Death to 2021

Have you seen that British mockumentary on Netflix? I saw it last year, as Death to 2020, and yesterday as Death to 2021. The movie features a series of characters discussing US and global news from 2021, including the Pandemic, vaccines, climate change, race riots, January 6th, the MetaVerse, fires, floods, and the Olympics games, presenting the year that was, not as bad as 2020, but still pretty ridiculous.

The hour long collection of clips is rather funny, with Hugh Grant, age 60, as narrator.

How did Hugh Grant become fuddy-duddy? And 60 years old?

Notwithstanding, it was entertaining and we should also summarize the year that was in Aruba.

On a personal note, I wrote about 420 columns, both Bati Bleki and Tourism Updates. Some good, some terrible, but I imagine I will keep going in 2022. This island always provides us with plenty to talk about.

Last year however, was more optimistic, the Pandemic inspired foolish, grand ideas about revolutionary change and a restart, that over 2021 quietly fizzled in the face of same-old-same-old.

And that downward spiraling mood, of a slowly dying Pandemic-inspired optimism, continued to deflate and reached bottom with the signing of the LNG agreement without parliamentary approval, out of the blue. Because.

I met a fellow-columnist the other day, at Tierra del Sol. He was walking out of the gym, I think. I stopped writing, he announced. I noticed, I replied. It doesn’t make a difference, he added. I know, I conceded. So, I decided to do things differently in 2022, he continued, to collaborate with some other like-minded people, instead of just howling into space like a lone wolf. That’s my imagery.

Good luck, I said, and meant it. He will be trying to be influential within a group, a band of idealistic locals. Try to change things for the better, not just cosmetic tweaks, but fresh mind-sets.

Since it is the last column of the year, I can confess that these past months, I have also entertained the idea of putting down my pen, disillusioned. I love the island, it is a fantastic place, but we need a new approach. This thing that we’re doing is in chronic over-draft.

In the current set up, we cannot afford ourselves. Trying to be a country is impossible for a small Caribbean island with limited resources and by trying to parallel a Dutch country we are setting ourselves up for failure.

But what is the alternative? What are other, non-Dutch island-nations doing?

How are they managing their countries?

Perhaps we should look around.

But before we do that, we have to commit NOT to spend more than we earn! Look at the total expense and needed investment levels, and DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN WE MAKE.

So, let that be my New Year’s resolution: Spend what you make after you put some money aside for rainy days. Boring? Sure, not that exciting, but effective.

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December 31, 2021
Rona Coster