2016: The Best of List That Never Was

Photo: © Jill Greenberg

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the relentless tag team fu**ery of 2016.

**Newsflash**  2016 was a stinking pile of doggie doo doo—lit on fire and left on everyone’s front porch leaving an inescapable STANK that permeated throughout the entire year.

The never-ending yarn of loss, social injustice, terrorism + the congealed, rotten stench of the Trump campaign spooled on and on with seemingly no end in sight?

The crushing weight of (attempting?!) to condense it all was simply too overwhelming for me come deadline time.

Looking back, once 2016 took my idol Prince—I effectively went into “I’m officially dead inside” auto-pilot, and everything blurred into oblivion shortly thereafter.


…I’m still not done bawling my eyelashes off FYI.

Little did I know it would be a full year of mourning beloved musical artists, writers and personalities that shaped the tapestry of my LIFE’S PATCHWORK QUILT. Artists taken suddenly and without warning—Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Carrie Fischer and her mother Debbie Reynolds—not but 24 hours later? Singer Sharon Jones (I thought her Cancer was in remission?!) Alan Thicke? Harambe the Gorilla?!?!

For the first time in years I had SEVERE creative fits and starts trying to write my annual  ‘Best of’ review.

A review, which by way, brings alllllll the boys to yard and makes my traffic stats skyrocket.

But I couldn’t pull it together—I couldn’t feign genuine enthusiasm. My stabs at humour + time-honoured recipe of wittier-than-thou nomenclature felt hollow and quite frankly, disrespectful.

What good could my picayune “best of list” + a couple juvenile GIFS do, for a world drowning in the daily BRINE of horror and sadness?

And, AND!!—If I don’t address some of the REAL issues I’ll feel irresponsible, but if I delve into them too deeply I’ll need a Kanye 5150 stay of the ‘exhausts’ and the ‘tireds’ cause its. all. too. Painful.

At its core The Pop Culture Rainman™ is an entertainment blog—long on comedic intelligentsia and short on tackling hard news à la Christiane Amanpour. That’s not to say I don’t personally step in deep puddles, but I prefer to stay on-brand whereas this blog is concerned. Either way, I felt mud-stuck and didn’t have a clue on how to balance funny, with say, the growing panic of what was happening in Aleppo!?

I wanted to crawl into a dark corner with a bag of weed gummy bears, 3-ply tissues and a clickity lamp.

…I simply didn’t have it in me to hold up 2016’s hair while it threw up all over the universe.


It (((still FEELS))) like a terrible Sophie’s Choice of abandonment. I work tirelessly year-round collecting photos and text, preening and priming, for what I pride myself as being a list like no other and it was all for naught.

I feel like I Mariah-New-Years-Rockin’-Eve’d all of my dedicated + loyal followers (all 27 of you!), and I sincerely apologize. I mean haven’t you read enough reductive lists fawning over the slushy, syrupy soft-serve that NBC’s This Is Us has coughed up? Aren’t you tired of the year end/new year Instagram posts from basic b’s that think they are being WAYYYY DEEP with #GoodVibesOnly hashtags?

You deserve better than that. We all deserve better than that. I pride myself on curating a list that is a salve to the onslaught of surface tripe out there. I promise to be back next year.  

‘Cause even if 2017 isn’t able to serve it up on its finest Reynaud dinnerware, at least we know it can. never. get. worse.

In the meantime, have a look at my Instagram as I did cover a lot of the past years trends there.

Before signing off, I do have to say a few words about losing Prince. If you haven’t read my piece Prince Can We Talk—doing so will help give you context.


I thought I would honestly get to finally meet him in person in 2016 after months of talking strategy with his personal publicist. After a lifetime of fandom. After 5 concerts and 3 on stage appearances with him. After a bedside declaration to my dying mother in her last weeks.

Prince was the Swiss Army KNIFE of MUSICAL GENIUS. It’s like LOSING a COLOUR, or losing a LETTER OF the alphabet permanently. It’s NEVER going to be the same.

I will still name my first book Pop Life after Prince. The only difference will be that, meeting Prince will not be the tying up of my life’s work, like I had planned.

But perhaps that is the grand lesson. We are never done learning, growing and disrupting are we?

Prince certainly wasn’t.

I wish you Heaven 2017,


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