Still Processing: Unforgettable Cultural Moments From 2016

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It’s the end of the year, which means a lot of parties that can end in sloppiness and chagrin. For us, it means jotting down what culture mattered this year and talking about that. We invited four pals to join us on Still Processing to talk about what they jotted: Bill Simmons, the chief executive of The Ringer and host of the “Bill Simmons Podcast”; Ezra Edelman, director of the documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” the movie Wesley thinks is the best of 2016; and Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu, who host the podcast “Another Round.” Their lists are published below, but their energy and explanations you have to hear for yourself. Next week, we’ll share our own lists.

Bill Simmons

1. Prince’s death: “It kind of ended the ’80s, in a way, as a pop culture decade that lives on,” Simmons says.

2. “Hamilton”: Simmons calls it “one of the few positives of 2016.”

3. “Atlanta”: “Either you haven’t seen it, or you love it.”

4. “Lemonade”: “For 72 hours, it just dominated everything. It was amazing.”

5. #OscarsSoWhite: “Old, white people vote for the Oscars. What the hell do people expect?”

6. Hodor’s death: “It was a tough one.”

7. Muhammad Ali’s death: “Ali was like, my first hero.”

8. Ken Bone: “The moment you saw him, it’s like, ‘Oh my god, this guy’s gonna be in my life now.’”

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Ken Bone. He’s in all our lives now.

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Rick T. Wilking/Associated Press

9. Adele: “Everyone’s like, ‘Albums are dead, you can’t release albums.’ And she just released albums the old-school way, and everybody bought it. She did concerts the old-school way and everybody bought it. It made me think: Stars still matter.”

10. Leo’s Oscar Win: “He needed one.”

Ezra Edelman

1. Game 7 of the World Series (and the Cubs in general): “This isn’t even my team. But it made me realize the purity and the responsibility of being a fan.”

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The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in November.

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America

2. “Stranger Things”: “That brought me joy, watching that.”

3. Steph Curry and the Warriors: “The apex of being a basketball fan was watching this team play.”

4. “The Night Of”: “I couldn’t wait to get home to watch the end of it.”

5. “Moonlight”

6. “Atlanta”

Heben Nigatu

1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: “To see so many brown women together was such a treat.”

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Beyoncé, Lemonade.

Credit
Parkwood Entertainment

2. “Hamilton” at large: “‘Hamilton,’ winnin’ all the Tonys.”

3. R.I.P Vine: “That was good internet.”

4. Hair and makeup teams on shows like “black-ish,” “Insecure,” “Queen Sugar,” etc.: “Every time I watch ‘black-ish,’ I’m like, ‘O.K., put this on the mood board.’”

5. “The Good Wife”: “The reason I know anything about the N.S.A. is because of ‘The Good Wife.’”

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Chris Noth and Julianna Margulies in “The Good Wife.”

Credit
Jeff Neumann/CBS, via Associated Press

Tracy Clayton

1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: “I just love to remind people that Beyoncé is a black-ass Southern woman and she wants you to know that.”

2. “Hamilton Mixtape”;”Hamilton”: “I will put this on my list in like, 2018, 2019.”

3. “Black Mirror”: “It gave me something else to worry about.”

4. Clarissa Shields: “I love her.”

5. Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love”: “I cannot get enough. Also, it’s kind of sexy.”

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Childish Gambino

Credit
Ibra Ake, via Glassnote Records

6. Heben’s Return to “Another Round”: “It was like flyin’ back home for the holidays.”

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