I think it’s safe to say that 2016 is a dumpster fire. Between the deaths, Brexit, the impending US election, rising xenophobia and racism across Europe, terrorism, natural disasters…
Every year has its horrors, but it does feel like the status quo is being given an almighty shaking down this year.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but it’s scary. Some of what has been unleashed – racism here, for instance – is truly horrific, but I suppose it was there all along. Perhaps this is the year of things coming to light, being laid bare, a mirror held up to ourselves.
After all, there’s Trump and there are the baying crowds cheering him on.
There’s Farage and now the spectacle of so-called mainstream politicians nicking not only his clothes but his manifesto.
The Establishment, intellectually exhausted and/or simply unwilling to admit that the neoliberal consensus has failed the many, takes comfort instead in populism. It is willing to “listen” and”pander” to only the most extreme and rightwing voices, deriding the res of us as the “metropolitan elite” – as if prejudice is a justifiable response to poverty..as if only poor people are racist. They offer no solutions. We have big problems, but our politics is small, its view of our humanity diminished, its perspective on that of the “other” even more so.
For me personally, the last few months have been a wild ride – highs and lows, sweet moments and heartbreak. There comes a point when you start to fear that this might be “it”, maybe you can’t come back together again, hope – and in my case, sleep – deserts you. A few more things happen and you start to wonder, is this the worst year ever?
But you rally. You always do.
I am hopeful that the 2016 tide will also turn. Maybe we won’t have President Trump, though the effects of this vituperative campaign, as with Brexit, will be felt for a long time to come. Things have been said and done which cannot be undone.
T’was ever thus.