I have a little question to ask you; What is the worst year ever? Let me guess, some recent year like 2016 or 2020? Here comes the next one; What is the best year ever? Again, from my guess, an old year that ranges from the 90's to 2000's not because of the advancements in technology but because of nostalgia and the fact that you were born from this timespan? From my experience on hearing people's thoughts on those questions, after all those years, I feel rather baffled at how they would put their mindset towards the years of today and some years from last century.
Now before I elaborate on why I find that such an issue in my opinion, I would like to talk about TheTopTens first. If you haven't heard about the site, then it's simply a site where people vote and give their reason on various Top 10 lists. Let's say that they want to vote whatever's the best song of all time. If they think Bohemian Rhapsody's the best, they can vote for that and perhaps give their reasoning on the way. However, they can also vote for multiple other contenders besides that one song.
But now you're wondering, what past memories do I hold of TheTopTens? It dates way back before I joined this site. I don't remember how I stumbled upon this little website, but I remember it for its lists that seems like it was handled by users who votes stuff that were still a thing during their lifetime. This is what ruined some lists for me like the Top 10 Worst T.V. Shows of All Time, where the list is almost nothing but recent reality and hated children's shows that ranged from like the 90's to the present. I also remember this site for the community's comments and reasoning as being demanding towards other people to think the same as them without giving a good reason like "This should be number one!" and "There's nothing good/bad about it".
On the bright side, however, it did have some fairly enjoyable lists that I fondly remember due to their silly existence. I remember that I would often look up the worst lists on TheTopTens (since I disliked some of the lists I stumbled upon including the two lists I will get to) and it has some funny contenders that I laughed at like some that involved a random middle school or even a list that compares Adventure Time to ebola. I would also search how many times Justin Bieber was ranked number one or at least in the top ten because I think it's pretty clear most people on this site hates him.
But then you have the lists I keep coming back to that is basically all over the place. A list that makes me want to replay it for how users are calling out other users for voting the recent years for ludicrous reasons and that is the Worst Years in History list. Or, there's another list that's the opposite of that but it's loaded with people's rankings of the years they were alive in, the Best Years in History list. What are these lists about? It's self-explanatory.
However, there are many things that makes these lists honestly one of the worst I've seen on this site. First off, let's talk about the Worst Years in History list because not only does it seem to be more popular than the Best Years in History list, but it's essentially the list I come back to the most to see how things have changed. Note that I will be bolding my main points on these lists against why I think people saying "2020/2019/2018/and so forth WERE THE WORST YEARS EVER!" are rather vague about it. Anyways, I will begin by saying that the list's reasoning is all over the place. It would range from people explaining why the year was the worst from horrific events like the World Wars to going to the entertainment side, tackling things like celebrity deaths and a song they hate was released that year.
But it doesn't stop there, they would be as vague by saying that the year was the worst IN HISTORY because of life issues such as the death of a beloved relative or friend, depression kicking in, etc. What makes this one vague is that not only do I not care about it since we're talking about the worst years IN HISTORY, not the worst years OF YOUR LIFE, but also because a lot of these people didn't evaluate further on what makes these issues so tragic. Take this reasoning for example:
I thought 2013 and 2014 were the worst years of my life, but 2016 is at the top of the pile. My life is so utterly ruined. It was only a matter of time before my school friends abandoned me WITHOUT EVEN SAYING ANYTHING. School life has become crappier in a number of things, mum want to throw me out for someone else, more family spats, I have no mental stability and on top of that I'm failing. What a terrible 2nd half to the year.I might feel pity for this user, but it's really sentimental for several reasons:- ItsDaWorldOfSNuGGLEZ explaining why 2016 is the worst year in history
- What happened in school besides your friends ditching you?
- Who is your mom and why did your mother want to replace you for someone else? Are you seriously exaggerating?
- What are these "family spats" are you referring to?
And speaking of users feeling selfish, they would also make unnecessary comments on years that they hate the most by asking voters...
"This should be on NUMBER 1"
"Everyone make this #1. This year is crap. Even 2015 was less depressing."
Or in a nutshell....
"Move this to number one!"
"But why should we trust you?"
"Read all the comments. They should ask you why."
Even if that's the case, those comments standing on their own, especially if it's on a contender that has no reasoning on why it's on the list, wouldn't be that trustworthy if people don't see what makes these years so bad in the first place. Even if there's multiple other reasoning that explains so, these comment are still lazy and overly-selfish. It's one of those comments that makes me annoyed while diving through lists like these.
And with the Top 20 consisting of pretty much every year after 2011, it makes me believe that people are voting and calling these years as the best and worst ever simply because of one other motivation: It's not because of a tragedy or a miracle that happened in the news or their lives. It's not because a great or awful show, video game, film, or anything was released that year. Nope, it's none of those events; it's because they call those years as the best and worst because they were alive during or around those years. Let me ask you something; If you weren't alive during 2016 or 2020, would you be not as harsh on it as you were when you survived through breaking news erupting throughout social media?
This is what made me think further about why people are calling the recent years as truly awful; when they age overtime, they become more aware of their surroundings, including the news covering everything. This causes them to grow mad at the year for containing these infamous events that had recently occurred (and that underlined word is pretty important in this point I'm making here). But how about the years where they were at their infancy/childhood? A time when they didn't care much about the news and live a happy life? Your parents want you to have the happiest memories of your early life and during that time, you would care about your personal life rather than news breaking down the sadness and sympathy in you. Maybe the biggest events going on will grab your attention but for the most part, you would go out and play. Because of this, people rate their childhood years as the best years in history, thinking that nothing bad happened, overestimating it by calling yourself as the happiest kid on earth. Let me break it down to you, not every year is perfect for you, even during your childhood because you will still get into tensions and minor injuries. How did you feel during those times? If optimistic, then I'm surprised that you were able to pick yourself back up during those moments because if you managed to keep a clean image in front of various people, then maybe I lied about you. If not, then you're apparently being hypocritical, period.
Moreover with the topic of overestimating something, let's go back to people criticizing years; from all the posts, memes, and reasoning I have seen, they would bash the recent years as the worst years ever for tragedies they heard that spread everywhere online including shootings, natural disasters, celebrity deaths, etc. You know, those type of topics that the typical person I know of online would care about. But little do they realize that these events happen every year. Of course, they happen during the best years of their lives or when they think that in one year, nothing bad happened. "But Intrancity, years like 2016 does them to an extent". You may have a point, but let me tell you that there's more to that and the other years: the news isn't always positive. They're more of a mix of good news, bad news, but more leaning towards the bad side because we have billions of people worldwide and one of those people might commit a serious action that'll trigger the news to spread like wildfire throughout the web. But not just the web, through the word of mouth where it'll find itself on the open land through streets, through cities, through a whole country and possibly even the entire world. Those years might have a lot of terrible news happening, but little do you realize that there are even more bad news within them. Common topics such as murder, abduction, burglary, natural disasters such as tornado outbreaks, economic decline, and downfall happen every year and apparently on an inevitably massive rate. Those years are much worse than you can imagine, including the years people have nostalgia for. That year might be great for you and your country, but how do you feel if that year was terrible for another country since they have to suffer through different chaos granted by the press? In other words, you might've forgotten that the "best years in history" will also have terrible news being reported everywhere and will cause dozens, if not thousands, or even millions of people to grow upset.
If you don't believe me, then let's take a little insight into the year 2000, part of the new millennium that is still brand new and everyone is already hating it. This year has been crowned on TheTopTens as the best year in history for...being the new millennium! Just because 2000 is the new millennium doesn't make it the best year in history. Being a certain year people look forward to doesn't grant the year a pass for being amazing simply because it's a year holding a special value, yet there's still going to be a lot of flaws in it. You don't remember anything bad happened this year? Ah well, there's many:
- Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comics, passed away
- Hedy Lamarr, a famous actress, passed away
- Steve Allen, a television personality, passed away
- Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 169
- A 7.6 earthquake in Banggai, Indonesia kills 46 civillians and leaving 264 injured
- A fire in Kaprun, Austria kills 155 skiers and snowboarders.
- Battlefield Earth, known as one of the worst movies of all time, was released
- The Christmas Shoes, rated as one of the worst Christmas songs, was released
- and I can keep on going! (by the way, I'm not trying to make you guys hate 2000. Remember, I'm trying to make a point)
It is fine to feel pity and sorrow that a celebrity or your idol has passed away, but should you credit that for a year being considered the worst? It might make the year bad for you but calling it the worst is way too much of a stretch. Here, there's you in your life and you proclaim the years with the most shocking deaths as the worst, giving me the feeling that for a normal person like you, suffering through pity and grief is worse than suffering through injury and death. You've seen yourself face through grief for days, now what about critical injury caused by a major catastrophic event that won't go away for months or perhaps the entire year? An event that's deadly and inevitable enough to nearly kill not just you but multiple people around you? Seriously, is the death of a really famous person worse than a war that resulted in high property damage and the deaths of millions? How would you react if you were a victim of the World Wars?
And to be honest, celebrity deaths will never go away because we all know that no one can live forever and that death is an inevitable phase in life no one can overcome. So, if you're going to continue complaining about how there's so many famous people dying this or whatever year, then you can't expect the following years to have a significantly smaller amount of celebrities dying or perhaps none at all. Although we're glad, and perhaps surprised, that legends like Bob Barker and Jerry Lee Lewis are still living as of this writing, they'll fade away soon and it will be grieving like all those other past, woeful deceases. Their emotional tribute is waiting to be spoken wide across the internet and guess what year it will be all in part of a chapter that needs an ending. And think about it, at that time there'll be many more personalities launched to stardom who entertained and inspired thousands if not millions (keep a previous fragment in mind: "we have billions of people worldwide", and this number will keep increasing) to where there'll be more dark days in not just the entertainment and sports industry, where the saddest deaths of the year usually have celebrities working for these services, but also in politics, news, etc. And who knows if a famous person from a rather unfamiliar profession like mathematics, doctoring, or psychology have their own losses and that infects much of society with sheds of tears.
But back on topic, did I bring up the World Wars twice? Yes I did, and the previous point triggered something I seem to realize about users who call recent years the worst: they forgot about the previous years that are, in retrospect, worse than the recent years. There's them overestimating the recent years as the worst for a wave of unfortunate events, and then there's them underestimating, or forgetting about, previous years that are even more shocking than the years we live in. As I said, people target the recent years, tagging them as terrible years, because they're more familiar with them since they've grown up and become much aware of the news surrounding their area compared to how they use the news as children. However, this all seems like quantity over quality matters when calling years as the worst where people would pass off the previous years for holding simply one bad event and go against the recent years for having so many. Let's dissect this, shall we? People thought the next years after 2016 would be better, but what events did it gave them and what are the stats?
- In 2017, Hurricane Irma, Harvey, Maria, and Nate were reported to kill a combined total of around 3,347 people
- In 2018, all of the reported school shootings killed 29 people and affected 47 more victims
- In 2019, the El Paso and Dayton shootings took 32 lives and injured 51
- In 2001, the September 11 attacks took place in four locations and killed 2,996 people including the perpetrators and injured an approximate 25,000 more
- Well into the first month of World War II, around 80,000 people were reported to be killed, including an extra approximated 150,000 wounded
- In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire, lasting for two days, killed around 300 people and left 100,000 people homeless
Further observing this, I can already see where the future of people's perspectives of certain years being crowned as the worst is going. As I mentioned in the previous paragraphs, we forgot that all of these tragedies happened because they weren't brought up that much in society. This is because they happened in a foreign country we aren't familiar with, that they occurred a long time ago which by today there wouldn't be many accounts reporting on the tragedy, or that worse events came by and made people view those past events slightly better than before. Point is, one event is going to be big for several days for their deadliness and damage like the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the death of Princess Diana, and the 1972 Munich massacre, but later on, people will eventually forget that these events happened several decades later due to the aforementioned reasons. There will be ceremonies remembering these tragic events from time to time, but do anyone really gives us a moment to remember the Great Chicago Fire today? Or maybe even that one earthquake that killed more than 800,000 people living in China in 1556 AD? Anyways, this pattern will eventually happen with recent affairs where we will still remember the Orlando nightclub shootings and the George Floyd protests for several years, which just happened after I made this overview, but are we still going to give our condolences to the victims these events taken in 2100? By that time, thousands of similar tragedies, better or worse, have made their mark on history, shifting people's focus towards those events rather than what just happened this and last decade, and a new generation has walked the Earth and won't even understand why years like 2016 are the worst years ever or even know what those events are.
Then there's the main star of 2020 who succeeded in bringing its other fighters of the past decades to shame that I despise simply for the fact that it won't go away on any site I go on, the trending guest I don't want to mention again, and what made up this lengthy introduction, the Coronavirus pandemic! Yeah...and there's also the Swine flu pandemic, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the Zika virus epidemic that people have been using as a reason to call those years horrible, but then there's the disease that granted common symptoms of fever, dry coughing, and fatigue that made everyone attack 2020 for closing down businesses, cancelling annual events and movies, forcing people to quarantine themselves, and many more. But how many confirmed cases and deaths did these devils combined make to torture the lives of millions? As of April 16, 2020, the day before this review was posted:
- Cases: 3,994,056
- Deaths: 174,011
Sure, years from today's year to many years ago might be terrible, but admittedly, it's also amazing at the same time. Again, I see a lot of people say "[RECENT YEAR] was the worst year ever!", but what about their normal life? A struggle? Filled with sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows? Either way, they forgot one topic that helped make their lives easier and more enjoyable; technology. With people saying statements like the example comment I brought up, it seems like they don't understand how life was like back then and instead pass every year starting like 2009 as terrible without realizing that each year, technology is really important as it plays a major role in millions if not billions of lives. Everyday people use smartphones to call others from far-off distances, get directions, and more. You get the picture. And there's also items useful in life such as automobiles, microwaves, and tools that are much stronger and efficient than ever compared to the past's stone tools that are bound to break quickly. So let's say that we have all of that removed or downgraded to a simpler machine that requires as much work to achieve a certain goal. How would your life be like without smartphones, cars, and all that advanced stuff? Or, how about life without a cure, vaccine, or medicine to stabilize itself and you would get a rare disease and immediately die from it? You see, humans back then and now look on these issues and try to invent a solution that could help people's lives, which is why I think the years are getting better because as new ways are being developed to ensure life lives more efficiently, each year improves upon the last year's mistakes as people reflect on the issue, prepare a solution and bring it out to fight the problem. In other words, the recent years are the best years in history because your life is easier and funner when compared to a person's life hundreds of years ago.
If you don't believe me that vaccines and medicine help make life easier because you're still leaning your head towards the whole pandemic thing, then I will bring up some more history lessons to prove to you that humans live better than those in the past. Let's take a look at how much life expectancy changed over 200 years ago: according to this chart made by ourworldindata.org, life expectancy of the entire world used to be around 30 years. Now, it has risen to around 70 years. If you knew what I told you last paragraph, this was thanks to how people use vaccines and medicine to help themselves recover from deadly diseases as well as other techniques such as with the help of physiology. Due to advancements in these handy devices, it caused diseases that used to harm millions of people to be eradicated like smallpox. You should be glad that diseases like the stated one is gone because who wonders how you would feel if you've gotten it centuries ago. Also, if you were to live during like a millennium ago, then you would be like all those people who thought that tragedies like natural disasters and diseases were from the magic of nature and will not be exactly sure where it came from. The last part of the sentence is underlined because another point this brings out as to why I think the recent years are better in comparison to the older years is because with people making remarkable discoveries as well as improved techniques of communication, allowing people to get an understanding of the world and prepare for whatever's coming, humans are smarter than how they were in the past.
However, a lot of people don't seem to credit the recent years as the best in history for being the year that invented a revolutionary product that helped millions. They rate it as the best because of great entertainment, they were the years they were born in...and that's pretty much about it. This is where TheTopTens' Best Years in History comes in because honestly, it doesn't feel like some people are giving their reason as to why those years were great and instead, all they talk about is how they'd rate their life from when they were born to the present and more shockingly, they explained more on their worst years rather than the best years. Here is one comment on the list that exemplifies this:
2009- great year for me 7/10And keep in mind that this user was supposed to give a reason as to why 2012 is the best year in history and all he/she gave us was that underlined petty reason that has to be shoved aside for more explanation on why 2013 and 2016 are bad.
2010- awesome, I moved to Florida and made many friends there 8/10
2011- amazing 9/10
2012- best year of my life, nothing bad happened 10/10
2013- pretty bad year for me, 3rd grade happened, T.V. shows started to suck, my and my cousin hated each others, I got grounded a lot in that year. The only things I miss about that year are iron man 3, my sister was born, and my summer vacation 3/10
2014- okay, sucks at the start but got better later on 5/10
2015- good year 6/10
2016- worst year ever! My dad tortured me, my sister ruined me life, I was depressed, my summer was ruined by my dad, every once a month I would have one of the worst days of my life, a lot of my friends had a terrible time in that year, nothing good happened in the news, I got bandages from my dad on Christmas, I got a phone that didn't work for most of the year. The only thing I miss about that year were me going to middle school, spending time with my friends, and I met my cousins in Maryland. 1/10
2017- great year for me, way better than the previous year. And I also got a Nintendo Switch in that year. 7/10
2018- good, not as fun as 2017 but I still like that year 6/10
2019- to be honest, I don't really know what rating I should give this year. So we will decide in December. This is the rating I'm giving this? /10
Comments like these are the reason why I don't trust this list, or maybe much of the site's lists as people vote contenders based off personal experiences. Once again, this list isn't about your life, it's about whatever happened in history. However, I do see that many other people tried to state some brief reasoning as to what makes these years so great, but unlike the other list where they talk about celebrities, politics, tragic events, etc., they say that it's the best year in history mostly because it gave them entertainment they loved. For example, someone would praise 2006 for giving him/her the Wii, Cars, Final Destination 3, and Hannah Montana. As I stated when I talked about celebrity deaths being factored in for the year's terribleness: it might have affected a lot of people, but not everyone cared about products like the Nintendo 64, shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, songs like Green Day's "American Idiot", and many more. Praising years for giving you these products is something that makes me think the years with the most amount of nostalgia in them is what made you consider the greatest in history, better than products that millions adapted to and made life easier. Also, your parents, a grandparent, or an adult wouldn't mostly care about these things, or even have a grudge with it for distracting you too much where you began to act furious towards them, as they're something that kids to young adults would have a blast with. And, for the dozenth time, we're talking about the best years in history. Events that generally impacted people's lives for the better or worse and yes, those things I've stated might've changed your life forever, but then again, not a whole lot of people who lived at that time could relate to those type of things, especially if you weren't born during those times. And I know, I'm not true about that all the time since people do praise these years for having the rise of internet and smartphones be the case and people remember fondly of those times (in fact, people do mention these type of things so there's a plus for these lists even if they didn't explain the impact it had), but those products did more impact than a beloved piece of media from your childhood. Face it, pretty much everyone owns a smartphone and might as well have access to the internet, now how about you answer these questions; did pretty much everyone own a video game console such as the Nintendo 64? Did billions of people grew up with SpongeBob SquarePants? Was the majority of the people you know, including your older family members, obsessed with a rock song like "American Idiot"?
I'd say in fact, people voting contenders on certain lists on TheTopTens based off personal reasons is what made me leave the site off as unreliable. Don't get me wrong, several lists on this site has some users in the community explaining well enough on why they think it's the best/worst of the topic even though more analysis could be needed. But then there's lists such as these lists...
Despite myself thinking that some of the reasoning on this site is well-explained, unfortunately, some of the comments that I seem to agree with barely state what makes these things so good or bad. Instead, there would be one contender on the list where pretty much all the comments are like "How is [THING] higher than this [THING]?" or something like that where it has them constantly compare that contender to the other they think is surprisingly ranked high. As much as I agree with these statements, I would say that when someone would view these lists as the first time without knowledge of the thing's strong love or hate, they would be rather confused and even a bit irritated since they could perhaps be looking for actual reasoning on why it's on there rather than multiple users insulting people for voting contenders they're unhappy about. In other words, they want a clean list without anyone's personality getting in the way.
And you know what TheTopTens and relatively everyone else would say against ONE year? This is an issue because sometimes, I feel like people are targeting the wrong years as the best/worst in history simply by explaining "It's the start of something really good/really bad". Granted, the target towards 2020 is justified as COVID dominated much of the year, but with years like 1914, 1939, and 1347, which we'd associate as the years the World Wars and the Black Death began respectively, people proclaim those years worse than the later years in which these events happened all because of, again, the worst events in history were ignited and started a devastating wildfire. The problem with this statement is how unaware many people would feel when not considering the historical context of which these events were at their worst. For example, 1939, which is number one on the Worst Years in History list, only saw the Invasion of Poland and the Winter War as the battles of WWII that took place in that year. There really wasn't much blood and destruction until next year and the years after, or at least not as much compared to the following years, which I believe you know what would happen next. If we consider the years that started all these terrible events as the worst in history, then 2019 would be high on the list instead of 2020 because that's actually the year the pandemic began, albeit an outbreak in Wuhan, plus the bushfires in Australia and growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, despite most of them starting in the last months of the year.
What also bugs me, perhaps even more than this misalignment, is how I hear comments like "This year needs to end!", "Thank god this year is over", and "Let's hope next year will be better/great", and are they sure immature and not to mention stupid. Recent years are threatened with these death threats as people wish they would go away right now, but by pinning all their blame towards 2016 and 2020, they shouldn't celebrate yet when certain events that were big/widespread in those years will continue to happen in the new year. I mean, everyone bashing 2016 was whining over an election, putting it on the same deadly factor as the shootings and outbreaks that took place that year, and upset when hearing about their newly-elected president chosen to take office, but the "horridness" that was the 2016 election would only make its way into the following years with Trump now in command of America, enacting and remarking many controversial orders, policies, and words, yet people still put their hatred on 2016 when it hasn't done anything much when we're talking about politics. Oh yeah, one crazy election is worse than all the mess Trump left in the White House, alright! The same can be said towards 2021 where despite us being relieved about 2020 being over, the COVID-19 pandemic isn't cleaned up yet and still as horrific as ever, so obviously the new year can't be great as you hoped, right?
This all would feel like people treat these years as hexed with cursed consequences to traumatize the living souls of everyone on Earth and view others as saviors that rescued humanity from the clutches of evil. Even if something relatively minor I discussed like celebrity deaths, people still have enough of that year's bullying and want it to be the new year not today, not yesterday, but perhaps even if it didn't happen at all, not wanting to try out the hidden treats those years can potentially dish out for the rest of its stay and somewhat find it kind of redeemable. As I mentioned, the affairs of many hated years can start on the end of last year by a few days and will impact the next year if the issue is still unresolved. We all witnessed that the spread of these sequence of events were built up and found its way to achieve worldwide status to drive everyone in town panicking for their lives, not immediately start and have its long legs already grown when these years began and disappear when they conclude. But the one thing we all should remember is that years are a way of measuring time. They're not the giver of good/bad events; that title would go to whoever in the world would go their way to affect many for better or worse. In fact, many people don't use the calendar we use to determine years so you can imagine when one year last in someone else's culture to begin and end in June.
Also, you could be thinking that "Well, "Best or Worst Year Ever" could mean a lot of things besides "in history"". There's that, but there are some people out there who think the recent years ARE the worst in history, and what are those multiple listings of politics, disasters, deaths, and entertainment supposed to prove? For me, I'll just say that every year in history isn't good in general, but with the recent years? They've been getting better compared to the years centuries prior.
"people are more smarter than ever before" yeah idk about that, considering the fact that people ate TIDEPODS and people getting offended over dumb stuff, and although I do agree about what you said about technology, the thing you forget is although technology makes are lives easier, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's making us happier.
2019 was quite bittersweet for me. My Grandpa kicked the bucket but luckily I got a Nintendo Switch and a PS4. 2020 is Awful as Wrestlemania 36,Raw, Smackdown NXT and every PPV ends up at the WWE Performance Center which is weird, E3 got cancelled, George Floyd Protests, COVID-19, Movies getting delayed, Killer Hornets, My Guard Dog Thor died and celebrities dying.
And then this pandemic happened...