This Fucking Year.

I really meant to close on something positive this year. In spite of everything that happened, I was gonna be hopeful, and upbeat, and, you know, optimistic, and shit. But goddamn you, 2016, you’re not making it easy.

None of us suspected the horrors you were gonna visit upon us when David Bowie died. It was tragic. The world did not know he had cancer, his loss was unexpected and severe. There are not a lot of legends left, and he was one. Personally, his death sent me back into that sense of loss I had when Freddie Mercury died, 25 years ago. They were of a generation, and Freddie was deprived of decades of greatness. Greatness that David Bowie delivered, and now he was gone. Little did I know that 2016 was only just gearing up.

Just a few days later, Alan Rickman died. My beloved Colonel Brandon, gone. „Sense and Sensibility“ is my favourite movie of all times, not in small part due to Rickman. Also, everybody who ever looked into his face knew the truth about Snape, right then and there, no explanations needed. Always.

The worst was yet to come, of course. People ask why we mourn celebrities we do not not know personally, why they even matter to us. The people who must ask will never know, as the story goes. Because their hearts have never been touched by a song, or a poem, or a movie, or a novel, touched so profoundly that they were transformed. We do not mourn them because we knew them, someone wrote, but because they allowed us to know ourselves more fully.

I cannot describe the hole that was ripped into me when Prince died. I cannot, and I will not try. But good Lord, was I done with this year at that point. But the year was not done with us; it kept on taking people: Muhammad Ali, Anton Yeltsin, Leonard Cohen, Florence Henderson. Memes were starting to crop up.

2016-by-georg-rr-martin

Seems legit.

By the end of October, this fucking year decided to cause me grief up close and personally, by claiming the life of my beloved Invisible Cat.

The shit show that is this year then culminated in the election of one Donald Trump as president of the United States of America. Yes, that was that election when the most qualified person who’d ever applied for the job lost on account of being a woman, and lost to what is basically an orange baboon. Said orange baboon, whose campaign staff took away his access to Twitter because he cannot be trusted to behave like a sane person, will now receive the codes to the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet. Goddamn you, 2016. And while we’re at it, fuck you very much, white America.

All this, of course, over the constant backdrop of the war in Syria, hundreds of thousands displaced and dead, and our collective governments moving ever more to the political right. It is now apparently okay again to be openly racist, sexist, and xenophobic. Everybody who wonders how Nazi Germany could’ve possibly have happened only has to take a look around now to see how it begins. This is how it begins. If we do not stem the tide, history will repeat itself.

Nonetheless, I have things to be grateful for. I found a job in a company full of really nice people. I started school. One of the people I’m closest to came to visit me from halfway across the world. I’m with a bunch of kick-ass activists, striking fear into the heart of Patriarchy. Right now, I’m still flush with the joy of celebrating Christmas with my family and friends. There are pockets of good things in this world.

I was prepared to write something positive, hopeful, upbeat. I was.

And then George Michael died. Fuck you, 2016.

 

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