When I was a kid, I used to watch everyday the television game The Price is Right. It was a bit of a fantasy for me. I would watch the show and dream of both the small and grand prizes. For the longest time, I dreamt of living in one of those mobile homes they often showcased. In a way, that may have been from where my love for road trips came. Anyway, I loved hearing Mr. so and so “come on down” when they announced a new contestant. It is similar to how I currently feel about 2017. Let’s do this.
In a recent survey of Americans, who by the way are the most surveyed group in the world, only 18% noted that 2016 was a time in which things got better. However, a way, way larger group expects 2017 to be better. I suppose for many people, things can’t get any worse in 2017. But then again who knows? I actually don’t have any negative or positive expectations. I just want to get this game on.
For me, 2016 is the year when the music I grew up with “somewhat died”. I cannot get over the fact that David Bowie, Prince and George Michael died. I just watched the movie Sing and two of them had songs featured therein. I just sat there watching this movie contemplating this “year the music died” phenomenon that may or may not have been. A recent analysis did find that for the first six months of 2016, a higher number of celebrity deaths occurred but then deaths settled down to a normal pace. Others have noted that pop stardom really took off at a certain point in time and now these are naturally aging artists from the time rock and roll started soaring. All I know is that as a youngster I danced to the music of all three musical artists and now, this year, they are gone. And in my head I keep hearing a lyrical mashup of “I’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet I’ve got no rhythm…” And ” let’s dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues..”. Followed by “why do we scream at each other this is what it sounds like when doves cry.” My head is spinning. It could be because I’m on the elliptical while I write this or it can be the mash up.
I just can’t with 2016.
Don’t get me wrong, I do recall a few high points during the year. For instance, I had rooted for the Chicago Cubs to win and I agonized with them during that game seven. I was ecstatic that they broke the curse but then that ecstasy fizzled away. The thrill was soon gone. The breaking of the curse didn’t come to mean what I thought it would. Ecstacy was fleeting, ephemeral. I suppose it always is.
I became disgusted by the world.
I eventually came around to giving up watching cable news this year. I remember so vividly the shock and awe of our first Iraq war. I loved cable news for a long, long time and then I didn’t. Reporters and journalists used to have a certain cache. I loved the movie The Year of Living Dangerously back when Mel Gibson still had some integrity. Nowadays, where are the journalists? I cannot believe whole segments of the so-called news cover tweets. I can’t with it anymore.
There were the shootings in France, Turkey and in Orlando, Florida. The latter hit me hard as it hit a community I was familiar with and the next day I had to get on a plane and give a speech. I did a good job but felt a heavy heart. There were also the deaths of those while being arrested and the shootings of police officers themselves. So many moments of sadness and disgust intertwined.
Then as a public health professional I was worried about the Zika virus but found very muted responses. Are we so inured to health crises? Yet for a while everyone was in deep thrill because of the Pokemon Go app. Is that even still happening? I never got it nor will I ever. Onwards to the next fad which hopefully will not lead people to walk right into oncoming traffic.
I will say I did root for Brangelina but a decade was all it had.
I tuned into the Olympics for fun, pick-me-up stories. But I found the television coverage a bore and the conduct of some of our athletes a bit unbecoming. Of course, I loved the women’s Olympic gymnastics team. Such powerhouses. A few years ago, one of the Gymnasts gave a fabulous pout that captured that point in time. Remember this pout which most assuredly conveys a sentiment of not being impressed?
This year, it is the face of another gymnast that captures 2016 quite well.
Thank you Michael Phelps for saying it all with that one expression.
With that, come on down 2017! I am ready for you.
Happy new year to all.
Ah, of course the words got cut off…Where’s deadpool when you need him?