What to look forward to in 2016

Sat Jan 16, 2016

It’s January and most people like to write about New Year resolutions, or predictions for the year ahead. But I’m quite tired. And no, I didn’t mean that to sound like a sardonic riff of a Flight of the Conchords song. I just feel like writing something more free flowing and fun that requires less research, intense pondering or tortured introspection.

So, I’m going to compile a breezy list of things I’m looking forward to in 2016. Just off the top of my head. And in no particular order. Yes, the year ahead will bring weddings and babies (not mine, just to be clear), which is all very exciting of course. And I have a new job to sink my teeth into, which is very satisfying. I also want to be… better in 2016, in many ways. But forget about that for now. Let’s talk about music, tech, movies, games, books, and that sort of superficial, but fun, fluffy stuff.

So, here are some random things to look forward to in 2016:

  • Kanye West’s new album is coming out next month. Regardless of whether you harbour fierce admiration for the man, or dismiss him as a pompous twat - you can’t deny that Kanye is one heck of a reliable tastemaker.

  • Uncharted 4 is coming out this April. But here’s the thing - my TV has refused to acknowledge my PS3 for the past six months, and I don’t know who broke up with who. If it’s the PlayStation that decided to move on, then perhaps a PS4 will bring back the console love. Also, PlayStation VR is coming sometime this year, and I’m definitely looking forward to trying it out.

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming out in March. I’m still not sure about Ben Affleck, or about Jack Snyder, or about DC’s track record in general, so this movie could most definitely disappoint. But - Superman!

  • When it comes to TV, I’m a 100-percent Netflix man, since I cancelled cable quite some time ago. However, I’m still partial to Survivor - a show that is like your favourite uncle - always there and always dependable. I’m also a big Walking Dead fan - and it looks like that show isn’t going away any time soon, although I’m sure they will run out of shocking situations to explore at some point. I’m a season behind, but I’m okay with that.

  • Book releases are few and far between - and George Martin recently dropped the bomb that The Winds of Winter will not be finished before the next season of the TV show leapfrogs the book and brings with it unprecedented spoilers for book lovers. But despite the fact that the Song of Fire and Ice has become a mummer’s farce, there are at least two other releases to look forward to: Scott Lynch’s The Thorn of Emberlain, and Justin Cronin’s The City of Mirrors. On the whole, it’s more satisfying to just read a book series that has already been completed. Except for Brandon Sanderson’s books - that guy writes unnaturally fast, I tell you.

  • The iPhone 7 is coming out this year, and it’s a “tick” design-refresh year in the tick-tock cycle. Man, that sounds ridiculous, but that’s how people talk about the iPhone now. I just got the iPhone, so of course I won’t be upgrading any time soon. But I’m curious to see if Apple decides to ditch the home button and go with that clean all-screen look that seems like an inevitable design evolution.

  • Speaking of tech, cars are finally roaring into the 21st century - or should I say, electric cars are silently cruising into the new millennium with insane battery tech. Chevy just beat Tesla to the punch with it’s 30K Bolt that has an impressive 200-mile range. But Tesla is sure to announce the Model 3 this year, and Elon’s vision is just too compelling at this point to not be excited in any way. The magical bundle is undoubtedly a mass-market car that is both autonomous and electric. Google is making great progress and Apple’s “secret” car project is blowing too much smoke to be mere ephemeral R&D tinkering - an Apple car is almost certainly far into development.

This year hasn’t started out on the best footing. Low oil prices have decimated the Canadian economy and driven our dollar down so far that a trip to the States is an extravagant luxury. On the other hand, house prices have shot up so high that little old ladies can’t afford property tax on their two million dollar shacks. And when looking at the big picture, a recent earthquake reminded us that the big one could hit at any moment and level the West Coast.

So, why not enjoy the little things? A good book. A good movie. A year of simple delights. That sounds quite delectable to me.

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