This year has been a whirlwind so far, and it is not even close to over yet. There have been great movies, great albums, events that have been both heartbreaking and heartwarming, life-changing politics, and many topics you wouldn’t believe actually happened.
Starting with basically New Year’s Day, and coming right up to the end of June, this list covers some of the strangest things that have already happened this year. Most of these you have probably heard about already, as they were huge news stories, but some of them may have squeezed past you in the chaos of social media news.
This list covers some politics, although it is not an opinion piece on who is right or wrong. It also covers some pop culture news, with protests and making statements, as well as some civilian protests that did not make the impact they hoped. While most of these have to do with events in America or regarding America, there are a few foreign events thrown in. After all, we’re not the only odd country out there. In a world full of people, there are bound to be some weird and odd things that happen every day. We have simply picked some of the best. What do you think should have made the list? Let us know your opinion.
Cleveland is often the laughing stock of the entire sports world. “The mistake by the lake” is a common expression to explain their success. But this year, something changed. Not only did an AHL hockey team win a championship there, congrats Lake Erie Monsters, but also one of their professional sports teams actually won too- the Cleveland Cavaliers. They came back from an amazing deficit to win in Game Seven, and they beat the Warriors- who had an amazing record this year- to do it. On top of the championship, Cleveland also got blessed with a sports documentary called Believeland this year. The documentary showcased the pain and determination felt by the city and the fans as they watch their teams battle it out every year.
This presidential election has been one of the weirdest in American history- and keep in mind we’re a country that used to have duels. Starting with the absurd amount of candidates at the beginning, the parties have dwindled down to a few main candidates. As with anything now, social media has played a huge role in the campaigns and marketing of the candidates. Each one wants to appear relatable and “hip” to the younger voters. Some are more successful than others. However, the internet went crazy when Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton responded to Republican nominee Donald Trump by telling him to delete your account. The Tweet - which quoted Trump and then simply read “Delete your account.”- received hundreds of thousands of re-Tweets and replies. But, many raised the question on if Clinton actually thought of it, or if a team of PR professionals helped her. Either way, it helped solidify this election year as one of the strangest yet. Is that what a campaign consists of now in the digital world?
Superheroes are a strange field in Hollywood. Their stories are lovable and marketable, so they tend to stay popular for years and years. The problem with this? They often require multiple actors to portray the same hero, maybe because the actor passes away, or a different director may pick up a film idea. Either way, it has lead to heated debates about who played who better, and which face is best for the franchise. One of the common heroes we see this with is Batman. Played by what feels like hundreds of different actors, the most recent is Ben Affleck. After a rather disastrous review as another sight-deprived superhero, the reactions to Affleck being announced as the new Batman were mixed. Those reactions seemed to completely line up after the movie was released however. The few who stood by him seemed to wander over to the negative side, with some even saying he destroyed the franchise with one movie. There was even a pretty good meme made out of an interview where they discussed how poorly the movie went.
The Super Bowl halftime show is always one to remember, but this year the negative backlash was far greater than expected. Beyonce performed a great show with Coldplay and Bruno Mars, but she also made a not-so-loved impression on a few. People started responding with outrage, saying Beyonce’s back up dancers resembled the Black Panthers and made an anti-police stand. That, along with the release of her “Formation” video where she is seen sitting on a sinking police car, caused police around the nation to call for a boycott of her shows. The boycott called for police officers to refuse to work paid off-duty shifts for the concerts, and would make the tour complicated security wise. Beyonce was said to be the reason behind a few police involved shootings following the show, but there was no real proof to back that up.
Child actor Shia LaBeouf has been on a roll with some interesting projects over the past few years. His latest one, #Takemeanywhere, involves hitchhiking across the country. You follow his account, use the hashtag, or track him by GPS coordinates, and can literally pick him up and take him everywhere. LaBeouf, who is working with Vice on the project, said the project is about finding a meaning to life, as well as meeting new people and friends along the way. He started off in Lyons, Colorado, in May and hitchhiked for 30 days. According to the project’s website description Vice and the Frame Contemporary Art Finland are involved with the project, with most of it being commissioned by the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. While it seems dangerous, and a little weird, it is honestly a really cool way to connect with fans along the road.
After winning his final Super Bowl, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning talked to the press, as is expected after a big game. This time it was a little different though and Manning seemed to have some issues thinking in the spur of the moment about his answers. When asked how he was going to celebrate the big win, and his great career, Manning said “Budweiser” way more than any coherent person would. Twitter went crazy with suggestions that he was paid to market for them and was endorsing another brand- like his infamous Papa John’s commercials- but the internet got their answer on that pretty quickly. A Budweiser spokesperson Tweeted out that he was not paid to mention them, but they were definitely happy he did, and the brand Twitter page even sent out a tweet later capitalizing on it. Paid or not, I’m sure a lot of Broncos fans celebrated with him that night.
At the 2016 Oscars in February there were a number of big moments. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar, sadly Sylvester Stallone did not, there was a large focus on diversity in winners which made for some tension, and then there were appearances by not only animated minions, but C-3Po, R2-D2 and BB-8 from Star Wars. With all of those moments though, there was one that takes the cake for oddest. Vice President Joe Biden appeared on stage; why? He came to introduce Lady Gaga for her performance. When you think about it, it actually isn’t as weird as it seems though. Gaga has been very public in her fight against domestic assault and sexual harassment, and so has Biden with his involvement through the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign. Honestly, the pairing was perfect.
In one of the strangest chain of events reported this year, former football star O.J. Simpson found himself back in the spotlight for the 1994 murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and one of her friends. Not only was there a documentary about the case and trial, but there was also a knife found that apparently was related to the case. Apparently a retired Los Angeles police officer had the knife for over ten years, after he was given it while working on a movie set. The construction worker who gave him the knife claimed to have found it while tearing down Simpson’s old house. The knife went through weeks of testing and eventually was officially ruled out as the murder weapon.
When the Cavaliers won the championship this year, the city did not know how to react really. There were comments on every social media site, in every office, in most people’s minds, about if Cleveland would even still be standing in the morning. Fans, all over, have been known to riot and set fires when their teams win. Somehow, Cleveland survived and was standing, even when their parade drew over one million fans to the city. But, winning a championship for the first time in decades may be a bit too much for some fans to handle. We saw this very clearly with one guy who made the internet rounds. One man excitedly ran over to grab horse poop off of the street, and then shoved it in his mouth and ate it. After mixed reactions the man did what anyone would do in this case, right? He tossed it in the air, caught it in his mouth, and ate some more.
The Super Bowl this year was full of interesting moments, and some even weirder commercials. I mean what was the animated living digestive track thing? But, there was one commercial that took the award for both most memorable and creepiest moment of the game. Those awards go to PuppyMonkeyBaby, the weird invention of someone over at Mountain Dew who thought this would be a great mascot -maybe?- for their Mountain Dew Kick Start. Instead, it ended up being a weird creepy demented Pokemon that circled the room, and your nightmares, chanting its own name over and over again. While it may have scarred children or the faint of heart, it did accomplish one thing without a shred of doubt- it made you remember the commercial. Here we are months later still talking about that little guy.
There are different reasonings circling for why this actually ended up happening. Some said the trade benefits did not outweigh all of the cons of being in the E.U., but others say the citizens were worried about the increasing amount of people moving into the U.K.- either way it took a very weird route to get there. The U.K. will now have to leave the partnership it has with the other areas in the E.U., facing possible trade taxes and red tape they didn’t face before as a member. The strangest thing about all of these bizarre events is that a lot of people who voted to leave immediately regretted it.
When Britain voted to leave the EU, shockwaves hit the entire world. Stocks went crazy, politicians and celebrities alike Tweeted out their disappointment, and then something interesting happened. Not only did a ridiculous number of people in Britain google what the EU actually was but many of them apparently wanted to take their votes back. “Leave” voters were interviewed the day the result was announced and many said they didn’t think their vote would count and they would go back and change it if they could. I hate to point out the obvious, but isn’t that the point of a vote? So that your say does matter? There are petitions going around now and hopeful messages spreading across social media about ways to get out of leaving, all the while other countries are fighting to stay put together and figure out their next moves.
In January, the news was flooded with stories about a group of armed protestors who had taken over a federal building in Oregon. The men occupied part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and stood their ground until they were originally arrested. The men were protesting poor treatment of two ranchers- who had been accused of arson and put in jail- by the government, and were led by a family who had led multiple protests against the government. The best part of this story? The men requested care packages and items be sent to them, as help from the public to support their cause. What did they get? Some care packages sure, but also boxes filled with phallic sex toys. Clearly not everyone agreed with them.
To continue talking about the American presidential race this year, we get to possibly the weirdest aspect. This will not be about his politics, but merely the strange fact that Donald Trump, most commonly known for his show The Apprentice, is running for president and actually doing quite well. He has secured his role as the assumed Republican nominee at the convention, and is holding his own in the poles. While it turns out he is not doing as well fundraising-wise as he had said, he has a steady backing of people who are going to vote for him. This is the same man who has had multiple bankrupt adventures, has appeared on WWE, has been an internet toupee joke for years, and a common impersonation for late night comedians. He is known for his temper and disrespect, yet he is in the running to be America’s next president. While some people are amazed and waiting for the punchline, it has really started to scare others.
Before the UK actually voted to leave the EU, there were some very newsworthy items that happened with each side campaigning for votes. One of the highlights of the campaign? A boat fight. Yes, an actual boat fight. With water canons spraying and men on boats yelling and fighting. It started with the “Leave” side leading a flotilla down the Thames, protesting for fishing rights and their waters back. Then they were ambushed by a group of “In” supporters that were not to be outdone with this dramatic act. The citizens watched in amazement, with many Tweeting out pictures confused and astounded. With a lot of odd things going on in America at the time, citizens joked that London was trying to outdo the USA for weird acts of the day and were succeeding as a lone city. It amused some, and terrified others that a serious issue was being brought down to a deranged boat battle one could only laugh about.