2016 has not been a good year at large. 2017 must be better, surely? Although when you consider that 2017’s first month will see the inauguration of Donald Trump at POTUS, and later months will (most likely) see the implementation of Brexit, and Aleppo remains in flames and rubble, maybe the end of 2017 will see us looking back nostalgically at 2016 (horrific thought that that is).
I started drafting this post on Tuesday, and woke to news Wednesday morning of Carrie Fisher’s death, so feeling it even more now than then. A Facebook post reminded me how trivialising it is to refer to this year’s toll of “celebrity” deaths when the people being most deeply mourned are some of the 20th century’s most memorable and influential creative *artists* (Carrie Fisher’s writing was extraordinary, if you don’t already know), and they represent a time when art was something people were able to experiment and fail at while crafting a vocation, instead of today’s sanitised and commodified entertainment factories where you either have a highly profitable hit with your earliest efforts, or you find another career.
Anyway, back to what might happen next year: any plans to share regarding improving things, personally/locally/nationally/globally/astrally? I could do with some inspiration, frankly.
On a personal level, I’m going to stop just looking at my old guitar I dragged out of storage months ago, and work on getting some muscle memory back for those chords and pickings. Some of the same on the goanna, too. I need to get my musical theory brain working again, not just my musical ear.
We adopted a mostly-meatless diet after beloved’s neck surgery last year, which was largely at my instigation. We both feel better on it, and even the sprogs have come to accept some of their family favourites (nachos, bolognaise etc) made with TVP mince, so winning! Looking forward to finding new veg recipes in 2017.
I also want to find some paid employment, preferably in the disability sector or some other social justice area, because I’ve been a freelance hermit for too long, and working in a more structured environment seems like a more productive use of my skills for right now (practising my interview soundbites).
Local contributions: I want to volunteer some more time to nearby groups doing good works. We perform a monthly nostalgic hit parade concert for a residential dementia unit in the Sutherland Shire as part of a music therapy program, which is both an honour and a joy to see how much they love their golden oldie songs, but I want to do something more hands-on as well.
I also want to find a local politician to actively support – it’s increasingly obvious to me that looking only to the top tier of state/national politics misses out on the crucial grassroots work at lower tiers that determines who gets pre-selected as party candidates, and how much the manoeuvring behind pre-selection truly matters. I’ve been armchairing about activism for long enough.
- RefuseFascism.Org is calling for a month of resistance to the incoming regime of Trump/Pence in the USA. They’re aiming for the stars by January 20th, and aren’t likely to get there, but there needs to some core of organised resistance and activism for the anti-fascist Centre-Left (our diffusion has not been effective) and this could well be a good starting point. The breathless Fox Network demonisation of this and any similar groups should be expected and not just shrugged off, because they managed to make a whole election that should have been about principles and policies end up coming down to character assassination via petty insinuations about a private email server.
I presume there are some similar groups happening in other nations who’ve experienced a resurgence in white nationalist and other neo-reactionary political parties. I’d like to know more about them if you have links to share.
Finally, some things that need to disappear:
7 bad science and health ideas that should die with 2016 [Content note: includes discussion of morbid obesity – not exactly fat-shaming, but certainly not HAES positive either
Happy upcoming 2017 everybody! May we all look back more fondly upon it than on 2016.