(Written 27 December 2016)
Less than 20 minutes ago, I heard that the writer of Watership Down, Richard Adams had died, another celebrity loss. Ten minutes ago, I learned that Carrie Fisher had also died, this time of a heart attack. I don’t always react to celebrity deaths, these are not after all people I have met, but they are people who had an effect upon my life. George Michael made music from my childhood to his untimely passing, it was almost always great music and it turns out he was more charitable than we knew. My wife (the feeling less Mighty Rosie) was quite hurt, this is a year where we have lost Lemmy from Motorhead, Prince and David Bowie too, yet Bono is still here. (I should apologise to U2 fans here, I should, but not going to) and now this.
Carrie Fisher was one of the stars of the first three Star Wars films and as bad as the dialogue was in those movies were. she have a spirited and layered performance as a princess of a destroyed world and senator of an abolished senate. She took was she had and ran with it. If that was all she had done, she’d still be a star, but it wasn’t. She was also a screenwriter and author and worked on a number of great films including When Harry met Sally, The ‘Burbs, The Blues Brothers and a small but entertaining turn in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. She was also hard at work for Make a Wish Foundation and a vocal opponent of the stigma relating to mental illness and above all an honest, free speaking voice in a world that so often wants comforting lies. She was funny, sharp and acerbic, but with a loving heart and whenever she was on TV (Such as her small role in Catastrophe or even as herself) she brightened up whenever she was on. There are several people who will miss their friend and I cannot imagine their loss, but millions will miss the legend that was Carrie Fisher.
The rest of 2016 hasn’t been much better in other ways either. The rise of extremist views, the unfortunate Brexit vote and shambolic fuckery that followed it. We lost a shitty Prime Minister in the UK and gained and less likeable one. The economy has tanked again and the future of our dealings with Europe look pretty grim. When looking over the pond, the American Electorate VOTED FOR DONALD <ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?< TRUMP! Now in a previous post, I may have pointed out that I understand how that happened, but as I see his picks for the cabinet and his epic tantrums on twitter, his upcoming inauguration becomes a scarier and scarier thing. That is less a problem than the voter apathy, renewed xenophobia of the US as it relates to these facts. This is going to a rough few years and if I were of a praying persuasion, I’d be praying for everyone over there who isn’t an affluent white male, because they will take the hit as a result of choosing this affluent white male.
On a personal level, it’s been a bad year in work and a very up and down year in may ongoing battle with depression. The fight is on, but that means that I am feeling more of the punches. This year has been about loss, fear and division, it has broken my heart and torn at my resolve, but you know what…..
2016 will cling on till it’s dying moments, but it will end and we will get that surge of new year hope.
2017 will be better. Will the news be more cheerful? No
Will famous people not die? No
Will politics become more honest? No
But that really isn’t what I mean. 2016 has backed a lot of people into the corner. We feel like we can’t go on, but we can. When the bell goes at Jan 1st, come out swinging. 2016 has had a lot of bad, but it’s not been all bad all the time and we need to fight to make more good. I’m not going to completely remove my depression or anxiety, but I will battle it. Instead of it being feel sorry for myself time, it’ll be clobbering time.
I had a great holiday in May and I will get away again in 2017, I will fight to make more time or me, for my son and will do all I can to make my wife feel like the Mighty Rosie that she is once more. I will learn something new, will write more, get along with people more and simply be more.
2016 did it’s best to break us.
2017 will try it too.
We are more powerful that the things that beset us and the first step is realising that, the second is proving it.
We can all become better versions of ourselves, so why don’t we?