(Update: With many thanks to Driftglass for including this article at Crooks & Liars' Mike's Blog Round-Up! Please do me a favor and review my best articles of 2021 for submission to Florida Writers' Association's annual Royal Palm awards!)
As the year ends, today becomes a moment to look back and wonder at how we survived it at all.
(Christ. As I type this I just got word that Betty White passed away. FUCK YOU, 2021, DIE IN A FUCKING FIRE WILL YA)
The tragedy of the year stems from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, now rolling into its second year. Even with a vaccine program in place, even with all we know about how to fight COVID and how to reduce the risks... we're ending this year with a dangerously effective Omicron strain that's threatening to force shutdowns of workplaces and schools in spite of the Far Right forces obsessed to ignore the risks to stick to their own crazed Narrative.
The tragedy of 2021 got worse as donald trump - stinging from his Electoral losses in 2020 - refused to play by the rules of the Constitution and sent in mobs of insurrectionists into the halls of Congress to force that body from confirming the vote counts. For all the digging into the events of January 6th, we're barely seeing major arrests and serious punishments of the rioters and the culprits that we know so far who planned the whole attack.
If there'd been anything major going on all year long, it was the war of attrition between the madness of the Pandemic and the madness of trump's Big Lie. A lot of other crazy things happening in 2021 tended to tie into either ongoing crisis.
If there was any saving grace to this past year, it was how much of a farce the trumpian War On Reality could become.
The arguments trump forced his handlers to take - in arguing over stolen votes that were never stolen - led to those handlers and lawyers getting taken to the woodshed by judges who cut through every gaslighting lie they offered. These were lawyers who showed no sign of understanding the Constitution or election laws from beginning to end. The next sight we need to see of these inept lawyers should be them losing their license - like Giuliani - to practice law.
Everything coming out about how trump's inner circle coordinated and planned the January 6th Insurrection would be pure comedy if it didn't involve serious crimes. The very idea that they created a PowerPoint presentation to show trump how they planned it - and a sloppy PowerPoint at that - would be the crowning moment of funny whenever future Hollywood producers film the streaming miniseries about the riots.
As for the efforts in 2021 to fight the Pandemic, trump's early drum beats to push an anti-vax agenda to humiliate Biden and keep the nation in chaos led to the growing realization that trump's actions were literally killing off their own Far Right voting base... forcing trump's more recent calls to vaccinate falling on deaf - even hostile - ears.
Both nightmare and comedy at the same time in the same crises.
No wonder 2021 feels like a bad dream refusing to end.
Gods help us in 2022.