Tuesday, 27 December 2016

An open letter from the year 2016 to, the entire internet, apparently

Ok, here’s the thing you guys. I get it. I really do. It’s been a rough one. I’m not going to try and argue in any sense that the year which brought us Brexit and Trump has been without its downs, I’m not going to say that these aren’t things which should make you annoyed, or angry, or crestfallen, or inspire a general dislike for the human race in general and your countrywo/men in particular. I understand your feelings have been hurt. Some of your favourite people you’ve never met and don’t really know on a personal level saw fit to up and kick the bucket, and you’re hurting because you’ll never hear their new music or be excited by one of their new displays of acting ever again. I get it.

I, too, quite liked David Bowie; I’m as partial to a cool lightning bolt as the next guy. And Prince had at least five catchy songs. Besides, the way he kept changing his name was amusing. George Michael had some good songs, too; you know, the ones I never admit to my friends. I liked Gene Wilder and Alan Rickman. They were funny and talented, and although I never went out of my way to watch them, when I did, I always thought, I don’t regret spending that time. And my life is much shorter than (most of) yours, so that’s saying something.
Like I said, I understand why those things suck. But it’s not my fault. It’s yours. You created me. A year is simply an artificially chosen portion of the time the earth moves around the sun. You could as logically count from July 2016 to July 2017. You diced up the days and created the months. I am what you made me.
Also, listen. I didn’t create death. I know that I am a unit of time, and thus deaths will occur within me, but I didn’t cause them. Blaming time is like being angry at the bar graph which shows incidences of car crashes. You should really be blaming yourselves. Death is part of the human condition. If you’d spent more time trying to conquer disease and aging, and less time arguing and slaughtering each other, you could have been free of death by now. It’s your own fault, really; it’s your nature.
It’s also your nature to look for easy options for your anger (see the above-mentioned Trump and Brexit for prime examples of how bullshit works). So I understand why you want to scapegoat me. But I’m not having it.
And here’s the other thing, you guys. It hasn’t been all bad, has it? There have been good things, too; the ups, in opposition to the downs. If you’re reading this, you made it (well, almost; hang in there until that countdown hits zero and you all shout and cheer). All that laughter you had. Those children who were born, the birthday you must have had, all the good movies you saw (by the way: for Rogue One – you’re welcome). You’ve been to weddings, parties, and had great nights all. All those new people you met, all that art you created, all that sex you had. Yeah, where’s my props now?
So lay off me. Don’t it feel good to be alive? Despite the downs, you had a year of pure, unadulterated life. That shit is a gift. And you had your ups. So stop fucking moaning.
By the way, you think 2017 is going to be any better? Statistically, with the prevalence of fame and the increasing awareness of the lives of others, more of your favourite people you’ve never met will die in 2017. There’ll be natural disasters and stupid politicians saying stupid things; there’ll be terrorism and war and disease. But there’ll also be love and hope and joy.
Now, how you deal with all that is up to you. Maybe instead of lamenting the problems of the year, you could get off your asses and set about solving the problems that made it so awful for you in the first place, if it even was that bad. But what I’m saying to you is: this is on you, not me. So if you want to piss and moan and cuss me out, fine. But don’t expect the transition of one arbitrary division of time to the next to solve anything. If you want 2017 to be better than I have been, you’re going to have to make it happen it yourselves.
How does that strike you? You want me gone? Fair enough. I can’t wait to be rid of you, either. I’m going, and I’m never coming back. Just make sure you don’t look back one day and say, damn, 2016 wasn’t so bad after all, I really wish I had that time again. You never will.
2016, out.

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