World-wide forest fires, the burning of Notre Dame, and constant talk of Trump’s impeachment. These are just a few of the headline-worthy topics of 2019. But, as bad as the news often gets, pop culture can always step in and save the day, entertaining us with Tik Tok videos and Baby Yoda memes to lighten the somber mood of the world. In the following slideshow, the O&W staff has compiled an alphabetical recap of the year, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A- Area 51
Thousands of people searching for aliens, and to have bragging rights, have accumulated to the small town of Nevada. Many people and posts have been made on social media encouraging them to “storm area 51”. More than 2 million people committed via a Facebook event page to storm the secretive facility in the middle of nowhere. Eventually, the Air Force spokesperson informed the public that dangerous consequences would occur if the raid was performed.
B – Border Facility Crisis
There were reports of President Donald Trump’s administration holding children as young as seven or eight in inhumane facilities. The conditions were absolutely horrifying. They were overcrowded, the water was filthy, and they were fed terrible rations. These facilities showed an awful resemblace to Holocaust’s concentration camps. There were children in these facilities sleeping on concrete floors, they weren’t allowed any soap or toothpaste. At least 7 children have died in the custody of U.S. officials. 900 immigrants were being held in a facility meant for 125, located in El Paso, Texas.
C – Christchurch Mosque Terrorist Attacks
On March 15, there were two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The terrorist live streamed both shootings in an Islamic center. At least 50 people were killed and many more were injured. This attack has brought up a lot more debate about gun control.
D – Disney+
On November 12, Disney put out on an app that has every show and movie Disney has ever created. It has Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Disney fans are ecstatic about this and Disney+ has gained more than 3.2 million subscribers in the month it has been released.
E – Endgame
April ended in a boom with Avengers: Endgame. Hence the name, Endgame was the final movie of the Avengers series. Critics and viewers alike marveled at the movie, calling a scenic masterpiece where worlds collided and tears fell.
F – Frozen II
Disney fans have been anticipating the release of Frozen 2 since it was first announced in 2015. The movie broke records for movies released on Thanksgiving, and became Disney’s sixth movie of the year to gross over a billion dollars.
G – Game of Thrones series finale
The behemoth of a TV show finally came to a close after eight years of running. The finale came with mixed feelings. It was loved by many and hated by just as many. A lot of people deemed the finale “unfinished” and “rushed,” but was still widely watched throughout the world.
H – Harry Styles releases new music
Harry Styles announced on Twitter in early November that he would be releasing new music for the first time since 2017, and the internet went crazy. #FineLine, the title of his new album, was trending on Twitter for weeks. Harry had released the single “Lights Up” on October 11, which shot to the top of the pop charts, and is the song responsible for getting everyone so excited for an album. Harry’s sophomore album of his career, Fine Line, will debut on Dec. 13, 2019.
I – iPhone 11
Apple obviously took an L with the new design of the new iPhone 11, and people were not going to be merciful enough to let this meme pass. Although the battery was longer and its design was good, the fact that it had three cameras made people wonder if they were wasting money on the same product.
J – Juice WRLD’s controversial death
Young rapper Juice WRLD died in the hospital after suffering a seizure in a Chicago airport. He is one of many young artists lost in the past few years, and his death was mourned by millions. He created music that spoke to people, and his career was just taking off. His death gained even more attention when people remembered a lyric from his song “Legends”, which he wrote about the deaths of fellow rappers Lil Peep and xxxtentacion: “What’s the 27 club? We ain’t making it past 21.” He died on Dec. 8, at 21 years old, making these lyrics a chilling coincidence. May he rest in peace.
K – Kodie Shane
After the long wait from her last album, Kodie’s album YoungHeartThrob was released in December of 2018. It was finally released on all platforms the following year in January with tours starting January 2. The 15 tracks illuminate Kodie’s diverse musical gifts, blending moments of pop bliss, hip-hop grit, and future-facing alternative ambience. She recently just dropped another hit single, “2 many”, on November 9 and has been on tour since Nov. 14.
L – Lizzo
Named Time’s “Entertainer of the Year,” Lizzo has made waves in the music scene this year. She released her debut major label LP “Cuz I Love You” which was nominated for an Album of the Year award. Her song “Truth Hurts” became a major hit this year and people haven’t gotten enough of her since.
M – Minecraft makes a comeback
The popularity of the video game Minecraft has steadily declined since 2012 and 2013. That is, until this summer. Google’s trend statistics show a heavy increase in searches of the game’s title, and multiple YouTube videos over the game have gone viral. But why, all of a sudden, did the game regain its popularity? This is most likely due to a new version of the game that was announced, as well as an affect that stemmed from the uprising of Fornite.
N – Notre Dame burns down
A massive blaze at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris devastated large parts of the 850-year-old church. The cathedral’s iconic spire fell during the hours it took to take out the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown however, Paris Prosecutor Remy Heitz told reporters the cause of the fire was likely due to negligence. The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, in an address to the nation, promised Parisians that they will “rebuild this cathedral together.”
O – “OK, Boomer”
“OK, boomer” is a catchphrase that became an internet meme and gained popularity among teens throughout 2019. This phrase is typically used to deride viewpoints or attitudes stereotypically assigned to the baby boomer generation. It is almost like a mock, and the response can be aimed at any adult, regardless of generation.
P – Pewdiepie takes hiatus after hitting 100 million subscribers
Felix Kjellberg, more commonly known as Pewdiepie, became the first YouTuber to hit 100 million subscribers. Despite the controversy that has surrounded him as of late, Pewdiepie has continued to grow his channel at a rapid rate, stretching his lead as the YouTube king. He hit the milestone just a week after he got married to his now-wife Marzia, which was just an added plus.
Q – Queer Eye’s Fab 5
After Queer Eye premiered on Netflix last year, members of the Fab 5 have continued to thrive throughout 2019. Jonathan Van Ness made headlines by speaking out about his experiences living with HIV, and even landed the cover of Cosmopolitan UK, becoming the first male to do so in 35 years. Van Ness, along with costars Tan France and Antoni Porowski each published their own books this fall. The Fab 5 also continued their work of making the world a better place by traveling to Japan for their newest season, which premiered in November.
R – Robert Mueller’s Report
This report – officially titled The Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election — was published in April of this year. In 2017, Mueller was appointed to lead an investigation of possible Russian involvement with Trump’s presidential election. Despite Trump’s constant denials, the nearly 400-paged text brought criminal charges against the President and six of his associates, as well as a number of Russians.
S – Save the Turtles
The “save the turtles” campaign was a huge movement in 2019. Thousands have got involved and spread around the topic. The main purpose was to halt polluting trash into the ocean. It grew very popular to be all over every social media platform.
T – TikTok
2013 had Vine, and now, almost seven years later, we have TikTok. Though created in 2018, the famous app has blown up all over the world this year. Numerous memes have been created as a result of TikTok, and many artists such as Lil Nas X, bbno$, and Yung Gravy can thank TikTok for their climb to the top. It’s hard to go out into public anywhere without seeing some kind of TikTok reference. Toddlers, teenagers, adults, and elders alike are quoting TikTok.
U – US Women’s soccer team wins World Cup
The U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup this summer. The Women’s World Cup took place in Lyon, France. The team dominated the game by defeating the Netherlands 2-0. This victory marks the fourth world title and back-to-back wins for the U.S. women, after taking the trophy in 1991, 1999, and 2015. A parade was made in honor of the victory.
V – VSCO girls
The meme cycle of a “VSCO girl” refers to a new media culture formed on “TikTok”. VSCO girls are said to be a new version of a “basic white girl.” Typically, these girls are groups of teenage girls adopting the new and “basic” fashion style. The aesthetic of the expression comes from the actual photo editing app “VSCO” itself. If you don’t say “sksks” or “and I oop,” or if you don’t own any of the items pictured above, you are not a VSCO.
W – Wildfires
Wildfires have threatened the livelihoods of millions of people around the world, from those in California to the Amazon Rainforest. In Cali, many celebrities such as lebron James to Arnold Schwarzenegger have evacuated their homes because of the fires. And, in Sydney, Australia, fires have caused national emergency, engulfing the city in a cloud of toxic smoke.
X – Xi Jinping
China’s president has made many headlines this year — and not in a positive way. Attempting to regain China’s control as the world’s largest power, Xi has gone to extreme measures. Not only has he used propaganda and censorship against his citizens, but he is also in charge of detaining over a million Muslims in one of the country’s provinces. Xi’s power is frightening to say the least, and we can surely expect to continue hearing his name throughout 2020.
Y – Yoda in baby form takes over meme world
The internet has been going crazy over the Baby Yoda memes. This is all thanks to Disney+’s new show, The Mandalorian. Whether it’s him being placed in existing memes, or people creating new jokes about this adorable character, the internet won’t stop buzzing about this trend.
Z – Zac Efron plays Ted Bundy
Former teen heartthrob Zac efron shocked everyone when it was announced that he would be playing Ted Bundy in a biopic about the notorious killer’s life. It was his largest role since High School Musical, and quite a change of pace as well. He nailed the persona and the look. As soon as the trailer came out, everyone was talking about his striking resemblance to Ted. “I had a lot of similarities with Ted that were a little bit unnerving,” said Ted himself. The movie, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, came out on Netflix in July and remains a hot topic of discussion in December.