Good Riddance 2016

It was the year when cheetahs passed critical levels and started heading towards extinction, but were ignored by most because a single gorilla was put down. The year when celebrity deaths seemed to double down on themselves, taking someone who was inspiring or beloved (for me, Vera Reuben and Alan Rickman are ones that stood out, but never posted about, but there have been so many more this year that it’s felt like a celebrity apocalypse) from almost all of us. Towards the end of the year we lost George Michael, starting a load of Last Christmas lyric jokes, although many thought we’d lost him already. You see, a hoax ran over the holidays that he’d died and they were just done denying it when he actually did die. And you just know someone is boasting about their part in that as you read this, because that’s the sort of person who fakes deaths for fun.

Beyond celebrity deaths, this was the year of Zika, increased terrorist activity, tainted water, and Olympic athletes faking being mugged because…? Hmmm, did we ever get a reason for that one? Whether we did or didn’t, we barely noticed that because most of us were dead. This was the year everyone on Facebook (which I used to think was everyone but me until someone found me on there despite me deleting my profile years ago) was told they were dead by the system. Those that didn’t notice that wished they were dead later on in the year when fake news managed to screw most of the world harder than it even knew was possible, making Britain vote to leave the European Union with nary a plan of what to do now, and bringing the secret lovechild of a genetically-enhanced satsuma and a gorilla into the Oval Office.

Seriously, when someone boasts about being famous enough to sexually assault women “and they just let you”, you don’t vote that person into office. Lifehack: Never side with the rapists. Compare the Donald (a man with the ego and intellect of Kanye West, but slightly less stable) to Barack Obama, a man who had the most discussed scientific article of the year when he published to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Granted, his status as President of the United States will have bumped the amount of scrutiny the article was under, and (titled United States and Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps) it was on Obamacare, but the fact is he was the first sitting President to submit and publish a heavily fact-checked article in a scientific journal. And then we have the incoming President who won’t read daily intelligence reports because he’s “smart” but barely manages to tweet his every thought without spelling mistakes all over the joint.


Surely it’s “unpresidented” for the rapist in chief to claim that high spending at Christmas and a resultant market surge is his doing, even if he is openly supporting the leader of an enemy state who helped him into office.

On a personal level it’s been a pretty crap year for almost everyone I know too. Jobs have been lost. People have gone without money for ridiculous amounts of time. Friends have been caught in living situations that are simply untenable. Hell, we had a taxi driver a few weeks ago whose wife had died, leaving him with an eight month old son, and who was being denied any form of help from the government when her illness drained their finances to the point that he was getting thrown out of his home. And it seems this awful time has spread around the world, just as I was getting paranoid the common denominator was me. Everyone is having a real shitty time all round, so it’s no surprise that the youths of the world tried to find something, anything, to make them feel they’d accomplished something in the fiery pits of this hellos year. Things like the incredibly difficult standing still, the running away we saw in an earlier video, and the slightly more impressive water bottle flips.

And to cap it off, and vindicate those of us who’re saying “This year just won’t end!”, this year just won’t end. Well, it will, but it has the audacity to last a whole second longer than normal. Thanks to the rotation of the planet not being perfect, occasionally an extra second has to be added to universal time in order to make sure we don’t slip ahead and have day as night tax-dodging sexual assaulters with their finger on the button. So, at the end of this year, the time won’t go from 23:59:59 to 00:00:00. This year we get to see the rare 23:59:60 rear its ugly head. An extra second. Do you know how many insults to nuclear-enpowered world leaders Trump can tweet in that time? Or how many phones can explode?

So I hope you’ll join me not in looking forward with hope to the new year and all the opportunities it brings, but in looking back with spite at the old year and hoping it burns in the special hell reserved for child molesters, country music stars, and anyone who thinks bragging about “grabbing them by the pussy” is “just guy talk”.


4 thoughts on “Good Riddance 2016

  1. Not a good year, indeed.

    One day in a spring of 1999, while NATO airplanes were dropping bombs all over Serbia, I have found myself in a strange state of mind. Sitting in a bus, I noticed the bus driver shortly stopped, with worrying look on his face while he was preparing to cross the bridge over Sava river. It was after couple of bridges were destroyed in a nearby city while people were still crossing it and everyone knew that it could be easily the last time we are looking toward old fortress and a park around it. So, while trying to soak up that new reality, I suddenly realized that I can’t remember what my life looked like before – before air raid warning sirens, before listening to bomb explosions in a distance, before seeing Tomahawk missiles flying (literally) over my head. Before crossing the bridge thinking that it might be the last time I ever do that. Suddenly, without even understanding how and why, you find yourself in that new reality and you know there is no way back; you probably did nothing to make that sudden change that affects everyone’s life but you are still in it all the way to your chin and you don’t know if you are breathing your last breaths while your brain is struggling to remember how it all happened… This is how I understand this year. Now I can see that things were changing toward what we have now, even though, sometimes, it looked that everything will be just fine. Next few years will be very interesting. And not in a good way, I’m afraid.

    On a side note, I don’t say that I was anywhere close to what people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lybia, etc, etc, etc, experienced; I can just try to imagine their horror; I can just try to imagine how much they were stunned when horror started and they were trying to remember how their life was before.

    • Have you ever considered writing a memoir? Or even just sitting down and recording yourself telling some of these stories? There’s a certain beauty to them, sad though it is in many cases, that I feel would appeal to a lot of people. Living through something so many people can’t imagine and have only seen from far away on the news. More importantly, surviving that and coming out the other side then rebuilding your life to the point that, to such an outside viewer, it is unimaginable that you’ve gone through it.

      The worse things get, the more people need to know that it is possible to not only survive such horrors but to keep in touch with who you are. Being informed by what you’ve gone through rather than letting it define who you can be. In a world looking for a reason that can be a victim (more often than not as an excuse to get away with things they’ve already been doing, but sometimes simply because they can’t see how they can be anything else) it could make a difference.

      • A memoir? Well, not really. Or, not now. San suggested that several times but I’m still kind of reluctant. There are worse stories (or more interesting, depending how you look at them) that other people can tell and mine seems so little out of ordinary. But who knows, once I am old and grey and retired with nothing more to do with my life… 😀

  2. I’m happy to report that the leader of Furtopia is not a big enough celebrity to have been claimed by 2016. I survived, and the world will pay…

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