2016: A year to anticipate?

I’m not so sure.

I will be 64 years old. The Tories are once again in power in the UK. The Middle East and other parts of the world are still in conflict, and religious wars are back on the agenda for all. When I was not that much younger, I thought 2016 was the incredible future. We might have Internet wrist watches for those that can afford them, but people are still on the breadline, diseases remain uncured, and nobody is holidaying on Mars.

Ordinary working people have not seen much progress since 1946, and for many, their situation has deteriorated. Kindness has diminished as a concept, and selfishness is the order of the day; for nations, as well as for individuals. Far Right politics have taken control, from America to Ukraine, and beyond. All the hopes and dreams of the 1960s have turned to dust, and greed, profit, and self-interest have replaced them.

Any positives? The Health Service here is still very good, despite struggling against budget cuts. There are no workhouses, at least not yet, but food banks have taken on part of their ancient purpose. It is increasingly harder to list any good things, because they are so few and far between. For someone born in 1952, this year of 2016 promised to be the Golden Age. Leisure time would be abundant, life made easier by progress, illness all but eradicated. But that Golden Age was a mere illusion, fostered by scientists and commentators. In real terms, little has changed since 1816. The rich get richer, the poor have less prospects, education is rationed, and social services are either privatised, or cut to the bone.

Wars still rage, intolerance prevails. Knowledge has gone backwards, electronics have become that famous ‘opium of the people.’ Nobody has any answers, save austerity for those who can least afford to endure it. Dissenters are jailed, those with opposite views or causes are bombed into oblivion, and civilisation marches on, much as it did in Roman times.

Happy New Year? I doubt it.

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13 thoughts on “2016: A year to anticipate?

  1. While I agree with most of your sentiments I have to be a little excited and hopeful as 2016 is the year in which my first (and potentially only) child will be born.

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    1. Congratulations, Abbi. I hope that you have a great pregnancy, an exciting birth, and many years of joy with your new baby. I am sure that you will protect him/her from all the bad stuff in my post!
      Very best wishes to you both, Pete. x

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  2. Yes, I also agree. And what’s the most annoying thing is that indeed technology and knowledge has gone leaps and bounds forward but it just keeps being restricted by money, that after all is another human invention and one we don’t need. There’s more than enough of everything to go around but…
    Thanks for visiting and commenting in my blog. I won’t say anything about Trifle. I must admit I’ve never been too fond of desserts here, but Trifle I can put up with, although I see it mostly as a summer thing. (No, I didn’t have any, or Christmas pudding, I hasten to add).

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    1. Always happy to visit your blog, Olga. And many thanks for all your welcome comments on mine too. I am sure that Spanish desserts are delicious too, if Portuguese custard tarts are anything to go by.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. You’ve got it in one. While there are positives as enumerated by lividemerald2013, I don’t see them as going for very much when malign influences and attitudes are so prevalent. While technology has made my life easier because of disability, I’d rather struggle with pen and paper in the kinder, more decent world of my earlier years. On that note, Happy 2016, Pete!

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  4. I think the world is a mixed bag these days.

    It’s true that income inequality has reached a certain level of absurdity. It’s true that greedy corporations, automation, and the globalization of the workforce have resulted in a middle class that is teetering on the edge of extinction. It’s true that the tentacles of religious extremism have infiltrated society to the extent that routine activities have now become potential deathtraps. It’s true that world leaders are unable to deal with the current immigration crisis, and that, as a result, cultural conflict and racial tensions are on the rise. It’s true that a number of debilitating and life-threatening diseases are suddenly making a comeback. It’s true, in short, that the world is in turmoil. It’s also true that many people are so self-absorbed and so addicted to technology and entertainment that they are oblivious to the current state of the world in which they live.

    But I also think that some good things are happening. The internet facilitates communication between people of vastly different backgrounds, provides a rich library of the latest information, and offers applications that make life more convenient. Private companies and government institutions are developing technologies that are truly beneficial to us all, such as 3-D printing, renewable energy, and targeted cancer therapies. Space exploration, once an underfunded and underrealized government endeavor, is on the threshold of a major surge in activity and profitability thanks to a new generation of visionary business entrepreneurs. And we are unraveling one mystery after another due to advancements in such fields as microbiology, astrophysics, and neuropsychology.

    The global mingling of our peoples—with their divergent cultural, religious, and political mindsets—and the complicated interdependence of the world’s economies, may create friction and occasional mayhem today, and some technologies and scientific advancements may overthrow age-old belief systems, sweep us up reluctantly into a tide of change, and even make us feel dehumanized at times, but in the long haul multiculturalism, global modernization, technological exploration, and a deeper understanding of everything—from the “how” of the conscious mind to the “why” of the cosmic pool—can only result in a human collective that resolves to pursue through knowledge and wisdom a singular purpose: the evolution of a more perfect civilization. Along for the ride will be a fuller appreciation of the sanctity of individual life. The world of tomorrow is still beyond our reach, and we may never achieve utopia, but every new year brings us one tiny step closer to the best game mankind is destined to play.

    Here in Las Vegas, midnight is fast approaching. So I wish everyone in Pete’s world a Very Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi David. I hope that you managed to enjoy something of the new year celebrations in Las Vegas.

      Thanks for your upbeat reply, offering many more positives, in contrast to my negatives. The aspects of progress and togetherness you describe may well happen one day, though perhaps not until a time none of us reading this will ever see.
      I was just talking about a year ahead, the things to be faced from today, rather than what might be.

      Good luck this year with all your endeavours, and thanks again for your valuable contributions to my blog. Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Pete, we enjoyed a quiet evening at home, although we did get out during the day for a visit to The Wetlands, where we encountered two great blue herons and had three close encounters with the same roadrunner.

        I wish you good luck with your writing endeavors, and hope that in a year’s time you will be able to look back on 2016 with a smile. Cheers from Las Vegas!

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  5. I’m inclined to agree, after spending another miserable day working for Royal Mail. Forced to work overtime and too tired to stay awake till midnight.

    Best wishes, Paul.

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    1. I hope that you have a day off today to recover, Paul.
      Sorry to hear about Royal Mail. Many years ago, it was considered to be such a good job, there was a waiting list for applications. I suspect that privatisation has brought with it the same changes and different conditions that others in the private sector have been suffering over the last decade or so.
      Regards, Pete.

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