Well, here we are at the end of 2016. And what a ride, am I right? Usually you have to go to IKEA or Auschwitz for this kind of excitement, but this year has landed enough suffering onto our bruised collective lap to feel like a hysterectomy performed by a steamroller.
And yes, I am aware that many have already come before me to make dishonorable mention of the debacles and travesties that have populated this year like a host of diseased maggots, but I feel confident that I can project sturm and drang with more humor than most. I mean who else says things like “diseased maggots” after referencing IKEA as a place of suffering? (Enjoy those meatballs.) Stay with me, though. I hope to come out on the other side of this vitriol with some positivity! I started to write a song parody to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” titled, “What a Terrible Freaking Year That This Was,” but when I realized I could spend less time with my chins buried in a rhyming dictionary, I figured a column was a better outlet for my angst-induced creativity, so here we go.
Everyone is dead. Literally, everybody. If you are reading this, all I can assume is that we are the few residents of the planet Earth who weren’t called home to the Sweet By-and-By during what appears to have been a rapture in slow motion. Adding insult to injury upon the Pulse massacre, David Bowie and Prince heralded a farewell of the great pioneers of a hairy toeknuckle in a heel. (Try not to get too attached to RuPaul.) Gene Wilder, Patty Duke, Alan Rickman, Leonard Cohen, and Vanity’s demise murdered what was left of our childhoods. Mohammad Ali joined the “Choir Invisible,” and now we’ve lost perhaps the greatest fighter of them all, Zsa Zsa Gabor. As quick with a punch as Ali ever was, the Hungarian hostess had been on death watch for the last seven of her 614 years, and had her Last Rites read to her almost as often as her Miranda Rights. Ryan Lochte’s career and America’s Olympic pride simultaneously curled up for a dirt nap. Then, just as we said goodbye to the year, America died. Instead of a fune
ral, we will instead mourn with what will surely be the Republic’s final Inauguration as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse saddle up their steeds and deliver us to Moscow.
Another calamity that I am going to blame is Pokemon. Now, I’ll admit that as an elderly transvestite person, I aged out of the whole Pokemon experience just as it was gathering steam in the United States. It has something to do with collecting trading cards with fictional fighting monsters, officially making it an even more juvenile professional wrestling card game. This whole experience from the late 1900s is now being revisited with legions of adults were roaming playgrounds and public spaces – often trespassing – to collect virtual monsters with an app. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could somehow harness that same verve and vigor and apply it to FACTS? Imagine how more informed our slack-jawed masses would be if they could be rewarded useless inapplicable points that serve no purpose by pacing the halls of a courthouse, newspaper office or media outlet.
Another reboot that served absolutely no purpose was Rocky Horror, and it was so bad that I considered giving up drag because of the shame of it all.
But the real horrors of the world weren’t fictional. Mankind is collapsing the environment as quickly as we are our government. Our dependency on combustible engines and the fossil fuels that power them has lead us to a place in history where we half expect the sky to burst into flames and rain down a tsunami of lava. At one point, the North Pole was 36 degrees warmer than usual, but America is determined to spend our last remaining years debating on whether or not this is something that’s even happening, or perhaps something we can manage by calling the forecast “New Sriracha-Infused” or by making Old Navy’s summer line flame-retardant.
Also ignored is what is being referred to as “a complete meltdown of humanity” that America refuses to address because, I assume, the area isn’t lucrative and oil-rich. I feel confident that this human rights catastrophe will be revisited in ten years when a Don Cheadle vehicle titled “Motel Aleppo” is snagging an Oscar.
I don’t know if the world is actually getting worse or if it’s always been an enormous dumpster fire and we are just more aware of it thanks to Facebook (you know, like people’s lunches and gym memberships), but it sure is depressing as Hell. The good news is (and there IS, in fact, good news) that this is the environment in which the greatest art thrives and blooms. Bad guys will always win, but we can manage to trudge on day after day if we simply remember to laugh when we can. It may sound impossible, but as my Mama always says, “No matter how awful the day is, the sun will shine again.”
Happy New Year! Make it a great one!