Thank You, George Michael

And fuck you, 2016.

It tried and failed to get Carrie Fisher, so this terrible year took George Michael from us instead.

Faith was one of the first albums I ever owned. I didn’t understand a lot of things back then, but I vaguely understood that George wasn’t actually singing most of these songs to women. It’s hard to put into words, but I feel somehow that people like him were the reason I didn’t end up homophobic. His struggles with love and loss and faith resonated. They didn’t need a hetero context to be valid or true.

And his music, his voice, everything about him was so incredibly beautiful. He was one of those singers who, even long after I’d lost my taste for pop music, I could still listen to with reverence.

I hadn’t listened to “Hand to Mouth” since becoming an atheist. Looking back now, I can see why that song always resonated. It still speaks to me, right here, in these lines.

I believe in the gods of America
I believe in the land of the free
But no one told me
(No one told me)
That the gods believe in nothing
So with empty hands I pray
And from day to hopeless day
They still don’t see me
(See me)

It turns out that George Michael wrote the song we need for 2017. I hadn’t kept up with him since drifting away from pop music, so I didn’t know about his SJW tendencies.

I’m sorry he won’t be here with us as we strive to save the whole damn world. But at least we have the music he left us.

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Thank You, George Michael
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