These Are Pedestrian’s Top 10 Pop Culture Moments Of 2015

2015, hey: what a bloody ripper of a year. As the House Of Pop Cult, it’s always a hard task to cull all the OMG WTF NO WOW moments from any given year, but it’s a cross we’re willing to bear in the name of gently leading you down memory lane (guaranteed a couple of these will make you think ‘Did that srsly happen in 2015?’). 

ISIL is Weak

Waleed talks about how we can stop ISIL #TheProjectTVWritten by Waleed and Tom Whitty (@twhittyer)

Posted by The Project on Monday, November 16, 2015

In the past 12 months,  Waleed Aly‘s broken the ethnic glass ceiling on commercial TV and become an intelligent and influential voice taking on key topics. Growing up as a non-white Australian kid it can be alienating to only see the same cookie cutter hosts, presenters, newsreaders, reality show contestants and media commentators.
While The ABC and SBS have been offering a diverse viewpoint for years it’s bigger than most people think to see some diversity on a commercial network. More importantly, and transcending anything to do with race, has been Waleed’s monologues on issues as diverse as domestic violence, negative gearing, Adam Goodes and the Paris attacks. From racking up millions of views with his ‘ISIL Is Weak’ speech, influencing parliamentary debate and being one of a handful of Australian voices being discussed on a global scale that we can be proud of Waleed’s rise has been an incredible journey to watch.
– Chris Wirasinha, Co-Founder
I entered the 100m freestyle race at my primary school swimming carnival back in the day and, for some unknown reason, completely forgot what freestyle actually involved the minute the gun went off; hands flailing, mind unable to catch up with body, I casually drowned until someone jumped in to fish me from the water. It’s why I can relate to ‘Left Shark’, the shark suit-wearing backup dancer who blundered his way through Katy Perry‘s Super Bowl halftime performance and straight into our hearts. Old mate was clearly struggling with either the pressure, or the choreography, but TBH we wouldn’t want that performance to pan out any differently (think of the memes). 
– Vanessa Lawrence, Head Of Editorial


‘Netflix and chill’, the internet’s idiom for banging whilst your TV show of choice plays in the background, started as meme in late 2014, before spreading steadily ’round the www – and, finally – reaching critical mass after News Corp explained the shit out of it back in August.
Since then, N&C has acquired an anthem, a condom-range and a friggin’ dating app, before reaching its illogical conclusion in Ariana Grande‘s unasked-for Christmas album, ‘Christmas and Chill’.

And so we must say heavy-heartedly: Guys, it’s been fun, but we’ve well-and-truly killed this one. RIP. 

– Alex Bruce-Smith, News Editor

Trust Drake, of all people, to take something as ridiculous as turtleneck sweaters and turn them into arguably the definitive pop-culture look of the year.

The humble little ditty known as “Hotline Bling” dropped into our laps one night back in July, with the lightbox filled video following in October.

And it was Drake’s weird gyration-inside-light-boxes that really pushed it from being a certified banger to being a world-dominating hit.

With a lazy 246 million-odd views, the clip helped Hotline Bling become one of the defining tunes of 2015.

Why, you’re quietly humming along to it right now, aren’t you?

It’s okay. It’s totally normal.

Just blame Drizzy.

– Cam Tyeson, Senior News Editor

I’m going with The Return of Justin Bieber as my pop cultural moment of the year. All ’round the world – maybe even right this minute – people are turning to one another and asking: “Am *I* a Belieber now?” Yes, yes you fkn are, we all are, so take that bashful look from off your face. With one album of certifiable bangers – and a little bit of remorse, as exemplified by a teary MTV VMAS performance – the former cocky little upstart had us back in his orbit. 
Special mention goes to NSW Premier Mike Baird for live-tweeting The Bachelor. Wtf, mate? 
– Alex Bruce-Smith, News Editor


She’d been hiding in plain sight for decades, but 2015 marked the first time Caitlyn Jenner revealed her identity to the world. Formerly known as Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, it was on the June cover of Vanity Fair – shot by Annie Leibowitz – that gave us the look at ‘Cait’, as she was henceforth known. After that came the reality show, the accolades and the controversy, both from those who criticised her transition as a pull for publicity, and after she was involved in a fatal car crash (prosecutors declined to charge her). Whether you’re a Kardashian/Jenner lover or hater, there’s no denying Cait’s debut triggered sweeping change in transgender acceptance  and the conversation around it grew that little bit louder.
– Vanessa Lawrence, Head Of Editorial


Donald Trump has somehow leveraged his performed, asinine douche-baggery into a semi-workable campaign platform that, real, actual human beings are supporting. A man with nought to his name in the sphere of politics but a shit haircut (and money) could feasibly become the leader of the free world, not in spite of, but because of his deliberately outrageous bullshit. You can’t Stump the Trump, and it’s mind-boggling to watch, from his Twitter rants to ‘Is he fkn kidding?’ Neo-Nazi comments about Muslims being required to carry ‘special’ ID. Special shout-out to the bald American Eagle who attacked Trump’s toupee during a TIME interview, niiiiiiceeeee.
– David Adams, Weekend Editor

#whiteandgold and #blueandblack = #fuckoff

Barring a Kardashian faux pas/ass brandishing a champagne flute, or a liberal vs. conservative discussion of religion, few things have the power to set the .coms ablaze and truly #BreakTheInternet, but ‘The Dress’ was one of those things.

The heated debate of February concerning the colour of a dress posted on Tumblr being either white and gold, or blue and black – saw the bat-shit crazy emerge from their caves in droves.

In addition to everyone who owned a device with wifi capability, they spewed their opinions (views that belong squarely in the ‘you’re taking the actual piss’ category of existence) everywhere the internet would allow. There was over 10 million tweets posted on the topic within a week of the image surfacing, some of which exclaiming our world was on the brink of an existential crisis that would be the catalyst of our inevitable annihilation.

#whiteandgold and #blueandblack will be remembered fondly as, what could quite possibly be, the most ridiculous low-point in humanity’s history thus far.

– Sean Dillon, Native Content Editor


2015 was officially the Year of the Squad, all thanks to Taylor Swift and her band of buddies (who *didn’t* she have on stage with her? None beat Lisa Kudrow singing ‘Smelly Cat’, though). Say what you will, I think she’s all about supporting and empowering the ladies, and I think that’s a pretty cool thing to have front and centre in our pop cultural consciousness. Also, after the release of 1989 in 2014, we spent the majority of this year on the receiving end of video clip after video clip (special mention to Bad Blood, obviously), which I know brightened my life immensely.
– Stephanie Lewis, Office Manager 

In the week prior to the VMAs, banger-aficionado/‘I’m going more ape-shit than Britney circa 2007’ Miley Cyrus made some comments to the media about giant-ass advocate, Nicki Minaj – remarks she’d very publicly come to regret. While accepting the Best Hip Hop video award for Anaconda, Minaj took the opportunity to elevate their beef from sirloin status to filet mignon territory – seasoning the situation with a large pinch of neck gesticulation.

And now… back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me in the press. Miley, what’s good?”. In the blink of a stink-eye, Nicki’s verbal left-right-goodnight cemented itself in the rhetoric of pop culture.

– Stephanie Anderson, Native Content Manager


For sheer entertainment value, it’s impossible to go past the one-man circus that is Auburn Deputy Mayor Salim Mehajer as my pop cultural moment of the year. Ever since he grabbed the public’s attention by shutting down an entire street for his opulent wedding, his unstoppable, shooting star-like arc has given us headline after headline. We’ve watched a fictionalised version version of his proposal in an elaborate pre-wedding video, we’ve seen him whip and nae nae on light aircraft, we’ve stood on the sidelines for his escalating legal dramas as he swatted away lawsuits left and right, and we’ve heard his Prime Ministeral ambitions laid bare in one of the year’s most bizarre press conferences.
An honourable mention goes to the beautiful mess that is #StonerSloth
– Alasdair Duncan, Weekend Editor