We're Most Certainly Post-Something
December 31, 2016 8:07 AM   Subscribe

 
PRINCE IS DEAD. HOE MY GOD.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:14 AM on December 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've read in about 30% so far. Based on that, I would say that the biggest story is that these sage observers have all missed the underlying structural reasons why a Trump could win: the US's current rigid two-party system, together with the kabuki theatre of fixed elections, has not effectively expressed the will and the needs of the people, and it's a system that has proven to be exploitable and gamed.

The big flaw is that in the current system, both parties seem to be captured by unaccountable "establishments" who select candidates most likely to advance their interests, which are increasingly disconnected from the needs and desires of the country as a whole. You saw Sanders attract support (surprisingly) as the reflection of desire for more progressive action, who was opposed by the Democratic establishment who actively sunk him in favour of Dem establishment royalty in the form of a competent, but unpopular presidential candidate. On the GOP side, their own internal dissent came to a head with the rejection of any "establishment" candidate in favour of a disruptor whose real attraction, even above the shameless and unapologetic populism, was "I'm not one of them".

Yes there's an alarming global trend towards nationalistic, populist strongmen (and women) as leaders, but I believe the US system became uniquely susceptible.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:31 AM on December 31, 2016 [8 favorites]


There is no argument as to what is the most important story of the year. Many of the people quoted in the article say this, while others glibly dance around the point. Donald Trump won the fucking American presidential election. The impossible has happened.

On a personal level, the biggest surprise for me is the extent to which friends and associates are trying to normalise what has happened. My co-workers think that Trump, while a troubling choice for a leader, might end up surprising people and become a real leader "like Ronald Reagan" (*eyeroll*). Another friend argued angrily with me saying that Hillary Clinton was just as bad a candidate as Trump, claiming that she would have started the next world war with either Russia or China or both.

So yeah, facts no longer matter, and now a deluded maniac and reality TV celebrity is now the nominal leader of the free world. I've always been a pessimist and a misanthrope and I have secretly awaited the end of the world, but now I'm not so sure I want it to arrive. Not like this, surely.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 10:20 AM on December 31, 2016 [8 favorites]


one thing no one mentioned was youtube/facebook/twitter etc observation of our lives.

and yet those dang, tedious stock photos would have you believe otherwise. sheesh.
posted by rebent at 10:48 AM on December 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


The fucking emails. Both least important and most important. Fuck every bloviating media asshole who made it that way.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on December 31, 2016 [9 favorites]


David Bowie, Alan Thicke and Abe Vigoda, Alan Rickman
Nancy Reagan, Garry Shandling, Muhammed Ali
Arnold Palmer, Edward Albee, Shimon Peres, Kevin Meaney
Janet Reno, Leonard Cohen, and dear Harper Lee

Bobby Vee, Gwen Ifill, Pat Summitt, George Michael
Morley Safer, Glen Frey, why did they all have to die?
Syria was obscene, Brexit pissed off England’s queen
Donald Trump is President and all our optimism went

2016 was dire
Set our hearts to yearning
As the world was burning
It was a tire fire
And we tried to fight it
But we couldn’t right it

Russian hacking, Brussels bombed, hate crimes on our synagogues
Gene Wilder, Fritz Weaver, pain at Standing Rock
Celine’s Rene, Alan Young, Frankie Jr.’s song was sung
Insulin price - diabetic sticker shock

Oregon Militia, floods in West Virginia
Cops still kill unarmed black men, climate change suppressed again
Russia still in Crimea, no-one replaced Scalia
Such distress, what a mess, at least the Cubs won, I guess

2016 was dire
Set our hearts to yearning
As the world was burning
It was a tire fire
And we tried to fight it
But we couldn’t right it

Sir George Martin, George S. Irving, Tony Burton, Alton Sterling
John Glenn flew to the unknown, Zsa Zsa went to be alone
Cabinet - filled with Klan, legislation’s anti-trans,
Newspapers in decline, fake news is all we can find

Jim Delligatti, Robert Vaughn, “Refugees? Get off our lawn!”
Glenn Yarbrough, Castro, bomb in Chelsea, Orlando
France in terror Bastille Day, Matthew blew our house away
Russia’s link to Turkey, shot dead in a gallery

2016 was dire
Set our hearts to yearning
As the world was burning
It was a tire fire
And we tried to fight it
But we couldn’t right it

Anton Yelchin, Mike Cimino, Doris Roberts, Jon Polito
Jo Cox, Ron Glass, Gordie Howe, all passed
Garry Marshall, Tammy Grimes, Severnaya coal mine
Liz Smith and Keith Emerson, Prince and Florence Henderson
Zika, Panama, papers say they broke the law
Harambe, blown away, what else do I have to say?

2016 was dire
Set our hearts to yearning
As the world was burning
It was a tire fire
And we tried to fight it
But we couldn’t right it

Kenny Baker, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, force be with her
Jian, Pan Pan, France’s burkini ban
Night's Wiesel, Fyvush Finkel, airport terror - Istanbul
Lennie Baker, Merle Haggard, Ken Howard, Richard Bradford
Patty Duke, Charmian Carr, train crash near Bavaria
Pete Burns died, Alberta burned, it just seems we’ll never learn,
Rob Ford, oh my Lord, was George R. R. Martin bored?

2016 was dire
Set our hearts to yearning
As the world was burning
It was a tire fire
And when it is gone
We will suffer on and on and on and on
And on and on and on and on…

Good riddance.
posted by ilana at 10:52 AM on December 31, 2016 [47 favorites]


Well, that was impressive, Ilana! Thank you! Now I have something to forward people who say this year "wasn't so bad."
posted by greermahoney at 11:29 AM on December 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm 2/3 through this, past Craig Mod, and I still don't see mention of fake news and the lack of credibility now suffered by all and sundry as the biggest challenge.
posted by infini at 1:42 PM on December 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was fucking epic, Ilana. Holy shit.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 1:46 PM on December 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Geez very inward looking picks. Only one mention of brexit or Syria, two mentions of climate change - the same as fucking gawker's bankruptcy,please spare me.
posted by smoke at 6:32 PM on December 31, 2016


I skimmed the article because it was very repetitive, but Dara Lind gave me something to chew over:
For 50 years, social norms have been treated as an engine of conformity—bad for diversity, bad for the authentic self. But norms are also what restrains raw power: what makes it not OK to wear “TRUMP THAT BITCH” shirts in public or go on racist tirades at cashiers.
posted by riruro at 9:15 AM on January 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


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