Saturday, December 31, 2016

Let's all agree never to speak of 2016 again.

I uh...well, happy um, New Years. I suppose. It's the last day of 2016 which I'm sure comes as a relief to anyone who puts undue and irrational importance on unscientific concepts like bad luck and probably to the rest of us who can't argue with how shitty a year this has been. I mean, holy shit, did someone desecrate a tomb or something?
Above: basically all of us.
Somewhere in the multiverse, they're
mourning washed up baseball star turned
Binghamton area car dealer, Fidel Castro.
The usual mark of a bad year is traditionally how long the list of dead, beloved famous people is and this year it is long and talented. Musicians Prince, David Bowie, Sharon Jones, George Michael, Franks Sinatra Jr and Leonard Cohen are all dead. Literature lost Harper Lee, who wrote How to Kill a Mockingbird and Watershed Down author Richard Adams. And sports fans lost Muhammed Ali, Arnold Palmer and Fidel Castro who I think played baseball for a little while before moving on to an armed revolution and subsequently ruling an oppressive communist regime for decades.

"See that Danny? That's the universe. A cold,
godless expanse that hates us. Better get used to it."
Actors Anton Yelchin, Alan Rickman and Robert Vaugh are dead. As are Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ron Glass, Abe Vigoda and the long running joke about whether or not he's dead. Gene Wilder is dead because, hey why not, right? TV mom Florence Henderson and TV dad Alan Thicke are gone and Star Wars fans lost both Kenny Baker (the guy inside R2D2) and Carrie Fisher. Can you believe it? And speaking of, because the universe likes kicking us while we're down, Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds died the next goddamn day.

So long Robert S. Hulseman, we
hardly knew ye. May your legacy live on
forever through college movie clich├ęs.
And since Twitter and bullshit news on Facebook has already killed journalism, we might as well say goodbye to 60 Minutes guy Morley Safer and PBS News Hour host Gwen Ifill. Thailand lost King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Christian apocalypse fans lost novelist Tim LaHaye and people who fall for scams lost Madam Cleo. Also dead are some less famous people like this flight attendant who, back in 1972, survived a fall of three miles, that's like 33,000 feet, when her plane exploded in mid-air and the guy who invented the red Solo cup.

Way to go Mitch. Way to go. I'm sure
 future generations will thank you.
And because the universe hates America, (and not without cause), John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth died this year. So did noted dance party host and first woman to hold the position of Attorney General, Janet Reno. Antonin Scalia is dead which, you know, I kind of hated him but I didn't want to see him dead. The real kick in the teeth is the way Mitch McConnell made up some bullshit about how the next President should get to fill the seat on the bench and now that President is (technically) Donald Trump. 

Hey, we had a good run, and besides
Hillary Clinton was once careless with her
emails, so we really dodged that bullet.
And yeah, on that note, I think the thing keeping us from popping the champaign cork and dancing on the rapidly cooling corpse of 2016 is the promise of 2017. I know I've been pretty focused on the election and on Trump, and I know there are other things going on in the world, but for real. 2017 is the year in which we're going to swear in a President that most of us didn't vote for and whose short temper and reckless tweeting is almost certainly going to spark a global conflict that will end our reign as the planet's dominant life form.

So let's raise a glass to the baboons, chimps and other primates who will, in the coming millennia, evolve to fill the niche we once occupied. Here's to you, may you learn from our mistakes and stay away from electoral colleges and gerrymandering. Or better yet, just elect a parliament or a council or something, because clearly we had know idea what we were doing. Like at all. I mean, look where it's gotten us.
Good luck ape council. You're going to need it.

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