We are minute specks in the unfathomable immensity of the cosmos, living a fraction of a second in universal time. We exist on a tiny dot travelling at 67,000 mph through a solar system that is moving at 490,000 mph through a galaxy that is moving at 1.3 million mph through the universe, pulled by an unknown entity we call the Great Attractor, powerful enough to drag a hundred thousand galaxies towards it. But the important thing is that we’re about to complete one more spin round the sun.
Once again, the end of the year has arrived and we’re supposed to share messages of hope. Comic geniuses this time are able to swap their calls of ‘see you next year’ with calls of ‘see you next decade’, and then guffaw with delight at their hilarity, cleverness and, above all, originality. It’s time to pretend that the world will magically improve overnight because our calendars are new. It’s 2020. It’s the future. We’re supposed to have world peace, a utopian society, hoverboards. Instead we have war and terrorism, hate crimes, and glorified plastic skateboards with batteries that catch fire.
What are we ushering in the new year with? With fireworks while Australia burns, an area bigger than entire countries devoured by flame, leaving people dead, millions of animals dead, homes destroyed. While the men and women we sent to fight, to kill, to die in a war we’ve quietly agreed to forget was started because of the lies of warmongers try to cope with that gunfire in the sky, because of course our right to see pretty lights is more important than the PTSD we gave them. With news that, despite these unprecedented wildfires in Australia and California, environmental policies won’t be changed, because what does science know. With grown adults attacking teenagers for caring about their future. With an increase in bigotry, hate-fuelled attacks and murders, school shootings, and the devastating lies that cause and encourage it all. With the election of world leaders who will put children in cages, strip citizens of rights and basic medical care, assassinate foreign citizens in their own countries. With savage brutality against civilians and journalists by Hong Kong police while Western media stays as quiet as possible. With the assurance to our children that we don’t give a shit about them or their future. With the assurance to women, minorities, and those underrepresented in every walk of life that we still don’t give a shit about them.
As always, people will do whatever they want, but perhaps instead of hiding behind warm and fuzzy feelings that everything will be okay because it’s a new year, instead of burying our heads in the sand, we’ll pull them out and look. And perhaps looking will lead to seeing. And perhaps seeing will lead to doing.
Or perhaps all our tiny dot’s latest spin round the sun will change is the number on the calendar.