Flowers and grapes all round.

FYI I wrote this before New Year but I’m also very lazy and have almost no self confidence. If only I could believe that 3 actual people might bother to read this.

So here comes 2017 and for most of us it couldn’t come any quicker. That’s because most of us are assuming that 2017 will be better than 2016. There’s absolutely no proof or reasoning that this should be so and such are my thought processes that I have every reason to believe that there’s just as good a chance that next year will be another stinker, maybe even stinkier. We all know how stinky 2016 has been what with all the famous corpses littering the streets. It’s very sad to see so many artistic types falling off the end of the conveyor belt and some were genuine surprises – I don’t think anyone saw Mr Careless hush his last whisper so soon (in a totally unexpected way I found his death just as gutting as Bowie’s) but what’s more worrying is just how many people seem to think that we’ve entered an age of immortality. We haven’t and I doubt it’ll happen in the next 12 months either.

What will happen in the next 12 months is that Trump will start to bugger up all kinds of things but I expect he’ll do that at a slightly slower rate than in the way he shreds his reputation and the loyalty of his voters. Lots of cripplingly boring things will happen over Brexit, things that no-one cares about, and the people who voted ‘out’ will see that it maybe wasn’t quite the best move after all. Or maybe I’m wrong. Rates of obesity and general un-wellbeing will continue to creep up while the news will continue to report about dreadful poverty and starvation across the world. I’m also predicting that Syria will cease to be an actual country and just become a battered symbol of mankind’s utter stupidity and failure to work out what the right thing to do is.

If anything positive happens in 2017 then I hope it’s a successful popular vote in Britain than sees in sweeping new laws allowing euthanasia and dignified death. It’s genuinely and frighteningly pathetic watching politicians avoiding the issue just as science flaps about and flatly fails to come up with a solution to our woes as organic organisms. We’re not meant to live forever, we’re not even meant to live as old as some of us are. People who get past 90 are still the exceptions and I can’t bear it when someone coos ‘ooh that’s no age at all’ when someone goes at 68. Of course it’s an age, it means that persons body has given up through one reason or another. What’s more we’re filling our hospitals and clinics and homes with more and more people who are so mentally crumbled they can’t remember who they or anyone else is. Is it dignified to sit in a chair in a pile of your own seepings whilst a round of relatives comes and whispers (or more likely shouts) clichés until the next batch of medicine fails? Of course it’s not and keeping these people alive is not at all Christian, it’s plain barbaric. We’re happy to shoot a horse in the head when it gets injured but then we turn the achingly slow demise of a confused, incontinent elderly relative into a spectator sport.

This may all sound a bit grim for what is sometimes called the silly season but it’s no more grim that all the other rubbish we have to put up with. I’ll be wiped out when a close one passes away, and the cat’s certainly not getting any younger or less grouchy, but I wouldn’t want to be visiting every day for years on end, paying enormous bills to keep someone alive who doesn’t even know who I am. I’m not sure how the wife will feel when she reads this but rest assured my love, you are the exception to this rule (or until you can’t remember what the rule is) provided you don’t make me cook too many Jamie Oliver 15 minute meals for you. Because that really is huge waste of anyone’s time. And, in some senses, a waste of a life.

Happy New Year. Don’t watch the news and you should get through to 2018. It’s all bullshit anyway.

G B Hewitt. 30.12.2016.

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