Celebrating Because It’s Over

All evening today I have seen and heard fireworks as people celebrate the end of 2020. The odds are good that this will continue for some time, for even if it is not the best kind of night, the skies are clear enough for fireworks to be seen (and definitely heard) and there is a lot of motivation for people to be glad that the year is over. For the past few years of my life, I have felt time rushing by, but that was definitely not the case this year. It is striking that a year that had comparatively little in action still had enough going on in it to make the year last far longer than one would expect as I approach the beginning of the fifth decade of my life. Perhaps the year would have been longer and far worse had I spent as much time as many others have being depressed by the news, because the mood of crisis and danger was present in this year from beginning to end. I have already stated my own ambivalence about the way that this year has been portrayed as being a world historical disaster, as the problems of this year are not ones that are by any means over or that will be improved by merely turning the page on a calendar [1].

I do not see any need to celebrate that 2020 is over. Mind you, I do not feel any need to view this year as being as terrible as many people see it as. A year like this is certainly a trial, in that the circumstances surrounding it try our patience, try our resilience, try our concern for the well-being of others, and try our longsuffering when it comes to abusive and tyrannical authorities abusing a ready-made crisis so that they can try on their inner micromanagers, with typically disastrous results. But for me, at least, the things that made 2020 such a challenge were not particularly new this year, with the exception of the precise disease which brought out latent tendencies into action, nor, more importantly, are such things gone because the calendar year is gone. Just as what was worst about 2020 was a reflection of previous attitudes and trends being furthered in a negative direction locally, nationally, and worldwide, so too these trends continue unabated into the new year. It remains to be seen, for example, whether the 2020 Election in the United States will prompt an increase in our own political crisis, and with a new variant of Corona already being talked up as being even more infectious than the original, fallacious public health arguments for making our life even less pleasant and more isolated will not cease because it ceases to be 2020.

Perhaps some people feel it necessary to celebrate the end of something that is viewed as terrible and horrible even without the certain knowledge that the future will be anything brighter. But the worst parts of 2020 were not bad because of time and chance, but were bad because of human design and intentional actions. People, including plenty of political leaders, made conscious decisions to destroy the property and lives of other people for whatever motives, whether that meant adopting ludicrous and foolish attempts to control the behavior of the people because of an overblown sense of power rushing to the head and a desire to be seen as counterfeit saviors, or whether it involved calculated efforts at political violence, or putting old people directly in harm’s way in nursing homes, to say nothing of the massive amounts of fraud that we have seen over the course of the year. And again, these trends have not ended, these issues have not been resolved, and this pattern of behavior has not been properly punished. Until it happens, there is no worth in celebrating because the patterns of thought and behavior that led this year to be such a disaster for so many remain in place to ruin future years as well until and unless something is done about it.

[1] See, for example:


About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to Celebrating Because It’s Over

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    This past year was just the beginning of sorrows. We haven’t seen anything yet. The events of 2020 have only proved what we know is true about the baser nature of mankind; those in power will use these things to tip the balance in favor of securing the citizens at the expense of their personal freedoms; the Constitution be damned. Which it is. The erosion of the first two amendments sounds the deathnell to it all, for they are the underpinnings of the personal rights from which the others spring forth.

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