I can’t blame 2016 for anything, and it drives me nuts to see the 2016 hatred e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
If you scroll through newsfeeds, you get headlines like “2016 Takes Dozens of Stars” (like celestial stars? cuz those die all the time and it’s way more than dozens), “It’s Been A Shocking Year With Celebrity Deaths” (no different than any other year WHEN CELEBRITIES DIE, which is not shocking), “When Will This Year End?” (IT ENDS IN LIKE 2 DAYS AND I BET A CELEBRITY WILL ALSO DIE IN 2017, PROBABLY EVEN ON 1/1/2017)
Artists, musicians, athletes, authors, directors, animators, singers, actors, dancers, etc. die every year. Every day. 2016 is no different.
Can’t find the original, but there is a jpg floating around with these 3 incredible
performers, dressed in their iconic Goblin King and Princess Leia garb,
and Prince (dressed as Prince, obvs), with this text laid over:
“2016 has taken our King, our Prince and now our Princess.”
And this jpg has been circulating the interwebs pretty
much since the beginning of 2016 (I rather like how it
almost looks like George R.R. Martin is giving a thumbs up):
But it hurts because the 3 people above are creative individuals I specifically identify with as a powerful influence on the artist I’m becoming and the artist I am, (and also, the message is clever, and I like clever) and I’m laughing because I’m huge GOT/George R.R. Martin fan and I get the reference/joke lololol, BUT NONE OF THIS HAS ANYTHING DO WITH 2016 TRYING TO KILL CELEBRITIES.
Why in the HELL is this bothering me so much? I’ve really been trying to figure it out.
I think it’s for two reasons:
1) I have trouble articulating this. Lemme try. Celebrities die every day of every year (as do people who are not celebrities). But this particular grouping of celebrity passing(s) – to my age demographic – were more than just “celebrities passing”… these were legends dying. Therefore we aren’t just suffering the loss of a celebrity we admire, we are suffering the loss of a legend with which we identified with as youngins, and continued to identify with while we grew up. This may only makes sense to me, (and I’m definitely not suggesting anyone else feel this way but me) but I feel like I actually *did* grow up with some of the legends that passed this year. That’s why their demise, indeed, is very painful to me. But dammit, that’s not 2016’s fault. It doesn’t even make sense to blame 2016. It makes no sense to blame anything, really. We’ve just gotten older and so have our legends.
And it sucks to have to remain here while these legends we “met” as children; the people that were our role models, our muses, our inspiration for so many different things, are now gone. So now we’re stuck here on this planet without them, and going to their Twitter is depressing, and checking their FB page, (which has probably been changed to “Remembering” which is fucking sad) where they will no longer post – (or perhaps now it’s being controlled by someone else posting which can be even worse) just really hurts. And again, I’m focusing on my age demographic – because it’s hitting us harder, I believe – we “met” our legends before the internet, we grew up with them, we then “met” them on the internet, continued to grow up with them there, and now they’re gone and all we have left is their immortalized performances which is why we initially fell in love, and their “digital shadow” on the internet, which is where we will continue to love. It compounds the loss, I feel.
Personally speaking, Prince, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Joe Alaskey, Sharon Jones, Miss Cleo, and my friend, C. (Clay) Martin Croker (to name a few), all influenced me for different reasons, and at the risk of sounding ridiculous, they’ve been with me nearly all of my life. Clay, being the newest addition of powerful legends (to me) that was lost this year, well, I’ve known him for 17 years, so I grew up with him, too.
Jessica sidenote: Ok, I need to explain Miss Cleo. One of the last memories of my Granny when she was still cognizant, was shared with the fantastic Miss Cleo. One night, while me and my family were visiting my Granny, around midnight or so, I heard the TV in the other room, and much giggling. I followed the giggling and found my Gran-Gran in the living room, watching Miss Cleo and just having a ball, by herself. I was like “Granny… what in the world… why aren’t you sleeping?” And all she could do was laugh and say that Miss Cleo was predicting her future and that it didn’t look good. Oh, and also that Miss Cleo was a fake SOB. So, we watched that fake SOB together and I don’t know that I have ever laughed harder as my Gran-Gran continued to trash Miss Cleo (although she did like her clothes) in many creative and Cajun ways. I think we were up until like 3am. I always appreciated that Miss Cleo actually gave me and my Granny a such a cherished memory, a fake SOB though she was (Miss Cleo, not Gran-Gran).
2) Anything bad that happens to me, is personal. I don’t see the point in blaming anything. I’ve had bad days, bad months and I guess bad years but I don’t look at an entire year as being “bad,” I just recognize that some really terrible things happened during a span of days or months, etc. Some bad things have happened in every year that I’ve been alive and celebrities have died those years, too. And those were legends to whichever cohort they belonged, and I believe the #IHateYou2016 trend is really due to our cohort.
And I guess that’s what’s reeeeally irking me… it’s seems trendy to hate on 2016 and our cohort is the one who started the trend and ffs it sounds really whiney.
I’m not offering a dissertation, or even a rant, this is just my opinion. I’m not saying anyone should change how they feel. And I’m not intending to chastise anyone for feeling that 2016 was the worst year for them because some of their beloved celebrities passed, and I don’t mean that condescendingly either. Feel how you want to feel. I just feel differently.
I’m not trying to make-out with 2016, but mine wasn’t too bad:
Lots of good things!
And lots of bad things happened as well.
And lots of life.
And yes, lots of loss… a whole lotta loss – not just death, but heartbreaking loss due to my own personal experiences. And it was terrible.
Soooooo may everyone’s 2017 be less terrible, then! (I hope?)
I’m not looking forward to the new hashtags the new year will bring tho
For me, I just try to look at my days and go… “Ok…. this really bad thing happened today, how can I make this suck less?” and go from there. I swear I’m not offering advice; I’m just offering a different way to look at loss and heartache. And I try not to necessarily blame anything for it, unless I made a bad decision that caused it, which is usually the case, so I’ll blame myself…
I read this often and it makes me laugh, and then sigh, and then laugh again: