1. It’s Saturday, July 2, 2016.
2. It’s 1 a.m. ET. That means that here in New York, where I’m posting this, it’s the exact midpoint of this year.
Yesterday, July 1, was the 183rd day of the year. There are 366 days in 2016 (quick, think of something you did on Feb. 29!), so 183 is half the days.
That dividing line would normally be midnight, the last moment of Friday.
That brings us to Daylight Savings Time. The hour we skipped on March 13 (quick, think of something you did on March 13!) got pushed to Nov. 6, which hasn’t arrived yet.
So that means the final moment of the year’s 4,392nd hour, half of 2016’s 8,784 hours, occurs at 1 a.m. on July 2.
Which is now.
Welcome to the second half of 2016.
3. If this were a football game, we’d be going over the highlights of the first half.
But “highlights” seems like too positive a word to describe the first 183 days.
When I think of the first half of the year, I think of Brussels. I think of a crazed gunman in Orlando. I think of what happened in Istanbul this past week. Three events that completely belie the idea that the human race is getting progressively better.
I think about last week’s Brexit vote, something akin to national economic suicide.
And, of course, it’s impossible to think about the first half of 2016 without the name Trump.
It’s hard to think of a single of the 183 days so far in which this maroon hasn’t opened his mouth and said something offensive to the idea that America is a diverse and intelligent nation. He has exposed the racism that some of us were blind to. He has embarrassed the city where he was allegedly born (Has anyone seen HIS birth certificate?).
The most you can say about the first half of 2016 is that it was inconclusive.
Sure we know won the Pulitzer Prizes and the NBA Championship and the Academy Awards.
But the second half of the year will reveal answers to a bunch of things hanging over us.
First, what the hell is Britain going to do now that 52% of its voters have indicated they want to disengage from Europe? How does that work? Who is the ultimate Machiavellian manipulator or lucky stiff that will emerge from the scrum to become the nation’s leader?
Second, can Rio actually stage an Olympics? Or is this going to be a 17-day scourge of civil unrest, shoddy facilities, doping scandals, overwrought nationalism? (Although it’s impossible to be an overindulgence in any way if we hear 17 days of the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim.)
And, finally, the big question: Will the United States of America throw away 240 years of being the beacon of freedom by electing Trump, a character out of a wretched political novel, as its 45th President? Or can Hillary Clinton, an imperfect hero, deliver the kind of electoral rout needed to reestablish this country’s place as the world’s moral leader?
Here comes the second-half kickoff. It’s going to be a tough 263,520 minutes.
4. By the way, if you ask me, the best thing that happened in the first half of 2016 was Bartolo Colon’s home run. What do you think?