God we are a self-involved bunch of whiny-baby narcissists. I am referring to those who persist in referring to 2016 as the worst year ever. This myth has become so omnipresent there are probably some otherwise sensible folks who actually believe it.
You want some ‘worst’ years? How about 1939? That was pretty wretched. And 1914 was no picnic and the ensuing four years were ghastly. In 1963 JFK was assassinated near the end of the year and that set a bleak tone for the entire year. And then, 1968 was a sonofabitch with the assassinations of both Bobby Kennedy and ML King, the Paris riots, the Chicago riots, the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia. Not a year that will sit placidly in anyone’s memory who was around at the time.
My worst year to date was 1996. My 2nd marriage broke up in hugely acrimonious fashion, my father died; I was wrestling with a big alcohol problem (successfully thwarted the next year and for keeps), I got thrown into jail (briefly) and had a few stints in hospital. That year bit the big one.
So, what happened in 2016 that made it so terrible? Assorted entertainers died. Entertainers, like everyone else die each and every year. And some we’ll really miss. I still haven’t accepted the deaths of Bogey and James Dean and that was back in the 1950s. Bowie, Glen Frey and Alan Rickman were big ones for me in terms of personal bias. I am sure you have your ‘pet’ losses; Prince or Carrie Fisher perhaps; and Debbie Reynolds is off singing Abba-Dabba for eternity now. But yes, people are mortal regardless of what they do or how much we may like them. God doesn’t care who you like or don’t like. His reaper reapeth as he always has.
Of course the big issue of the past year was (and not to forget the horrors of Syria) was the replacement of the most charming, intelligent and gracious US presidents of recent memory with a pernicious, vile, boorish, racist, sexist, bullying fuckpig of a human being, the antichrist in presidential form. And a lot of probably otherwise decent Americans voted for this slime-trail leaving slug of a man. Go figure.
So if 2016 has a definite downside it would be that election more than ours in which we put a Pepsodent-smile juvie into our highest office. The outcome of that one remains to be seen.
We shall overcome, as once was said – or not. Not everyone does. But Keith Richards lingers on.