It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath and count to
The internet is awash with memes and articles and social
media posts claiming that 2016 is the worst year ever. And while a lot of it is
valid, people are jumping onto a bandwagon and, frankly, it is getting out of
I’m not saying this year hasn’t been tough – in many ways
the world is broken, and when things get tough, people become assholes. Brexit
and Trump are prime examples of this.
And I know we lost Prince and Rickman and Cohen and Bowie,
but are you saying Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger,
Whitney Houston, Bernie Mac, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Patrick Swayze,
George Carlin, Paul Newman, Michael Clarke Duncan et al are chopped liver?
“But Syria!” you say. Guess what? The civil war started in
2011. They’ve been living 5 years of hell already. You’re just starting to pay
I’m not saying 2016 didn’t have a lot of terrible moments,
I’m just saying that off the top of my head I can think of a bunch of years
worse than this one.
About 500 million people worldwide get the ‘flu and between
50 and 100 million of them die from it. In those days that was about 5% of the
world’s population. Think about it – 5 out of every 100 of your friends dead. 5
out of EVERYBODY’s 100 friends dead. On top of that there was a spot of bother
called the First World War going on in the background. Now that was a kak year.
Nazi Germany occupies Poland and World War II breaks out,
leading to the deaths of another, say, 60 million people and the following
highlights: Nazi death camps, sanctioned bombings of civilian cities,
atrocities in China, mass starvation in India and Russia and, finally, the use
of atomic bombs and the resulting split of the East and the West in a 45 year
long Cold War. So ja, that was a kak year.
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We're at home now and South Africa is on the brink of civil
war. Children are being killed by grenades in Mamelodi. Forced conscription is
a thing and young men are sent to fight a war funded by the USSR and the USA.
Bombs, limpet mines and car bombs are exploding all over the place. Sanctions
are rife. A psycho who calls himself the “Wit Wolf” mows down 8 innocent black
people in Pretoria. Another kak year.
Two airplanes fly into the Twin Towers. Because nearly 3000
innocent people die tragically, America and Britain decide to invade Iraq and
about half a million Iraqis (most of them civilians) are killed as a direct
result of the conflict. The war causes further destabilisation of the Middle
East which makes it nearly impossible to combat the many terrorist groups now
sprouting like mushrooms. This also leads to 8 years of George W. Bush who was,
until now, America’s most ridiculous, yet dangerous, president. Kak year? I
“But exactly!” you say. “What if 2016 is the year that sets
the next worldwide catastrophe in motion?”
Well, then I’d say you make a fair point. Trump’s proposed
policies – about climate change alone – can very certainly prove to be
catastrophic on a global scale.
So, in short, stop saying “2016 is the WORST”. It’s not. In
fact, it's probable that it is only the beginning…For
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