Twenty Twenty-One

“I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray.”

It began with the attempted overthrow of the American government system. That could be the opening sentence of a political thriller or classic dystopian novel, but it is not. It is how 2021 began.

I know I usually write these things on Saturday mornings, but I have the eerie feeling this will be a two-parter, so I started a day early. Plus, this is the last day of the old year and tomorrow is the first of the new year so naturally we can look back in this one and forward in the next. Snazzy, right? Well, let’s see how it plays out, since it’s more of a notion than a plan.

Joe Biden got more popular and electoral votes than Donald Trump in November of 2020 and became the elected president of the United States of America. That’s a fact. Anyone who doesn’t believe that by now is probably a fool fooled by a fool. The truth hurts. On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and we – you and I – shed the specter of Donnie Trump from the office forever, or so we hope. But, in between the election and the inauguration Trump and his most ardent followers attempted to reverse the decision of the people and crown Donnie boy a king.

This really happened.

It happened from the moment the election was decided, and America’s biggest liar (ever?) tried to convince anyone who would listen that the legitimate election of Joe Biden was a fraud. And, as fate would have it, some people listened. From the moment Donnie came down that escalator he cultivated a lunatic following that would do anything for him because he said the things they really wanted to hear and no other fool in politics would say them. And he said them loud and without shame. You know the verses, say ‘em with me: “Finally, someone who will let us bash in those liberal and immigrant heads with the butts of our guns. God (and only my God) Bless America. Make it great again, like it was before civil rights and hippies.”

Or something like that. I don’t actually go to those meetings.

But I do hear similar rhetoric in my right-leaning community. I remember having to talk down old white guys in the 2010s who wanted to use the n-word to describe our former president. Yeah, it got that bad.

But some of these folks, ones that listened to the lies of 45 and really took them to heart – not all of them, because they are not all fools – stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, and tried to, among other things, “Hang Mike Pence!” And kill Nancy Pelosi, according to some. It was a transgression, if not an insurrection, of the highest order.

And that’s how the year began.

But democracy prevailed. The republic yet stands. But the attempted overthrow of the American government by a charlatan clown and his band of bozos wasn’t the only thing that happened in 2021. In fact, so much happened that my in-depth research of 2021 is only in April with many more pages to go, and I’m running out of time today. So, I’ll just hit some highlights:

Tom Brady won his 7th Super Bowl. Covid surged and surged again. We got vaccines. Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold for $3.25 million dollars. Ted Cruz went to Cancun. William Shatner went to space. Derek Chauvin went to jail. Supply chains were wracked. Inflation soared. The endless war ended. Infrastructure week finally came. Surfside. Heartbeat. Dr Seuss. Cuomo. Myanmar.

Every day of every year something is happening. Maybe something good. Maybe something bad. But something.

And 2021 was no exception. Not the worst year on record, not the best, personally or otherwise. Routine, in many ways. I guess if I handed out grades to a year I’d give this one a C+, maybe a B-.

Above average. Could be better.

Tomorrow, god-willing, I’ll give you an outlook for 2022. Maybe I’ll give you some predictions. Some intentions. Hopes. Fears. Indeterminate possible outcomes.

Or maybe I’ll just talk about dogs. I dunno.

But from the bottom of my heart, from all of us in the Tom Being Tom household, I wish you all a safe and happy new year’s night. Pop the bottle, raise a glass.

For auld lang syne, my dear.

Do it for auld lang syne.

13 thoughts on “Twenty Twenty-One

  1. Helicopters on Mars, James Webb Space Telescope launch, leaving Afghanistan, double explosion of bitcoin, rise of the Variants, record breaking heatwaves (Portland OR, 115F), Texas freeze…
    Best to you TBT, in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Regarding the Incoherent Bloviating Imbecile ability to brainwash the whitewashed, my son said something to me recently that he either heard or came up with on his own: “It’s easier to fool someone than to convince them they’ve been fooled.”
        No doubt, something to do with emotional investment. I had to think on that thought, and still do. Maybe there just so much thought-currency available for many folk. And to think they’ve spent unwisely… For others, with caches of brain-coin, we have little trouble abandoning fallacious arguments, knowing we have plenty of spare cash to go ’round.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In truth, it would appear, that there are those who grow continuously throughout their entire lives – folks like you and I – and those that freeze at some point and grow no more. Trump’s followers are purely in that latter category (What Dweck called the “fixed mindset”): they learned all they shall, now, and have made up their minds about it all. Now everything they see or learn or hear is funneled into that short-sighted view. Donnie learned to tap that tunnel vision, to place himself as the hero to all things narrow.

        I read a stupid meme the other day that said something like “How come we don’t see any ‘Build Back Better’ hats?” and I thought, because we are not fools, my friend, we are not sheep to follow one man, one thing, one ideal. The “growth mindset” allows for many a view, because our stimuli isn’t funneled at all, but utilized in the process of our constant evolution. Our thought-currency, as you say, is unlimited.

        I don’t pick heroes. I don’t follow individuals. I learn, and grow. Every day.

        Here’s to that new year, new me stuff. Or, as I like to refer to it, new day new me. All the things I was before now augmented by all the things I learn today.

        Life, man. It don’t get old.

        Like

  2. Every mention of Auld Lang Syne reminds me of the ending of When Harry Met Sally and Billy Crystal saying, “My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?”
    I’m pretty sure that whole bit was improvised but it sticks with me because I think a lot of us have the same reaction.
    Anyway I know if we forget the past we’re doomed to repeat it, and there is so much from the previous year I don’t want to see repeated, but for now let’s take a cup of kindness yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That “cup of kindness” line yanks at my heartstrings every time. So simple and elusive, the very idea.

      Chris, thank you for being there for me and TBT throughout. I don’t have heroes, like I told the Mole above, but I have particular fondnesses and admirations. Your entire way of thinking, and of presenting that way of thinking into words and reality, is inspiring to me. I appreciate you being you, and I mean that sincerely. Happy New Year to you and all of yours! 🥂

      Liked by 1 person

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