It seems that the year, for all it's excess and near-pariah status, actually will be ending. And so we lose the symmetry of twenty-twenty, and find ourselves slipping into the future plus one, as we do every year.
Did you know that, under our current calendar system, the date 2020-12-27 will never occur again? It really makes you think, doesn't it?
While the ills and contagions from 2020 won't be leaving us behind, there seems to be a general optimism that 2021, while not The Year Where Everything Works Out, can't be worse than 2020.
I myself am taking a cautiously optimistic approach—it is a fool's errand to predict the future, but we certainly can think about and talk about and write about futures. There are many presents, each with its own future possible.
I haven't been nearly as active in writing as I promised (myself and you, the odd reader) I was going to be this year. I found time frittered away on social media, on news sites. Not quite doom scrolling although I do admit that there is something gripping about Collapse. We have been preparing for the post-apocalyptic world since «The Hunger Games» that it feels only natural to look at these current catastrophes as lead-up to the post-apocalypse.
It's after the end of the world/
don't you know that yet?
— Sun Ra
And yet and yet and yet. The new year seems to hold some promise, a space of potential actualization, where the disorder and fear of 2020 could at least be lessened. No one is still speaking of "our new normal" in the new year.
Whosoever that "we" is.
If I cannot bring myself to write more—although I blame this largely on my being co-opted by the negative-feedback algorithms—perhaps I can commit to scrollling less and insteadd reading more, to taking a step back from manufactured consent, and investigate the real world as people are living and creating it.
To exist broadly, engaging with worlds beyond my own surveillence capitalist bubble (indeed, liberating myself from the algorithmic rails). This has always been a fascination of mine: identifying the limits of what I think, what I know; and finding a philosophy or argument or experience that allows some "outside." Not merely an opposition to my experience (I would never read «Hillbilly Elegy»), but something novel that I would never have known to change or consider. What is the largest unit of human that we can talk about without becoming meaningless? (I have noted in the past that I consider that to be a modernity, or more accurately modernities.)