The personification of 2016

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” – Stephen King

It’s funny when you hear people talking about 2016. It’s such a hodge podge of events both good and bad. I saw this comic strip while I was endlessly scrolling down my Facebook feed that pictured two men. The man on the left was beaten and bruised and held a gas can out to the man on the right. This man was pristine and new. There was a fire behind the man on the left and on his shirt read “2016.” The man on the right’s shirt read “2017.” The man representing 2016 has a text bubble that says “It’s your turn now.”

I had a good laugh about that and like any good member of Facebook I shared it to the rest of my friendsalems-lots. I started to depict this cartoon to a coworker of mine and he immediately went off on a rant about how annoying it is when people personify 2016.

I like to write my rants in the solitude and safety of my office at home. Now when I say office I really mean the dining room that I turned into an office when my wife left. There are many reasons why I like writing my rant at home. Number one is that the coffee is better. Number two is that I can write in my pajamas. The third reason is that, if you hadn’t noticed, I like to reference Stephen King. At this particular moment I was going to reference a scene in his vampire novel “’Salem’s Lot” but when I turned to my collection, I noticed that my copy wasn’t there.

So like any other Millennial, I took to Facebook and posted about how I lost my copy and added at the end #2016strikesagain. Ha ha, take that coworker!

So instead of referencing something from my bookshelf, I’ll reference something from my movie shelf. In the movie “Fright Night” (2011), there’s a scene between the big bad vampire named Jerry and the main character Charlie, played by Anton Yelchin. Charlie holds up a cross to Jerry and “compels him in the power of Christ the Lord.” The scene is a doppelganger for the one I wanted to reference in “’Salem’s Lot” so it works pretty well.

Jerry questions Charlie’s faith and then grabs the cross from Charlie without even getting a first degree burn. Now all you vampire fans out there are probably wondering why Charlie’s gambit didn’t pan out as well as Charlie fright-nightthought it would. Same thing happens in “’Salem’s Lot” only Charlie is replaced with Father Callahan. Faith is the fuel for the holy relics that are supposed to work against unholy creatures like vampires, demons, and authors like James Patterson. Sorry, couldn’t help myself there.

“The cross…the bread and wine…the confessional…only symbols. Without faith, the cross is only wood, the bread baked wheat, the wine sour grapes. If you had cast the cross away, you should have beaten me another night” said the vampire Barlow to Callahan. I found my copy of “’Salem’s Lot” just in time it seems.

Whether you are a religious person or not, belief in something does have a certain power. Enough power and that particular something could gain a life of its own. Whether you want to admit it or not, the year 2016 has gained enough power from social media vehicles (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to name a few) to garner a life of its own. Doing a Facebook search of “#ihate2016” shows that currently 89,316 people are talking about that particular term. And there are hundreds of variations of that term.

Now I understand that I cannot realistically blame 2016 for all the celebrity deaths and other bad events that happened in the past 12 months. Heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and other causes of death are the reasons why my favorite actors and actresses passed away. It wasn’t 2016’s fault. In Anton Yelchin’s case, it was his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinning him against a brick pillar at his home in June that was the cause of death. A “freak accident” it was described. He was only 27 years old.

What does 2017 have in store for us? Only time can tell. Of course, it won’t tell us anything literally. Stop personifying things people.

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