It’s New Year’s Eve, and 2016 will rear its ugly head for the last time… So what the fuck happened this year?
Politically it’s been a bit Lovecraftian. Trump was elected president, the UK voted to leave the EU, Theresa May became PM which heard me utter a phrase I’d never thought I’d say – ‘I miss David Cameron!’ Colombia voted against ratifying a peace deal with Farc. Rodrigo Duterte was elected in the Philippines and promptly started a genocide of his own people by making vigilante justice legal against anyone involved with drugs. Turkey staged a failed coup, the Chilcott Enquiry found that Blair and Bush had committed war crimes, terrorist attacks happened all over the shop and again, in Turkey, the Russian ambassador was assassinated in broad daylight. Syrians have had the worst year, being murdered left, right and centre by forces on both sides, which has essentially become a proxy war between the US and Russia.
It’s not been all bad though; Jeremy Corbyn held onto his post as the Leader of the Opposition, symbolising some hope and equality. Bernie Sanders, though he lost the Democratic Nomination to Clinton, invigorated people who were apathetic and gave them hope. Austria voted in a Green Party president in favour of a right-wing populist; ironic that this story came from the country Hitler was born in…
There have been a lot of great music and films released this year, although this has been somewhat marred by the loss of a number of great acting and musical talents such as David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, George Michale, Rick Parfitt, Glenn Frey and so many more. Other notable deaths include controversial communist leader Fidel Castro and beloved boxer and activist Muhammad Ali.
If you’re English, the Olympics were fantastic and the Euros were awful. If you’re Welsh, you had a great sporting summer. If you’re Irish, like me, you saw your side win their first match at a major tournament in 14 years. If you’re Scottish, you saw Andy Murray win Wimbledon for the second time.
Some fantastic TV was released this year, largely thanks to Netflix. Stranger Things and The OA are going to be genre and era defining shows. Westworld, on Sky, was another fantastic watch. Some fascinating and profound documentaries came out this year, including HyperNormalisation and 13th. Bake Off moving to Channel 4 possibly signals the beginning of the end for the BBC.
Personally I’ve had one of the most intense years of my life, some awful things, some fantastic.
On the bad side; I was mugged at knifepoint back in July, I quit a job I’d held for two years, plunging me into a financial implosion, and I later got sacked by a new job on my birthday! A small tour that I’d planned fell through and I ended up in A&E for the first time in my adult life as the result of a pretty horrid lung infection.
On the flipside, though, I’ve met a load of new friends including my now housemate, Kim, on New Year’s Day and later on my band’s violinist, Kalina (who you can see playing with me and Dan here!) I went to some amazing events and festivals, and despite having financial trouble from leaving my job, I discovered a freedom from wage slavery. I’ve laid the foundations for an album launch and European tour to start in the spring and a master’s degree to start in September.
This year I suffered depression, heartbreak and shame, but also joy, empathy and pride on a scale not previously experienced. I’ve grown up a lot this year, I’ve had to! Especially emotionally…
In summary, 2016 has been pretty tough for many, but it’s been character building and if we learn from it, then maybe, just maybe 2017 could be one for the ages.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!