Skip to content Skip to footer

William Rivers Pitt | 2016 and Better Days

You are the one you’ve been waiting for. You’ve been here all along.

US Air Force joint terminal attack controllers and US Army forward observers direct air assets during a close air support training in Djibouti, December 13, 2015. (Photo: Senior Airman Cory D. Payne / US Air Force)

Holy great galloping Jesus on a turkey track, but man, am I exhausted. I mean exhausted down to a core place within I never even knew existed. Tired to the sub-atomic level. My damn toenails are tired. My earlobes are wiped out. The hairs on the nape of my neck need a nap. My eyeballs are about to go on strike, and my pillow haz a sad from the lack of attention it has received.

Why? Well, let’s see …

The so-called Tea Party took control of Congress three days into the year, giving the rest of us 72 hours to breathe normally before the crap hit the fan and sprayed. Every Republican on the planet is running for president. Another Planned Parenthood clinic got shot up, and then a pair of scumbags riddled San Bernardino with death. An amazing number of Americans got angry at the simple argument that Black lives do, in fact, matter, even as hundreds of Black people got shot by cops up and down the calendar year. The seas rose higher, the glaciers retreated at speed, and they talked about it in Paris, because talk is cheaper than the water that is coming for us all.

Pretty standard stuff, really.

Such is the way of things as 2015 – the year that saw Donald Trump go from TV clown to GOP frontrunner – staggers to its inevitable death. I say good riddance to bad rubbish. The words “fascism” and “fashionable” rhyme too closely for comfort, and “The Donald “is making them sing. It’s an old story, too often repeated.

Oh, P.S., it was warmer at the North Pole than it was in Southern California on Wednesday. Read that twice. Learn to swim. “Waterworld” was a terrible movie, but prophecy has a way of getting dismissed as foolishness before the metal meets the meat. The gills will come in due course. If you don’t believe me, ask Missouri.

For the sheer barking hell of it, and because it’s what you do this time of year, let’s talk resolutions. If you want to lose 10 pounds, or quit smoking cigars in the bathroom, or finally get that hair transplant you’ve been talking about for so long, go to it with my blessings and best of luck. There are 364 days lined up in front of you for all that. What I’m talking about is us, we the people, all of us, everywhere.

Two ideas:

Let’s find a way to make war something other than a for-profit industry. Something, say, that no longer exists. You can’t improve war; you can only abolish it, and one way to do that is to make it cost more than it earns. Call me goofy, but I’d like to see a world where bullet manufacturers, drone crafters and bomb builders don’t get paid for every round fired or explosion delivered, but instead have to pay for them. Kaboom, that’ll be 10 million bucks. They’d either go bankrupt overnight, or everyone would calm the hell down and ease that finger off the trigger. This would do wonders for the bloodbath happening in the United States, as well. If killing cost money, it would go out of style faster than leg-warmers, pet rocks and Vanilla Ice.

Let’s not die as a species. There are millions of acres of space along all the highways in the US, thousands of miles lying fallow. Let’s rack in solar panels there, from sea to shining sea and from the Twin Cities to Corpus Christi. The Germans are doing it right now, and it’s working for them beyond their wildest dreams. Every township along the road can have its share of that energy and someday, maybe, when the grandchild on your knee looks up at you and asks, “What’s oil, Grandma?,” you can enjoy a quiet smile at the fact that she has no idea what oil is.

These are two solutions that will spare millions of lives. Preposterous? Perhaps, but at least I’m trying. We’re running out of moves in this little chess game called Earth. Nothing is too stupid to propose, because checkmate is too gruesome to contemplate, much less confront. No more complacency or despair. Forget all these presidential candidates, yes, even the worthy ones. You are the one you’ve been waiting for. You’ve been here all along.

Have a better year. Earn it.

​​Not everyone can pay for the news. But if you can, we need your support.

Truthout is widely read among people with lower ­incomes and among young people who are mired in debt. Our site is read at public libraries, among people without internet access of their own. People print out our articles and send them to family members in prison — we receive letters from behind bars regularly thanking us for our coverage. Our stories are emailed and shared around communities, sparking grassroots mobilization.

We’re committed to keeping all Truthout articles free and available to the public. But in order to do that, we need those who can afford to contribute to our work to do so — especially now, because we only have hours left to raise over $9,000 in critical funds.

We’ll never require you to give, but we can ask you from the bottom of our hearts: Will you donate what you can, so we can continue providing journalism in the service of justice and truth?