Damn You 2016
It’s not enough that you have to take some of the most talented people from us this year, it’s not enough that you’ve infested a hefty chunk of the rest of us with a level of mindless idiocy that defies credulity, no, you had to add in plot twists that none of us would dare use because fiction has to make sense.
Honestly, it’s enough to make a person think you’ve outsourced your plotting and character development to some third-rate hack whose primary method of character development is to degrade the characters by every means available and whose preferred form of plot advancement it to kill the nicest ones left. There’s a damn reason TV Tropes calls this kind of work “crapsack”.
Except, dear 2016, there isn’t even crap in your sac. It’s all hot air. Stinky hot air, to be sure, but anything festering the way you do is going to smell bad.
Look, I’m not a world-renowned author or anything like it, but even I know that too many coincidences will turn an audience off, and if you kill off every character or destroy all their redeeming features, there’s a good chance you’ll be condemned to the Literature shelves, where redemption is something to be feared rather than welcomed.
You don’t want that, do you?
What’s that? You don’t deserve redemption?
2016, that’s the point. Redemption comes for those who don’t deserve it. It’s what makes a redemption plot so powerful: the unworthy character who is granted redemption is then obliged by any number of factors to spend the rest of his, her, or its existence trying to become worthy – and in the process redeeming other unworthy folk and expanding the whole cycle.
But you’re dying and you won’t have time for that? Pish. It didn’t stop Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. He got a whole new lease of life from his redemption. You might not get that, but you just might convince 2017 that it’s worth doing things differently, like taking out the nastiest bastards instead of the decent ones (yes, I know you got that piece of excrement with the cigar – no, the other cigar. Considering who you seem to have outsourced to, I was figuring you thought he was one of the good ones).
So there it is. You’ve got a few weeks left. Are you going to take the redemption plot offering, or are you going to continue on your merry way and go literary?
No, I’m not making the decision for you. You’re a big year. You can do this yourself. You have agency.
No, you don’t get to blame anyone if you get it wrong. You’re a big year. You have agency. You’re the only one who can make yourself do something.
What do you mean that’s not what people say? Of course it’s not what a lot of people say: it’s easy to blame someone else for your crappy decision-making. It’s easy to claim that you did something stupid because you’re poor, or because you’re something. That’s one nice fat slap in the face to everyone poor or something who chooses not to do stupid shit, isn’t it? Did you really mean to insult all those people like that?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Of course I’ll forgive you. Whether they will is up to them.
It’s your call, 2016.