Odd Thoughts: Langley writer says 1913 worst year ever

Lots of people are on social media complaining about 2016 but was it really so bad?

The jury hasn’t even gone out, and the verdict is clear: 2016 is guilty of being a monumental stinker.

It’s being suggested that 2016 will be remembered as one of the worst years in history.

My fear is that 2016 will hardly be remembered at all.

How many people ever talk about 1913?

The Balkans had been in violent uproar. Peace talks broke down at the beginning of 1913. But then the Balkans found peace when the war was ended by force… and then another started. There were armistices… and more outbreaks.

King George of Greece was assassinated after years of “acquiring” new territories for his country. He was not averse to taking what was not freely given. He was just one of several who fell to terrorists that year.

By the time the Balkans had festered through 1913, due in no small part to interest from Great Powers near and far, it was generally understood that a really big war – going far beyond the local hostilities – was inevitable.

The assassination in Sarajevo of peacenik Franz Ferdinand the following summer was really just the culmination of political manoeuvring that had been building in the years leading up to and including 1913.

Everybody remembers the horror that “started” in 1914. But I suspect that the general feeling at the end of 1913 was that it was probably one of the worst years ever.

A couple more unhappy asides for 1913: the “Irish Question” was settled – and the settlement was rejected by the House of Lords. Women were refused the vote – again – in several countries.

In the popular history, Kaiser Wilhelm II has been blamed for finally causing the First World War. But insiders – on both sides – maintain that he never wanted a general European war. They say he was just a bombastic loudmouth who gave folks the wrong impression and unwittingly painted his country in a corner.

Hmmm… sound like anyone we know?

Next time you’re told, “At least 2017 can’t be worse than 2016,” remember Donald Trump was only elected president in 2016; in 2017 he actually will be president.

That said, I hope I am as wrong as I have ever been. Bigly.

Perhaps The Donald will make the world great again.

That’s my wish for the New Year: may 2017 be the greatest in the history of years!

Just Posted

Liberal hopeful aims to claim candidate spot in Langley-Aldergrove

Leon Jensen was the 2015 candidate in Langley-Aldergrove.

Backlog reduced at Langley adult day program

Wait list goes from months to weeks

LETTER: Fort Langley driver lobbies for roundabout signalling

ICBC rules call for drivers to signal when exiting roundabouts.

South Langley community group wants to talk innovative housing

Brookswood-Fernridge Community Association invites people to a meeting about the future of housing.

GREEN BEAT: Opening ‘new roads’ in Langley makes cycling safer

HUB Langley pushed to ‘UnGap the Map’ and create more bike infrastructure throughout the community.

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Pedestrian killed, two injured in three vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Road closures in effect following collision

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read