course, there was Brexit, which the United States felt obliged to one-up with the election of Donald Trump. And there was plenty of other crappy happenings around the world in between all of that: Aleppo, for example.
But we here at Critical Writ want to encourage everyone to start the new year on a positive note, because 2017 is going to be the year to fight and fight hard to keep existing rights, and make whatever gains we can for marginalized folks.
So for your positive reading pleasure, we have compiled a list of things that didn't suck this year in the following categories: news, games, TV, movies and comics. These lists are by no means meant to be definitive, and you might find that there is plenty missing, because a lot happens in a year (especially news-wise). But we picked out a few things that made us happy, and we hope they make you at least a little happy too.
We've divided these each into their own posts, starting with the news. There is so much missing here! So feel free to link us to your own news that didn't suck, in the comments below!
- Cheers, love, the cavalry’s queer! In news that definitely didn’t suck this year, Blizzard revealed that its banner character for hit game Overwatch is gay! Tracer, the very face of this fabulous and popular FPS, has a live-in girlfriend named Emily, and they are freaking adorable! While this fact was not revealed in the game itself (which would be silly, as the game focuses on military-style missions as characters shoot each other), Emily was revealed in a companion comic strip, part of the vast array of lore-related companion media that Blizzard is constantly putting out. Ibn further news that didn’t suck, the general consensus amongst fans has spanned from elated to *shrug,* (the latter is a good thing, as it suggests gayness is normalized for lots of folks these days). The little bit of ugliness on forums, Facebook comments, and even in-game, tends to be quickly shut down by impatient fans who have no time for homophobia as they pwn noobs. (Ivonne)
- Thanks to Make-A-Wish, a sixteen-year-old teenager will have an all-star cast and crew for his very own film. Anthony Conti wanted to create a film and the foundation was happy to help. The film will be an apocalyptic zombie tale, co-written by one of the writers for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. As for stars, J.K. Simmons, Sam Raimi, Johnny Depp, Penelope Ann Miller, and many more agreed to help. (Zachary)
- Cool science news! Scientists discovered a new species of whale in Alaska’s Bering Sea! Considering the rate at which humans are causing various living species to go extinct, it’s cool news to hear that we are still discovering things and we haven’t totally killed everything yet with our carelessness! The oceans represent the final frontier on Earth, and it’s clear we haven’t discovered everything out there yet. A whale carcass washed up in Alaska and scientists sleuthed out the fact that it was a species we’ve never seen before. (Critical Writ staff)
- Better late than never! Google waited until December 26, 2016, but they finally did it: they have fixed their search algorithm so that holocaust-denying results no longer appear on the search. For years Google has maintained that they do not alter search results, to prove they are “unbiased.” The algorithm has also been adjusted so that when you ask hateful questions in the search, (such as “are Jews evil”), the results mostly direct you to news about the search results scandal. It’s not perfect, but it is a step towards not normalizing racism, something we desperately need in the US after our presidential election. (Critical Writ staff)
There are plenty more things that don't suck to come, so keep an eye out for the rest of the week as we countdown to 2017 with the best of 2016!