Leave It In 2021

Zaynab Kouatli, Opinion Editor

As we begin the new year, I have comprised a short list of things I believe we should leave in 2021. All the content mentioned is my opinion, so please take it with a grain of salt.

At a NASCAR race event in October, a reporter incorrectly assumed the crowd was chanting “Let’s Go Brandon,” when in reality they were saying “F**k Joe Biden.” Somehow this misheard chant grew into one of the most viral political memes of 2021. Not only was it the most viral political meme of 2021, but dare I say it wins for dumbest as well. For a party that is constantly complaining about censorship, why would you choose to censor yourself?

“Let’s go Brandon” is a weak comeback; it is the same kind of childish drivel that uses vainglory to disguise a profoundly hollow conviction over what is being talked about. If conservatives truly believe the meaning behind their coded comebacks, I think they ought to be an adult and just say “F**k Joe Biden.”

However, the whole point of all of this is not to insult the president, but rather to get a rise out of the other party. I can almost guarantee that most liberals will not be offended or let alone care if you use this line on them. A great chunk of people who voted for Joe Biden do not necessarily care for him either, but rather voted for the lesser of the two evils. I hope we can leave the smug political commentary in 2021 and progress into more creative analysis of our government officials in 2022.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain that are usually associated with images or artwork. NFTs have gained immense popularity in 2021 because of the experience of owning “the original” and its copyright. What I despise most about this concept is how art is fetishized for the sake of nothing but financial gain and a superiority complex. People already make art that you can purchase, why would we need to sell pixels as well. NFTs prove originality (with respect to the blockchain that assigns the token), but they do not prevent sharing or copying.

I could easily lookup NFT artwork and screenshot what I find. The cost of reproducing such goods is essentially 0, and NFT technology itself does not enforce any sort of limits on whether such .jpgs can simply be copied, pasted, and exhibited all over the internet. I don’t understand why one cannot simply buy original artwork (it is like an NFT you can hold)? Their sole principle is to generate artificial scarcity of an artwork to increase its worth.

NFTs also have an extremely negative impact on our environment as they depend on cryptocurrencies that cause vast amounts of carbon emissions. Ethereum’s annual energy consumption used to process its crypto transaction is nearly equal to Nigeria’s annual energy consumption. Although I wish we could leave NFTs in 2021, I have come to terms that its popularity will travel into 2022. However, I do hope to see an end to the NFT ape profile picture flooding my social media timelines.

Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox was the couple constantly talked about in 2021. Ever since these two started dating they have been tormenting everyone’s timelines with “nobody asked” content. There has not been a single thing I know about this couple that has not been force fed to me by the internet. Everything I have come to learn about them has all been cringe content that is masked as edgy.

Here is the thing, I DO NOT CARE. I do not care about anything involving Machine Gun Kelly not because he is a punk poser but because this man is actually really creepy. Several of his tweets resurfaced discussing his attraction to underage girls, “I wish 13/14/15 year old girls weren’t allowed to be so hot so I wouldn’t feel like such a creeper when I look at them… Im still 19 #imjustsayin.” This is not the only one, in 2009 he tweeted, “There’s a little 13-year-old girl next to me goin crazy over my transformers tattoo, don’t wry tho yall I won’t pull a R Kelly.”

In a 2013 interview, he also talked about his crush on Kendall Jenner who was 17 at the time: “Robert Plant, who was one of the greatest lead singers ever… dated a girl that was 14. Axel Rose, who was one of the biggest badasses ever, dated a girl that was 16… I don’t care. Say what you want, man.” He also tweeted about Eminem’s daughter, who was 16 at the time saying, “ok so I just saw a picture of Eminem’s daughter…and I have to say, she is hot as fuck, in the most respectful way possible cuz Em is king.”

Machine Gun Kelly has also made sexual comments about Black women “giving the best head” in a BET awards interview. In 2022, can we please start holding white man accountable and stop giving horrible people such large platforms.

2021 has been an exhausting year for everyone. We’ve gone through — and are still going through — some very traumatic experiences. If last year has taught me anything it is that uncertainty is unavoidable. We may not be able to control the atrocities going on in this this world, but our strongest power is having control over ourselves and what we do. In 2022, be a better person.