Time Signature

I have been turning away from all the retrospectives of the last year. Not only do they tend to be highlights of awfulness and idiocy, but they don’t even feel like the past. It seems like an exercise in torture rather than in reflection. There hasn’t been space (or time) for reflection. Rehashing isn’t reflecting. It’s anxiety producing rather than enlightening.

2017 doesn’t seem like an unfolding of moments, but an unending cacophony that is unrelenting and without a coda, despite today’s date. But we still mark time, and move to its rhythms, and this weekend we get to celebrate the potential of the new.

Trump thinks he’s jazzy—always riffing and soloing, adding syncopated rhythms because they are unexpected and chaotic. He digs improvising governing. He just never learned the essentials, or the masters, or understands the distinctions that separate art from mere expression.

He has put his signature on this time of ours, at least in 2017 (and 2016). But there were other instruments that resonated during the year. 2017 started with The Women’s March, and by the latter months, the enormous chorus of #MeToo became a show stopper.

The Taking a Knee verse will be remixed in 2018, most likely beginning with the Super Bowl. The anthem of freedom has been reconsidered, and despite differing interpretations, real freedom does not diminish.

The Trumpist movement will be last year’s hit. Trump will keep rapping, but lacking artistry, he will be a pop phenomenon (which is all he wanted). Investigations and scandals, and ridiculous comments, will be the drumbeat until the coda. Meanwhile, we who have been Kind of Blue, can conduct ourselves in concert in 2018.

Happy New Year!

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