Saturday, January 3, 2009

The New Year Celebration that Wasn't

It may be the start of a new year, but that’s not necessarily, in these uncertain and unsettled times, a cause for celebration. More than a few skeptics and cynics and skeptical cynics (and cynical skeptics) are saying, “Welcome to the New Year, same as the Old Year.”

Because this is sure to be a year of disappointment and delayed gratification for many people, I’m foregoing any celebration until January 20th. Even then, I’ll only be celebrating George DUHbya (yes, it’s spelled with a capital DUH) Bush’s departure from the White House; it’s too soon to begin contemplating a serious celebration of Barak the Magic Human’s ensconcement therein, and I’m more than happy to put off the festivities until such time that the Mighty O demonstrates his leadership skills in ways that take us out of the morass of mischievous mayhem maliciously visited upon us by his malevolent predecessor.

If it turns out to be more of the same I will have squandered no precious time and energy paying tribute to an indefensible administration bent on perpetuating the wholesale destruction of environment, economy, Constitution and country. Instead, I will devote my time to rethinking my New Year’s revolution resolution, which—in its current iteration—is to essentially remain optimistic in a hostile atmosphere of adversity and deprivation. While I’m still unsure as to where a new New Year’s resolution might be headed, I’m reasonably certain that circumstances will eventually dictate a direction.

Change is coming, of that we can be certain; yet to be determined is whether that change will be for the better or for the worse. It behooves us to remember that change manifests in many ways, and in many different scenarios: a repair shop might change out old parts for new; in auto racing, tire changes are the rule rather than the exception (pit for fuel and tires in two laps, Danica), and change is often implied without the word actually being spoken; in politics it’s a change of administrations, but in political campaigns it’s “change you can believe in” (if you’re gullible enough to believe campaign slogans); and in the new economy it’s “Hey, buddy, can you spare some change?” Context is everything, but content is pretty important, too.

I’m not at all optimistic that the many crises—economic, environmental, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, et al—to which Obama has fallen heir will immediately begin to show signs of recovery once Mighty O takes the oath of office. Nor should you be. It’s far more likely that most of these crises will deepen significantly over the next year or two before a turnaround becomes apparent; problems that develop over years are not fixed overnight. In the meantime, look forward to more unemployed people, more homeless people, more hungry people, and more of almost everything else that’s undesirable.

Do I have any predictions for 2009? Well, yes! Yes, I do. I have one prediction. I predict that before Obama’s first week in office ends, he will know what it’s like to put his shoulder to the wheel and his nose to the grindstone while his back is to the wall and people hold his feet to the fire. Oh, so many clich├ęs . . ..

Wait! I just thought of another one. Prediction, that is. I also predict that before Mighty O has been in office for a month gas prices reverse course and head back toward the recently familiar territory of $4 per gallon.

Wait! I just thought of another ‘nuther one, so make that three predictions for the price of one. I further predict that The Bushwhacker will try to claim credit for the relative low gas prices at the end of 2008 in an attempt to put some positive spin on an otherwise disastrous legacy.

Yeah, like that’s ever gonna happen.