We have nearly escaped 2016. Good riddance, pestilent year! Everything that has gone wrong has been your fault.
2017 will be nothing like that.
First off, no more celebrities will be allowed to die.
There will be a moratorium on celebrity death, starting Jan. 1 and continuing through Dec. 31. This goes for dogs, gorillas and pandas as well. In fact, there will be no deaths of any kind.
Listen, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you may not like this any more than I do, but you are not allowed to leave the house any longer. Neither are you, Betty White. Sit down and stay there. We will send you approved, heart-healthy snacks and a pile of interesting reading material. We are sorry, but it cannot be helped.
In 2017, all beloved national treasures will be constantly sheathed in a protective casing and followed around by a team of no fewer than six doctors. They will not be permitted to walk under ladders. All black cats attempting to cross their paths will be diverted and then detonated harmlessly. Cholesterol will be swatted from their hands. Traffic will be routed around them. Their children will not be allowed to tell them disturbing personal news without careful coaching from a team of experts.
In 2017, all clowns will be collected from the woods. There will be no more reports of sylvan clowns beckoning children into the woods with dollar bills. In short, there will be no more nonsense.
Any Wild Improbabilities that suggest a rip in the fabric of time will no longer be allowed. For instance, if there is a rap musical written about a Founding Father, it will close promptly after three days to no fanfare at all. Similarly, the Cubs will win no more World Series, and the Nobel Prize in Literature will return to the staid, plaid-covered arms of traditional authors. Justin Bieber’s music will go back to being bad. The kind of Eldritch magic required to summon up these Bizarre Occurrences has too great a cost, and requires the sacrifice of too many other unrelated hopes and dreams. The portal will be sealed, and the Order of Things will be restored.
In 2017, there will be an end to Hitler comparisons. There will be an end to all behavior that invites Hitler comparisons. The nonsense horse race of 2016 is over, and everyone will focus, together, on crafting sound policy that is beneficial to all. The talking heads on television will actually know what they are talking about. When Experts make predictions, they will be respected and obeyed. Also, there will be no more countdowns. We will live in the present.
America will be great again. Everyone will be issued a festive hat. Britain will quietly ignore the fact that it is supposed to be leaving the European Union, and things will return to normal. If someone makes a movie about good-natured ghost hunters, it will not become a Giant Political Fiasco. There will be no more profiles of sexy fascists with dapper haircuts who held neo-Nazi rallies. “Neo-Nazi,” people will say to themselves. “That sounds, by definition, bad. No more of that, please!”
In general, politics will be entirely free from scandal, corruption and hate. All Hunger Games analogies will cease forthwith. Donald Trump will acknowledge that being president of the United States is a serious responsibility and will slough off his cocoon to reveal a wise and benevolent man who will govern with temperance. He will accidentally delete his Twitter account. He will no longer travel from place to place with a court comprised entirely of his numerous well-coiffed children.
In 2017, people will behave quite differently to one another. They will be polite. They will be kind. Those acts of hate that you heard about were just 2016’s general pestilence at work, and 2016 will be over. People will smile at each other on the sidewalk. Extremism will cease. We will believe rape victims. We will have no call to use the term “officer-involved shooting” ever again.
All people with grievances and hatred in their hearts will channel them into strongly worded notes. There will be no devastating pictures of children on the front pages of newspapers because, as stated above, nobody will die.
You will not wake up one morning with the sullen, leaden sensation deep in your stomach that perhaps, after all, some people do not see you as a person. That was 2016, and 2016 is over. You will not need to worry and to fight and to agitate. That was the old year. This new one will emerge fully formed and perfect and full of benevolence for all.
All news will be real, and all news will be good.
If we can just make it to the end of 2016, 2017 will be amazing. It will be a year unlike any in human history.
Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of “A Field Guide to Awkward Silences.”