With 2018 approaching almost as fast as the growing rate of homelessness, what better time to pause and take a look back at some of the more disturbing/annoying trends of 2017.

The first and most blatant would be Trump Thumping. The constant stream of always negative stories, delighting in highlighting his every tweet, handshake and public appearance and what makes it worse is the obvious lack of any subtlety. And yet the propaganda and media maestros behind it are the same ones who tell us there's no such thing as fake news.

I'm not advocating for Trump, just wondering why no other US politician has ever come under such scrutiny. You wouldn't have to dig too deep to expose some of Hillary's skeletons, of which she has many and yet mainstream media fail to do so.

You have to ask yourself why a self-claimed fair and unbiased business would knowingly hide the truth about one, while it relishes making a mockery of another, yet still remaining arrogant enough to challenge the growing credibility issues their industry is currently facing.

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If personality politics is how they want to play the game, have the balls to say so and apply it equally to all.

Regardless of his politics, the media treatment of Trump is nothing short of bullying on a global scale and if they were doing it to anyone else we'd be calling them out on it.

The mention of personality politics brings me to my next disturbing trend. The Jacinda-effect and the almost polar-opposite of Trump Thumping.

Once again we must mindlessly follow this US trend, cos we are just too unimaginative to come up with our own ideas. Never mind the policy lets just push positive stories about her age, sex, hunky bodyguards, life partner and tweets.

Talk about sycophantism on a never-before-seen scale!

One could almost be mistaken for thinking that no PM before her ever had a pet cat, let alone one that was labelled the First Cat of New Zealand. I'm surprised it wasn't offered a gig by some magazine, newspaper or radio/tv show to paw its own column or given its own time-slot.

Then came the T-Shirts and mini-skirts which are all well and good if you're comfortable with images of the PM's face fitting snuggly around your private parts.

Where were the non-stick frypans and saucepans sporting "Teflon John's" image, before he retired?

Forget the effect. Leadership and the actual business of politics would be better judged on its effectiveness, not the effect of the face behind it.

And now we also have the annoying trend of celebs using their respective platforms to push their own political agendas or, as we have seen with Lorde, buckling under the pressures and demands of their own social media following.

Take Eminem for example. Brilliant artist and should he want to voice his concerns via his music that would be his right ...I'm OK with that. But I'm not happy to spend hundreds on concert tickets to feel like I'm attending a bloody political rally, that's not coming out in song.

From actors to talk show hosts, sports stars to singers, this latest bandwagon is filling up fast and rapidly going off the rails. At least have the decency to advise your fans that you will be making political statements and let them choose whether they wish to pay the big bucks to be present.

And last but not least, the most disturbing example. It's the growing trend of allowing and/or watching people and animals suffer to ensure you get the best possible footage on your phone to post promptly and often without thought, in order to boost your own social media following.

Frequently highlighting how desensitised and inhumane we have become in our pursuit of that much sought after 15 minutes of fame.

My hope for 2018 is that we do a lot less following, in so many ways, opting instead to lead the way, with better, kinder and fairer, examples and by requiring more from what we do get.

And with that, I bid you a very happy and prosperous New Year.
Investik8@gmail.com