Guest Starring Marcos
Oh, hey there.
Somehow, someway, 2017 topped 2016 in terms of absolutely disgraceful people and events.
Being the nihilistic satirist that I am, I’ve gathered the 11(ish) things of 2017 that I found the most disappointing.
And by that, I mean the 11(ish) things that I consider the most fun to ridicule and discuss.
You’ll know what the “ish” stands for if you read on.
Unlike last year’s list, where we tried to stray from political topics, you’ll find this list rather plump with them.
It was just too hard to ignore them this year, and doing so would be irresponsible of me.
Alrighty. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get to it:
1.) The Atlanta Falcons
Boy, have I been waiting to talk about this.
As many of you witnessed in horror (or in jubilation if you’re a White Republican in the Northeast), the Atlanta Falcons miserably blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The debacle was a result of several factors: each Falcons drive lasting about 13 seconds which exhausted their defense, Kyle Shanahan opting for a 5-step drop on third-and-short, and Dan Quinn’s dumb ass not kicking a field goal down the stretch.
Notice how none of that included Tom Brady?
But somehow, everyone gave Brady the glory as if he didn’t play terribly for 55 minutes.
Sure, he showed some great resolve–as did the rest of the Patriots. But that Falcons defense was probably more concerned with not dying than covering anyone.
Whatever, though: the Patriots won, Tom Brady is the best ever, yadda yadda.
For me, this went beyond football. It was about an organization called THE PATRIOTS with a Trump-friendly coach winning the biggest sporting event in America.
And a team with mostly Black stars that represents literally the epicenter of Black progress falling flat on its face.
The Falcons could have done it for the culture, but instead they crushed my spirits irreparably and made me hate football for several months.
I haven’t written about the NFL since then, and I probably never will again after this.
Nice going, Dan Quinn.
2.) Thoughts and Prayers
A lot of terrible, horrible shit happened in 2017.
Luckily, we had “Thoughts and Prayers” to save the day!
You know, the flood of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Whatever posts that would immediately appear following a recent tragedy that sent out “Thoughts and Prayers” to victims and loved ones.
It seems like these were posted with the intent of having some tangible, beneficial outcome. But let’s see how Thoughts and Prayers worked in action:
Yeah–>they didn’t do anything. Weird, right?
So usually when a tragedy happens, you’re faced with two options:
- Be sad, but ultimately do nothing, which is totally fine. You have your own life to live and can’t be constantly bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders. You discuss it privately, try to make sense of it, and move on.
- Take action by signing a petition, lobbying, voting, etc. Basically rolling up your sleeves a bit and trying to find ways to prevent bad things in the future. Kudos to you if you are this.
But the Thoughts and Prayers crowd likes to masquerade as if they’re taking action, but what they’re really doing is throwing up a useless post to gain the approval of the social media masses.
Which, from my angle, looks like they’re using people dying in real life in order to post a status showing how concerned and good-hearted they are.
If you are one of these people, then you’re a suck fuck. And I hate you.
3.) The Total Solar Eclipse
You might have heard (sarcastic Shayne is sarcastic) about a total solar eclipse back in August→ the likes of which hadn’t been witnessed in the US since 1918.
And of course, like the sensationalist country we are, everyone lost their shit.
Wedding engagements were planned.
People traveled across the country to get an optimal view of it.
Huge parties and festivals sprouted up in anticipation of the greatest celestial event EVER.
So when the day finally came, everyone stopped what they were doing to observe this:
Sure, it looked pretty cool. But it only lasted about 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
What were some of the more long-term effects, though?
Traffic jams ran amok.
Cameras were fried.
A bunch of soon-to-be-regretted marriages occurred.
People spent all their money and PTO on germ-infested festivals.
One (at least) dude got arrested.
Solar Energy was marginally compromised.
And many people risked eye damage–> either as a result of maliciously faulty eclipse glasses, or just impossibly blatant negligence.
I was one of the latter, and had to go to the eye doctor to make sure I wasn’t going blind. That is, after paying 40 fucking dollars for the visit.
In the end, the entire nation obsessed over a sorta cool occurrence that likely did way more harm than good.
Needless to say, the next time another one of these comes around (if ever), I’m going to stay in and take a nap.
4.) Anyone Still Supporting Donald Trump After Charlottesville
You know what took place at the Unite the Right rally.
The mostly White Nationalist/Neo-Nazi/KKK/etc. crowd was met with counter-protesters, a bunch of fights broke out, and some lunatic drove his car into a crowd of 30 counter-protesters which injured 19 and killed 1.
Somebody was murdered by a White Nationalist.
And when given the opportunity to opine on the event, Donald Trump described it as the result of “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
On many sides.
Someone drove a car into a group of people and killed someone, but the bigotry and violence came from many sides.
Like…there is just no defending this.
Or you would think that, but there were still some people in the country who echoed Trump’s evasive remark.
“Just a bunch of ignorant assholes fighting with one another and someone was killed”.
No. That’s not what happened.
You know what happened, and you know what’s been happening since last November. Yet, you are so terrified to admit that your judgment is flawed that you’re twisting and turning your perception to maintain your self-concept.
You’re embarrassed to continue supporting this man, but refuse to withdraw your support because you’ve already spent so much energy defending him.
You are doing everything you can to deflect and redirect the very possible reality that you’re a sympathizer for White Supremacy.
I bet you haven’t danced like this since prom.
5.) Lavar Ball Haters
It’s surprising to me that people personally hate Lavar Ball as much as they do.
The guy finessed the entire country by saying outlandish things in order to draw attention to both his brand and his sons.
Like, do you honestly think Lavar thinks he could beat Jordan 1-on-1? C’mon man.
But the nation took the bait, and here we are.
It’s not much different from what The Kardashians and DJ Khaled have done.
Some people have criticized Ball for pimping out his sons to advance the Big Baller brand.
What’s funny is that these people conveniently ignore how regularly big shoe companies exploit their own athletes.
Most pros only see a small percentage of what companies make off their likeness, so what’s wrong with Ball wanting to keep all the profits in the family?
And as for Ball being a bad father: shut the fuck up.
It’s not like these kids are getting arrested regularly (except in China), or like they’re disrespectful to the media, so I don’t understand all this hate.
And the fact that we even know what the Big Baller brand is means that Lavar has already won.
He refuses to have his children be another cog in the machine. He’s a good marketer. Don’t knock the hustle.
6.) Anyone Who Donated To Keaton’s GoFundMe
Talk about finessing the entire country.
So in December, a video surfaced featuring this kid named Keaton crying about being bullied at school.
The video quickly went viral, and support poured out of the fucking wazoo from the likes of Justin Bieber, Lebron James, and Chris Evans–>who even invited Keaton to the premiere of the upcoming Avengers Infinity War movie.
Now before I go on, I’m going to pause, because I know where you think I’m going with this.
You probably expect me to point out how Keaton’s mother is actually a Confederate Flag waving jackass who used her son’s tears to make a bunch of money so she could buy more crosses to burn.
I’m not surprised at all that a parent would use their child for financial gain. If someone could make a quick 50k by exploiting a situation that happened anyway, then why wouldn’t they?
Money isn’t the root of all evil, but the root of all people, so good for her.
As for her being a likely racist→ so what? We’re trying to act shocked now when a known pedophile NARROWLY lost an election in Alabama?
My real issue is with the dumbasses who actually donated to the GoFundMe.
What good would donating money to ONE kid do to end bullying?
Nevermind the bevy of anti-bullying orgs that we could have donated to instead, let’s make this random kid moderately wealthy. That’ll show bullies around the world!
Even the celebrities are at fault. Guess what’ll probably happen when Keaton goes back to school?
He’s gonna get to walk the red carpet right into an ass whooping, that’s what.
But what I found particularly hilarious was that the same people who donated to his fund were the same ones who turned around and blasted him after finding out about his mom.
So…you donated to a bullied kid only to bully him online x3 after finding out he’s probably a racist?
“Bullying is not okay!! …..unless someone has different beliefs and views than you!”
Yeah, that makes sense.
7.) Defunding Planned Parenthood
Man, there was a lot to dislike about 2017.
But this is probably the one I have the biggest issue with.
Not necessarily because of any effect it has on me, but how I know it’ll affect many others.
I grew up in a really poor neighborhood, and Planned Parenthood was our biggest recourse for reproductive health.
Especially since most of us didn’t have health insurance (this was before Obamacare).
Planned Parenthood was where we went for pregnancy tests, STD/STI screenings, abortion consultations, birth control supplies, and a bunch of other stuff.
And they always were willing to help us, whether we had insurance or not.
It might be hard for some of you to understand, but it’s incredibly comforting to know that people are willing to help you even though you’re broke.
I can’t imagine what it’s like for a teenager in my hometown now that the funding was pulled from Planned Parenthood.
Sorry for getting serious, but this is actually, genuinely disappointing, because I know there’s thousands of kids who need this resource.
Okay, back to the jokes..
??.) Rogue One
Whoever thoroughly enjoyed this movie needs to lay off the fucking Memberberries.
If this first standalone Star Wars film is going to be any indication of what’s planned to come, then I hope it’ll also be the last.
Don’t get me wrong→ the general plot was obviously enough to get us into the movie theater.
A group of rebels need to band together, steal the Deathstar plans, and likely die or get captured by the end credits to preserve continuity.
It’s pretty straightforward.
…Or, that’s at least what we thought going into it.
Instead, we got a boring plot with characters I don’t care about (or even remember) and a climax that has an embarrassing amount of fanservice.
“Ooh! ‘Member AT-ATs?”
I mean yeah, I remember how they’re fucking ATTACK vehicles that would be very counterintuitive to use when defending a base.
…wait. Rogue One came out in 2016?
Well, I’ve already written this much, so I’m putting this shit in anyway.
And now I’m writing to myself.
But hey, you’re only crazy if you write back.
You tell them, Shayne!
…okay, this is getting weird. Moving on…
8.) Diversity In Tech
While a certain ex-Google Engineer’s manifesto brought it to national attention, this shit isn’t nothing new.
There’s a huge diversity issue within the tech world. I’m one of maybe 5 black people in my company of over 300.
I’ve read several articles and have also spoken to many recruiters in the industry that I know.
It turns out that this issue’s continued pervasiveness has to do with unconscious bias in hiring practices.
What I mean by that is the inclination for recruiters and hiring mangers to pick people similar to themselves for open positions.
The problem with this is that most people doing the hiring are White, leading to a self-perpetuating acquisition of mostly White and Asian talent.
Notice how I said Asian?
Yeah, so while Asians are technically minorities, they’re actually pretty well represented in the tech world.
I smell some triangulation here, but I don’t have time to get into that now.
I also like how a flurry of articles and videos featuring White woman being enraged over James Damore’s comments sprouted up.
Even though there is an underrepresentation of Women in general, White and Asian women still VASTLY outnumber women from other ethnicities.
The point is that non-Asian minorities are practically non-existent in the the tech world, and the unconscious bias in hiring practices are only going to ensure that it stays this way.
Because *shocker* there’s many people in the industry who share James Damore’s views.
9.) EA/Star Wars Battlefront 2
You’re gonna love this.
In November, Star Wars Battlefront II was released to the masses, and quickly became the sacrificial lamb for years of pent up frustration.
EA has been screwing gamers over for years, by doing things like selling DLC packages that were already programmed on the physical disk.
But Battlefront II took things too far, and effectively opened the floodgates.
Stay with me here, because it’s a long story:
It started due to in-game “Loot Boxes”, which contained random goodies like new “Hero” characters and “Star Cards”–> which are one of the most valuable assets in the game.
The main way to purchase Loot Boxes is with Crystals, which themselves are instantly available through the in-game store that used actual money ($99 for 12,000 crystals).
The problem was that Loot Boxes contained things that sped up player progression way more than completing challenges and such.
In essence, some idiot could progress super fast and attain overpowered items by shelling out actual money.
So anyone running low on funds after the initial $60 investment for the game would just get dominated online by others who bought loot crates and leapfrogged any time commitment.
But let’s say you decided to “earn” a character like Darth Vader instead. How bad could the grind hours be?
Try 40 hours. It would take about 40 hours to unlock one character.
Some combated this nonsense with new age ingenuity, by tying rubber bands around their controllers to make their characters constantly walk through online matches and gain credits.
The result was online games littered with walking zombies.
Oh, but what if you spent $80 for the deluxe edition of the game? Vader should be there from the start, right?
Nope. 40 hours.
One full work week to unlock a character that someone with more money and less sense could buy in 5 seconds.
Okay, it’s pretty fun-ny, but that’s not what gamers who had Battlefront felt.
It was probably infuriating, because EA was literally making people spend more money just to be on a level playing field.
People obviously complained, so EA decided to respond via Reddit.
The response read:
“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.”
As you would expect, the idiotic comment was blasted by the Reddit community, which literally led to it becoming the most downvoted comment in the website’s history.
Following all this chaos, the EA stock fell 2.5% and the company lost 3 BILLION dollars the day Battlefront dropped.
While it was a hilariously explosive saga to observe, it was also a huge win for gamers, who were tired of having EA digging into their money that they weren’t towards rent because they still live at home.
Do not fuck with the neckbeards.
10.) Black NFL Players Who Didn’t Protest
Back in September, Donald Trump decided to direct his Twitter Cannon towards NFL players who chose to kneel during the National Anthem.
The general message of his tirade went something like this:
Of course, there was a call to action from many prominent Black figures in America. Musicians, Actors, Politicians, and Black Athletes from other sports all urged NFL players to kneel in protest that Sunday, which caused the hashtag #taketheknee to trend on Twitter.
Perhaps the most closely viewed NFL Sunday’s since 9/11 encompassed a bevy of different responses from NFL teams.
The Steelers decided not to come out of the locker room at all.
Singer Rico Lavelle kneeled after singing the National Anthem at a Detroit game.
Ray Lewis delved further into the sunken place by falling to both knees and supposedly praying.
But what really caught my eye were the Black players who stood.
They knew that the whole country was watching, and were certainly aware of Donald Trump’s tweets.
So when the time finally came to exercise your right to free speech and not only protest discrimination, but a direct challenge from an openly bigoted president, y’all just backed down?
I guess the excessive money y’all make in your contracts is just too much to risk by standing up for civil rights, huh?
I guess people like Muhammed Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and Bill Russell should have just stayed in their lanes and focused on their own prosperity, huh?
Okay, whatever you say.
Just remember what Kanye said: “Even if you’re in a Benz, you’re still a nigga, in a coupe”
Your master is calling. Better get back to your cabin, Uncle Tom.
Now here’s Marcos to close out this article, List Week, and 2017 as a whole:
11.) White People (again)
Let’s start with the obvious. Y’all elected a misogynistic illiterate cheeto to the office of president.
Feels like most of our problems this year stem from that decision, so what the fuck?
To make this shit worse, some of y’all are damn proud of it too.
I honestly don’t know what it’ll take to make y’all understand that you should care about people. Not even to the point of going out of your way for the good of others, but at least enough to not go out of your way to cause them harm.
Black Lives Matter out there protesting police violence, seems good right?
Oh wait, y’all are pissed that protesters are blocking roads.
We still celebrate that your ancestors hopped on a ship and destroyed private property to start a violent revolution because of taxes, but that’s not important.
Let’s focus on black people non-violently protesting actual violence.
Next y’all got the gall to be upset about immigrants. Seriously? The US has a long history of going to other countries, fucking shit up until the people in power are willing to sell their country to us, and then telling that country what a mess they are and how much better the US is.
Now that people in those fucked up countries got nowhere to go but HERE, y’all are pissed that they’ve been listening? Okay.
Mass shootings are y’all’s shit too.
Every time some violent shit happens the first thought through my head is, “Please don’t be Black, Latinx, or Middle Eastern. Please. Please. Please.” T
he rare times it is someone from those groups the conversation becomes about entire races or ethnic groups being violent.
Luckily, more often than not mass violence is perpetrated by white men. That’s not all white people’s fault though, right?
It’s probably mental illness or gun control or some other shit pretend to care about as long as you can blame something other than yourselves.
The only thing y’all had left were these morals you’re always talking about.
You and yours so much better than black and brown folks because you’re good Christians, you have family values, and you don’t tolerate mistreatment of young girls like in Islamic countries.
Alright, at least we can expect some good from y’all.
Oh. What a surprise. Y’all ain’t got shit.
Whew! You won’t find a better closer on the West Coast than Marcos.
Thanks for reading, but more importantly, thanks for making it through this year.
Now it’s time to bid farewell to 2017.
Please leave, 2017. Nobody even invited you.
Happy New Year!