Here’s a quick look back at the events of this past, long, strange year.
· Russia. The investigation of Russian election influence and possible collusion with the Trump campaign continues. Never has the metaphor of the Russian nesting dolls been more apropos. The more you look, the more they may find.
· “I Can’t Keep Quiet” became the anthem of this movement, sung by Milck at the Women’s March in January 2017. https://youtu.be/zLvIw8J8sWE
· #MeToo was named Person of the Year by Time, as more and more women are emboldened to speak out, and not stay quiet, and let the world know that women’s rights are not up for grabs. So very disappointing, the revelations of such unbecoming behavior by men, tolerated and accepted by our culture. So disappointed in former Senator Al Franken. I officially rescind my invitation to him to be my running mate in the 2020 election.
· Tax Plan. The Republican majority House and Senate have passed their tax plan, and President Trump has signed it. It may be years before we realize its full extent and impact. Yes, of course, there will be a little bump in the economy, as more money makes its way into people’s wallets, and then people turn around and spend it, given what good consumers we all are.
· The Affordable Care Act is in critical condition, especially given that the tax plan peels back the healthcare mandate. Yes, it was unpopular, because healthy people don’t like having to pay into and participate in health insurance they don’t expect to ever need, just so that sick people can have access to health insurance. Yet, for the system to work, to be economically viable, there needs to be a larger pool of healthy participants. The problem is that any “healthy” person can suddenly slip and slide right into the “sick” pool in the blink of an eye. It’s as the song lyrics go, “We’re all one phone call from our knees.” https://youtu.be/EMRXXBGotnw
At the end of the day, we are not purely a capitalist economy. If that were true, there would be no social security or unemployment, or welfare of any sort. That would all be left in the hands of philanthropists, churches, and charities. It’s really capitalism, asterisk, footnote, with a heart, a soul, and compassion for those who need a leg up, a safety net for the weakest and most vulnerable in our society, the ill, the weak, children and elderly. They say a society will be judged by how it treats them.
History will be our judge.
On the bright side, there are things to be thankful for:
· The Space Station crew of astronauts returned safely in September. Despite all the turmoil down here, I imagine our planet still looked just as serene as ever from above.
“From Great Heights,” a great song delivered by The Postal Service.
· The confrontations between North Korea and the rest of the world have not escalated into full-blown nuclear warfare. Yet. Another song by The Postal Service, “We Will Be Silhouettes.” https://youtu.be/0rKC7ElkTUQ
Heading into the New Year, we can only hope for better days.
“Better Days,” by the Goo Goo Dolls.
It’s also a time for fresh starts - whether it’s going to the gym, or opening a gym, taking on that big new promotion at work, or taking on that next big project at home – It’s Time to Begin!
“It’s Time,” by Imagine Dragons.
As promised, here are the links to the audio from the radio shows that chronicled this most-unusual year. The link to the first blog in the series is also provided.
December 2016: The Elephant in the Roomhttps://soundcloud.com/rosemary-schmidt-673577789/election-take2-schmidthappens20161204
Accompanying blog: http://www.gainline.com/2016/12/november-elephant-in-room.html
January 2017: Democracyhttps://soundcloud.com/rosemary-schmidt-673577789/democracy-schmidthappens20170109-1855
February 2017: Alternative Theorieshttps://soundcloud.com/rosemary-schmidt-673577789/schmidthapppens20170215-febshow
March 2017: Motivationshttps://soundcloud.com/rosemary-schmidt-673577789/schmidthappens20170312-marchshow-motivations
April 2017: Dharma & Our Purpose Here (or: Bannon & The Beast)https://soundcloud.com/rosemary-schmidt-673577789/schmidthappens20170417-aprilshow-bannondharma
May 2017: The 38 Percent (There is Lightness in the Darkness)https://soundcloud.com/rosemary-schmidt-673577789/schmidthappens20170531-may2017-38percent-take2-20170531-1937
Bonus Track: The October 2016 Demo Tapehttps://soundcloud.com/rosemary-schmidt-673577789/schmidthappens20161030
Music from our local favorite, Gilly (Guilherme) Assuncao: https://youtu.be/oDsAnX78lOY
Coming Next:Let it snow!
Mark Your Calendar:· January 2018: Summit Fitness in Framingham opens! Stay tuned for details.
· February 17, 2018: Poetry night at the Bull Run Inn Restaurant in Shirley, MA. Please be sure to reserve your ticket, and e-mail the organizers if you’d like to read your poetry. Again, it is not a slam, but instead a simple sharing of humanity. “Words Change Everything.”
“Even more than bread, we now need poetry, in a time when it seems that it is not needed at all.”
~Leopold StaffSometimes we need both bread & poetry!
Ueland, Brenda. 1938. (The Estate of Brenda Ueland. 1987) If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit. Graywolf Press: Minneapolis, MN.
© 2018 Rosemary A. SchmidtRose Schmidt is the author of “Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life” (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS
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