2016: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Megan Manowitz)
by Steven Spoerl
Heartbreaking Bravery recently went offline but all facets of the site are back to being fully operational. Apologies for any inconveniences. All posts that were slated to run during that brief hiatus will appear with this note.
In a piece for the last edition of A Year’s Worth of Memories, Megan Manowitz waxed rhapsodic about about Krill (as did many other writers that year, myself included). This year, Manowitz expands outwards and tackles both the angers, fears, and frustrations rippling through the artistic community and the type of event that serves as a reminder of why the upcoming battles will be ones worth fighting. It’s a piece that’s teeming with as much anger as it is love, rendering it a perfect encapsulation of a general feeling shared by nearly all of the people who’ll wind up reading this piece. Dive in below, get frustrated, and do what you can to go all-in.
I don’t really know what else to say about this year other than, “fuck this.” Because for real, fuck this. Fuck people dying, fuck normalized oppression, fuck this daily trauma. this was the year i saw all my friends getting hit weekly, daily, with a new reason to grieve. no one should have to fight this hard just to exist in a shitty world that doesn’t love you, but within that, it’s really beautiful to watch communities create reasons to exist and moments to express love for one another.
An event, maybe a concept, definitely a thing that I keep coming back to from 2016 — a small beacon of light and happiness — was the 24 hour show. While the actual event was fun, it was the spirit behind it that has kept me inspired- no more wasted hours. No more wasted hours! We have so many of them! How much of them do we fill with actually doing what we want to do, on working towards bettering ourselves and our communities and the people we’ve committed to loving? On not meditating on self-loathing thoughts, on not feeling guilty for being anything less than an enthused participant in capitalism because it’s too hard to get out of bed?
I don’t know about you, but I spend way too many fucking hours feeling guilt about my pain, about not being able to work a normal job, about not WANTING to work a normal job. The 24 hour show was an example in constructing our own realities, about using every inch of our time and space to create what we wanted our world to look like, no matter how temporary. We can use our time however we want to build something worth living for- and if it’s fleeting or falls apart, then we’ll just build it again. The whole thing felt like magic.
I have the first issue of The Soft Times, the 24 hour show’s official newspaper, hanging above my desk and I read the letter from the editor, written by Liz Pelly, on the regular- it goes, “We live in a culture of distraction and time famine that sucks all of our minutes and hours and days away from us but the 24 hour show says we can disrupt that! We can have all 24 hours of our day. We can say NO MORE WASTED HOURS. The Soft Times believes that short-lived projects have meaning. That fleeting moments deserve care and attention. That the means is more important than the ends. That this might not amount to anything but for today, for this day, for the next 24 hours, we can go all-in.”
We should all embrace the reclamation of our time and do our best to go all-in.