Yet I know for a fact that many of them had splendid years: a new job, a new love in their life, a childbirth, etc. They had every reason to celebrate the good fortune of their past year, but instead looked back on it as an awful ordeal.
2016-haters dwell on a seeming uptick in celebrity deaths, ascribing homicidal agency to the chronological unit. And opponents of Donald Trump see his presidential election as a bizarre blight on the year. Then there was the turmoil and violence in America and around the world, much of which seemed to cluster in the summer of 2016: civil wars, geopolitical crises, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, police-related killings, mass protests, etc. I myself remarked on July 19, referring to a song by Billy Joel:
"You know things are bad when you could fill a whole "We Didn't Start the Fire" verse just with news stories from the past two weeks."