Things Worth Your Attention: Week Ending 11/12/16

Things Worth Your Attention: Week Ending 11/12/16

As 2016 rounds out, it seems like everybody is just dying to denounce the year and look towards 2017 with hope, like the arbitrary changing of the Gregorians is going to bring with it some kind of swelling of fortune.

But of course it isn’t.

If 2016 was your annus horribilis let me assure you that 2017 will be straight-up fucked. Why? Because I’m a realist – the oft-touted euphemism for “negative old bastard”.

More of your heroes will die.
Musical, film, political, familial – as the people we look up to get older there’s a higher probability of them kicking the bucket. Get used to it, because that’s an unavoidable fact.

Your lot will get worse.
One year older means one year closer to the grave, plus another year’s problems. Health, wealth, career, relationships – the odds will continue to stack against you, compounded by the ungodly cunt-storm that 2017’s political landscape is about to unleash upon us.

Trump is confirming our worst fears.
Remember when he won the election and all the moronic contrarians with their ignorance masquerading as faux apathy told you that It doesn’t matter, he’s just a figurehead, nothing will change, and do you really think that he’s any worse than Obummer/Killary?

trump

Well I kind of wanted to believe you. I wanted to think that the election campaign was an act of theatrical brilliance, a lowest-common-denominator schlock-fest designed to rouse the ignorant to form an army of support without any intention of going through with it all, because it would be NUTS to run a country according to the desires of the bottom feeders, wouldn’t it?

Well he’s now filling up his cabinet, and to everyone who said, “He’s a business man – he’ll surround himself with the best people!” you were right, if your version of the best is the absolute worst. Here are just some examples of Trump’s “drained swamp” cabinet:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is about to be run by someone who has made a career out of trying to prevent the agency from protecting the environment.
  • The incoming Attorney General is pretty much Trump in career-politician form, who once quipped that the Ku Klux Klan were “okay, until I learned that they smoked marijuana”.
  • The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is a man Trump once described as pathological liar comparable to a child molester, and who has admitted himself that “he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency,” and, “the last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency”. Well, he’s got the job, most likely because he looks “urban”.
  • Trump’s national security advisor is a retired general who, according to Colin Powell’s hacked emails, was fired from his job at the Defence Intelligence Agency for being, “Abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc. He has been and was right-wing nutty ever since”. He’s also recently given a series of paid speeches in Russia, even being photographed with Vladimir Putin, and his son was fired from Trump’s transition team, despite them trying to get a security clearance for him, for spreading fake news that led to a shooting in a Washington pizzeria.

And that’s not the end of it, with the Secretary of State yet to be announced, and Sarah Palin, who once said that Alaskan caribou should “Take one for the team” if their very existence threatened the oil industry, in line to be Secretary of the Interior.

So excuuuuuuuse us if we don’t think that every-fucking-thing will be fine under a Trump presidency with his attendant cabinet of cum-stains.

Last week we lamented the future of Europe.
Then an English by-election seemed to reject Brexit, and Austria rejected a presidential candidate whose party was founded by a former SS officer. But the big test was Italy, where the kinda-good Prime Minister had vowed to resign from the position if his referendum on senate reform was defeated. Well it was, and the result has been widely touted as a success for the Five Star Movement, a group founded and headed by a comedian, and the Northern League, who celebrated the referendum’s defeat by tweetingViva Trump, viva Putin, viva la Le Pen e viva la Lega! (The Northern League)”. Both political parties are seeking power in elections to be held in 2017, and both want to abolish the Euro in Italy, a move that would be shithouse for global markets.

Meanwhile in the Low Countries…
Dutch and Flemish fans of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) continue to deny that the blackface assistant to their Santa Claus is racist, despite the character’s origin as a caricature of a Spanish Moor, his look being an over exaggeration of the physical differences between coloured and white people, and everything that Black Pete does being negative.

zvarte-piet

To the people of The Netherlands and Belgium, perhaps try this filter when you’re trying to defend your horrendous Christmas tradition:

  1. Would you feel comfortable dressing this way around people of colour?
  2. Do you think that Black Pete makes people uncomfortable/perpetuates negative stereotypes about others based on their race?

If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then stop fucking dressing up in blackface, for fuck’s sake. Oh, and if you can’t stop it because it’s an old tradition, well slavery was an old tradition in the Low Countries too, but you were able to stop that because you realised that it fucken sucked and the only reason life is pretty good now is because we realised that we could dump crumby traditions because what’s the point of holding on to shit wood?

So yeah, everything is not going to be better in 2017. But don’t despair: there are still three whole weeks to Make 2016 Great Again. Why don’t you can start by deriding my negativity in the comments section below.

Ex-editor of Australia’s Surfing Life, current producer and host of 50 Fiestas, Barcelona resident and drinker of all the wine, every last drop of it.