Courtesy New Yorker

And 2016 was unfolding so splendidly too. I’d reached a peak: professional, personal, sexual, aesthetic. I achieved a milestone: I read Joseph and His Brothers — in two weeks! November and December should have been what “they” call a victory lap. After the numbness of Election Day threatened to become chronic, I’ve decided to use what I’ve learned in 2016 to get the results I want in 2018 and 2020. The struggle is the point; gains and advantages are supposed to be tested.

Charles Pierce, America’s finest political columnist, composed this bit last year:

Giving thanks is about recognizing the obligations that we have to each other, as people, as Americans, and as members of the endlessly griping, endlessly wonderful human family. It is about recognizing the obligations that we have to each other as citizens, of this country and of the world. It is about recognizing the obligations we have to each other in what the president called the “hard and frustrating and necessary work of self-government,” which are the obligations, and which is the work, that we usually immerse ourselves in this shebeen on a daily basis.

Thanks to my friends, who are family. Thanks to my family, who are family. Thanks to the editors who encouraged my proposals and endured my convolutions. Thanks to the readers who visit this site and acknowledge in a hundred small gestures that they like what they see.

For the providence I doubt exists but in whose behalf I extend the following: thanks for what Gerard Manly Hopkins calls “things counter, original, spare, strange.”

Let’s take care of each other.