This year has been… a lot of things. Terrible for many reasons, but also sometimes amusing, and most of us couldn’t look away, keeping up with 2017’s insane parade of happenings through Facebook and Twitter. We take a look back at all the good and bad and amazing and annoying and ultimately unforgettable viral things the year has produced, and the ways we engaged it on social media.
That whole Keaton Jones debacle
Remember the video of that crying kid that went viral, the one who said he was being bullied? Then Chris Evans (A.K.A CAPTAIN AMERICA) invited him to watch Infinity War? Turns out his family might be bunch of confederate flag-waving racists, and the whole thing was embarrassing for everyone who just wanted to believe in, what, the innocence of children? The purity of Steve Rogers? Let’s never speak of this again.
This was so stupid. But that was the point. The mishaps and follies of bigoted presidents are rarely ever easy to laugh about, but “covfefe” was an exception. We saw the typo, had a good, dumb chuckle about it, then moved on with our lives as gears in a fascist machine that can’t even type properly.
The meet cute story that turned out to be a lie
How fitting that an LRT love story would turn out to be a trainwreck. Always a messy thing, when the lines between fiction and nonfiction are blurred. The thread isn’t around anymore but here’s another thread addressing the whole debacle. Moral of the story? If it sounds too cloyingly sweet to be true, don’t believe it.
All you have to know about this is that Rick & Morty is a show that referenced a discontinued McNugget Sauce in one episode. McDonalds then tried to cash on it, and then the most obnoxious pockets of the show’s fanbase stormed McDonald’s branches all over America, victimizing cashiers with szechuan sauce references no one else really gives a crap about. Except maybe Frank Ocean.
The escapist ghost story of the year. Adam Ellis, please just get out of your house.
Running with your arms behind your back is aerodynamically impractical but that didn’t stop weeaboos in the mid-2000s and early 2010s from trying anyway. They were jeered for it. Mocked. Look at us now though, holding Naruto Run events, with non-weeaboos getting in on the action. We’ve truly come a long way, my dudes — the stigma attached to anime fanaticism is weaker now than ever before, and we should all be proud of how much we’ve grown.
All the Star Wars thinkpieces
Whether or not you liked The Last Jedi, you can’t deny the sheer volume of discussion it generated. Always fun when a crapton of people all get together to critically engage a text. Admiral Holdo fo’ life.
It’s not very often a piece of fiction makes the rounds on social media, but damn, Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian is a trip. The story follows Margot who, in the process of dating an older man, navigates a dizzying process of rationalization and self-deception to assess whether or not she might be in love. It’s required reading for any dude who’s ever accused women of being complicated and overemotional. Joke’s on you man, you’re also a lot to handle.
The grandchildren of dictators being annoying
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — being young doesn’t excuse from playing dumb, especially if you’re the grandkid of a fascist president. See, this is the kind of crap that makes millennials look bad.
What’s your ulam, pare?
The beauty of the Facebook group “What’s your ulam, pare?” isn’t the pictures of good food, or that it brought back colloquial word-reversal back into vogue (e.g. “lodi,” “petmalu,” “werpa,” you get the idea). No, it’s that it was a place everybody could earnestly, genuinely, and happily share the stuff they like and be met with love and support. When does that ever happen on the internet?
Those freaking Hokage groups
Ask any straight dude and they’ll tell you that yeah, guys have been talking crass about girls in groups and chat threads for a pretty long time. The emergence of Pastor Hokage groups just happened to make that brand of jerkoff misogyny more obvious. They haven’t been around since, and it seems guys are just a little more mindful now of not being gross.
Taylor Swift’s “Reputation”
What was perhaps intended to be a self-aware piece of commentary on the pitfalls of fame turned out, instead, as a tone-deaf mess oblivious to the burning, fascist world it inhabits. Perhaps Taylor can start redeeming herself by critically addressing how loved she is by the alt-right. Ugh. Endgame is a pretty great song though.
Trudeau getting Jollibee
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference could’ve been a good chance for us to learn about how this country figures into the greater scheme of things geopolitically, or more deeply understand what Trump and Duterte’s relationship means for everybody else. But nope, we got stuck with regurgitated content of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau getting Chickenjoy, because that’s apparently important. He’s not that great you guys.
Jonghyun and Chester Bennington
The suicide both of the SHINee singer and the Linkin Park vocalist opened up a ton of discussion for what it means to be a mentally ill human being working in the arts, and how incredibly strange it is that we find healing in the work of the emotionally wounded. What else is there to do but to preserve their memory? RIP.
The cancelling of Jensen and the Flips
Rumors of Jensen and the Flips being touchy-feely creepazoids have been stewing for a while, but it was Adrienne Onday who, with a thread of collected stories, really broke the castle gates open. You can read more about what went down here. Always be critical of your idols.
If 2017 was the year of exposing powerful men for the monsters they are, the indictment of Harvey Weinstein was the first domino to make everything else fall. Not so much a social media moment that last a week tops, but a cultural moment, bound to follow us into 2018 as more villains are cast into the light.
My Family’s Slave
Alex Tizon’s essay was the piece that launched a thousand threads and a long overdue discussion about household power dynamics and the plight of the domestic worker. Y’know what’s real outrageous, though? Even after all that talking, no meaningful change has come of it. Just goes to show it takes more than woke-posturing to get anything done.