Last Thoughts on 2016

One of my favorite Christmas songs has long been Wham’s “Last Christmas”. Many years ago when I was young and starry-eyed, I actually lived it. It used to bring a melancholy feeling, but now I just chuckle at the hopeless young romantic I was. It never would’ve worked with me and that girl. Besides, I’ve given my heart to someone special.

I once wrote an essay about all the famous people who had died the previous year. I was in eighth grade. The year I wrote about was 1987. Over the years I realized people die every year. I don’t see how 2016 was any different, and I even suffered a couple of personal losses. I could only remember one person from that essay about 1987. That was Ray Bolger, an actor/singer/dancer best known as the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz”. (He was also the last of the main cast.)

One thing did stand out to me about 2016: People bought into hype and didn’t do their homework. This wasn’t really a change. It was just much more noticeable to me, especially in the month-plus following the election. I knew “Hamilton electors”, online petitions, and recounts weren’t going to change any results. That’s not because I’m psychic. It’s because I did my homework.

Here’s an example of homework: In researching faithless electors, I found that since World War II, the loser of the Electoral College lost twice as many votes as the winner. So when the faithless elector count came in at 5-2 for the loser, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. I also wasn’t surprised that three potential faithless electors (all pledged to the loser) were prevented from casting votes for someone else.

On my way out, I decided to throw together a list of people who died in 1987 to demonstrate my earlier point. Some of these names might not be familiar to younger people, but they were quite iconic to those of us old enough to remember. Also, this is just a quick list. I recognized far more names but included only the biggest ones here.

– Andy Warhol
– Fred Astaire
– Jackie Gleason
– James Baldwin
– Primo Levi
– Mary Astor
– Liberace
– Andres Segovia
– Rita Hayworth
– Danny Kaye
– Lee Marvin
– Bob Fosse
– John Huston
– Lorne Greene
– Peter Tosh
– Woody Hayes
– Buddy Rich
– Robert Preston


2 thoughts on “Last Thoughts on 2016

  1. That is a very impressive (in the sad way) list of losses. A profound cast of talent. Yes, this year isn’t different for any others excepting those who haven’t lived this loss before and the Information Age in which the false is equally as touted as the factual. I’m glad to know there are those who still do research. Each year is a chapter. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I should add this reminds me of when I was in high school. My junior year, we were all just coming into ourselves and making sense of the world on a larger scale. It was exhilarating and frightening because we suddenly saw our mortality, our insignificance as well as potential personal paths.

    Liked by 1 person

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