Friday, December 31, 2021

Looking Back/Looking Forward

From a year ago:

I’ve been wondering how I would do this post for a long time. I even debated doing it at all, sure that everything I predicted for this year would be out the window and over the fence because once I write it, I don’t look at it. So, let’s open the time capsule and see what’s inside.

I feel even less sure about doing this now, but I’m not above looking back at what I wrote then to see how it landed this year.

Trump will not go quietly; he may even announce his run for 2024 as they give him the bum’s rush, literally or figuratively, as Joe Biden is being sworn in. But by March, if not sooner, he’ll be old news and as much a distant memory as “Pink Lady and Jeff.” (Look it up.)

Half-right but boy howdy really wrong on the second part, proven horrifically wrong a week after I wrote that.

The Republicans will do as much as they can to throw squirrels in the wood-chipper for President Biden like they did with President Obama, but I have a feeling it won’t happen. For one thing, Joe Biden isn’t Barack Obama, and second, this country is so fucking tired of noise and fury and discombobulation that the GOP will find little patience for the MAGA noise.

Once again, half-right because it was easy; past is prologue.  As for the GOP, they’re 99% on board with being Trump’s bitch.

Every executive order signed by Trump will be rescinded by President Biden.

Not every one, but close.

Relations with Cuba, put on ice by Trump, will resume its thaw under Biden, and los historicos in Miami can lump it.

We didn’t get back to where we were when President Obama went to Cuba, but it didn’t get any worse.

The pandemic will be under control by June — just in time for my trip to Alaska — and the masks and restrictions will slowly and cautiously be going away by Labor Day. The final casualty count, though, will be over 500,000 deaths. I wish I could say there will be a reckoning for those who could have prevented it, but I doubt it.

Fully 100% wrong because the fucking anti-vaxxers and idiots like Gov. Ron DeSantis actively fought against controlling the spread.  The death count passed 500,000 last summer.  I hate them all.

Racial and social justice will continue to make strides forward, and it is to be hoped that with an administration that is not actively opposed to it and supporting racism, overt or otherwise, we will be further along than we are now.

Not strides; more like baby steps.  But the conviction of the officer responsible for the murder of George Floyd and the racists in Georgia who chased down and shot a jogger is a glimmer of progress.  Many miles yet to go.

The economy will slowly recover as the pandemic gets under control and people emerge from isolation. The Republicans will suddenly remember that they hate deficits, something they never seem to worry about when they’re in the White House.

You wouldn’t know it for all the hypocrisy from the Republicans, but the economy is doing a lot better than even the Democrats would hope.  The supply chain issues have largely been resolved, and inflation — a natural after-effect when an economy has been through a trauma — hasn’t deterred record spending for the holidays.  Once the infrastructure bill spending starts, expect a boom… in a good way.

Obamacare will survive in the Supreme Court because the case brought by Texas is flawed. Even the conservatives on the court seem skeptical during oral arguments in November.

Nailed that.

Foreign relations will improve now that the bully has been sent packing. Suddenly France, Germany, and the EU will be more willing to work with us, and although my expertise in foreign affairs is limited, I think we’ll be better off with China and Japan than we are now. Russia will still try to mess with us, but at least they won’t have an ally in the White House.

We’re not at war with Russia or China, so I’ll take that as getting that one right.

We will still have soldiers in harm’s way overseas a year from today.

Despite the clustastrophe that was the withdrawal from Afghanistan, we are marginally at peace.  For now.

On a personal level, I will strive to keep up my writing. I have made many connections during these uncertain times, and they will grow.

I wrote twelve plays this year of various lengths, including two full-lengths.  One, Dark Twist, was published, and the other is still in progress.  I went back to the Valdez Theatre Conference last June, and I’m planning on that again, as I am with the Kennedy Center Intensive, perhaps in person.  I will return to the William Inge Theatre Festival in April for the first time since 2019, and back in November I set up a website, Philip Middleton Williams – Playwright, to shamelessly self-promote my work.

On a broader level, I still have my part-time jobs and keeping busy with them.  I still have my health, the Pontiac is still running, I still have my family, and while I have lost friends near and far, I cherish the ones who are still alive and well.

As for predictions, given my shoddy track record this past year, I’m not going to even attempt specifics because never in my wildest and worst dreams could I get it right.  For the first time in my life, I am afraid of what will happen to this country if the Republicans win control of the House and Senate in the 2022 mid-terms.  I used to think it was alarmist to either say or think that “it can’t happen here.”  But last January 6 was a warning and a dire one at that, and were it not for the sheer incompetence of the traitors, it could have ended far worse.  As it is, should the seditionists win, I will be looking for a place of refuge somewhere else.  I hear retiring to Antigua has its charms.

I leave this post with much the same thoughts as I had a year ago: I am glad 2021 is over.  But in reality, the date on the calendar doesn’t matter; it’s up to all of us to make this year as good or as bad as we can.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.  I just hope we’re all here to find out.

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