Thank God It's Over: 5 Things That Definitely Did NOT Win the Summer of 2016

Yes, yes, yes. We're all into fall, and we've been waiting forever for sh*t to cool down. 

We're all about sweaters, PSL's, yoga pants, and words we never use otherwise like "Autumnal" and "foliage." 

But Summertime '16 was pretty dope for a number of reasons, and not because of the weather, ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, or any of the absurd treats New York City rolled out. 

It was a summer of TV, music, music festivals, politics, gold medals, and, well, more TV. 

But before we get into who won the summer, let's talk about how we've determined this, and, more importantly, what things lost the summer. 

Essential Question: How do you win the summer?

Answer: You have to do something well. You have to make an impact. You have to have lasting consequences. You have to show stability. You have to overcome obstacles. You have to carry meaning that lasts through the summer. 

Criteria also includes cultural significance (the "Oh, sh*t! That's it!"), staying power (how long will we continue talking about what you did?), and literal timeliness (this could have occurred right before the summer officially started, but it had to conclude before summer actually ended). 

Follow-Up: Sounds awfully subjective. 

Retort: Don't be an ass. Of course it's subjective. That's why we have five different writers contributing. Something made a bigger impact than other things, but at the end of the day, they all belong in the same discussion. 

Sheepish Change of Subject: Okay, so how do you lose the summer? 

Answer: SO GLAD YOU ASKED! (editor's note: who in the actual f*ck are you talking to?) You've got to screw up. Your missteps have to overshadow successes. You have to almost exist on a line of polarity where the opposite of you succeeded. 

As for who lost the summer, we've got a list of contenders ranging from big picture ideas to individuals. It's kind of all over the place. However, when it comes to who won the summer, we're doing no such thing. 

1. Ryan Lochte

duttyberryshow New vid! Ryan Lochte and that Dancing with The Stars Attack. LINK IN BIO. watch full video now. #ryanlochte #dancingwiththestars #dwts #duttyberryshow IGNORE THAT BLASTED CHAIR lol #Betucntnow 😎😎😎

This f*cking guy. 

Let's not go into toooooo many details as we're sure you know the full story by now, but let's say this with certainty: If you represent our country on a global stage, commit a crime, fabricate a story in lieu of admission, and then flee that country, you are a national embarrassment. 


Also, Ryan... RYAN. Ryan Lochte, you sir, are an abysmal dancer. Sometimes it takes a lot of hard work and determination to lose the summer. Other times it just takes a solid combination of unteachable ineptitude and white privilege. 

2. Patriotism

elissaharrington Colin Kaepernick takes a knee on the cover of Time Magazine. What do you think of the impact of his protest? #colinkaepernick #abc7now

Colin Kaepernick has the right to take a knee for the National Anthem. When he says he will not show this wildly trivial gesture of pride to a nation that oppresses people of color, he's not saying he himself is oppressed. Nothing he has said or done is misplaced or incorrect. 

Particularly when it comes to the reaction, and it goes well beyond the NFL. 

Whether it's high school players getting berated by their own communities, youth football teams getting death threats, or supposed educators saying football is not a platform for political gimmicks, Americans seem quite confused as to what being an American means. 

Even after countless veterans show their support for Kaepernick.

But more than that, what still sits in the shadows of this news story, and every protest after, is this important fact about professional spots in general.  

The Defense Department spent MILLIONS of dollars essentially to stage these acts of patriotism. But, again, let's talk about how a game of basketball, football, hockey―whatever, is not a political platform.

To be clear: There are plenty of reasons to #BoycottNFL, but players protesting the National Anthem because of institutional racism is not among them. 

#BoycottNFL because their networks give a public platform to people like Mike Ditka, telling NFL players that if they don't like this country then they should leave, and Ray Lewis, a murderer criticizing NFL players' behaviors and right to protest.  

#BoycottNFL because they took millions of dollars for paid patriotism. #BoycottNFL because of CTE funding/denial. #BoycottNFL because they take millions of dollars from taxpayers for stadiums nobody can actually afford going to two months out of every year. 

#BoycottNFL for domestic violence, rape apologists, and only taking credible actions when money from sponsors is threatened. 

3. Hollywood

movie.notes -自殺突擊隊(2016) 犯罪片 #自殺突擊隊 #SuicideSquad

Warcraft. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Michael Bay must be stopped!). Tarzan. Independence Day: Resurgence ("Big If" of the summer: Will Smith). Jason Bourne. X-Men Apocalypse. Suicide Squad. Hell, at this point, even Captain America: Civil War

All of it. Forgettable. Hot. Garbage. (Civil War really only falls into forgettable here.)

Summer blockbusters now share the same deathbed as Blockbuster Movie stores. 

Everything was pretty awful, and besides whiteness, Hollywood has a bunch of problems: oversaturation of serviceable actors in an attempt to convince audiences they're movie stars (most notably Miles Teller, Margot Robbie), nothing particularly original about any story told (look at all of those movie titles above), overbearing whiteness, and, back to the first one, where's our generation of movie stars? 

Hollywood isn't finding the next Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Susan Sarandon, Sandra Bullock, Angela Basset, or even Brad Pitt, let alone transcendent talents like Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, or Robert DeNiro. The closest thing we've got is Ryan Gosling.

This could spell a long run of bad movies simply because they're not using talent the way they should be. Does that have everything to do with Hollywood's problems of overbearing whiteness? IDK. 

Ask Michael B. Jordan who hasn't been in sh*t since the last movie he was in (Creed) got completely boned by the academy, and whose project before that (Fantastic Four) was the epitome of garbage. 

Or ask Lupita Nyong'o whose credits since she won an Oscar in 12 Years a Slave include voice work for CGI characters, a small role in a not-very-good Liam Neeson movie, and an incredible (albeit limited) run on Broadway in Eclipsed, a production that won one of its 6 Tony award nominations. 

How do we fix? This whole issue deserves more, but let's say that anytime you consider a Hemsworth, a Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a Teller, a Jesse Eisenberg, Shailene Woodley, Margot Robbie, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Whalburg, or Ryan f*cking Reynolds, consider instead, a Michael B. Jordan, Shameik Moore, Idris Elba (who should be in everything anyway), Lupita Nyong'o, Jurnee Smollett, Gabrielle Union, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chadwick Boseman, or Anthony Mackie. 

But don't just put Kevin Hart and The Rock in every comedy and call it a day. 

4. Climate Change Doubters

kennedys_mommi Put away your party hats: August marks a not-so-sweet 16 months of record warmth for the globe, the longest such streak in 137 years. August 2016 was 1.66 degrees F above the 20th-century average, breaking last years’ record for the warmest August on record by 0.09 degrees F, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The June–August seasonal temperature was 1.6 degrees F above average, surpassing the heat record for this period set in 2015 by 0.07 degrees. For the year to date, the average global temperature was 1.82 degrees F above average, also breaking the heat record set in 2015 by 0.29 degrees. 🔸#climatechange is real and the only one who is addressing it is #JillStein stop #fossilfuels #factoryfarming #greenhousegases #dapl #globalwarming #hillyes #hillno #neverhillary #wakeup #sustainable #planet #people #peace with #Jill2016 #timeforstein #nomorewar "How's that for an idea?" 💡

It's official. 2016 was the hottest summer on record across the globe. Thanks, science. 

5. The Media/Journalism

- Did you watch any of NBC's Olympic coverage

Tuesday morning, September 20th, instead of covering the murder of Terrence Crutcher with any of the respect it deserved, CNN decided to bring a heavy hand to levity in their exhaustive coverage of a celebrity family's divorce.

- Last Thursday, September 15th, Jimmy Fallon had Donald Trump on as a guest. Rather than do anything useful for voters, Fallon rubbed his head. But that's not real journalism, right? Besides, what do we really expect from The Tonight Show? He's just a comedian. Comedy Central's Samantha Bee. HBO's John Oliver (formerly of Comedy Central). CBS's Stephen Colbert. Comedians or nah? As for the real journalists? We get Matt Lauer


- Americans watched Al Roker nearly explode while Billy Bush (who the hell is that guy anyway?) whitesplained Ryan Lochte's story away. Seriously. We know he lied, but we still watched someone other than the liar try to tell us he didn't? 

- How did Tomi Lahren come to life? How did we confuse viral videos of angry, ill-informed, wholly illogical rants and opinions with news? 

- Hillary Clinton was paying her respects to the 9/11 Memorial before nearly collapsing from heat exhaustion. Immediately, news outlets and people with access to way too much technology pontificated on the larger consequences of her health. Some even went as far as to pronounce her dead. Good job, guys. 

[Feature Image Courtesy Jess Stewart | spoiled Media] 

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