If there is a hell, Gov. Bevin will be down there with us

Ye gods. Relieved that’s over.

I expect that’s what your family said after you left on Christmas Day. An excruciating experience for them, I should imagine.

Very funny. No, 2016. Not just because the creators of my entire record collection kicked the bucket, and American voters made Brexit voters appear prudent, but also because Louisville as a whole had a year to forget. Personally, I can’t wait for this year to kick off.

You’ve got a brain like a squirrel, mate — capable of understanding only the present. Kickoff is right: This time next year we’ll be pining for 2016.

Bollocks. It can’t get any worse.

It can get an awful lot worse, my pedigree chum. We’re about to give the launch codes to someone with the temperament of a spoiled and hungry 5-year old. If this country isn’t knee-deep in major combat by next Christmas, it’ll be a fucking miracle. The Apricot Groper’s preferred military advisor is someone known universally as ‘Mad Dog.’ You don’t need to be Machiavelli to guess how that’s going to turn out.

Thanks for ruining the new year. But surely there are enough sensible people around him to make sure that his stubby little fingers remain far away from the buttons?

You haven’t been paying attention, have you?

No, I have been paying attention. That’s the problem. My New Year’s resolution is to keep my head buried in the sand until it’s all over. It’s the only way to live happily. As it happens, the best indicator of what’s to come locally isn’t a GOP win — it’s a GOP loss.

I wouldn’t read too much into North Carolina. Democrats aren’t winning often enough to make it relevant.

If states are laboratories of democracy they can also be laboratories of autocracy. Power can be abused like a ginger-headed stepchild, and only a handful of people really give a shit. With that blueprint, a Republican House and Senate, Matt Bevin is already the most-powerful governor in this state’s history. And the most terrifying.

Driven by religious zeal, too, and there’s nothing more messianic than crushing enemies, especially if those enemies are interested in providing for the poor. I’d even consider converting, if I thought it might give me a chance to see him arrive at the Pearly Gates, grinning ear to ear, only for St. Peter to ask him, ‘What the fuck made you think Jesus would be cool with that?’

You don’t need to convert. If there’s a hell, he’ll be down there with us and every other member of the Christian right. Come to think of it, that really does sound like hell. Did you see Bevin’s Christmas video greeting? Smug, sanctimonious and stomach-churning. Andy Beshear might not be the most lovable bloke on the planet, but we need him to survive far more than we need Betty White to survive.

He’s fighting a losing battle, if you ask me. Democracy is dead. Of course, in the true spirit of newspeak, we never have had a democracy in the first place. It’s conveniently referred to as a republic. Echoes of Weimar.

I believe we agree. Liberals don’t get it. For them, electing Barack Obama was a triumph. An event that was a tipping point, something that once out would never go away. But for a lot of other people, most of whom voted for Trump and Bevin, it was the exact opposite. A tipping point, but in reverse. That’s why the backlash will be so painful. But at least Louisville’ll remain an oasis of compassion.

Not when GLI is salivating at the prospect our new Robber Baron renaissance. Louisville’s population is the mirror image of you: head buried in the sand while the world goes to shit. I predict that by the time 2017 is done, the only places to find food, or a job in The West End, will be Indi’s or Chicken King; and furthermore, that nobody east of Ninth Street will bat an eyelid.

Well, if we’re going down the Dystopian Predictions Road, most the economic projections being made are eerily similar to 1929’s. And anyone around here still hoping that the feds’ll give Aetna the bum’s rush is in for sour news. Humana is going — and taking the best jobs with it. What are the odds on KFC still being here this time next year?

Short, I’d say. Not that corporations will fare poorly if 2017 is indeed the new 1929 — many of them, including a whole gang of American corporations, did fine in the ’30s. Particularly in one major European country. (Not that we’re allowed to make that comparison, no matter how prescient it may be.) The idea seems to be that the sooner we forget the past the sooner we can start living it again.

Far-right politics and religious fervour — I can hardly wait. Well, we were consistently wrong about Trump’s chances of winning. So perhaps we’re going to be consistently wrong about how awful he’s going to be.

Anything other than the worst year of our lifetimes will be considered a win, and when the bar’s set that low even Trump and Bevin can’t balls it up. Can they?