I first ran this post a few years ago. Given how relevant it remains, here it is once again.
As the extremely challenging year 2018 comes to an end, I got to thinking: how in the name of Zeus’s butthole did it pass so quickly?! I guess when a year is 1/72nd of your life, that’s what happens. In any case, to paraphrase a cherished line from the movie Frequency—one that my bride and I use quite often—“We’re still here, Chief.” And that’s the best part.
In years past we’ve both battled serious illnesses. We’ve lost family members, and quite a few friends. That’s life, I guess; it sucks sometimes. But while we remember the past, we mostly choose to look ahead, as we’ll be doing tonight on New Year’s Eve.
SCIENCE FICTION BECOMES HISTORY
As a kid I read George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, Nineteen-eighty-four, a science fiction story if there ever was one. That year would never come; heck, the 1960s were way too cool and would go on forever. There would always be the Beatles and the Stones, the Four Seasons, Woodstock and Haight-Ashbury. Big Brother would never be watching…would he?
Well, 1984 is now over three decades in the past. How in hell did that happen? (And Big Brother is definitely watching.)
In 1968 I saw the enigmatic science fiction movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on a story co-written by Arthur C. Clarke and the film’s director, Stanley Kubrick. Wow, 2001—that year would never happen. Hell, that’s a whole ’nuther millennium! So even that is seventeen years in the rearview mirror.
And look at some of the scary things the story portended. How about the dangers of technology? Who could forget HAL? (“Good morning, Dave.”) While technology has given us so much, there are still inherent problems. Perhaps it was HAL who helped the Russians hack the 2016 election, ya think?
Or how about the threat of nuclear war? By the ’60s we’d already witnessed atomic power, and in the novel at the end, the evolved Star Child detonates an orbiting warhead belonging to one of Earth’s superpowers. Needless to say, that threat hangs over our planet to this day.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
While December 31st is another excuse for many to drink and party, we who are older—and, hopefully, a bit wiser—will celebrate in our own way. We’ll have our traditional lobster dinner at home then watch Frequency, before turning in long before the ball falls.
So 2019: bring it on! After all, We’re still here, Chief. And somehow make it a better year for our country and the world.
Happy New Year!