Music: 2016's Saving Grace
By Jaylin Paschal
The global sociopolitical scene, drunken with xenophobia, went into a violent, belligerent stupor this year. White supremacists (or enablers of white supremacists, who are, essentially, white supremacists) making choices such as Trump and Brexit was their version intoxicated hissy fits--pissing on walls and starting fights at bars and gathering countless charges of public indecency. And rather than 2016 just having a few too many embarrassing nights after a few too many cheap shots, it has slipped into a dark and dangerous alcoholism--refusing help and only taking shot after shot of the booze of bigotry. Whitelash stained this year more intensely than it's stained any year since 1968, as a new wave of nazist bullshit is creeping into the mainstream.
But that's not all. Journalism took a hit this year, too. Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year was "post-truth," which is defined as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." Journalism officially fell victim to horserace, advertiser influence, and clickbait. There was virtually no mainstream news outlet which responsibly handled the election, or any news, for that matter.
This includes news relating to other features of 2016 that made the year the travesty it was: the disparage of Aleppo, domestic and foreign terrorism, school shootings, police brutality, Zika, the flooding of Baton Rouge, one of the worst natural disaster years for Indonesia (ever), and the rising price of the Epi pen and other pharmaceutical disasters. But that's just the list off the top of my head.
And furthermore, 2016 took several artists, celebrities, icons and influencers from us. This year we lost Muhammad Ali, Alan Rickman, Prince, Otis Clay, John Glenn, Gwen Ifil, Sharon Jones, Tommy Ford, Arnold Palmer, Shawty Lo, David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Bill Cunningham, Kimbo Slice, Phife Dawg, Harper Lee, Maurice White, and several more.
But you know what was good? What was really good?
Thank you, music, for providing refuge and release in this God awful year. We can always count on you.