Editor’s Recap: Looking back on 2016


Illustrations by Aida Ohadi/Collage by Tina Fernestam

MOVING FORWARD: As the year comes to an end, we look back on the best of times and the worst of times. Clockwise left to right: Adele, Beyoncé, David Bowie, Prince, Ryan Lochte, Harley Quinn, Simone Biles, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Not even Christopher Nolan could’ve written a year like this into a film. As we say goodbye to many good things, and welcome a new year, here is a recap of the good, bad and ugly of 2016.

We’ve lost great and talented artists and performers this year. With less than two weeks into the new year, the world lost the voice and icon of pop music, Starman himself, David Bowie. Bowie left the world in silence and sadness as they reflected his passion in music and the world. Just a few months later, in April, Prince died. His sudden death shocked fans around the world, but he left a legacy that will never be forgotten.

Harper Lee, Pulitzer-prize winning author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” passed away at the age of 89. Her first novel left its mark with generations of high school students. And her death came soon after the release of her surprise novel “Go Set a Watchmen.”

Election season took 2016 by the reins and shifted into the most outrageous and nail-biting Election Day. The Democratic Party, saw a rift as candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off in the primary polls. Sanders unified the younger generation, ignited a spark that gave millennials hope, giving many young Americans a revolution they could believe in. However, Clinton clinched the nomination, becoming the first woman to represent a major political party.

There were signs pointing to the results of the election, but people refused to believe it was possible.

A Trump presidency became a reality for the fraudulent businessman, but overnight America was in tears, anger and protests. The president-elect caused numerous controversies throughout his campaign this year. He filled the year with deception, unethical commentary, and unimaginable results.

Clinton took a hard punch, as she stepped away from the spotlight after the results, making minimal appearances. On Nov. 9 a petition was created calling on the Electoral College to make Clinton the president, as won over 2.3 million difference in the popular vote. Change.org announced that it had more than 4.7 million signatures, becoming the fastest growing and most signed petition in the website’s 10-year history.

Feuds brewed throughout this past year. A notable one to recount in the world of music was the never-ending rift between Taylor Swift and Kanye West. It all began back in 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards when West abruptly interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech when she defeated Beyoncé for best female video. Both parties admitted they had looked past their differences, at the same award show six years later when Swift presented West with the prestigious Video Vanguard Award. It all tumbled down from there.

The night before the GRAMMYs, Kanye West dropped his album “The Life of Pablo” and the most talked about track off the record was “Famous.” West raps “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that b–h famous.” Shots were fired, as Swift won her album of the year award she skilfully targeted West in her speech without mentioning his name. She later shared that she never approved such lyrics. The war took its last battle, when Kardashian took to snapchat and laid out all the videos recorded of the conversation between Swift and West working on the track, with Swift retracting saying there was no agreement in the video, and West never played the song for her beforehand.

The queen of the charts, Beyoncé, surprised fans by dropping her long-awaited album, “Lemonade” after her HBO special back in April. She created a short-film based on each track, and created yet another movement after her 2013 self-titled album. On the other side of the pond, another hitmaker was welcomed back into the limelight. Adele effortlessly broke numerous records with her new album “25.”

The film “Suicide Squad”    took the year by storm  with its villian-filled, star-studded cast. Margot Robbie portrayed Harley Quinn, which became one of the most popular costumes this year.

The summer Olympics in Rio took a toll all the way from the beginning. But team USA made the most headlines for the good and the bad. The gold medal winning gymnastics team, “The Fab Five” took the world by storm. One member in particular, Simone Biles, made the world her stage at just 19 years old. Her stamina, strength, and swiftness on each of her routines awarded her with four Olympic gold medals and one bronze.

Biles set a new American record for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics at a single Games. Biles and her teammate Gabby Douglas are the only African American female U.S. gymnasts to win both the individual all-around gold and team gold at the same Olympic games. She was the first American female gymnast to be the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies.

Fellow Olympian Ryan Lochte made headlines in Rio, leading him to be labeled as a disgrace to his country. Lochte was involved in an investigation with Brazilian police, which revealed he reported lies. Lochte initially said that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint by men with police badges as they returned from a party in a taxi on Aug. 14. Brazilian police alleged that the U.S. swimmers vandalized a gas station restroom. Investigation found that Lochte pulled down a metal advertisement and the swimmers urinated behind the gas station restroom.

As the year winds down, 2016 can be concluded as the year of embarrassment, accomplishments, and disparity. Let’s all cross our fingers and enter 2017 with some hope for the new year. It’s been a year in the making, and now it’s finally coming to an end.