“O memory ! torture me no more:
The present’s all o’ercast-
My hopes of future bliss are o’er;
In mercy, veil the past.” – Lord Byron
2017 is upon us, or at least those believers in the illusion that is the linear passage of time. Every year that passes seems to have been more horrific than the last to these believers. Despite the fact that 2016 has been like any other year with its celebrity deaths, asshole politicians elected and tragedies heaped upon tragedies, people still elect to have some hope that the next year will be better. Filled with this hope everyone wants to improve themselves in some way, making the beginning of the year a yard line. There’s a lot of time in between these goal posts for the horrors to unfold in our lives, by the end of 2017 people will be saying the same things again, with the same flicker of hope for 2018.
That hope may be getting dimmer though. The election of Trump has both signaled and created a deep pessimism in the populace. Misplaced anger is heaped upon those that have it the hardest, migrants, refugees, convicts etc. Let the anger be placed where it should be directed: against the forces of the state, and against anybody keeping us in perpetual slavery both physically and mentally. 2017 will be a year of destroyed illusions.
Perhaps this is my own false hope, but I recognize there is no winning here. The world is too connected now. The war will be on a different battlefield than the streets. It will be in the climate turning on us and slowly drowning humans’ cities and in cyberspace. Sensational pictures no longer stir the sensitivities of the liberals in the West. The 1960s, thankfully, are gone, but like the serpent eating its tail, the same sentiments are always there, waiting to come back. Methods may change, but the fundamental ideologies that society cannot escape from are a constant undercurrent, and these are more difficult to destroy.