It's a bitter pill getting back into real life after a gluttonous holiday bender, isn't it? I spent the last part of the year in Seattle, where the separation of trash from recyclables is more tedious than in Berkeley. Meanwhile, water is served with abandon at restaurants. I was nearly apoplectic every time a server topped off my glass of water. Don't those people realize there is a drought going on somewhere? Sheesh. Get a conscience. Seattle has its problems (the homelessness and the mindboggling tunnel project come to mind), but water ain't one of 'em.
After witnessing the vacuous soul of America at the airport on the way to the Pacific Northwest, and once there ingesting all of the food and most of the whisky to try to forget what I'd seen, I pondered the survival of our species. I decided that, were I king, I would relegate quite a number of things to the 2015 trash bin in an effort to make this a better place for the remaining time we have here together.
What follows—in no particular order and nowhere close to the literary value of a Post-It note authored by Joan Didion—is my Goodbye To All That list.
1. Police brutality against, and state sanctioned murders and assaults of, black people. Done. No more. Good-bye. This is Number One on my list, no surprise there. And frankly, variations on the theme could occupy every single inch of space in the 2015 dumpster. In fact...
2. Let's stop with The Grand Jury Show like California did. Sure, banning secret grand juries is an imperfect solution and doesn't get at the matter of problematic prosecutors with conflicts of interest and political agendas. But it is something more than nothing. May we have no more Tamir Rice incidents in California or anywhere else in 2016. Rest in peace, baby boy.
3. Into the incinerator goes the ubiquitous mass shooting. Toss in assault weapons, too. Throw in the pundits who continue to ask "Why?" in their circle-jerk commentary peppered with other pundits arguing about the so-called good guys with guns. Anyone else with mass shooting fatigue? Oh, another shooting. Only three dead? That's lucky! Could you please pass the Latkes? I don't have control over our elected officials, but 2016 offers all of us a chance to throw out the do-nothings. Let's do it.
4. No more newsy panels of ball-shriveled white dudes pontificating about women. Not about the way we vote or the way we plan our families or the way we behave in the boardroom or the bedroom or any of that. If we aren't participating in the convo, then don't talk about us.
5. The San Diego Chargers: Into the trash compactor you go!
6. Narcissistic fashion bloggers pretending their curated feeds aren't endless advertisements for unoriginal and frequently trashy clothes. Those terrible off-white lace shorts look good on precisely nobody.
7. Speaking of looking good on nobody, the man bun has got to go. It probably evolved from humble utilitarian beginnings necessitated by a hot yoga class somewhere in Santa Cruz. Once a tousled, afterthought-ish mess, the man bun was tolerable because yoga is non-judgey. But I'm not in yoga class today, friend. Greasy and haphazard, or sculpted and knotted with careful intention, the man bun is evidence that end times are upon us. Next to the legal execution of a 12-year-old boy in Cleveland, the man bun is the vilest trend of 2015.
8. The co-ed bun is also mandated to remain in the 2015 vortex. Yes, young college women, those squats are paying dividends; we see your tight, tight, tighty-tight hangdown from the hem of your bikini bottoms. Er...wait. Those aren't bikini bottoms. They're denim shorts. Daisy Duke just rolled over in her future grave, she's so aghast. Ladies, put some clothes on your perfect little butts. Trust me. They will look even more perfect with pants covering them. You will never go wrong with a classic Levis 501 jean. Less is more, is what I'm saying, as in less under-butt, more beautiful. Trust me in 2016 on that one.
9. That being said, co-eds can wear whatever the hell they want, damn skippy. Even if whatever the hell they want includes off-white lace booty shorts. Doublebad and tripletrue. Ass-bearing attire doesn't mean, however, the wearer is asking to be raped, okay college dudes? Per me, campus rape and sexual assault are going to be a thing of the past. Boom! Eradicated, like the lynching of black citizens, in 2016.
10. Internet timesucks a la The Dress. Is it blue and black? Is it white and gold? Did someone with iPhoto adjust the levels? How did that Christmas tree get into that abandoned building anyway? Did you ever find the panda in the sea of snowmen? For the sake of all things living, this type of viral decoy to The Important Things In Life needs to be in the rearview mirror.
11. Craft beer. Please. No more craft beer.
12. Craft beer snobs. Please no more craft beer snobs.
13. Loud goddamned restaurants. What is the reason for this phenomenon? What? I can't hear you...
Happy New Year, Readers. I am grateful to you for all you gave me in 2015 and would never dream of leaving you behind.