I just noticed I never wrote a Happy New Year greeting for 2016. Hmmm. Foreshadowing, mayhap? If so, it was certainly by accident.
For every social media/cultural trend, it seems there is almost always an equal push for the opposite. Towards the end of 2016, people began to label last year one of the worst ever. And of course, as if to say you’re not the boss of me, others chimed in, claiming that there was in fact plenty of good in 2016, and stop being so morose and really this is all about sore losers and Trump won so get over it. And stop complaining; it could’ve been 1929 or 1933 or 2001 or this. Are you saying 2016 was worse than those?
Then came the obligatory, fallacy-of-unwarranted-assumption Everyone talks about celebrity deaths, but no one acknowledges our military personnel who died trope, as if recognizing popular and cultural figures’ deaths is somehow diminishing or even negating the importance of soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors who gave all for their country. My kingdom for the ability to reach through the monitor…
Nobody (at least that I’ve seen) has said that nothing good happened in 2016. But you cannot ignore facts (well, some people can, but that’s for another day). I won’t list everything here, as I’m sure you’re already aware of the slew of souls the performing arts community lost, as well as the record number of law enforcement officer deaths, and murders via gun violence this past year, and that Brexit and the American presidential election proved beyond doubt that one way to win the support of the populace is to play on its nationalist assumptions and irrational, racist fears. Those events alone can poop all over a whole year, and in my opinion, they did.
Still, we rejoice in waking up this morning, even though the Thriller and I have spent most of the last week coughing, hacking and wheezing, which also means I have exactly one seventh of the work I wanted to do over break completed. Nice.
We can also celebrate that our republic has faced the horrors of civil war, slavery, rampant social injustice and being an eyelash away from nuclear disaster, and still survived. If we faced those trials and prevailed, we can surely outlast what lies ahead. There is hope.
So I challenge all my readers (as you know, there are 100-some worldwide — a veritable multitude; a vultitude) to resolve this day to make 2017 shine. We are greater than our circumstances; let’s prove it, over and over. Allons y!
Happiness and peace,