The fierce and feisty Caitlin Moran has a new book called Moranifesto. In an interview in Elle, she speaks her forthright mind, insisting that in the face of all that was horrible about 2016, we need to be more cheerful and pro-active than ever. That things change quickly and each of us can do our bit.
As humans, we take ashes and make them into things. At the point where we’re on the brink, we turn around and say something incredible or do something heroic or we fall in love or invent something.
So I have to believe that 2017 will be the best year ever. We’ve never had more ashes and rubble and hopelessness. All the asshats have had their say, and hopefully on New Year’s Eve, they’ll just collapse, exhausted, and go “This was the year we ruled! We did stuff we didn’t even believe we could do, we were unbelievably stupid and evil and now we must rest!”
Then on New Year’s Day, all the lovely, clever and reasonable people will stand up and go “Right, there’s a big cleanup job to be done here; you get the broom, I’ll get the mop and let’s start making 2017 better. I’ve got an idea, and it just might work.”
Okay, a tiny bit simplistic. A bit Pollyanna-ish, and I don’t agree that we’ve NEVER had more hopelessness, that’s absurd – what about world war and the Bubonic Plague? Surely worse than El Trumpo, though perhaps he’ll manage to get us both. But what else have we got, as we face next year, but each other, good cheer, faith in humanity and the need to do some good in our small corner of the planet?
Had a long talk today with my ex who’s in the eye of the storm, running a huge theatre company in Washington, D.C. I told him I spent last evening watching the Kennedy Centre Arts Awards, the Obamas, looking like gods of reason, intelligence and beauty, sitting with the honourees James Taylor, Al Pacino, pianist Martha Argerich, Mavis Staples, and the Eagles. All kinds of magnificent artists saluted them from the stage, including Ringo, Yo Yo Ma and Itzak Perlman in his power wheelchair. White singers sang Staples and black singers sang James Taylor. They showed a doc of President Kennedy insisting that the arts are vital to American society. The camera kept panning to the Obamas, solemn and engaged, nodding their heads, singing along to the songs.
And throughout, I’m sure every single person in the hall and in the audience was thinking, what the @#@$# will happen next year? Which artists will be celebrated? Ted Nugent? A Nazi marching band?
My ex told me – perhaps it hasn’t hit the news here yet, or there’s so much else to digest that we just haven’t noticed – that Trump had decided who should head the National Endowment for the Arts, a major granting body. It’s Sylvester Stallone. Yes. You laugh, but it’s true. And – get this – Stallone turned him down. What alternate universe are we living in? The NYT:
Sylvester Stallone Suggests He Would Decline Trump Arts Role
No, stop. As Moran says, “Being pessimistic is a luxury we cannot afford. If you started complaining about something three minutes ago, two minutes ago you should have started doing something about it. This is the best time ever to be alive, whoever you are, and we have infinitely more resources than we’ve ever had.”
I’m with her.
PS. Friend Gretchen just read this and sent the following article, so wise and heartening – from Alabama, no less! Onward into 2017, my friends. We’ll make it better.