The post originally appeared on VICE UK.
Here at VICE, we like to make predictions. We predict trends, but we're also conscious about world events and politics and stuff, so we predict a bag of that shit as well. But we rarely reflect on the predictions we make. We just kind of make them, and then they get consumed by whatever new Vine-born dance has just cropped up. That comes to an end today.
Before we crack on with 2017, we're going to look at a few of the things we said would happen in 2016, and whether they actually did or not.
Firstly, in January of this year, Mike Pearl wrote this piece about shit we should be wary of in the coming year. A lot of it was about flooding and mudslides in Los Angeles, but one of the more relevant things mentioned was the notion that Europe would become more strained by nationalism. It would be impossible to argue against this, as far-right parties across the continent gain greater ground, such as Marine Le Pen's Nation Front, the recently banned neo-Nazi group National Action in the UK, and many more across countries like Poland, Hungary, and Austria.
It also makes mention of the Syrian conflict becoming "messier," which—as anyone who has been witnessing the extremely violent recapturing of Aleppo by President Bashar al Assad's forces could testify—would also be quite hard to discount.
In January, Amelia Abraham wrote us a guide on how to make life better for LGBTQ people in 2016. She says, "One is that we need to find a way to stop violence against trans women of color, and another is that we need everybody to stop worrying so much about what genitals everybody else has." In the three months after the Brexit vote, homophobic attacks rose by 147 percent, according to the Guardian, which is an extremely large amount. Trans people worldwide are also still feeling the sting of subjugation and bullying, especially the young. In a study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital in August of this year, 42 percent of transgender youth reported self-harming, and 30 percent said they have attempted suicide. Young trans people are still facing massive social anxiety, so that's something we should really fucking fix.
"Worst case scenario," said Gavin Haynes in his forward-thinking piece, "How to Revolutionize British Politics in 2016," "President Trump doing a Thatcher atop a US tank breaching the border into Pakistan, the people of Britain watching him on flickering TVs as the power dims under the immense forex strain created by an EU exit, while an additional three million refugees charter their own P&Os to a Europe too transfixed by its own political paralysis to bother stopping them, and paratroopers go into The Gorbals to quell 1970s-style 'troubles' amongst rebellious Scottish tribes now hell-bent on secession. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally and publicly beheads President Assad as ISIS raises the Black Flag in Damascus. And Oliver Letwin is dragged out of his car and Rodney King-ed by politically nerdy Brixton youth."
While this approximation hasn't quite reached its full potential in the real world, the election of Mr. Trump has given a lot of the planet's citizens cause to tussle their collars in nervousness. And with an ever-increasing amount of extreme bloodshed occurring in Syria, the flow of people desperate to escape it by any means necessary doesn't seem to be coming to an end anytime soon.
VICE's drug correspondent Max Daly was told by UK Drug Watch boss Michael Linnell that "if you can get one message across to people who take drugs in 2016, to make drugs better and safer, it would be to take smaller doses. They need to remember the old drug user saying: 'You can always take more, but you can never take less.'"
Unfortunately, this message doesn't seem to have made it to the kids as much as we'd have liked. News stories about deaths from overdoses on extremely strong ecstasy have peppered various outlets over the course of the year, and two cases happening in the vicinity of London nightclub Fabric caused its temporary closure and loss of license. The availability of Naloxone, a drug that has the potential to bring opioid abusers "back to life" after overdoses, is still made scarce by its high price—something pharmaceutical companies have been criticized for.
So there you go. We've made very little progress in these pressing social issues, and in a time when certain parts of modern life—like technology and medicine, for instance—are getting better at an exponential rate, year after year, it's more than a little troubling that we still struggle not to kill one another and let one another die for no reason. Looks like we're bad at predicting stuff. Here's our prediction for 2017, anyway: It's going to be fucking shit.
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