Before we crash headlong into the year ahead, there's something I'd love to leave behind in 2017. That is, the propensity of some among us to seize on the tiny indiscretions of others. Then get angry. Really angry. Often.
I'm not really sure what to call this phenomenon. It might not even be a phenomenon. It might be as old as Bible stories about self-righteous Pharisees. But, it sure seems to be in our faces a lot nowadays, thanks largely to the omnipresence of the Almighty Social Media.
At first glance it would be tempting to throw 2017's expressions of outrage into the general category of virtue signalling. The term "virtue signalling" describes the act of expressing pious opinions in an effort to upstage each other on who is the most self-righteous of us all.
You may have experienced this on a range of subjects including, but not limited to, Donald Trump, feminism and Sean Plunket.
Virtue signalling, though, only goes some way to describing the rampant anger that plagued us in 2017. Somehow it has mutated. The moral outrage of 2017 seems to include a wilful ignorance of facts.
Take, for example, my experience on August 21, 2017. I watched as a friend first heard the news that Gareth Morgan had labelled new Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern "lipstick on a pig".
Sexism! He's calling Jacinda a pig!
Did he? Looked to me like he'd labelled Ardern the lipstick and the Labour Party the pig. A gentle explanation failed to iron out that nuance. The rage continued.
There are still good reasons to be angry with Morgan about that tweet. In my opinion, he likely deliberately used it as a sexist dog-whistle. But the whole argument got derailed by an angry mob — because my friend was not alone — determined to remain furious at him for calling Ardern a pig.
There are too many examples of fact-devoid outrage in 2017 to mention. But among the lowlights are the outrage at Sonny Bill Williams for posing in a photograph with one index finger in the air.
Because Isis also pose like that, he was accused of sympathising with the group. That outrage ignored the fact the Muslim gesture was around long before Isis started beheading people and simply indicates a belief in a single God.
Another lowlight is the condemnation Hollywood actor Matt Damon suffered after explaining whether he'd work with accused sexual harassers again.
He said he'd decide on a "case by case" basis because "there's a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?" After that, nearly 29,000 people signed a petition to have Damon removed from the cast of the movie Oceans 8.
Then, just before 2017 slunk away, it left us with another pile of outrage.
A 23-year-old White House intern is now in trouble for being smart in a group photo with US President Donald Trump. While Trump and all the other interns gave the thumbs up, Jack Breuer made the okay sign.
Apparently, that gesture signifies White Power, with Breuer's three outstretched fingers forming a W and his forefinger and thumb representing the top of a P. Yeah I know.
Here I was thinking he was just copying the gesture Trump often makes while talking. I had better stop doing that.
It's not that 2017 was the first year of moral outrage, it's that outrage in 2017 seemed to lose its grasp on reality. Maybe outrage is becoming addictive and the addicts will take their shot in any form.
Whatever the reason, it'd be great if we could put it out with last year's empties. It's probably not the done thing to write resolutions for others, but that's mine for the world.