|Time Carrying Truth, by Laurent Cars (Metropolitan Museum of Art)|
Christmas 2017 is in the can, another heirloom ornament to be carefully boxed up and exiled into the attic for another 50 weeks.
Did you have a good one? We did the traditional Jew 2-Step: Chinese food and a movie—"Call Me By Your Name," not my pick; imagine a gay Woody Allen movie without the witty dialogue. My younger son summed up the problem most succinctly: "They weren't people." My assessment comes in second: "It made 'Toy Story' seem like a documentary.'"
Over now. On to the obligatory Year in Review. Though I always chafe at that, because it implies our years are memorable, and they're not. Before parading by the lowlights of 2017, let's put it aside and consider, oh, 2007.
Just 10 years ago. George W. Bush was president. Can you remember a single event from that year? Not in your own life, not little Aiden being born, but something from the larger world? Let's see ... White Sox won the World Series in 2005 ... that's close. Obama was elected in 2008, closer still... Hmm, in 2007 ... ahhh, nope, can't do it.
Cheating, through the wonder of the Internet, I plug in "noteworthy News Events of 2007" and get Time's Top 10 stories, starting unpromising with 1. "Transition in Pakistan."
I'm sure a big deal in Pakistan; here, not so much.
Of the 10, only two seem at all significant today: the debut of the iPhone, and the Virginia Tech shooting. The rest? Recall of Chinese Toys? Protests in Burma?
See that's the problem. You need perspective to know what developments will actually resonate over the years. Of course 2017 will be remembered as Donald Trump's first year in office, as well as, maybe, for the carnival of revelations of heretofore hidden instances of sexual harassment. I'm not convinced that the second isn't a mania, a fad like goldfish swallowing, instead of an actual shift in society's frequently-dismissive treatment of women. Being a sexual predator sure doesn't seem a bar to the Oval Office.
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