Just Stop It
And so, after twelve long months, 2016 lurches to a close, lamented almost universally as “the worst year ever.” Which is ridiculous. Ever? Seriously?
The last time I checked there wasn’t a real World War going on, at least not so as you’d notice it. Certainly not with thousands of people dying every day and people being murdered by the millions simply because of their race and/or faith. Nation states aren’t sending their soldiers by the millions to the battle front in useless attempts to gain a few yards of bombed out farmland. Two thirds of the population isn’t standing in a soup line and almost nobody is told that they can’t get married or live somewhere because of their skin color or belief system.
Okay, some celebrities died. I get it. They were beloved and well regarded. At the end of the day, they didn’t know me or you. Nor is it likely that they at all cared about me or you. My Uncle died in February. He was and will continue to be a bigger influence on me and my life and even my future than any actor, athlete, writer, politician or famous whatever who happened to pass away this past year. It doesn’t mean that I am happy about the loss of cultural icons, but really, is that what makes things a “bad year?” Is that how we are to judge an artificial construct of the passage of time?
History would tell us that other years have had far more death, far more pain and suffering, and far more depression. Common sense would tell us that famous people who’s lives gave us pleasure but little else will die at about the same rate as everybody else in our world. It’s highly unlikely that a “year,” however constructed and/or counted, will really be “worse” than any other year. In our world today, where people become famous less for accomplishment than simply for presence, it’s possible that we notice it more because we are attuned to fame and popularity more than we have ever been.
But the idea that because a few famous people pass away the year has been “the worst” is laughable.
New Years has always been one of my least favorite holidays, pretty much for the reasons I sort of outlined above. It’s an artificial holiday. There’s nothing historic or religious about it, it’s not founded in any accomplishment or even a solar marker. It’s not a solstice, not some special day for astronomical events, nothing. It’s just a day that on one of many different calendar constructs starts “a new year.” Other calendars start at other times. But for most of my life, New Years has just really been a way to close out a Holiday period, which starts over again in two weeks, with yet again the “first holiday” of the year.
I’ve always disliked the forced introspection, as if only on the last day of December and the first day of January can one really consider ones life in ToTaLity and decide to make changes. I’ve done it myself… “Oh… I’m going to make that change in the New Year.” Why wait? Is there something special about the calendar that gives January 1 a special power? Of course not. We’re just conditioned to see it as a “starting point” because we’ve been raised in a culture that tracks time a certain way.
It’s not “wrong,” it’s just annoying to me. It bothers me because I tend to put things off based on the idea that the new year will be better.
I’m not sure why it bothers me so much this year more than any other. I think it’s because of the whole “worst year ever” mentality. 2016 wasn’t the “worst year ever,” no matter how many celebrities died or how badly your candidate lost. In the broader scope, 2016 wasn’t even in the Top 100 Worst Years Ever. Especially in the entirety of humanity. Maybe you had a bad year, but I didn’t. Maybe I did, but you didn’t? In any case, can we stop with the whole “2016 Sucked” routine?
Yesterday the President expelled 35 Russian “diplomats” for spying and as a sanction for the Russian hacking. Anti-Trump folks are gleefully celebrating this as the government released a report which proves the Russians hacked the election. Nowhere in the report does it claim or explain how the Russian hacking made more than 60 Million people vote against Hillary. Nowhere does it explain why she ignored her ground campaigns in Michigan and Wisconsin. Nowhere does it explain why her campaign was happy to use the Russian hacking as a positive in July and now it is a negative in December. Nowhere does the report explain how the Russian hacking made Hillary insult half of the nations voters, or be generally dislikable or try to hide her rather serious medical issues.
Yes, the Russians hacked us. So did North Korea, China, Nigeria, Botswana, Andorra and the Vatican. Why aren’t we expelling their diplomats? By the by, so did the CIA, FBI and probably your local law enforcement agency. Why do we not care at all about that? Also, how did that make you vote for Hillary?
Expelling diplomats is a cover story to distract from other things. It always has been. It is an action used to smother other stories and information. While we’re talking about Russian spies today, what else is going on?
Podcast 99 needs a new computer. The famed Groger-9000 is on its last breath. So if you can help, we’d all appreciate it.
With the New Years Eve festivities, please… do not drink and drive. It’s dangerous and since you already know that, it’s attempted murder. Be safe. Avoid the 12 and don’t drink and drive. I’d invite you over for my festivities, but I only have one bottle of champagne.
Happy New Year everybody!