OH WOW re-visiting my last post sure makes me laugh and laugh and laugh… Soooo as we all know everything went from bad to catastrophic, so well done there… Trump was elected, then the year capped itself off by taking George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds from us as well. Obviously those losses deserve their own post, but this isn’t that. Maybe another time. Things are insanely, laughably awful. But the hilarious thing is that this year cannot possibly be worse than NEXT year, because next year Trump will be president and LITERAL NAZIS will be running our country. YAY! I went through the actual stages of grief when I realized how many millions of (white) people in this country are so soulless they showed up for an incompetent, narcissistic idiot just because he told them it was okay to be racist. I was shocked, then I was furious, then I was sad, then I dared to put a tiny bit of hope in the electoral college (this counts as both denial AND bargaining!) and now I am in a place of somewhat-acceptance. Now comes the calm in knowing that the fight is just beginning. We can’t give up, not now. To do so would be a betrayal of every human in this country who is going to come under fire under this hateful regime (including myself a little since I like to decide what happens in my own uterus and also enjoy having healthcare). So in 2017 it’s everyone to their battle stations. People on FB, friends and family have implied in the past that I am “radical” or “militant”… Oh. HONEY. You are about to see something reeeally special.
But for now, because I could write thousands upon thousands of words about the awfulness of 2016, I will instead list 10 things that were good during this shitstain of a year- for me personally anyway. Some big, some totally silly, but all things that helped along the way. Because what else negative could I possibly add to this weird-as-fuck Beren-STAIN Bears alternate universe that I have ended up in (the darkest timeline, as it turns out) that hasn’t already been said. Absolutely nothing. So here are some things that got me by:
- Hey, so I finished my Crime Scene Investigation certification! That was pretty great- good job, Me! Because of the connections I made in the program I was able to join the volunteer forces of our local County coroner’s division, which is a fancy way of saying I will be doing shit I actually want to do and I’m well on my way to getting paid quite a lot to do it. Woo-hoo!
- I finally read all of the Harry Potter books (then I read them four more times) and not to overstate things but they kind of changed my life. The movies were good, or so I thought before I read the books, but now I’m totally immersed in a whole other world of stories and fan art, and I’ve acquired a new tattoo as well. I think more than anything what these books brought me was a pure sense of hope, during a year when it was desperately needed. Thanks, J.K. I owe you.
- That leads me to the fact that after I read the books I got a season pass to Universal Studios since they have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter there and I’ve gone twice so far and I bought a Slytherin cardigan and tie and Snape’s wand and I feel so good when I’m there and it is so much fun and oh yeah being cool can SUCK IT. I also got to go to San Diego Comic Con again this year, which was awesome. Being around hundreds of total fucking nerds is every bit as relaxing and helpful to me as therapy.
- Justin Trudeau existed. In a year where I had to watch my country (okay the GOP) put forth human garbage pile after human garbage pile and try to convince us they should be in charge, at least I got to look up North and see someone doing it right. Whether it was having the most diverse cabinet in history or personally welcoming refugees into his country, Trudeau modeled how a leader should behave. If you want to be cynical about him that is your right but man… it helped to believe in him. Also, and this is VERY important: He is so handsome I want to die.
- Twitter. Over the years I’ve carefully cultivated a space where I follow the perfect balance of comedians, activists, journalists, and friends, so that Twitter has become the place I go not only for news but when I need to be reminded that I am not the only person SEEING THIS SHIT. Twitter is full of people who can also very plainly see that the Emperor has no fucking clothes on. The humor I find there helps me cope, the amazing social justice activists keep me informed and always learning… and some shit just makes me happy. The actors that I love who actually turn out to be wonderful people (because some- not so much). Staying involved with the Supernatural family and giving to causes that we all believe in, plus watching Misha step out of the safety of being mostly publicly apolitical and come out swinging against Trump has made me all the more proud. Getting a little bit of catharsis from seeing brilliant comedy geniuses completely eviscerate every stupid fucking tweet our petty, revolting president elect sends out. Cat videos. The fact that Stephen King has a corgi called Molly The Thing of Evil and tweets about her frequently brings me much more joy that I can explain. Speaking of dogs, 2016 gave us what I consider to be the best Twitter exchange of all time.
They’re good dogs, Brent.
- I went to the gym pretty relentlessly and am healthier (and 20lbs lighter) than I was last year. So that’s good!
- Rogue One and Captain America: Civil War both came out and were so fucking amazing that for the entire time I was watching them I completely forgot how fucked we all are. Thank you, Disney and Marvel. Sometimes you are the heroes we need.
And sometimes you are the reason that chairs need to be mopped up after the movie is over
- The number of tigers is increasing. This is on my list because one day a friend of mine posted a list on FB of good things that were happening- I think perhaps to try and provide some balance and lift spirits. On that list was this: “The number of tigers is increasing”. Drowning in depressing political articles, heart aching for Aleppo, faith in humanity all but gone, I read this sentence and literally burst out into hysterical laughter. It felt so ridiculous and incongruous… but it IS good! And also true! I felt somehow drawn back to Earth in that moment. That is the magic of this particular friend- she has decided that no one will steal her happiness and Heaven help the person who tries. So this one goes out to my friend Stacey: The Eternal Optimist. The number of tigers is indeed increasing.
- First, Beyoncé dropped Formation. This was without a doubt the most incredible, unexpected, inspiring song and video I had seen in years. I watched the video over and over and I listen to the song almost every day. I even set it as my alarm so that there was no way I could wake up NOT feeling ready to kick some ass. That would have been enough, but then came Lemonade. This wasn’t just an album- this was one of the greatest works of art of our time. This was magic. This was everything. Beyoncé is a goddess and we do not deserve her.
- No matter what, 2016 can’t be all bad because at the end of the day we still had Barack, Michelle, and Uncle Joe in the White House. I will miss them more than I can possibly express- and that would be true even if they weren’t being forced to hand over the reigns to a sociopath. The Obamas spent 8 years bringing more dignity, more intelligence, and more style to the White House than it had ever known. My words and life experience aren’t sufficient for this one, so I’ll let Ta-Nehisi Coates cover it, as he did it so beautifully. And Joe. How I’m going to miss Joe. Whether he’s double-fisting ice-cream cones or letting kids pelt him with water guns, he is so dear. He’s dealt with a metric shitton of loss and grief but his spirit just can’t be crushed. I love his friendship with Barack and I love his filter-less mouth. I love you, Joe Biden. And you were right, healthcare reform WAS a “big fucking deal”.
So in addition to the obvious things, family, friends, etc., these are some of the random things that made my year not-as-shitty. What are yours? Feel free to share!
And seriously you guys. Lemonade.