Most of the year 2016, in 932 words or less

What’s the best thing about Christmas?

Everybody is going to have a different answer but I’d wager that most responses would fall in the “family/friends/ holiday-specific food” zone.

But I think everyone can get together on one, wonderful thing that Christmas means for all of us: 2016 is almost over!

And since Christmas is giving us the gift of “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel” we’re going to kick off the last week of 2016 right with the Old Cold/New Hotness list, 2016: Year of Famine, War, and Always Stubbing Your Toe edition!


Old Cold: Emojis

It was only a couple years ago that I freely texted with people around the globe without giving a second thought to sending only text and the occasional punctuation-based smiley face. Now large portions of my day are relegated to determining which of the 200 smiley face emojis at my disposal most accurately depicts my feelings about my friend’s new dog.

I miss words.

New Hotness: van Goghjis

They’re like emjois, but with some class. Since English seems to be degrading into a pictographic language free of subtlety and verbs, why not elevate our upcoming hieroglyphic script with some of the great works of art? Why send a frowny face when you can just send a tiny thumbnail-size pic of van Gogh’s Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity’s Gate)? Frustrating day at the office? Text a few friends Picasso’s “Guernica.” I’m sure ol’ Pablo assumed his 25 foot-long painting depicting the horrors of war was always meant to be enjoyed on a cracked 3×5 screen.

Video games

Old Cold: Pokemon Go!

That was a real interesting couple of weeks, wasn’t it? Watching folk of all ages (pretty much kids and a few older guys that look exactly like you think they would) meander around town staring into their phones really brought people together, either by playing the game or developing an irrational hatred for the game, the players, and all involved with the kind of passion that would make you think a Pokemon burned down their childhood home.

I’ve seen a lot of people do a lot of dumb things with/on their phone. Pokemon Go lands … somewhere in the middle.

New Hotness: Mr. T Go!

Grab your phone and pity some fools with the new app from Unknown Game Company; Mr. T Go!

Take the reins as Mr. T., America’s preeminent actor/professional wrestler/gymnastics coach/mystery solver/gold chain owner as you scour the streets and back alleys of your neighbor’s yard in search of “fools.” Collect enough “fools” and head to your town’s “Clubber’s Gym” to do battle with other Mr. Ts to claim the right to wear the “Golden Chain of Fool Pity.”

Hey, people keep spending money on “Forge of Empires” and that’s just “Farmville” with guns; people will buy anything.


Old Cold: Iconic superhero movies

Even a dyed in the wool geek such as myself can’t comprehend the slew of superhero movies recently released. I didn’t even see “Dr. Strange” in the theater! Marvel keeps making big movie after big movie, building their story until they make their first REALLY big movie, then … wait two years and reboot the whole thing?

DC has taken their own approach by discarding the Oscar winning superhero movies they previously made and replacing them with a series of gray-brown, 3-hour slogs that make you wonder why you paid for the privilege of watching Batfleck duke it out with the world’s saddest Superman.

New Hotness: Leftover superhero movies

By the end of 2016 there are maybe three good superhero books out there yet to be made into a movie. And since I’m certain those are already in production with a companion video game, action figures and fast food tie-in set to go the big studios are going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for something to sate the unquenchable thirst for superhero films.

So get ready to meet America’s next great hero: Arm-Fall-Off-Boy!

Arm-Fall-Off-Boy started his life as a regular, arm-stay-on-boy, but after a freak accident involving (SCENE MISSING) and now he fights evil with the power of detachable limbs! Tyrants of the world beware for Arm-Fall-Off-Boy is ready at a moments notice to detach one of his arms, then hit you with said detached arm he’s holding with his other, still attached arm. Coming in December 2017, starring a roided-up Jay Baruchel, Emma Roberts and Daniel Day-Lewis for some reason.


Old Cold: Hating on Trump

Ugh, he’s the worst, right? With all the screaming and the vitriol and the whole “maybe he’s the Manchurian Candidate” thing; we spent the better part of 2016 mired in Trumpology, culminating with his ascension to President of Trumpmerica. Were the Russians involved? Did the FBI play favorites with their information releases? Was Hillary Clinton’s campaign the most arrogant disconnect from voters since Bruce Braley’s run for the Senate? Yes, yes to all of it. But that is all over now and we can begin 2017 anew.

New Hotness: Hating on President Trump

Come on, Trump, you really thought people would stop making fun of you just because you’re the president? Mocking the Commander in Chief is the right and duty of every free American; so stop getting in a tissy every time “Saturday Night Live” does another skit about you, suck it up, and take it like a President.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or wburns@timesrepublican.com.