January 1, 2017 | This is the time when it is customary to look through rose-colored glasses and imagine a better and brighter future in which we accomplish all the goals we've been failing to achieve for the earlier decades of our lives.
There's no doubt that even rose-colored glasses can't put a positive spin on what we — and the world — have been through in 2016. On an individual, personal level 2016 wasn't so bad, of course. And, again, on an individual, personal level 2017 will bring things to look forward to. But my heart aches when I think of the forces of intolerance, greed, bigotry, violence — inhumanity, in short — that have been unleashed upon the world. And the saddest part is the realization that things are likely to get much worse before they get better.
The elephant in the room, a really big, bad, woolly mammoth of an elephant, is the impending inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States. I know there are people who are looking forward to that event and who can't imagine why the rest of us are so distraught over the prospect. Having elected such a willfully ignorant, thin-skinned, unprincipled, authoritarian leader, the people of the United States can certainly look forward to a year, or years, of chaos. As Joseph de Maistre famously said, "Every nation gets the government it deserves" (Wikiquote.org). It may turn out to be a good thing if in future it makes people be less gullible of charlatans and demagogues, but the price will be enormous. I see us taking a giant step backwards.
Then there is the matter of resolutions. In years past I've offered lists of resolutions, sometimes seriously, mostly not. Now I am so over resolutions.
As usual, the bunch will spend New Year's Eve noshing and tipping back a few glasses of champagne while watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin spar verbally with each other in Times Square. Then, when the ball drops we'll pack up and head back to our homes and our beds.
Last updated on Jan 1, 2017