Oh. My. God. What an effed-up year this has been. Goodbye and good riddance. #FU2016 as John Oliver said. He was right, this year was a bad vintage, it drove us stir crazy – just get outta my sight already.
But hang on, dead or alive, we’d better spin round and discuss it a little, or the rest of this page will be entirely blankety blank. Along the way, I’ve got to sneak in some tributes to happenings and people sadly departed this year.
So by Grabthar’s Hammer, let’s take a look back before we truly, madly deeply party like it’s 1999. Admittedly I know nothing, cause it’s all a bit fawlty quite frankly, but I hope you’ll like this, not a lot, but you’ll like it.
The Force didn’t awaken this year, instead it got high on a heady cocktail of violence, greed, bigotry and outright madness, as the world went from crazy to totally cloud-cuckoo-land bat-shit insane. And THEN jumped on a one-way flight to La La Land. Engage at Warp Factor 9!
A media-created monster apparently determined to live up to his wildest and most absurd character traits, has been selected to occupy arguably the most powerful position in the world. While the coolest POTUS ever, dropped the mic, a new one made the birdy tweet-tweet all night long.
‘How hard can it be to become President?’ he must have thought. Not very, it appears. Even if you like to very inappropriately grab a bit of feline. After all we live in a world where it’s okay for a TV personality to punch a producer and then make a triumphant return to riotous roars of approval.
We find ourselves Trumped, and it’s all our fault. The miserable masses decided they would make a point because no one listens to them. I wonder if they knew they were kissing a fool? Now they certainly have our attention. But it’s too late, we’re all screwed – he’ll be asking for nuclear wessels soon (sic). Unless we’re the ones that get to say: ‘You’re fired!’All power to Michael Moore.
Meanwhile a tiny island wallowing in the drowning memory of a long-extinguished Empire decided to divorce a continent-sized sugar-daddy – for the wrong reasons. Thanks, you bunch of self-serving professional political disruptors and your careless whispers for escalating that quickly.
These buffoons were clearly having a laugh, because they scarpered as soon as they actually got what they wanted. Or maybe they didn’t want it. Who knows? After all, so much of this year felt like we were all being pranked. Meanwhile the NHS waits for the BS bus of millions that never comes, not even three at once.
The powerful postured and put on a show for us again and again, demonstrating that they could break the rules with impunity in keeping an unjust status quo. There was no new hope in the Middle East, as the fighting and conflict got so brutal, horrific and complex that 50 shades of grey (yes they filmed a sequel this year) weren’t enough to colour in the situation – predominantly blood red anyway.
Everyone passionately shares sincere posts about the destruction, death and dislocation. Unabated though, innocent lives continue to be needlessly ruined, and nobody knows what’s actually going on and why. Or what’s really in the pipeline? Because if it was just about ideology well, as someone said, ‘ideas don’t need weapons’.
He also said ‘Why do some people have to go barefoot so that others can drive luxury cars? Why are some people able to live only 35 years in order that others can live 70 years? Why do some people have to be miserably poor in order that others can be extravagantly rich?’
To all of which I add, as I stare worryingly at the Alt key on the right of the silent majority space bar, there has got to be an acceptance of equality, personal choice and individual identity, on this fast-getting-overcrowded little blue marble ball.
The internet and travel, whether in person or through the proxy handholding of a woman facing away on Instagram, should have brought us closer together. Somehow this notion was comprehensively defeated. Instead we all stand frozen like mannequins, helplessly stunned by the shocking global apathy. Later we come to our senses and focus ardently on getting the bottle to land upright.
There, a quiet bearded old man dies in Dil Dil Pakistan, having given a lifetime of servitude, healing and rescue to the needy, and deserving equal footing with Mother Teresa (is she a saint yet?). Here, the vilification of Muslims continues through scare-mongering and misinformation.
Brown people are the bogeymen. Brown people could be plotting to attack freedom-loving countries – you know the ones with impending minority registries (possible internment camps), constant monitoring and surveillance of its citizens as well as trigger happy cops seeing black.
Actually we might be wise to beware of us brown folk, as the brownies do fancy a bit of a brawl – but with each other. Also an utterly pointless and illogical exercise, which should be inconceivable, considering the common cultural lineage.
Lack of knowledge, understanding and empathy is a dangerous catalyst, but as one captain said: ‘You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown — only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.’
But none of that matters because Idiocracy has arrived as we face the fact (or not) that Facebook and social media dictate the cultural and social conversation more powerfully than journalists and literate traditional media; we must concede that we’re all aboard this bandwagon and along for a raucous ride that is surely not going to end well.
An astronaut (not Major Tom) once said ‘As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.’ Yep that’s what 2016 felt a lot like.
With the amazing advances in robotics and AI, as the Economist reports that 47% of our jobs will disappear in the next 25 years, we have to ask ourselves – are these the droids we are looking for? It rings a bell right? Eddie Casales, were you at the movies?
On the other hand, a character that never wore the same socks twice once said ‘Computers rule the world today. And the fellow that can fool the computers, can rule the world himself.’
So if we can get the big walking carpet out of our way, perhaps we’ll be able to meet the Starman in the sky, and maybe we want our minds blown, because it could be the only way out. And the only way towards hope and a more positive, understanding and loving 2017.
We should ride ahead on blazing saddles in our little red corvette, with the belief that we can best the year to come, despite the poorly-pundited prospects. Think meaningful, think mighty, think: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. We can yet be the greatest of all time, if we put our minds, and moreso, our hearts into it.
So it’s goodnight from me. And its goodnight from him. Live long and prosper.