Something small falls out of your mouth and we laugh.
A prayer for something better, a prayer for something better.
Whiskey! Tango! Foxtrot! Seriously, WTAF??! This is my final earworm of 2020. Earworm? A song-clip, running on loop, invading my brain. I don’t conjure these up, I don’t put in a bid or request them from the music repository in the back of my mind. They just happen, naturally. Randomly? Doubtful, I’m sure my subconscious jumps into the game.
This lyric is from One Hundred Years by the Cure. It’s on their album Pornography–my favorite Cure album, but I don’t listen to it anymore. It reminds me of my mother. Not the good stuff, just her death. Every time I hear it, it bums me out.
The absurdity of the first line appeals to me. It reminds me of the most innocent of times. Hanging out after school with friends, stoned, no cares except maybe my algebra test and whether Clare Dominici considered me a loser. It’s the second line, a prayer for something better, that works as my 2020 year-end wish.
I just read an article: Was 2020 the Worst Year Ever? No, according to the article, that honor goes to 1348 (the Black Death); or 1944 (the Holocaust); or 1816 (the year without summer). This article actually ranked 2001 (9/11) as worse than 2020. I reject this. September 11 felt so horrible because it was abrupt. The slow-motion coronavirus explosion played out over such a long period that we became unfazed by death. In the waning days of 2020, every day is September 11. The fact that this doesn’t feel worse than 9/11 is more proof of how bad it is. No not the worst year ever, but pretty rough. And Dawn Wells, Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, was something of a parting slap.
I already feel bad for 2021. Such HYPE! No year could live up to this expectation. Possibly 2021 will be better than 2020, maybe, but it’s still gonna suck. Despite the vaccine, the US will see hundreds of thousands of Covid deaths. After Biden takes the reigns, the country will still be split in half. We’ll hear about election fraud well beyond the end of next year. Come summer, the western US will burn. Come fall, hurricanes will line up in the Atlantic. Unemployment, evictions, homelessness, poverty, right-wing terrorism, police killings—these problems aren’t going anywhere.
A prayer for something better: It’s time for a reboot. One of my favorite scenes in literature bings Ebenezer Scrooge together with his former business partner Jacob Marley. Laden with a heavy metal chain forged throughout his life, link by link, by committing acts of selfishness, Marley sums up our only possible successful future with his self-admonishment:
“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business.”
The United States is diseased. The Coronavirus should have brought the nation together in a fight for common welfare. It didn’t. It sowed division. Safety versus liberty. Black lives versus law enforcement. Capitalism versus the environment. My prayer for something better, my hope for 2021 is for the whole nation to take a step back, acknowledge the suffering in our society, and start—baby steps are fine—start working towards benevolence, charity and the common welfare of mankind.
Happy New Year. Possibly, this is the start of a long road towards recovery. Every journey begins with a step. Listen to One Hundred Years by the Cure. Or don’t, it’s a super depressing song.