Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish
There have been plenty of years that people wanted to show the door, but 2016 seems to be in a class of its own. During a holiday gathering, friends and family chatted about the years events and the eldest attendee said, “Well, I’m sure other ’16 years were worse.”
Looking it up was an attempt to make myself feel better. I’m ready to close out this miserable year. My best friend died and my country is beating the door down to fascism.
I’m ready to get a restraining order against cancer. There’s a petition online asking for 2016 to leave Betty White alone because too many heroes have died this year.
If you’re going to watch “in memorial” videos online of who decided the planet was just too much and left this year, it’s going to take a while. You might as well, pop some corn and get comfortable. I tried it. Then I was sad and spent too much time listening to one of the million covers of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
The good news is we no longer have the Black Death or smallpox. There’s a couple of wins. We now have heroin — the preventable plague that is killing way too many of us.
A hundred years ago the Germans bombed Paris with Zeppelins, Canadian parliament buildings were burned to the ground and Emma Goldman was jailed for lecturing about birth control. Now we bomb from drones in too many countries most Americans can’t find on a map, envy the Canadians for their newly elected leadership and still don’t think women should know about their own bodies.
In 1816, U.S. troops destroyed the Seminole Ft. Apalachicola, because the Native Americans had been harboring runaway slaves and it seemed like a fine time to punish them.
Curiously named, Lord Exmouth bombarded Algiers because it was a refuge for Barbary pirates. And thankfully James Monroe won the presidential election — thwarting the Federalist, Rufus King.
Can you imagine “President King”? Sorry, too soon? Sadly, Native Americans are still taking the brunt of government forces who seem hellbent on protecting oil companies; pirates are running everything from Wall Street to megachurches and we have elected a man who thinks he’s a king.
I know this exercise in history was to make me feel like we’ve progressed and learned lessons. Thank goodness the Austrians beat the Ottoman Turks in 1716! Finally! And they were outnumbered bigly. I’m not sure how this is supposed to help, but I’m pretty sure this fact is often overlooked in history, and I thought we owed the Austrians the nod. Good job, fellas.
I hate to think a year from now we will look back over 2017 and wish it had been as wonderful as 2016. Sorry. Did you just shudder? Yeah, me too.
One New Year’s Eve, half my life ago, my mom asked my sisters and I what our resolutions were. We all very seriously listed things we were already known for. I said I was going to try to break out of my shell and say whatever came to my mind.
My “clean freak” sister said she would try to keep things tidy. My other sister (who was still in high school) said if she ever had to burp, she would not hold back.
As you may imagine, my mom wasn’t overly impressed, but I’m pretty sure we kept our resolutions that year. The truth is, resolutions are supposed to be things we have failed at — oh, and may again. If you don’t try, you lose for sure. Here’s to our attempts, failings and try-agains.
Tennyson said, “Hope smiles at the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ ” I say, “Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, 2016. Let’s do this, 2017.”