I’d like to say a very hearty and deeply felt, “fuck you very much 2016.” I can’t think of a single year that has been so filled with people exclaiming, “Oh really, now this?!”
I mean, look, 2016, you killed Prince! I know he was eccentric and weird and all, but he was PRINCE! We needed him. We had Prince to look to as a benchmark to see just how far a person could go in the pursuit of their artistic vision. And you took that away from us. How dare you?!?!?!?!
And to do it so shortly after taking David Bowie. You killed motherfucking David Bowie! We didn’t even know if Bowie was actually human or just a space creature sent to earth to entertain us and pull us towards our full potential. But no, you had to go and ruin that too. You showed he was all too human and learning that broke a lot of hearts.
Speaking of breaking hearts, you also took Muhammad Ali. Damn, that one hurt. I mean, it’s not like it was unexpected, Ali was sick and suffering for a very long time, but in such a dark time, when we need so many heroes, you had to go and take mine. Ali’s death made me cry. I found myself drunk in the back of a cab heading to a party and weeping about Muhammad Ali’s death. After all the hurt and pain and ugliness you unleashed this year, 2016, it was Ali’s death that finally made my levees break, unleashing a flood of pent-up tears.
And that hurt and pain and ugliness I mentioned, there was way too much of that this year. Too many black people killed by police and too few cops held accountable for it. Too many cries of “Black Lives Matter” and too many tone deaf responses. Too many mass shootings and too few laws being enacted to change that. Too many Native lives being put at risk and too many banks and oil companies making money. No one is walking away from 2016 unscathed, except for maybe El Chapo. That guy gets out of everything.
Fuck you 2016. This was the year that the entire American political system finally jumped the shark. We’ve had a good run, 240 years is a long time, but you 2016, you were the one that finally made us a parody of ourselves. Having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was a cruel trick, especially when we saw the potential held in the ideas of Bernie Sanders. But here we are, stuck with a Cheeto-headed fascist.
While I’m by no means the biggest Hillary Clinton supporter, at least she has an air of professionalism when she’s fucking over the American people. Trump, on the other hand, is like Animal from the Muppets,
accidently unshackled and now chasing around females yelling “WOMAN”. Yes, 2016 was the year that we were forced to choose between the Muppet Show and the Woman Who Sold the World…maybe Bowie is getting his last laugh after all.
There has been some good to come out of this year though. While Muhammad Ali, Bowie, and Prince have passed away, a new hero stepped up, or rather kneeled down, exactly when we needed one. I don’t care if Colin Kaepernick ever throws a touchdown again–, his protest against the National Anthem makes him a legend for all eternity. The profundity of simply taking a knee during the “Star Spangled Banner” is so immense that it literally stripped the problems of America to its core.
Seeing people more upset with his protest than they were about black and brown people getting killed by the police, demonstrated just how much work needs to be done.
A flush of new people now willing to do the hard work is also one of the few good things to come from 2016. The awfulness of this year has helped galvanize a huge network of grass roots movements to all work together. People of all ages, ethnicities, and economic situations have woken up, and are staying woke, and they are organizing to make this country a better place. From Black Lives Matter, to Standing Rock, to the Frisco 500, we are witnessing something beautiful and
important, the beginnings of change.
So I’d just like to say this one more time, fuck you 2016. Looking ahead, I have a feeling 2017 is gonna be everything you weren’t. And for that we can rejoice.