Unless a jackpot haul showers millions, most Americans often declare the outgoing year one they would rather forget.
As a matter of fact, last Friday, thousands of New Yorkers packed into Times Square to physically display disdain for 2018 by shredding the woes of the 365 calendar days that is now almost a memory.
The Times Square Alliance hosted and sponsored Good Riddance Day, a day when citizens are invited to write anything they want to dispose of and with assistance from the Alliance relieve themselves of the unpleasantness.
Those expressions were shredded and converted to confetti for rain from Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Scribbled on pieces of paper, notes of good riddance bade farewell to — “my heart attack” “my worthless husband” “my bad back” “my 30-year mortgage” “my taxes” “tsunamis” “hurricanes” “cheating boyfriend” “bad grades” “corrupt politicians” “Democrats” “Republicans” “Liberals” “Conservatives” “Brexit” “guns” “border walls” “immigrants” “penitentiaries” “parents” “bills’’ “student loans” “terrorists” “sexual misconduct” “homophobia” “opiods” “reality TV” “military service” “war” “fake news” and a long list of un-pleasantries that plagued individuals and the society in 2018.
The celebratory occasion united citizens hoping for a better year and prospects of greatness in the future.
“Good Riddance Day is inspired by a Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revelers stuffed dolls with objects representing bad memories before setting them on fire, ” a web portal for TSA said.
For one hour, on Dec. 28 from 12 pm to 1 pm on the Broadway plazas, an invitation for the 12th annual event attracted scores of participants from across the nation to exercise their expressions about anything and everything.
“Join Shred-it in destroying any unpleasant, embarrassing, and downright unwanted memories from the past year — be it an old remnant of your ex, a paid medical bill, old study guides for your most onerous class, or something else that you’ll write down on one of our official Good Riddance Day forms to shred. Use #GoodRiddanceDay on Twitter and Instagram and we’ll shred it for you!”
Some even took physical annoyances to smash to smithereens. They used huge hammers to smash bad memories.
Allegedly, after the shredding, bonfires also burned the ills of 2018 as many were convinced the woes will go wherever the year will now live.
In all fairness, 2018 was not such a bad year. Some might even admit that there was balance to many situations.
Marvel Comic Book illustrator Stan Lee died in 2018 but his legacy will endure as his creation “Black Panther” topped box-office earnings and continues to rake in millions worldwide.
And while Aretha Franklin, the avowed Queen of Soul is no longer on the throne, America-born Meghan Markle is now a princess who sits close to the throne occupied by the world’s longest reigning monarch Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
The princess is the very first woman of color to ever join the British royal family.
The fact Omarosa Manigault is no longer the White House liaison to the Black community is certainly something more than a few progressive African Americans exalted. The cause célèbre even launched a campaign to invite the former “Apprentice” reality show contestant back into the Black family circle.
Her exit from the administration marked a reversal from her devout support for President Donald Trump who hosted the television program, which first introduced her to the US public.
That women made huge strides on the political frontier is an undeniable 2018 coup to be applauded. More than 100 women were elected to Congress during the mid-term elections.
Bronx native, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at age 28 made history by amassing a majority of votes to establish her as the youngest female ever elected to Congress.
The first Native American and Muslim women are included in the record-breaking number.
In 2018, the #MeToo Movement amplified voices against sexual abuse and male harassment in the workplace.
And Jamaicans have at least one united gratifying topic to compile.
They are almost unanimous in lauding the Dec. 7, 2018 release of Mark Myrie AKA Buju Banton from prison.
Big Up Barbados and the fact that last May the island / nation elected 52-year-old Mia Motley, its first female prime minister.
How about Ethiopia?
Sahle-Work Zewde made history becoming that African nation’s first female president.
And speaking of becoming, it is the title of Michelle Obama’s biography.
The former first lady poured her experiences into a book she penned “Becoming” and in a leap of faith took signings on a tour that sold-out the Barclay Center and other large venues. The tour will continue into 2019.
“Notorious RBG” is another compelling tome published in 2018.
The telling publication highlighting the tremendous service of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to America crowns the well-lived, law-maker as an icon. Social media prompted the title which features the feminist fashioned in parody to the avowed rapper Notorious BIG who was a crowned royal in the hip-hop genre.
Most people are now looking ahead to prosperity, better health, security, goodness and greatness in 2019.
It is the last year of the second decade and hope is high for resolution of conflicts -- domestic and political -- and most of all Americans want America to be great Again.
A very Happy New Year to you and yours.
Catch You On The Inside!