Fuck you, 2017, you sucked
You kicked off the four-year reign of Donnie Two-Scoops and his fascist administration. You brought not one, not two, but three hurricanes to our country’s shores. You burned down basically all of the west coast. You let neo-Nazi’s and white supremacists kill a peaceful protestor, and let even more cops walk free from murder charges. You brought the worst mass shooting in American history. You killed Tom Petty, Chester Bennington, and net neutrality. And you introduced fidget spinners to the country. Seriously?
No one got their way this year, not progressives, not women, not communities of color, not the environment. Republicans didn’t even come out on top in 2017, seeing as how their base is so obviously rotten and their fearless leader is two indictments away from a free trip to Leavenworth State Penitentiary. At best, the right broke even in 2017, if this is the best a conservative government can do after a year in power.
Seriously, who’s actually going to look back on 2017 with any nostalgia?
2017 was the hardest year of my life. Over the past twelve months, I’ve faced crippling depression, debilitating health issues, a deep, all-consuming fear for the future I’ve never felt before. My patience, willpower, constitution, and self-esteem were tested to their limit, and I came to some harsh realizations about the person I am and the life I lead.
If 2017 is any indication of the path we’re on, we might as well give up on 2018, 2019 and 2020. No New Year’s Resolutions. No grand plans. Forget ambition, and hope. Crawl into bed and binge another Netflix original until Kim Jong-Un launches the nukes...
lol. Fuck that.
Mindset is everything. 2017 kicked my ass, but it also kicked ass.
In all of the challenges, hardships, perils, and disasters of this past year was a gift, a lesson, something to remember and use as inspiration to grow, achieve and fight harder for a brighter future.
The tide of American culture shifted in 2017. Women across the country decided that silence no longer sufficed, and took a great step forward in the fight to bring down an oppressive patriarchy in both the January 21st Women’s March and viral #metoo campaign. Black citizens came forward in record-breaking numbers to elect progressive leaders to the government in Virginia and Alabama and make their voices heard at a volume not heard since 2008. Millions of citizens occupied airports and took to the streets in defense of muslim-Americans when Trump & Co. attempted the travel ban. California and numerous other states hit environmental goals they didn’t think they’d reach for another decade.
The Houston Astros won the World Series for the first time ever, bringing unity to a city devastated by disaster, and hundreds of pro footballers stood in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and his protest of police brutality. The total solar eclipse inspired the world to wonder once again at our place in the cosmos. Bitcoin hit $17,000. Fuck, Beyonce gave birth to twins this year!
2017 was one giant, fucked up, fucking awesome fucking episode in the great saga of human history. It is a year we would rather forget but we should not. If we ignore the progress we made this past year, we won't have anything to go on as we continue moving forward over the next.
Of-fucking-course there will be setbacks and heartbreaks and fear and challenges and disappointments in 2018, just as many if not way more than there were in 2017. But if we let the bad overshadow the good we cannot hope to keep moving toward peace, unity, equality and a future that is fair and good to all people.
2018 is going to be an uphill battle in so many ways. We have a government to reclaim, a culture to detoxify, and so many hearts and minds to change. But we can do it.
The world is getting better, not worse. 2017 is over, and everyone is invited to the kick-ass party that will be 2018. BYOB. Doors at midnight.
Daniel is a writer and activist from Los Angeles. Follow him on Instagram: @saint.clarity