As 2016 starts to draw to a close we see the emergence of reviews; political, social and economical.
On the political front, journalists (whatever they actually are these days) will focus on how the United Kingdom, a world leading nation opted to vote out from the European Union (still amazing what a false propaganda campaign can obtain). The other major shock was that Donald Trump was successful in the US election and in January will become the President (amazing how people fall for a simple slogan – ‘Make America Great Again’ – yes but how?).
On the social front we’ve lost many celebrity icons; Bowie, Prince, Wogan, Aherne, Ali, Corbett, Cruyff, Michael, Fisher, Reynolds…the list goes on (and will continue to do so, as death is simply a part of life). But why dwell on the darkness, Leicester City had a fairytale football season and won the Premiership title as 5000 – 1 outsiders and reminded us all that (in the words of Ellie Goulding) ‘anything can happen’.
Economics can be studied in depth, graphs analysed and jargon clarified, but the outcome is pretty much the same, the rich will have got richer and poorer will have become poorer. But then again the study of economics is fickle and depends on how we define ‘rich’ and ‘poor’. Is the farmer living in Nepal, eating organic vegetables that he has grown, who spends every evening with his family underneath the clear Himalayan skies so much poorer than the business executive, who works long hours in front of a cyber screen, in a polluted city and who never gets to see his children? When pondering on such an idea one must consider the statement of the Greek, Sophocles who claimed that ‘wisdom outweighs any wealth’.
On a personal level, I’ve continued to travel within France and Spain with my beautiful girlfriend Coralie. I’ve continued to write, the blog has grown slowly and the red wine and sunshine of the Dordogne was great. My motorbike is parked up for winter and I’ll be in Burma, before the inauguration of Trump as President. Thank you to everyone who has read this blog, it’s humbling as always.
As the media frenzy will continue with the 2016 reviews, try not to worry politically about Brexit or Trump, the only politics that really matter are local and within our own communities for that’s where the media show becomes real. As for social, celebrities come and go (the celebrity culture we’ve created is false), but real icons exist amongst friends and family. Finally, as the economic outlook remains to look grim (much like the weather in the UK), remember that you’re already richer than you think.