I just realized what an awesome number 2020 is. I don’t think this is a normal year. 1999 is the last year that even comes close as far as sheer numbers being awesome is concerned. Really, though, it should be compared to other repeating pairs, such as 1919, 1818, etc. And folks, as shitty as this year is poised to be, it’s going to be so much better than those years were, in many, many ways.
1919 started off with the death of Teddy Roosevelt and ended with the White Sox throwing the World Series, which resulted in Shoeless Joe Jackson being banned from baseball and having to spend the rest of his life shining shoes even though he didn’t wear them. That’s bullshit.
In 1818 Andrew Jackson invaded and conquered Florida, badly skewing the electoral college.
1717 was a brutal year for New England, which had a weeklong blizzard in January and the sinking of “Black Sam” Bellamy’s pirate ship in April. Christ!
1616 was a bad year for astronomers. In January Johannes Kepler was charged with practicing “forbidden arts”. In February a commission of Catholics called bullshit on the sun being the center of the solar system. And in March Copernicus’s book was banned “until corrected” by a bunch of non-scientists (some of whom are currently serving in the Trump administration).
1515 was when Bartolome de las Casas urged King Ferdinand II to end American slavery and Ferdinand told him to fuck off. In 1515! Really could’ve avoided a lot of suffering.
Almost nothing is known about 1414, 1313, 1212, 1111 or 1010. And this is my point: absolutely everything will be known about 2020! A lot of it will be horrible, but in general humanity is in better shape than ever. We’re really only doing badly if you think about how you wish we were doing, not if you compare us to how things have always been. I know, I know, let’s try our best to create the greatest society that we can and not be hemmed in by the barbaric legacies of our forbearers. But let’s also keep a little perspective.
2020 will suck, but it will probably suck less than usual. Plus, it’s an awesome number.
This week’s clip is a preview of my summer walking tour of Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown DC, and I expect/hope/intend/wish/pray to soon complete a video showcasing some of the actual sites I hit on the tour. For now, enjoy the preview: