Here's some of those Scotch Chilis:
2008 was, um, an election year. The last full year of the Bush Administration. A year of gas at $4 and economic insecurity, and a slide in the old gas prices--but with a twist, that we know better now "what price energy". It was a year about hope and change, as well as a year about getting back to basics. We might have cinched our belts, but at least we're holding our pants up. We lost some people we'll miss, and some we might not, but that isn't really nice to say, is it?
2008 had a couple revelations for us--about China's having smogged out their sky, and deregulated their industry until we need to look at anything they sell twice. They also substituted a little nine year old to lip synch for a little seven year old at the Olympics, which was just sad. I mean, for the seven year old. Because, if people don't think you're cute at enough at seven, that's tough, because for most people, seven really is the peak of cute. Cute really slacks off post-seven, unless you're one of those late bloomers who is not so cute as a kid, but then--Wow! as a grown-up. So she should look forward to that, and China should look forward to not having melamine in everything. That would be good.
We learned about John McCain and were introduced to Sarah Palin. I think circa 2007 we kind of more thought McCain was moderate and Straight-Talk Express-y, but we got over that. And Sarah Palin was a kind of revelation herself, about where the GOP might be going, you know? I know I'm going to be interested in what she'll have to say in 2009. And I wish her the best regarding her new grandbaby Tripp!
We kind of fell in love with Change, and Hope, and Barack Obama. Shut up, you know you did. You fell head over heels in madcap love with the fellow, and who could blame you? He spoke to all of us for a change, and really said the things we needed to hear. And he has this wonderful, smart wife and we'll have these cool little daughters of his in the White House--and so what--Obamalot. They are cool people, but the main thing is, Obama seems to take this business of being president seriously, will concentrate on policy, not politics, and I forsee him being pragmatic without losing sight of his ideals. Also, for the most part, I like his decisions, cabinet and staff-wise, so far, and the invocation is like two friggin' minutes, so, I guess I'm okay. No need to "talk me down."
And speaking of "talk me down", this year was kind of MSNBC ascendant, with Olbermann and Rachel Maddow getting totally awesome ratings and Chris Matthews was kind of a hoster with the most-er having some really cool Youtubable bits with folks like Michele Bachman. So I think that is good for cable news. That meant less ratings for O'Reilly, and maybe even led to Hannity losing Colmes.
(p.s. Fox, if you ever wanted a liberal to keep Hannity honest--I am available. I am generally conversant with the issues of the day, am A-#1 with using the Google, and could totally shout Sean down if necessary, having a trained soprano singing voice that could actually deafen at will, let alone merely holler back at your boy. And I might actually meet Ann Coulter if I were on Fox, and would finally be able to experiment on whether or not she is the anti-me, and see if one or both of us explodes on contact. It could be cool. Especially if she blew up and I survived.)
We lost Tim Russert this year, who will be missed. I think Mr. Russert was a guy who loved the give and take of politics and admired stand-out people like John McCain tried to be--I don't think he'd have enjoyed reporting on the negativity of the campaign that was. Also, I wonder what conservative Godfather William F. Buckley Jr. might have thought about Sarah Palin. That smaller government, sesquipedalian conservative voice was quieted this year, and I think I might miss him. He wasn't knee-jerk, after all, even saying positive things about legalization of marijuana. I did not always agree with Mr. Buckley, but I found I read him, and wondered if there wasn't a common ground between his kind of conservatism and my liberalism--a civil libertarian nearly neoliberalism? To my mind, as an opinion writer regarding politics, I have to give him props for pointing out ways it could be done. He blazed a trail, anyway.
But we will miss more than this:
Bettie Page, Mark Felt, Majel Roddenberry--shit, a sexpot, Deep Throat, and a great part of ST: TNG? All important. And Harold Pinter and Eartha Kitt--my favorite Catwoman? Maybe December is the cruelest month.
We lost Jerry Reed and Paul Newman, Levi Stubbs and Odetta. We lost Studs Terkel and Micheal Crichton and Miriam Makeba.
George Carlin, Bernie Mac, Don S Davis. and so many more wonderful people--but all of them left seeds of their greatness, and I think we were blessed to have known of them. So we can talk about how great they were, and for Carlin and Mac, steal their material. (I'm kidding. But watching their comedy, I took notes.)
In 2009 we may lose some, but we might have some good things to gain. I think we might see more regulation and fiscal resposibility from the gov't on up to the CEO's, and that might have a positive spending effect on the clued-in--who will buy when they see their own retail salaries, or manufacturing salaries do better. Or who might represent for buying USA if they see they can keep their job--you know, because people base their expenses on whether they can pay. We have yet to see who might be our hero investors who save the economy, but the safe bet is it will be people with good jobs or a steady income stream. Meh--I do not always offer big revelations.
Anyways--2008 was what it was--let's hear it for 2009!!!