2017: A Selective Year in Review
2017 is over, and I think we can all agree that’s a good thing. While I don’t hold out much hope for a better 2018, what with an imminent nuclear showdown with North Korea and a Pacific Rim sequel, it will be nice to put a few 2017 things behind us.
Here we are at the close of 2017, a year in which we were forced to engage in an ongoing national debate about statues dedicated to 19th century Civil War figures, and I for one do not give a shit about any of your statues, Confederate or otherwise because I have hobbies that don’t involve history lessons.
Most of my hobbies involve drinking, which is sort of the antithesis of a history lesson because my alcohol consumption is explicitly designed to help me forget my awful past, including the events of last week that I won’t go into here but suffice to say that Build-A-Bear is apparently not a BYOB establishment.
I will say this on the topic of Confederate statues: I don’t think that we should take them down. In fact, I’m pretty much staunchly opposed to it not out of some misplaced veneration of America’s slave-owning past but because it just seems like a lot of work, and given my aforementioned penchant for excessive drinking, I’m almost exclusively work-averse as a result of my cripplingly protracted hangovers.
Here’s the thing: most statues all look alike—you can hardly tell one apart from the next, and that’s why I think the simplest solution is to simply change the name on the plaque appearing below each of these statues rather than remove them entirely. Because if we really want to put to rest all this talk about statues and put a proverbial foot up the ass of alt-right white nationalists and snaggle-toothed neo-nazis with a limited grasp of multisyllabic vocabulary, then we should hit those fuckers where they’re most sensitive and change the name on all of those Robert E. Lee statues to RuPaul.
That’s it—simply change the name, add a feathered boa and some eyeliner, maybe bedazzle the saddle and call it a day. That way, those of us who don’t have loose klan affiliations or crushes on our step mothers can all enjoy a fabulous new RuPaul-appointed public space and David Duke can secretly jerk off to it in his basement—it’s an all-around win-win.
Taking a Knee
Another feature of 2017 that I think we should all be happy to put behind us is protests involving the national anthem at sporting events, which continued to dominate headlines throughout 2017. I’m proposing that we all agree to a moratorium on this debate in 2018, by which I don’t mean a moratorium on protesting during the national anthem but rather a moratorium on endlessly discussing it on Facebook and thereby providing an occasion for Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham to mount a soapbox on their high horse to loudly and proudly declaim a vapid and sentimental patriotism that betrays their wholesale ignorance of the first amendment.
Regardless of your political leanings, I think we can all agree that a football stadium filled with alcoholic high school dropouts may not be the best venue for making a nuanced political statement. My rule of thumb: overweight shirtless men in face paint brandishing red Solo cups filled with lukewarm domestic beer seldom appreciate complex political discourse, and so perhaps if Colin Kaepernick wanted a better reception for his political views, he might have pursued a career involving the arts as opposed to a career involving CTE and domestic abuse.
This isn’t to say that I’m not a fan of nonviolent protests such as taking a knee during the national anthem—I support Colin Kaepernick. And as a show of solidarity, I’ve begun taking a knee every time someone tells me why I should watch Stranger Things, which has resulted in a lot of added pressure on my knees at holiday parties this year.
The fact is I would rather watch Harvey Weinstein jerk off in a shower than watch Winona Ryder try to act in Stranger Things, and by the end of the first twenty minutes of episode one I was wishing the monster would just kill all of those fucking kids and their parents and spare us any more shitty dialogue and terribly edited sequences.
So yes, I’m a fan of nonviolent protest, even if Vice President Mike Pence, the single-most closeted man in America, isn’t. We all remember earlier this season when Mike Pence used taxpayer dollars to fly to Indianapolis so that he could stage a fake protest by leaving a football game early after some players took a knee during the national anthem?
Let’s get one thing absolutely clear: The sight of brawny, athletic men in tights on their knees doesn’t get Mike Pence upset, it gets him excited. He didn’t leave that game because he was upset, he left to find some lotion and some privacy.
Donald and Melania
I know this is wishful thinking, and there is zero chance that we can put Donald and Melania Trump behind us for at least another three years, but I intend to add them to my New Year’s list of things we should discard to dustbin of history every year until that time.
I live in Los Angeles now, and whenever I travel home to the Midwest or up north to visit friends and family, I find myself repeatedly asked: so what’s the mood in LA? How is everyone reacting to Trump? How are people responding, what’s the temperature like down there? And that is when I have to explain that in LA we are a little more concerned with something called ourselves to be bothered with whether a doughy midget-fingered proto-fascist is currently running the country into the ground. That sort of pales in comparison to pilot season and which boutique cafe on Melrose serves the best gluten-free kale salad.
Furthermore, these inquiring friends and family invariably fail to notice that in LA we’re sort of dealing with our own crisis in the form of uppity women who don’t understand that if you want to get ahead in Hollywood, you’re going to have to let Harvey Weinstein ejaculate into your flower pot at least once. And that’s not a euphemism, by the way—that’s a literal description of his behavior, which is why I think of him as less of a sexual predator than a horticulture enthusiast.
Fortunately, it looks like Hollywood is going to pull through, and we can all look forward to countless more movies based on comic books and bad 70s TV shows marketed to international audiences and grown men in this country who prefer superheroes with capes to self-actualized women with vaginas and g-spots.
Anyway, here’s to 2018, I look forward to wishing it good riddance a year from now as well.