Archive for the ‘Harambe’ Tag

A Cup of Kindness Yet…   Leave a comment

I’ve not actually checked, but I’m sure this title is being used by lots of people writing blog posts today.  You probably recognize it from the chorus of Auld Lang Syne, though I actually wanted to run with a lesser known line from the second verse.  Sadly, “Surely you’ll buy your pint cup, and surely I’ll buy mine” is kind of long for a title.  Plus I don’t buy pints, but I doubt anyone’d fact check that.

The fact remains, we’re sitting at the end of the 2016th calendar year in the Gregorian system.  The system’s not even that old in the grand scheme of things, clocking in at roughly 434 years (to make the math nice and fun they went ahead with the switch in October instead of just waiting three months for January.)  There have been a lot of opinions about 2016 as a year to the point that a few people have even started personifying it, typically as a sort of bumbling thing but every once in a while as a kind of malevolent one.  It’s a subconscious thing, but for the last few months pretty much anything unpleasant that’s happened has been blamed on the year.

And I have to admit that general events in the United States haven’t been great.  My understanding is that events in the rest of the world have also been less than awesome, even if the non-Brexit specifics aren’t coming to my mind right now.  From zookeepers who had to make a horrible decision about the life of a boy and a gorilla, to a ridiculous amount of beloved famous people passing away, to an election that was just mean no matter what your political leanings are, to callous disregard for the lives of black people in the face of armed police officers… and lest we forget, the city of Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean water.  This is just what I remember off the top of my head, and this is just the United States.

To make it worse, 2015 was a tough act to follow.  We celebrated the date that Marty McFly went to the Future, often at the exact time that he got there.  MST3K fans raised enough funds to create a new, twelfth season of the show.  Star Wars’ fabled seventh installment came out, and while the fans who’ve been keeping the franchise alive had strongly mixed feelings about it and what it meant for the expanded universe, the film was also applauded for taking steps toward less of a cast of white guys.

Possibly most surprising about that film was that its director actually agreed with criticisms that it too slavishly followed the plot of the original film and said he’d lessen so much imitation moving forward!  Legitimate response to a fair critique of a movie that most people admit was okay? Sweet.

So… 2016 already had a lot working against it, it doesn’t compare well to 2015 especially if you’re a fan of nerdy things.  But 2016 wasn’t all bad, either.  There are some gems here.  Ghostbusters 2016 was, despite fears that it would “ruin our childhood forever”, a really nice movie (with a villain that was, hilariously enough, seemingly composed of all the worst parts of the Internet’s complainers.)  It’s sad that Gravity Falls and Wander Over Yonder concluded, but they had amazing final episodes.  Police around the country are taking stands and saying that things have gone too far and they’re working for reform in their own departments to, hopefully, save lives.  People seem to be done talking about Deflate Gate.  Everywhere I look, I see signs of positive change.

Like, I’m not trying to sugar coat anything here.  2016 was a lousy year.  But a lot of the problems with it seem to be indicative of change, and I think there’s a lot of good change.  There’s bad change to, definitely, but the good change is really good.  I feel like the really bad stuff, not counting celebrity deaths, are suggestive of growing pains.  We have some entrenched systems in place and a lot of people don’t want those systems to change because change is scary, so it’s expected that we’ll see resistance in the form of both a lack of initiative and a presence of active opposition.  This resistance isn’t really stopping the change, though, it’s just… well, it’s just resisting it.

So when we remember auld lang syne tonight… that is, times long past, or even just “old times”… let’s remember the good parts of 2016.  The bad parts of it need to go away forever, yeah, but let’s celebrate the wins we got.  And, of course, let’s take the time to remember those no longer with us.  I’ve got lots of plans for 2017, and most of them wouldn’t be possible without the way that 2016 went, so… here’s to the good old times, and good riddance to the bad ones.  Seeya in 2017, everyone!