If there was ever a year that presented the question, Why even fucking bother anymore? then 2017 was it. Remember how terrible 2016 was? Everybody was dying and each day of the election cycle felt like a gut-punch and by the end everybody was declaring it the Worst Year Ever and then 2017 came along and was like, Yo hold my beer.

Everything about media and the news was awful this year. The success of Donald Trump was made most apparent in his ability to withstand any and all written attacks. His disapproval rating may fall even more yet, but he did just post a major win for the ultra-wealthy. It’s important to remember that the Trump administration is merely representative of a vast spectrum of ideas whose only common thread seems to be selfishness. What Trump championed from the very beginning was winning and doubt. Doubt in anything that claims you lose. That’s a toxic trait to inspire with.

His election was, at many levels, a public validation of his criticism of the media. Credibility for mainstream news outlets was also lost on Election Day. For this first year of his administration, professional journalists were reduced to professional Twitter followers. Our entire notion of public discourse has been thrown into upheaval. Yet when neither the old guard nor the new can be trusted, our social fabric begins to tatter.

Which brings us to the end of the year. We have a nation which allows a shadow of doubt cast on everything; is it any wonder the concept of a flat Earth is gaining popularity? When daily life is so absurd that reality TV business moguls win the White House, what matters?

Why even fucking bother anymore?

For the past year, I’ve been asking myself that very question. It’s actually kind of amazing what simply asking that question of yourself will provoke. Because the threats to a great many people under this administration are very real—and the possibility of things getting worse seems far too high. Yet all through history, there have been terrible authorities, both here and there. There has, with them, come the perseverance of hope.

I mostly stopped taking photos this year. I didn’t write much or draw many portraits. I removed literal language from my expression as much as possible, as the reality I was experiencing didn’t have much use for definitions. I turned to sound and line and texture, studied repetition and sculpture. For a year, I was frustrated, sketching and looping noises through a guitar pickup. I arrived at December with no conclusion.

Yet, now I find myself prepared for January with new creative languages in tow and the old still there, waiting. The passage of time still had to be endured, yet art once again softened the blow.

I’m not saying that my life or process for dealing with the world will match any other person’s, but perhaps there’s something to be said for the idea of simply finding a new means of communication and getting lost in it. Away from the digital world and away from the endless intrusions. Away from words that mean nothing. It seems like now, if ever, would be a welcome point for creative processes of meditation to capture hearts and minds.

We bother because we must, because we will have to anyway. So while we bother, let us at least stand for what is right and take care enough to learn to cope with the rest.

Posted to Social at 22:46 on 23 December 2017

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