You made it to 2017! Against all odds, you’re still here, reading this. Give yourself a round of applause!
I’m not being facetious or sarcastic. We’re in an elite club now, you and I. We made it to 2017. Did you see how many people didn’t? I even knew some of them! It was like a massacre; in fact, there were several actual massacres! Man, fuck a pile of that shit!
It’s great to see you, particularly with the weather as rotten as it is. I bet you rang in the new year at home too, am I right? And hey, you think you had a crappy year? For the entirety of 2016, I didn’t kiss anybody! This, during an election year! It’s a miracle I didn’t climb a clock tower with a rifle!!
I kid, I kid. Gosh; here we are, veterans of the Psychic Wars of 2016. To think of all that led to this. Ha ha, you think your scars are gruesome? Check this one out. I got it in hostile territory, when I offered a differing opinion in the presence of emotional berserkers. I was lucky. They wanted to rip my head off! I was in the shit!
Not to tempt fate, but I think I know how we did it. I could be wrong, but hey- you can’t argue with results!
1. We wised up about information
It’s a good thing that everyone has their dander up about fake news right now. That’s the way it should be. It’s too easy to fool people with words printed on a computer screen. A printed newspaper has to be fact-checked by people who get fired if they fuck up. I’ve worked in newspapers as a cartoonist since 1991. If I have anything to say about it, I’ll go before they do. I have ink for blood. Long live the printed page. BUY MY BOOKS!
I apologize; it’s this damn PTSD (Post Twenty-Sixteen Disorder), making me irritable. Don’t act like you don’t suffer from it too! This is 2016 we’re talkin’ about, man! The kids don’t know, but WE WERE THERE, DUDE!!! WE WERE THERE!!!
2. We came to forsake emotional kamikazes
2016, despite what some will claim, was a year when much Bullshit joined the No-Fly Zone. There were hucksters of both genders and all walks of life, exposed and summarily cast out of the village. Conventional wisdom reversed polarity for so many public figures, it’s like being in Bizarro World. I guess it’s a good thing those “safe spaces” were established; the ones who lobbied for them are gonna need ’em.
I like to think we learned a thing or two about controlling our emotional selves before others, yes? It’s apparent that no one has ever birthed a respectful career out of hysterics. It all becomes ammo for your haters. And as you’ve seen, if thou createth anything, thou will have haters. Yea, they will shower thee with Haterade. Verily, haters shall hate.
Think about the ones who rolled with the punches, and the ones who cried hater. You’ll notice that the former was the real deal, and the criers were all phonies propped up by corporations. Every single one. It’s pity promotion.
Here’s hoping it’s a trend that dies out in the future. Which we’re now in!
3. We pragmatized
The sheer depth of misery afforded by 2016 forced us to prioritize or perish. Fear of Imminent Death certainly cranked up my engines; I managed to tear off over 100 pages of comics. I noticed everyone else got a wild hare up their ass as well. No wonder the economy resurfaced! We all thought we were gonna die!!!
Maybe it was a refresher, a reminder that death is all that truly motivates us. I mean; I didn’t kiss anyone in 2016. That’s like telling you I’m Beetle Bailey and my wife is the moon. It makes no sense on any level.
I still have not cleaned or reorganized my room since 2014. It looks more or less like Joe Franklin’s office. Regardless, I am fitter, happier, and more productive than I was then.
Think of all the new friends you made while the world was coming to an end. And the friends that ditched you; they’ll come crawling back. In a few weeks, we’ll forget what all the fuss was about. Well, except for the people who freaked out online. They left a virtual paper trail.
For instance, didja notice that the people who said they’d leave the country if Trump was elected all played victim? What else would they do, riposte with their talent? Their skills? Whatever it was that made them famous in the first place?
4. As church and state are separate, so must be comedy and politics
I think we can agree; from here on out, keep politics the fuck out of comedy. Why? Because laughter is too powerful. A politician with a pet comedian is an enemy, to be feared. They are abusing laughter for a political agenda.
No more. Jon Stewart is forsaken by the very people who made him a paragon of political humor, and The Daily Show has long been dying without him. Liars make great stand-up comedians; this has been proven time and time again. Admitted fraud Carlos Mencia continues to draw gigantic audiences. I don’t want these high-school dropouts wielding political influence anymore.
Here’s hoping, from now on, “political humor” is what it was in the beginning; excruciatingly unfunny, and so corny a ten-year-old would pitch rocks at it. Remember Vaughn Meader.
We had a nice run of political humor, in the 1990s. It’s over now. People were more or less on the same page back then. Now they’re all in different libraries.
5. We eased up on one another
I tried my best to give people some space in 2016. It was relentless. I thought I’d developed the necessary armor; boy, was I wrong. One or two bombs slipped through my defenses. But we’re tougher now, aren’t we? It’s like when Bruce Wayne goes off to the Himalayas, and comes back Batman. He didn’t go there for the Slushies.
I like to think we all learned a bit about personal space last year. I know I did. Consider this; how many icons of the past do you think would be pleasant on social media? Bogart? Brando? Forget about it. Some of us have to achieve natural solitude, without shame. The necessity of Internet communication is a facade constructed by the people who profit from it.
Remember one thing: at this moment, you are here. You made it. You won.
The prize is 2017, and the wonders contained within.