Thoughts on 2016

This is going to take some work, but I’m going to try really hard to take a very measured approach to my view of 2016. That said, if you are looking for a post about how this was a great year, you’ll probably want to keep looking. Twenty-sixteen wasn’t a good year, but it definitely wasn’t the worst, either. In my book, that prize still goes to 2008, which was an unmitigated disaster. This year has been merely bad.

As I said, this wasn’t as bad as 2008. There were some good things: I finally moved to Japan to be with my wife and daughter. I’m employed, which is nicer than the alternative, even if I really hate my job here. We are well-taken-care-of here, and I’m very thankful that we can enjoy a fairly comfortable life here in Tokyo that was not available to us in the United States.

That said, there are so many things that weigh heavily on the scales going in the opposite direction. I’m also talking about a hundred other things. For starters, this year has claimed many great people — so many, seemingly before their time. One easy list can be found here on Wikipedia. Most recently, and still tender, are the passing of Carrie Fisher, Prince, and George Michael — some of the most iconic artists of my life. It is notable that Carrie Fisher was the oldest, at only 60 years old.

Additionally, some years are just objectively worse than others. Yes, I’m talking about Donald Trump here. I am not a huge fan of Barack Obama, but I do admire and respect him. He had a difficult job from the day he took office, and he completed it with grace and dignity. That 2016 was an election year where Barack Obama couldn’t run again, there was going to be some disappointment.

However, nobody was ready for what happened. Hilary Clinton, in typical Hilary fashion, cheated to clinch the Democratic nomination over Bernie Sanders. The Republicans put forward a bunch of lackluster candidates, each with a more horrifying social agenda than the last. Then, Donald Trump stepped forward and took them all, probably quite fairly. He ran on a populist platform of “Make America Great Again” — ostensibly by deporting all of the foreigners, not understanding the backbone of our entire economy, and running the country like one of his gross businesses. The list of his terrible deeds is absolutely too long to list here. You can do that yourself. Ultimately, however, he will become president in just a few days, and he will need to do some semblance of his job. I guess we’ll see.

So really, I’ve got nothing new to offer here — just a placeholder to commemorate the transition to something else. In all reality, I don’t have much hope for the next year, but that’s life. And I’m rubbish at predicting the future.


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