The essay below was written by Jef Mallet, creator of the comic strip Frazz:
I’m hearing a certain amount of chatter about how bad 2016 was. I may even be participating in it at times. But after a while, the complaining comes off a little spoiled and amnesic, like when people howl about gas prices going up 20 cents while forgetting how recently they dropped by two dollars. But I’m fine with that. I have to be. I participated in it.
I’m a little more concerned about the worst-year-ever talk. For some folks, on a personal level, hell, yes. I lost some very good friends this year; I can’t imagine the pain of people even closer to them, but I can easily imagine this being their worst year ever. And I’m sorry. So sorry.
But in the wider picture, especially if you remove anticipatory or imagined badness — i.e., fear and worry — I don’t know, it’s just hard for me to picture someone in 14th-century, plague-ravaged Europe looking at 2016 in some kind of time machine and thinking, “well, at least I won’t have to go through that shit.”
I’m not naive — quoting Todd Snider yet again, I was born yesterday but I was up all night — and I’m well aware we as a species haven’t been on our best behavior this year. We’ve made some decisions and continued some neglect that could make for very dicey future years indeed. But we did a few things very well, too, even nobly. And tonight, I’m not even going to look at the whole burnt slice. I’m tossing away the charred bits and enjoying every bit of the warm, chewy, yeasty crumb. Tomorrow I’ll adjust the finicky knob on the Sunbeam and try again.