Before 2016 was even half-way over, the cry of “Enough! Can we please put this year behind us!” was uttered everywhere from social media to casual conversations. Right out of the gate, 2016 took no time at all to let us know, this one was gonna be a bitch! Like an unwarranted slap-in-the-face, the man who influenced all of us, the musician who mixed genres before they had a name, the fashion icon who flaunted gender-bending style…dammit, he goes and dies! David Bowie had succumbed to his almost secret battle with cancer. His demise caused gasps around the world. Then, in rapid succession, obituaries for a seemingly never-ending list of the famous and notable continued throughout the year. Meanwhile, 2016 delivered murder and mayhem, unspeakable human tragedy, horrendous natural disasters and…Donald J. Trump. At Life Elsewhere we covered the top stories with experts and cultural commentators, along with the best in arts, media, and culture. As the end of the year approached, we reviewed and listened back to all of the 2016 Life Elsewhere shows. One topic kept on showing up, all too frequently…Donald J. Trump. First, it was with satirical humor, then eventually we were asking a professor to explain demagoguery. We wanted to put together a year-end show featuring a round-up of our favorite bits from 2016. But, the more we listened, the more we realized that the name Trump was beginning to dominate. Even in conversations about new books or music, the subject of Trump managed to sneak in. An executive editorial decision was made, the year-end show would NOT mention Trump! Instead, we are repeating the show that set the mood for 2016, the upsetting death of David Bowie. You’ll hear my real-time reaction to the news of David’s death, a review of his last album, Blackstar and a sample of my conversations with him. Despite the sorrowful beginning of 2016, I was optimistic for the future. In a few days, this wretched year will come to an end, I have no choice but to wish all of us the very best for 2017.
Norman B. December 23, 2016