It’s the end. Finally. Like sitting through the thousands of names in the credits of a Marvel movie just to get to the post-credits scene, 2015 has finally run its course and is about to disappear.
It can’t come soon enough.
Culturally this year was brilliant, absolutely fantastic from start to finish with mind glowingly good stuff in film, music and television. We had one of the biggest blockbuster years ever, with Avengers, Mad Max, Jurassic World, Ant Man, Mission Impossible, Spectre, and of course, the king of the nerdy throne that is Star Wars. Not to mention a stream of mainstream and lesser known drama and indie fare that has consistently exceeded all expectations. We had incredible music from Kendrick Lamar, Father Jon Misty, Sufjan Stevens, Tame Impala, Steven Wilson, Kamasi Washington, Oneohtrix Point Never, Arca, Future, Kurt Vile, Czarface, Beach House, Death Grips, and oh so many many more artists and albums that blew our collective socks off.
Television, if you take a second to look away from reality dross, has played host to some terrific programming. Wolf Hall, Jonathan Strange & Mr.Norrell, Game of Thrones, Fargo, Hannibal, and Netflix giving us the likes of House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Master of None, Daredevil, and Better Call Saul. For anyone who loves to soak in the worlds created by visual and audio mediums, this was a banner year.
But back in reality? Not so much.
Every year seems bad while it’s happening. Every year in recent memory has played host to one or two major tragedies, a smattering of smaller tragedies, and a sprinkling of dying icons on top. But 2015 has come through and blown all the other recent contenders out of the water. From January to December it has been a relentless onslaught of crushingly depressing news, starting with the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and ending with floods ravaging the north of England and bombs raining down on Syria. In between we’ve had a depressingly predictable general election, the seemingly unstoppable rise of a death cult, the parallel rise in racism and Islamophobia, the inexplicable popularity of Donald Trump, a few more killings and terrorist attacks, a couple of large scale earthquakes, one of the largest refugee crises ever, and then capped off with a shocking and brutal massacre once again in Paris.
It’s no wonder that we’re all wishing for a Happy New Year, as we do every year, and as we’ve failed to receive time and again. A happy year is an impossible dream in this world of ours. No amount of good will and personal accomplishments can outweigh the vast amount of misery that human beings are suffering at the hands of their environment and more often than not at the hands of each other. A happy year is like a unicorn, an centaur, a fantasy conjured up in our minds with childlike wonder, yet like those creatures it is something that can only be found in the realms of fiction. We chant this meaningless phrase to each other with no concept of why. Yes, we can wish a happy year on another person, but in my mind it’s almost a cruelty to even suggest that 365 days can pass on this planet without everything almost completely going to shit every few weeks.
It’s a well known adage that New Year’s Eve is never as good as you plan for it to be. Last New Year I flew back to Berlin all set to have a good time, and we almost did. But then it got cold, like really fucking freezing cold. The fireworks then happened in a park to our right instead from behind the Brandenburg gate. Then we had to contend with the hordes of people all making a beeline for Potsdamer Platz, whilst supporting our suddenly too drunk to walk American friend, who then convinced us he could walk before promptly face planting in front of a small child in the U-Bahn station.
After getting him back to my flat, he then proceeded to throw up all the way from the lift to my door, and made a little home for himself in my bathroom. Then after spending the first hour of 2015 cleaning up sick with kitchen roll, we put him to bed and went to the club. The club was fun, for the best part of an hour, before I was hit by a wave of overwhelming tiredness. I stumbled outside, sat down on a wet floor, and held my head in my hands, before summing up the energy twenty minutes later to get my arse on a train and get to bed.
It may not seem so bad, but it just goes to show how the bullshit starts literally from the start of the year. Sort of. I just wanted to share that story.
Every time I say Happy New Year to somebody I feel a twinge of a crisis inside. I want them to have a happy year, I really do, and I’d love for myself and everyone else to have one too. But at the same time it’s such a painfully naive sentiment that even saying the words seems like a betrayal of any semblance of reason and intelligence I hold dear. It’s like wishing somebody a comfortable colonoscopy, or a fun time at Butlins, or a trip on a Crosscountry train that doesn’t smell like shit, a meaningless platitude with about as much merit as a participation medal won at a primary school sports day.
Besides, at this point in the 21st century it would be a miracle to have a year that’s just average. An average amount of death, of war, of fuckups, of tyrants and despots and goddamn piece of shit nobodies being given the limelight when they deserve nothing more than a punch in the face and a good few years in the gulag. I’m looking at you Katie Hopkins, current and eternal winner of the World’s Most Stompable Face Award.
I would give something not overly valuable but still holding some value for that to happen, maybe my ukulele or something. Because as far as I can see through my brown tinted glasses, we seem to be on a slide into moral and social oblivion that’s simply accelerating as time goes by.
So instead of ending this post on some pseudo-inspirational bollocks I’ve copied off tumblr (for reasons why please see my last post), I’m going to end it with a list of all things I want to say goodbye to and pray to the pantheon of mystical sky faeries will be left behind on December 31st.
Note: These are things that may realistically fail to make it very far in 2016, not stuff like war or famine that will undoubtedly continue to rear their ugly heads for many years to come.
Here we go (list heavily edited for reasons of length and the author’s sanity):
Celebrity Big Brother (or celebrity anything for that matter)
Shitty tabloid journalism
Shitty mainstream journalism
“Swegways” or whatever they’re called. They’re not fucking hoverboards.
Instagram pictures of Starbuck’s cups
Instagram pictures of sunsets
Instagram pictures of food
Instagram pictures with bullshit written underneath
Most Instagram pictures
Hipster models selling clothes
People pretending coffee is anything other than a cup of warm brown liquid to be had at the start of the day.
“That offends me”
Social media activism/Bandwagoning
“Like and share”
Most political leaders
People pretending to know about politics
People pretending to know about economics
People pretending to know about diplomacy
People pretending to know about war
People pretending to know about religion
People claiming to know literally anything they don’t know
Opinions as fact
Bullshit as opinions
Insanity as bullshit (see Donald Trump)
Lil Wayne and any of his acolytes
The Radio One Live Lounge
House music (the shit stuff)
Acoustic covers of songs that don’t need acoustic covers
Acoustic covers of good songs
Covers of songs being used on shitty adverts
Shitty Christmas adverts
People saying “bae”
People saying “on fleek”
People saying “Netflix and chill”
People casting Jai Courtney in films, seriously, he’s awful.
And last but my no means least, the goddamn laugh cry emoji.
So we’ve reached the end, if you’ve bothered to read this far (seriously, nobody warns you about the diminishing returns on this whole blog thingy), of both this blog and the year.
For me personally a lot of this year has been a pleasure, with enough laughter, friends and family to see me through. For the world? Well read the above again if you’ve forgotten, but it’s been a clusterfuck, one that I’m bloomin’ glad to see the back of.
So long 2015, you absolute sack of shit.
Xoxo, The Auld Lang Indian.