A little past four o’ clock in the morning on 1 January 2017, and the only visitors the blog has had thus far, in a year set to be marked by America and Russia, possibly in ways we never even dared consider, have been (you guessed it) American and Russian.

May be in need of more booze.

Although I’m pretty convinced we’re entering the worst year in recent history, at least since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis (incidentally the year I was born, so can’t have been all bad), I’m not about to use the opportunity to remind you, even if that’s exactly what I do.

Instead I would like to extend my best wishes for the newborn* year, in the hope that I’m gravely mistaken – and that, despite the fact that the world is going to shit, you will prosper on a personal level.

A happy new year to one and all!

*It may not have arrived where you’re at yet, but it just did here (Norway), so …

So you think 2016 was bad?

I’m sure we can agree that it’s been a terrible year, what with the countless terrorist attacks, the war in Syria, the innumerable refugees and their suffering, the immense growth of fake news, Russia’s continued intervention in Ukraine, Brexit and the U.S. presidential election, won by Vladimir Putin’s very own Donald Trump.

And then, of course, there’s the incredible demise of uncountable artists throughout the entertainment industry, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise in times sporting more celebrities than ever before, among whom a considerable share in the geriatric segment. But you cannot help wonder how some regard that the worst aspect of the year now approaching its ultimate finale. Text continued below painting.

David Bowie (1947–2016). Blogger's own watercolour painting, made with Waterlogue.
David Bowie (1947–2016). Blogger’s own watercolour painting, made with Waterlogue.

While I wouldn’t even dream of making fun of the fans’ undoubtedly sincere grief (I’ve been mourning some of them, too, in my own small way), perhaps pointing out that we do have bigger fish to fry – or much bigger problems – is in order?

Terrible as 2016 was, I fear it didn’t even come close to what the upcoming year has in store.

I’m confident that, like me, you never expected to live to see Donald J. Trump elected president of the USA, which, I’m sure, adds up to nothing, compared to experiencing him executing his job while in office. Text continued below photo.

Donald Trump og Nigel Farage (foto fra UKIP).
Donald Trump and Nigel Farage (photograph from UKIP).

Seeing as I accidentally happened to pick a photograph of him and fellow nationalist Nigel Farage, there’s no avoiding next year’s consequences of Britain’s 2016 decision; the implementation of the EU’s article 50, which once and for all is going to sever the United Kingdom from the European Union, with all its implications (covered in this blog throughout the first half of the year). Unless Westminster finds a way to declare the outcome of last June’s referendum null and void.

Worst of all, however, is the fact (?) that we no longer seem able to distinct facts from fiction, as the number of fake news outlets grows every day, a matter I touched on in a blog post the other day, and make no mistake about it: It’s all Vladimir Putin’s doing, in an attempt at destabilising the west, which he successfully achieved in Britain last summer and in America this autumn. However, I fear we’ve only seen the beginning. Text continued below photo.

Festung Europa? Fotograf: Schroeder Alain/Den europeiske union
Festung Europa? Photographer: Schroeder Alain/The European Union.

We should, I’m afraid, brace ourselves for global tension the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades, possibly not since the early 1960s, for those of us who recall the Cuban Missile Crisis.

But please … Pretty, pretty please stop this talk about the possibility of a cold war. It’s been around for years, even if you didn’t notice.

Having established that, I find that the Russian national anthem, performed by Russia’s Red Army Choir, whose members died in a Christmas airplane crash last week, rest their souls, en route to Russia’s latest occupation, Syria, is in perfect order:

Judging by current goings on, people around the globe may as well start rehearsing its lyrics, the sooner the better.

And of course, as indicated by the top illustration, the Middle East will continue to play a vital part in next year’s news. Predominantly, I’m afraid, as a Russo-Turkish conquest. Also, as indicated in the illustration, the ripple effects will be significant.

Meanwhile we may as well conclude that we’re already there, unless you can provide evidence of other reasons why Vladimir Putin is the one to declare a Syrian ceasefire today.

Oh, and a very happy new year to you.