Saying good riddance to the past 12 months

It's almost 2019, which means we can all make a fresh start. In that spirit, here are a few things we hope to leave in the past.

“The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey
This milquetoast, lightweight EDM anthem also takes a troubling position: “Why don't you just meet me in the middle?” Who wrote this? The Blue Dog Democrats? (And of course it turned up in a Target commercial.) Side note: Post Malone was our second choice from the music world.

Facebook
It seems like every month some new privacy breach is revealed. Most recently, The New York Times reported that the social media giant had given companies like Spotify and Netflix (sure, OK) and the Royal Bank of Canada (come again?) access to users' private messages, among other concerns. I've long maintained being on the platform is necessary to do this job, but I'm not sure that's justification enough to continue on it in 2019.

The global shift toward authoritarianism
No jokes here. This has genuinely been troubling to watch unfold.

“Woke” brands on Twitter
Everyone wants to be the Wendy's Twitter account now, which can be painful to watch — especially when brands slip into over-earnestness. There's no example more regrettable than (god it pains me to even type this) Steak-Umms, which launched a Twitter thread about how young people feel “isolated from real communities … living w/ unchecked personal/mental health problems” and, really, it just gets so much worse from there. Stick to the freezer aisle, meat product.

Anthony Precourt
A reign so bad that Crew SC fans are celebrating the arrival of Jimmy Haslam. Jimmy Haslam!

Millennials eating (?) TidePods
Remember when this was a thing? Or at least the media made it seem like it was a thing?

The crowdfunding campaign to build Trump's wall
The same people who swore up and down that Mexico would pay for it are now dipping into vacation funds for a sure-to-be-fruitless public movement to build Trump's signature campaign promise. I just have one question for those pledging funds: Do you genuinely think that the money is the thing holding construction back?

Kanye West
Listen, I love (most of) Kanye's catalog. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is legit one of the most brilliant albums released in my lifetime. But whatever is going on with West at the moment — be it mental health issues, an abundance of “yes” folks, ego run amok or some combination of all of these and more — isn't fun to watch unfold. Take some time away, man. It's OK.

News sites posting columns about Ted Cruz growing a beard
Just entering “Ted Cruz beard” on search engines had me momentarily questioning my career choice.

Media controversies ignited by dishonest actors
In July, James Gunn was fired from directing “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” by Disney over jokes he'd made on Twitter, some of which were more than a decade old, which, OK, people have to be held accountable for their words. But the attention to these past tweets was directed by the likes of Pizza-gate fueler and right wing conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who launched the campaign in response to Gunn's strong anti-Trump stance. Cernovich didn't care about the “jokes,” or their validity. He just wanted a scalp, and Disney was all too happy to hand it to him.

Elon Musk
He should hitch a ride in the next Tesla he rockets into space.

News that Urban Meyer will teach a “character and leadership” course at Ohio State
The rehabilitation tour was inevitable. I just didn't think it would be this immediate and this laden with irony.