Saturday, December 31, 2005

The New Year

So here we are, at the "final throes" of this foul year of Our Lord 2005, at the point when people suddenly stop for a second to wax pensive and poetic. I guess I'm among the worst of them.

It seems to me that, for the world at large, 2005 was an awful year. Of course, we didn't exactly kick it off in grand style; I myself nearly worried myself an ulcer wondering where W would spend that infamous "political capital." Perhaps the greatest harbinger of the year to come, however, was the main event of Christmas Day, 2004: a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 283,100 people, possibly the worst natural disaster of our time.

That deluge was followed some 8 months later by another one that destroyed the heart of Old Dixie: New Orleans. The president and congress were already having an awful year at that point, but the following days saw new lows in government approval ratings. Combined with corruption scandals, stalling legislative momentum, the final defeat of a Social Security overhaul that can only be described as "quixotic," and the first indictment of a sitting member of the Administration in over a hundred years, I think we can safely say it was a very, very bad year for the government.

We lost several of our best and brightest this year as well. Among those with "2005" chiseled under their names are Rosa Parks, Saul Bellow, Johnny Carson, and Pope John Paul II. We also should not forget Richard Pryor, the great Nazi hunter Simon Weisenthal and Luther Vandross. And yes Pat Morita (aka. "Mr. Miyagi"), we wax on and wax off in mourning for you, as well.

So everyone, let's raise a toast to 2005: Thank God it's over.

[This year actually turned out to be fairly good for me personally. I got my degree in May, a great teaching gig in the summer, and was hired for my first "real" job. I also got some great schadenfreude out of watching W have the single worst year of his presidency. But maybe that's just me being optimistic!]

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