Let’s go back to end of year album rankings

Dear President Trump,

In the past when we counted down the final hours of a year, we listened to various gurus’ music rankings for the year. Seems pretty quaint now as 2017 winds down, but still, I’d much rather think about such trivialities than reflect on all the damage inflicted on the country and the world by you and your administration. It gives me shivers to think how phenomenally destructive you all have been in such a short period of time. I do realize, though, there are lots of things to be thankful for, including that you all haven’t hijacked the entire system of government and that the resistance to the world order you, Putin, and the oligarchs are trying to concretize is strong and growing. But I’m wondering, did you call Putin today to congratulate him on arranging to have his chief rival barred from running for President of Russia? Are you taking notes? Seems like something you would be up for trying if you make it to 2020.

I’ll bet a lot of people get even more drunk than usual tomorrow night for New Year’s Eve as they try to forget the horrid year past and put off having to face whatever new horrors are in store for us in 2018. Even suffering through a bad hangover seems better than focusing on the particulars of what you and your crew have done, are doing, and will do. I realize this is an awful thing to say and actually isn’t true since getting really drunk and having a bad hangover is a terrible way to treat one’s body. The distraction it would offer, however, is appealing, as is the chance to wallow in self-focused pity so intense one can’t worry about the rest of the world for a while. Obviously I’m looking at this from a particularly left-leaning perspective and there will be lots of extremely wealthy people and lots of people who voted for you who will be getting drunk for very different reasons.

Maybe we should all be indulging in things like 2017 album rankings (or book or movies or soups or hikes or whatever) to help keep ourselves from getting lost in the nettles and thorns of politics. All this past year I kept encountering people who seemed quite wise who were insisting we not lose our capacity for wonder and joy. What if Dr. Seuss really had it right and the most radical thing of all is to hold hands and sing joyfully even though the Grinch has stolen every last crumb and strand of tinsel?

May we all be safe and joyful.
May we all be radically happy.
May we all hold one another’s hands and keep ourselves healthy.
May we be peaceful.

Tracy Simpson

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