Dear Jesus and Satan,
Time has officially become a blur. Stress is aging people quickly, but nothing else is changing. There’s still a killer virus on the loose, people are still forced to wear masks, schools are still closing down regularly, and it’s still terrifying to go to the store or eat in restaurants. Oh, and the Earth is still on fire—probably more on fire than it’s ever been. Like my father before me, and his father before him, I am inheriting a shit storm that is beyond my ability to fix. The difference this time is, unlike my father and his father, I already don’t give a fuck. They at least tried to fix things, and when they couldn’t do anything, they had enough compassion to be sad and worried about it. I look at all these greedy, selfish people hoping that their problems will just magically go away instead of taking any kind of action at all, and I don’t even feel angry about it. Instead, I just think this is the world they all deserve. My question to you is this: if I’m already this jaded before I’ve even gotten started, what chance is there that 2022 can be a positive and/or productive year?
Baby New Year 2022
Dear Baby New Year 2022,
The one advantage you have over your predecessors is that expectations are extremely low. When the entire state of California is nothing but ash by mid-April, people are going to be like “well, we saw it coming—don’t blame 2022.” When the mayor of New York issues his scuba suit mandate because the subways are completely underwater, everyone is going to be all “this is annoying, but it’s not like things were any better last year.” When supply chain problems mean nobody can get paper towels again, everyone will be like “I guess the counter is just going to stay covered with jelly for a while. Eventually, it’ll just seem like it was always covered with jelly.”
You’re in the clear, 2022. Nobody expects you to fix anything. In fact, my advice is to start the year off with two months of vacation. This might sound counter-intuitive, but U.S. presidents do it all the time. Play some golf, read some books, visit some national monuments. Or just, like, sleep in and hang around the house all day in your pajamas watching soap operas and court TV. It really doesn’t matter what the heck you do. Or don’t do. In fact, why stop at two months when you can take the whole year off? People have already forgotten what hope feels like. They may someday find some on their own, but it’s not your job to give it to them. Not anymore.
Dear Baby New Year 2022,
Jesus has doled out some quality advice here. My only suggestion is that you take it even further. Make this year so bad that people will be grateful every time a sinkhole doesn’t spontaneously open up and swallow their house. Don’t just burn down California, burn down the entire west coast from Salina Cruz, Mexico to Wainwright, Alaska. And maybe Colorado, too. Or what if you totally mix things up by burning down New York and flooding California? Nobody will see that coming. And make it rain frogs—but not just any frogs. Poison dart frogs. And cobras. And have COVID mutate so that it makes all of your skin fall off. While you’re at it, have Pfizer make its vaccine so expensive that governments can no longer offer it to the public for free. And then maybe a batch of it can get contaminated and turn people into chimps, sort of like reverse evolution or whatever. And then the post office could shut down. And Amazon could stop offering free shipping. And they’ll punish employees that are trying to unionize by burying them alive in the desert. The possibilities are endless.
Then, once you’ve made the entire world stressed and depressed, have Beyonce drop a new album to lift everyone’s spirits. This one can’t be about JZ cheating on her, though. It has to be about happy things, like rescuing puppies from houses that have fallen into sinkholes or celebrating the invention of poison-proof umbrellas. I guess a regular umbrella would offer adequate protection from the frogs, but a new invention could lead to the creation of thousands of jobs. Anyway, maybe Beyonce’s album is so good that Amazon and all of the other greedy corporations suddenly grow souls and start to treat their workers fairly and give them real bathroom breaks so they don’t have to piss in empty soda bottles.
Or, as Jesus suggested, you could just do nothing. That’s probably easier.
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