2016: A year of personal and political upheavals

Black coffee and cigarettes

new-beginnings

That 2016 was a terrible year has become something of a litany now. There was the relentless roll call of celebrity deaths – from Bowie and Prince, to Rickman and Wogan, Cohen, Ali, Wilder, Harper Lee, and, more recently, Fisher, Michael and Reynolds – all era-defining, often self-deprecating, wildly charismatic artists, whose songs, films, books and TV shows punctuated our lives, and whose deaths – nearly always too early – seemed also to close the door on a different, and somehow better, world.

Then, of course, there were the political maelstroms of Brexit and Trump, the resurgence of strongman leaders like Modi and Duarte, the raging conflict in Syria, continued IS atrocities, shocking assassinations, terrible plane crashes – news that always verged on hyperbole, if not outright catastrophe, the sense that our world, as we knew it, was teetering on its axis. I thought 2011, when I was producing news…

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