Two thousand sixteen. The year that even the Dalai Lama probably bitches about when nobody is listening. These days, it is almost impossible to talk to anyone for more than four minutes before they sigh, say something about “this awful year,” and whip out the NutriBullet to make sure the Vicodin is mixed in very well with their vodka.
We could blame David Bowie, who got the awfulness rolling by dying in early January, but true fans of his now recognize that he was once again a true visionary. It was almost as if Bowie knew what a fly-covered dung heap most people would find this year to be and said, “Eff this, I’m out.”
That’s a true artist.
All of the entertainers people like kept dying. Harambe died. They made an all-chick Ghostbusters and comedy almost died. In light of all this, a weary America turned to the presidential election for a distraction. That didn’t seem to work, as almost everyone is depressed about that.
I have a confession to make: I am having a LOT of fun this year, mostly because I tend to embrace weirdness. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one:
“For the second year in a row, sexually transmitted disease cases have risen in the United States, the Center for Disease Control revealed in its annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance report this week. The continuing spike follows years of declines, some dramatic.
Chlamydia takes first prize for highest total number of cases at more than 1.5 million in 2015. That was only a 5.9% increase on the year before, however, so it is syphilis that wins for most improved: with nearly 24,000 cases last year, it saw a 19% percent increase on infections from 2014. Gonorrhea was outperformed on both counts, growing by 12.8 percent to nearly 400,000 cases.”
Clarifying my “not the only one” line: I am, at present, STD free (I take my victories where I can get them).
While millions of Americans despair and are resigned to a bleak future, chlamydia and syphilis care enough to fight for relevance. These are not only treatable, but also preventable, diseases and they don’t let that get in the way of making the most of 2016.
Yes, I know that these are the 2015 numbers, but we got the news in 2016. There’s also that upward trend from the past couple of years and I think it’s safe to assume that stupidity trends won’t be reversing themselves in this of all years.
The temptation, as always, is to blame hipster millennials. After all, they’re probably using artisanal, farm-to-table condoms made from new spring zucchinis that were fertilized with fair trade baby goat dung, right? No way those things are putting up a real fight against a determined STD.
Then you see a group of them in their natural habitat and realize, “Yeah, they’re not getting laid.”
Seriously, if a lot of hipster millennial sex was happening, there would be an extensive Instagram record of it, with appropriate blurring, of course.
That would also make Instagram a lot more fun, but more on that in another column.
So if it isn’t the be-flanneled brunchsters who are engaging in, um, free range ugly bumping and spreading the wrong kind of love, who is?
Give pops some Viagra and a golf cart after he moves to The Villages and he’s not just stopping at the house next door, if you know what I mean. Have titanium hip, will travel. Mostly up and down, apparently.
There are two ways to look at all of this, and whichever one you choose will either reflect your already entrenched view of 2016, or help you change it for the better. Let’s cover the negative one first.
A common question asked about this election is, “How did we get to this point?” Well, maybe we got here because a country full of people too stupid to use protection against painful genital stuff that is easy to prevent deserves to be unhappy in the long run.
I’m sure many will concur with that.
I, on the other hand, prefer optimism.
Let us learn from our elders here, who have seen more presidential elections, celebrity deaths, and gorilla tragedies than we have. They aren’t on social media getting angsty about who will or won’t win on November 8th. They’re contributing to a chlamydia tsunami. They are a “can-do” generation and won’t be slowed down just because polite society wants them tucked away and out of sight. While most of us are wailing in the streets about the future, there is some serious footsy going on underneath bridge tables in senior center rec centers all over this great land.
“Did you just wink at me or is that a twitch from your medication?”
“Does it matter?”
No, no it doesn’t.
God Bless America.
Oh, and use protection.
Stephen Kruiser is a professional stand-up comic and writer who has had the honor of entertaining U.S. troops all over the world.