Sunday, January 03, 2016

2016 By The Numbers

I’m not a big numbers guy, but there are a few stats I like to keep in mind as we start this last half of the second decade of the 21st century. 

1966 is now a half-century ago. Aside from being the twangy-happy advent of the Summer of Love, given the release of The Beatles’ Revolver, it was at the start of the 1966-67 television season that all TV shows were filmed in color. Think about that as you watch your flatscreen. Color has been a staple of broadcast for only half a century. (Well, it doesn’t seem so long if you’re over the half-century mark in age, yourself.)

Half a century old, and still fresher
than anything out there right now.
We can expect to be continually beat about the face with the 50th anniversaries of the first airings of Batman and Star Trek. As I’ve been on course to minimize my media exposure, I’m not too worried about it. One of the best things about 2015 was how I finally numbed myself to the hype. I genuinely, and oh-so-blessedly, no longer care about so many things. I’ll celebrate what I want to celebrate when I want to celebrate it. Now get the fuck off my lawn.

1976, the Bicentennial Year, is 40 years ago. A year of disco and hype. I doubt we’ll hear much about it. I was there. It was embarrassing.

We’ll observe the 30th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle exploding at the end of this month. The Chernobyl disaster turns 30 this year, too. The last tolerable original cast Star Trek movie, the one in which Kirk and Spock take a Klingon ship back in time to save the whales, was released in time for Christmas. Cake and ice cream all around for 1986.

The Summer of the Macarena will be 20 years ago soon enough. Now you feel old, don’t you? Heh.

Reaching back, I can’t think of anything happening 100 years ago in 1916 other that most of Europe’s young men dying by the container-ship load for absolutely no reason except some rich assholes wanted to throw a war, so never mind.

There is a literary bicentennial coming up, however. The “summer of 1816-and-froze-to-death,” which drove Lord Byron, John Pollidori, Percy Shelley, and Shelley’s plus-one Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley indoors to amuse themselves with a writing contest, produced Frankenstein, or A Modern Prometheus, 200 years ago.

That’s all I’ve got for pop culture. I had a long section already written talking about my personal milestones, but the more I looked it over, the more I realize I’m less interested in my past than I am the future. This year will mark three years since I became a published author. I need to finish writing the book that will conclude this series and move on. 

2016 will be the year I break big. That is all.