I find myself caught between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, the Symplegades or less poetically between 2016 and 2017. It is simply this: I wish 2016 to be over, but that brings on with a horrible certainty - 2017.
I'm not sure any of us has got used to this past year, with its death and destruction, the slaughter of the innocents and the democratic deficiency in so many places. Yet the past is past, in a sense it's over, it's sunk costs. The future is full of potential.Except that potential is Donald Trump.
I don't know if this year has the record deaths of celebs. It may or may not be so. That's not important. It seems to me that the death of so many 60's and 70's children marks the end of a dream/delusion that we kids of the Swinging Sixties held onto for far too long. Against all the evidence.
2016 is when, the Children of the Revolution surrendered. Those of us who wore a flower in our hair, talked 'bout My Generation and sat on the Dock of the Bay have had to confront our mortality. We can't all be the Rolling Stones, forever singing for the Last Time.
2016 is our Permian extinction. Except it's still 5 minutes to midnight. Who else is going the way of George Michael, Prince, Bowie, Gregg Lake and Rick Parfitt et al. Just when we thought death had been cheated Carrie Fisher is snatched. So I want 2016 to be consigned to history. Except....
I'm not that confident of 2017. Is it a coincidence that next year will be the 50th anniversary of "Sargent Pepper's"? I don't want to make too much about Trump: all we can hope for is that he's not as crazy as he tweets. I fear that America will implode; but frankly it's been threatening to do so for a few years now. Will 2017 be when the American Dream bites its own arse?
As for the rest of us, who knows? After the Permian extinction there was the Cambrian Explosion. Let's hope having wiped the log jam of the Hippie Generation, we find new Eco-niches creating weird and wonderful things. Not the treat of mass unemployment through the application of AI to all jobs, manual and professional. Fulfilment through enforced leisure!
I suppose we'll muddle through sub optimally. More people will starve than should, more wars will be fought that aught to be, and more people will do better than their fellows.
Frankly I'm beginning to feel threatened with extinction. I'm thinking that getting to 69 is chancing it. It won't require a cosmic collision or the Deccan Traps to wipe me out. Just the ending of a fantasy that began 60 years ago...."Bye, bye, Miss American Pie.."