Beautiful humans! And any others who happen to be passing by – it is the end of yet another astonishing Earth year, and your unworthy correspondent wishes that it had been better for everyone than it actually has turned out to be. Perhaps you, wherever, whoever and whatever you are, had a pretty good time despite or even because of everything. If that is so, good for you!
As you know as a diligent reader of this blog, as well as a connoisseur of contemporary events, there are those among us* who are convinced humans have done such a bad job of living on Earth that their continued existence is now short term. Put another way, we are toast.
I don’t believe this, though my last novel, The living end, is on this theme. My boundless optimism may be completely absurd, but it is optimism, and it is boundless! Karl Marx, for it was he, wrote in the 1850s that his studies of human life led him to conclude that “mankind only sets itself such problems as it can solve”. It’s not a straight line, says Karl, but it’s a line, and it just goes on and on, wriggling this way and then that. . .snatching if not victory at least continuance, out of the ashes of despair. Will he be proven wrong? Karl? The big dude? Let’s see about that. I’m hanging out for him to be right.
Of course there are other factors. There always are. A man who appears to be orange** and who lives in a white house in the United States, is doing his utmost to make everyone on the planet unhappy apart, it seems, from himself. You, beautiful reader, may think this fellow something other than an idiot, and I would agree. He is not an idiot. He’s something worse. He “knows more than he does”*** and thinks he can “fix” everything by being obnoxious. He’s wrong.
The thing that bothers me most about him, is that I do not believe he really is orange. When he takes off his man suit at night the rest of him is going to be some other colour, possibly a listless, dishwater grey. Not only that, it also worries me that his hairdo is the result of mind-boggling scalp fiddling. Underneath those waves of dyed follicles is a surgically reduced map of bare skin. I know I am unworthy, and completely foolish in so many ways, but WTF? If he walked into public view as he really is, things would be different. People would laugh. He should do this as we could all use a really good laugh, cruel as it may be.
A wise orange one would retire somewhere. If he continues as he is, he could be rewarded with an orange suit! No need for a daily paint job! And the “Emperor’s new hair-do” could get an airing.
Tragically, it is very, very unlikely that anything I say or do in this blog or indeed anywhere else in any other way will lead to making the world a better place. It’s frustrating, let me assure you. There is, however, one tiny thing that might alleviate distress over the coming week and beyond. My novels – 9 in all, count ’em, 9! – on the e-publishing website smashwords, will be free between Boxing Day**** and the end of the year inclusive.. Free! To a good, a bad, even a thoroughly revolting pair of eyes. Go on. Don’t waste a moment! Have a read. I especially like The Kleiber monster, Demented, and Attila’s Angels, but every one, according to me, has redeeming merit. And in these parlous times, redeeming merit is worth something. Shurely.
All the best. Let 2019 be fabulous for you!
^A sly encounter with Mr Norman Mailer.
*Thanks Bob (“There are many here among us/who think that life is but a joke/But you and I we’ve been through that. . .” – All along the watchtower, a wonderful song.)
**It seems he paints it on, or has someone do it for him.
***Mr Dylan again. So shrewd!
****Boxing Day is a British and allied societies tradition, the day after Christmas, and in New Zealand where I live, a holiday. Its name comes from the former practice of giving gifts (“boxed”) the day after Christmas.