Facebook timelines will fill with “One thing I am thankful for” posts this month. The holiday centered around being humble and grateful is celebrated by the gluttony of food and capitalism, and we’ll all be sucked in. While we try to look our relatives in the face and not talk about the elephant and donkey in the room, it’s common to feel guilty at not being more thankful for what we have. Granted, America is pretty great for a lot of people. But she’s not perfect by any means, and what is going to happen next Tuesday on election day is going to illustrate that point in great relief no matter which candidate wins.
Maybe, just this once, it’s okay not to feel grateful for this crap year. We’ve lost numerous pop culture icons in a time when we needed distracted by art the most. Election years are bad, but this one has been particularly fucking awful, because we’ve devolved to a place where truth in rhetoric doesn’t matter. There are contentious protests going on all the time about different things, from the Bundy Militia taking over a bird refuge in Eastern Oregon, to the Black Lives Matter street protests, the #DAPL protests in North Dakota – the list is endless. People die in the streets, on both sides of that fictional thin blue line that only seems useful to turn humans into Good Guys and Bad Guys and eliminate any nuanced thought. The news is a shit show every night, people are still terrorizing each other over religious and political dogma the world over, despite all we have learned about the nature of existence over the course of human history. Then add in the most ill-advised, least truthful and most asinine presidential election in quite some time, if not ever, and 2016 can pretty much suck it.
People in this country are stressed out, overworked, underpaid, isolated, and maxed out. The economy is stable-ish, but not benefiting everyone. Stuff is expensive, and we don’t seem to learn lessons from our history in any arena. We’ve allowed our political, justice, and economic systems to be taken over by a pay to play system that benefits one race over the others, one sex over the others, one class over the others. We’re on edge.
So, fuck being grateful. November can and should be about nothing but self-care and recovery. Enjoy the good things about this country and this era – technology is super cool, sports have been consistently amazing for months on end, its hoodie/blanket/hot drink weather, and even when everything is shitty, there are people who are working to make it better.
Get drunk. Eat too much rich food and crash on the couch for hours on end in front of sports and parades and Netflix binges. Bitch about your fantasy team, out loud, to other people. Blow off Thanksgiving plans if you aren’t feeling it, and spend the day in bed. Don’t go Black Friday shopping. Order takeout for dinner. Be an ungrateful brat – there’s not much about 2016 that deserves reverence. Fuck the pressure, the expectations, the idiocy of this stupid year. Let’s just get through this and see if 2017 is any better.