Friday, December 30, 2016

End of Year Musings

Well, here we are at the tail end of another year and convention would seem to dictate I write some kind of retrospective.  But, to be frank, I really don't feel like doing that. What can I say that hasn't been said elsewhere?  It's been a pretty shitty year - what else is there to say?  The deaths of so many celebrities seems to have depressed many people.  However, as I didn't know any of them personally, their demises weren't what cast a pall over my year.  What affected me more was the death of an old friend back in March.  It came as quite a blow and things never really seemed to get back on track after that.  Then there was Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the US - it felt like I was on the wrong side of every argument.  It was the same away from politics - at work and in my personal life, I felt like I suffered a never-ending series of defeats, with battle after battle seemingly lost.  But there was a glimmer of hope toward the end of the year, when I was finally forced to call the union in over a number of issues and they actually managed to send a rep to a meeting with management, (much to the chagrin of a senior manager present at such meeting - she looked like she was sucking lemons every time the rep spoke).  I remain hopeful that this intervention might yet yield long-term results.

Not that I'm thinking much about the long-term any more.  Right now I'm focused on paying my mortgage off at the end of next April.  Once that's done, I'll have some room for manoeuvre as far as work is concerned.  The difference that being away from the increasing stress of work over Christmas has made to my health has made it clearer than ever to me that I have to do something to change my work situation.  And I have to do that something soon.  But whatever I do about work, it won't change the increasingly dangerous circumstances the world in general finds itself in as we head into 2017, with the extreme right on the rise and, in the case of Trump, actually in control.  And yet, despite the clear and present danger to our liberties and livelihoods, the opposition seems paralysed, apparently clueless as to whatto do to combat the rise of the right.  You'd think that opposing fascists would be pretty straightforward, it isn't as if we haven't done it before, after all.  Ah, but the world's a more complicated place than it was in the thirties and forties, people say.  It isn't black and white any more - it's all shades of grey.  I'm not so sure.  I was watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier.  Of all the Marvel characters, the Captain is the one I'm fondest of - he comes from a simpler era and maintains his belief that, no matter how complex a situation appears, there is still right and there is still wrong.  The trick is to see which is which.   And I'd say that right now, discerning right from wrong is the easiest it has been for decades.



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