Fine, let’s just draw a line under the whole messy experience. People died, wrong choices were made and people (not pointing fingers or anything, that would be terribly rude but would also have the sad effect of you cottoning onto the fact that I’ve had precisely nothing new to say for, well, ever) simply insisting on harping on about it in excruciating detail for longer than anyone could endure.
So let’s just put 2016 behind us in a sense that’s more than just strictly chronological. We’ve got twelve hours or so to figure this year out to the point of closure. Once we’ve managed that particular tricky feat we will more than deserve to begin the glorious rainbows happiness. Whatever we’ll have decided by then that means. It sounds pretty wonderfully happy, right? And by now we really need a smidgeon more of that in our collective existences.
Not everyone’s overly enamoured of rainbows of course. They may well be confused by the science behind them or resentful of yet another reminder of their debilitating colour blindness. Or you could have found yourself uncomfortably confronted with a disgruntled leprechaun who’s positively more than exhausted of your forced stereotypes. But the rest of humanity are enchanted by those pretty sky spectrums. Because colours and beautiful magic and is that a flying pony? No, you’re just tripping.
Whatever, you can figure out the finer details once you’ve arrived at the moment of nirvana. Maybe you could turn it into some variety of terribly deep meditation exercise. Everyone will be so impressed with how spiritual you turned out to be. You’ll definitely make it happen by making very long lists of resolutions that you’re never realistically going to be able to keep. Oh, and force others to follow questionable practices and beliefs that don’t in actual fact make all that much sense. Happiness will surely ensure.
Song choices courtesy of: Bowling for Soup, Passenger and Christophe Beck
Oh don’t try and kid yourself, fake history is very real and what’s more, it’s here to stay. In just this year alone we’ve been party to a parade of nonsense attempting to convince us (and in many cases succeeding. Of course I, in my ivory tower available for rent to those of us who insufferably identify as the liberal elite, haven’t been taken in by that manner of chicanery but I can understand how some lesser mortals might have been swayed and taken in) that a great many decisions and situations were about something entirely unrelated than the actual causes.
But maybe that’s a little bit too confusing (immigration was a red rag to a bull waved in front of impressionable sorts to distract them from what was really going down, whatever it is that turns out to be of course). It’s far more palatable to concern ourselves that which is most certainly fake. Because fake history can be absolutely anything rather than the depressing dirge of unremitting disappointment.
How else could you suddenly be presented with the information that Henry the eighth was actually a gang of sea barnacles who allowed success to get to their collective head (why do you really think that the royal line couldn’t descend through him?)? Or what about the historical nugget that cheese wasn’t actually invented by the accidental spoilage of some already questionable milk? Nope, it was a gift from some enterprising aliens who’ve been using our planet as an experimental playground for at least a few thousand years.
And almost the very best thing about fake history is that you don’t have to sit around and wait for it to happen or even for someone else to tell you about it. You can make it happen for yourself. Go ahead, get your thinking cap on and begin to reel out some fascinating titbits and see if you can get anyone to believe in it with you.
Song choices courtesy of: Val Emmich, Ramin Djiwadi and Dry the River
Sometimes, when you look back at a singular moment in time it’s very easy to wonder what on earth you were thinking. Perhaps it’s in the wake of a decision the consequences of which you hadn’t quite considered but have now begun to hit home. But maybe I’m just reflecting on 2016 and wishing circumstances were distinctly other. Let’s move onto slightly less dug over subject matter.
For a completely random example (and not just because I’m breaking off from a mammoth photo sorting effort to quickly dash this off. This is surely an activity with a limited lifetime? How much longer are we going to discover old drawers of antique polaroids with images of you from another time? Before too long you’ll be able to dip whenever you like into digital archives for a lovely old dose of nostalgia. Of course, you’ll be viewing things through something of a filter, literal or otherwise, because it’s more than likely that said snaps will be doctored in one way or another to make you appear in a slightly better light. But I digress, and not entirely on purpose), that moment may have been caught on camera.
So when you’re reflecting on that snippet of time certain thoughts may well spring to mind about what may or may not have been running through your head at the time. It could be perfectly clear that you did not in fact want to have your picture taken and are being somewhat forced by the snapper.
Your expression could easily tell another tale altogether. Despite the fact that you were only a wee nipper at the time, just two or so years old, you appear to be totally off your face. Although you’re there being photographed you’re also completely and utterly away with the fairies, prancing through psychedelic fields and keeping a weather eye out for those famous dream flowers in the skies.
Song choices courtesy of: Depeche Mode, The Lumineers and U2
It’s too much hassle to be in charge of well, pretty much anything, for an indefinite period of time. Sure, there are plenty of offices of power that have a guaranteed end point. But it’s just depressing to think that you’re going to have to be heading a whole entire country day in day out for the next eight years. And that’s if they even let you step down from the spectacular example of foreign puppeteering. For example.
No, it’s a hell of a lot more democratic and an even better method for reducing stress to make it a strictly part time gig. That way you can spend your off time excitedly looking forward to your next crack at the reins and potentially devoting brain power to planning things out a tad more than you might feel like doing alternatively. That’s how the saga of Eric the Tuesdays king came about, it’s a thrilling tale. Perhaps one of these days we’ll get down into the gritty details of his origin story.
However, and in spite of all of the natural benefits we’ve already explored, someone decided that a single slice of the week wasn’t enough for them. Their sheer brilliance in handling matters was far too constrained by regular limits imposed. They saw Eric as an easy target. After all, he who commands Mondays has to keep a very firm grip on things.
No one’s ever kicked off a revolution on a Wednesday, you’re the perfect balance between exhausted by the work already completed and also by the very exciting weekend plans you’re contemplating. Thursday’s a distinct possibility but what if you ruined your chances of all that fun you’re going to have once the working week is over? Friday is of course a complete right-off. No, Tuesdays are the natural choice for taking over someone else’s turf.
Song choices courtesy of: Monty Python, Bowling for Soup and Of Monsters and Men
So this is the teenage rebellion phase of the huddled masses? Somehow, during the merriment of the festive season the pain of the dripping wounds of the recent electoral missteps have been rather dulled. Or maybe I’m being overdramatic. But having conversations with learned gentlemen, some of whom just so happen to be related to me (there’s only so much personal news to get through during a visit, sooner or later world events were bound to enter into the discussion), takes me back to the wince inducing decisions made during the past twelvemonth.
Why, this time last December we reckoned we were in a much more stable position. Sure, the ham faced man in charge of the country was living under the uncorroborated shadow of pig-gate but he could at least claim to have been elected by the people (sure, Theresa May was chosen as leader of the party who won the general election but it just doesn’t feel the same does it?). And there were plenty of powerful countries who had to pretend to pay attention to our opinions. Over the pond, Americans hadn’t descended into puzzlingly self destructive self interest and it was largely treated as a joke that the bumfluff haired thing would be heading for office.
And now here we are. Don’t we all feel just a little bit silly that everything’s reached this particular point in proceedings? You can take a gander at what might have been and experience that creeping sensation of regret for the life you could have had. Like some sort of game show where you’re supposed to know for definite that the box you’ve been clutching so steadfastly to your chest was worth more than the other one you chose to go with. It’s such a shame that precognition has fallen out of fashion. Because it was certainly a thing once upon a time.
Song choices courtesy of: Matchbox 20, The Goo Goo Dolls and Rachel Bloom
Well, wouldn’t you be rather more than concerned if a sledgehammer started devoting itself to slapstick? Some people will piously state that there are some topics that ought never to be joked about. Others say that this is nonsense and that while you may have to come up with new angles or alternative ways of dealing with certain slices of subject matter, no topic should be entirely off limits. I’m sure you’ll be more than delighted to hear that both camps are right.
An imagined scenario where an inanimate object becomes sentient and pursues levity is simply delightful. The same thing in actual factual reality is downright horrifying. So it turns out concerning is more than apt in this particular set of circumstances that definitely really happened. I blame our media, things would certainly have not come to a head in quite the same fashion if it weren’t for the prevalence of the moving pictures industry. Perhaps I should lay matters out for you in order to clear it all up.
Nah, it’s too long a story and takes too long with too little interesting bits to set up. Let’s simply say that taking breaks during major home renovations that you insist on doing yourself is fine to do. However, turning to certain silent movie antics to entertain you while you regain your strength is not the very best idea that’s ever been had. It gives the bashing implements too many ideas.
So what was supposed to be a simple kitchen refit including smashing down a wall in order to create that open plan flow that was so very desired became another matter entirely. It started with the odd prat fall. Then rubble started falling in comically unlikely heaps. And finally someone missed the bit of wall they were swinging at and made contact with an all too breakable human face. Somehow the slapstick argument hasn’t quite held up in court. Very sad.
Song choices courtesy of: Crouch End Festival Chorus, Christophe Beck and Michael Giacchino
Sometimes, it’s very easy to look at a pile of stuff and come up with, in just a few moments, the thought of alternative items you might prefer. Then again, you may start considering the thoughts and feelings of those who contributed to it and come to the conclusion that yes, you are actually very happy with the presents you’ve received (I happen to have had some excellent gifts. Including a mini glider. And touch screen gloves).
But, because we are creatures cursed with imaginations, your mind may well start to wander adrift in the sea of possibility. You could begin to picture the festive season that might have been. Perhaps it’s one modelled on long gone childhood days that you’ve never quite managed to recapture. Or it could have sprung from an idealised version that’s forever just out of grasp. It may well be that certain factors you have no control over, like the weather, have spoiled matters and no amount of extremely well thought out tokens of affection can make it better.
Don’t you just long for that winter wonderland all the songs have been promising us? There was mention of it being the most wonderful time of the year in spite of the fact that it’s much too cold to venture out of doors. Glittery flakes of magic come streaming from the sky to bless us with snow based lifeforms that will become our friends.
Well, that’s a very disturbing view to take of the holiday season. Can’t you just be happy with the circumstances you’re faced with? Spend some time with your nearest and dearest or if that’s not possible then maybe you can make your time a little more enjoyable by trying to make things better for someone less fortunate. Unless you’re working, in which case, tough break. Merry Christmas everyone!
Song choices courtesy of: Barenaked Ladies, Murray Gold and Thomas Newman