To say 2016 had bad mojo is an understatement. We elected Trump. Police brutality caused tears for families and communities, time and time again. Prince died. Bowie died. Heroes fell and villains rose.
My personal life had its own set of struggles, and my family is currently in recovery. I’m not inclined to believe in astrology, but it would seem that a fundamental balance has been thrown off.
“Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end of 2016” memes are the flavor of the month. It has been a trying year for all of us, other than the people at Breitbart, perhaps. But it’s 2016 right? This season will pass, the stars will realign and we will get back to the lives we used to enjoy. Right?
But under this “clean start” promised by a new year is the worry that we’re just in the appetizer course for what is going to be a truly shit period of history. Humanity has been through plenty of very dark times, many of them lasting for more than a year.
The classic formula of “scapegoat minorities and women so the powerful can rob the poor blind” has taken power in this country. That’s not a great omen. A lot of us are scared.
With fear comes bargaining. I find myself doing a lot of bargaining lately. I’d take Mike Pence over Donald Trump. I’d take Mitt Romney over Donald Trump. I’d take back Bush/Cheney even! When things that used to horrify us start to seem quaint, that’s a bad omen.
I’m excited for 2016 to be over, but I’m treading cautiously into 2017. All signs point to one of the most absurd, unbelievable, innocence-bursting years in history. I’m not trying to be negative — I’m just trying to say what’s on all our minds once we stop thinking about New Years resolutions and holiday punch hangovers.
Let’s hope the challenges to come lead to a triumph of subversion (and with it art, comedy and literature) and a swing of the pendulum back into the direction of progress.