A Case For 2016

Because they can make you wear the slave bikini, but that doesn’t mean you won’t choke them with their chains.

As a Star Wars fan, I feel like I ought to be taking Carrie Fisher’s death a lot more personally. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth on social media, not least because this feels like a cherry on top of a year full of notable celebrity deaths. Some days it feels more than a little bit like a rapture and I wonder if perhaps these were the chosen; in which case the fundamentalists might want to rethink any hard line stances on what it takes to get to Valhalla. 
There’s a lot of histrionic talk about how 2016 is/was a horrible year and how it’ll be over soon and good riddance, but that too is a sentiment that I don’t particularly share. Certainly I’ve found parts of the year upsetting and felt loss and anxiety for the future and had illusions dispelled by the changing of the times, but it feels rather generalized to dismiss the entire year as “the worst year ever” with absolutely no redeeming qualities. It wasn’t an easy year, but that’s ok: they can’t all be easy. Adversity is as much a part of life as and taxes: so much so that we tell stories just so that we can enjoy thinking about other people dealing with it. If film school has taught me nothing else it is that conflict is interesting to humans. We are drawn to the struggle- we actively enjoy watching the struggle: watching a team of enormous athletes struggle to get an oblong ball across a line, watching a princess struggle to escape a space station, watching political candidates struggle to win the hearts and minds of voters: it’s not just entertainment, it’s a recognition of the human instinct for survival. It’s not easy or pleasant or fun to experience, but we are nothing without it.

So, while I certainly have high hopes that 2017 will be a year of abundance and easy living ( because no one wishes for a year of sparcity or adversity), I don’t hate 2016 for being full of struggle. I just hope that the struggle will have been worth it: that the resources that I am gaining in the course of these struggles will serve me well when  I am at last faced with legitimate moments of truth. 


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 28, 2016.

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