If nothing else, I’ll be glad when 2016 is over to be finally free of “fuck 2016” commentary. I get the sense that the most recent barrage that includes the lamentation “Can 2016 just end already?” is more than just the ritualized handling of the sadness at the passing of prominent people of personal significance that it seems to be. As a matter of fact, this table was being set already in January upon the death of David Bowie, when it was noted that therewith the still nascent sixteen qualified as inauspicious. Given the easy to find when you’re looking for it “everything happens in threes”, this could predestine a continuance of the meme that said the year was doomed from the beginning.
While I’m aware of my petty contrarianism, it occurs to me that this time around it’s become less than your standard symbolic auld lang syning off the last and getting on with the next, and more a culmination of an outgrowth of Anthroprocene Humans’ struggle to come to grips with, if not so much their own mortality, how the living of their lives affects their own and their fellows, a failure to deal in spite of humanity’s enlightenment, and feeble irrationalization as the result of arrogantly tribalized truths of the pre-post truth period during which the aggregate denial that the truth ship had long sailed was at its greatest.
That is, it is not so much an expression of wanting to shuffle aside present woes as it is the attribution of those woes to conditions regarded as specific somehow to the last twelve months without regard to the accumulation of age that preceded them. Either that or I have forgotten the corresponding memes from 2015. And the 2000s. And the increments of the American Century of the greatest generation when the seeds of environmental degradation of planet Earth took firmest root. I don’t recall the eagerness to get the nineteen hundreds over with. I do remember a little bit of Y2K angst.
It rather resembles the scapegoating of millennials for whatever presently ails. You got a problem with 2016? Disregard it. Leave it the fuck alone. Don’t smoke. Go for a walk. Eat your vegetables. Be sad at your idols fallen. Take solace in remembrance of peoples past. Deal with the present as you would dwell in it. Tomorrow entails no promise less unfortunate than today, but it will reap the sorrows and pitfalls from that which preceded it. Which is today.
I’m not saying that you’re necessarily responsible for anyone in particular’s illness and/or, let’s face it, not so premature death. But in the meaningful majority of cases, one can point to collective lifestyle choices as cause of the disease being cursed as a demonic scourge within the human body as well as the land, air, and sea around it. When conservatives hypocritically wail at the failure of anyone other than themselves to take personal responsibility, they ain’t just whistling Dixie past the graveyard. But whistling past the graveyard they are, and they aren’t alone in doing it.
Here’s a year-end prediction: The coming year will vindicate this one. May it rest in peace in advance.