Can We Not? The 2014 pop culture moments we hope never to relive

Beyonce Jay-Z
Beyonce Jay-Z
Photography by Kevin Winter/WireImage

So how about 2014, everyone? Here’s one thing we can say about it: it existed. It consisted of 12 months, 365 days (almost), and a whole lot of unnecessary drama in the world of pop culture. We’re not going to touch everything else because this is not the place.

So where to even begin? The “I’m not a feminist” movement or a summer spent analyzing the ins and outs of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s marriage? Fear not: we have time for all of the above (and more!) Here are the moments of 2014 we hope never, ever to repeat again.

Shailene Woodley Feminist
Photography by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

1. “I’m not a feminist”

Enter: the “UGHHHH” heard around the world. Before Beyoncé stood onstage at the VMAs and declared herself a feminist, Shailene Woodley went on record and called herself the opposite, saying she didn’t believe in the ideal in May, then in June claimed the word “discriminates.” That same month, Lana Del Rey did the same thing, claiming “feminism” is boring because we can only assume she just doesn’t know what it means. (That has to be the reason, right?) No more of this, 2015. Celebrity crusaders aside, feminism is more important now than ever.

2. Male entitlement and the abuse of power

Remember: we’re talking only about pop culture (today), so this paragraph is reserved solely for events like Aaron Sorkin and this season’s rape-centric of The Newsroom, Bill Cosby’s sexual assault-ridden past, and the years former Q host Jian Ghomeshi spent abusing women without consequence from the CBC. Are you exhausted yet? We all are, right? Or do I need to point to Rolling Stone’s shameful handling of its rape investigation (and the blogger who exposed the anonymous victim)? No. Go away. Get out of here.

Beyonce Jay-Z
Photography by Kevin Winter/WireImage

3. Beyoncé and Jay Z’s marriage: the experience

Some of us (hello!) subscribe happily to the narrative of Jay-Z and Beyoncé™; content to assume they live perfect lives on perfect Instagrams and headline perfect world tours featuring perfect songs. So yes, May’s elevator fight between Jay-Z and Solange in an elevator was a buzzkill for most of us. But then the controversy continued all summer long: claims that the couple were on the brink of divorce, shopping for new apartments, fighting on tour clogged headlines until the pair’s Paris stop in September—even though Beyoncé’s Vanguard Award at the VMAs basically confirmed the rumours were a total wash. A lesson: never speak ill of the world’s first family again.

4. Ice Bucket Challenge

We all love charity! But I think we can also admit that by the second week of Ice Bucket Challenges, we’d seen them all and we’d seen too much — especially since you could also just donate money without dumping a bunch of water on your head. (See: Tina Fey making her daughter do it instead.) So let’s say this: the statute of limitations on anything “viral” is now three days. After that, just hand over that cash-money to a worthy cause and live your lives.

Jennifer Lawrence

5. True Detective casting rumours

I’m putting this here because it was cruel to make us think every actor in Hollywood was going to star in True Detective for what seemed like 12 months. And this is no way an exaggeration: as you can see here, every working actor seemed to at some point be considered to take on the two, three, four, maybe five thousand leads of the HBO series’ second season. Frankly, you and I were even considered. Do you have a pet? Them too. And the worst part is how much we cared.

6. Stolen celebrity nude photos

As we said in September, “leaked” photos are “stolen” photos — and stolen nude photos are a sex crime. Jennifer Lawrence summed it up perfectly in the November issue of Vanity Fair: “Just because I’m a public figure . . . does not mean I ask for this. It’s my body, and my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe we even live in that kind of world.” Amen. If this happens again, let’s just walk calmly outside and scream into the sun.

Kim Kardashian Paper

7. The How I Met Your Mother finale

We cared so much, and it turned out The Mother was just Bruce Willis the whole time. (The moral of the story: never care.)

8. Kim Kardashian hate

Yeah, I’ll go there: Kim Kardashian’s Paper magazine cover completely broke the Internet, and so did her Vogue cover (featuring husband Kanye West). The woman also handed us one of the most addictive iPhone/Android games since Candy Crush, brought her baby to Paris Fashion Week, and continued building her fashion/beauty/lifestyle empire. So why do we still hate her? Because we’re not doing as well as she is? We’re not as opportunistic? Either way, it’s 2014 and Kardashian hate is completely uncalled for. At this point, we should be thankful for someone who continues to hustle even though she’s lauded for every (smart) move she makes.

2015, deliver us from nonsense.