The decade is ending and 2009 is becoming history. There is irony in that, because 2009 was not one for the history books. It was not the best of times, not the worst of times; I'd put it squarely in the second division.
Two Thousand Nine started with big hopes and an even bigger panic. Both seem smaller now, a lot smaller. Was that a good trade? I'll let you decide. But I can't help but get the nagging feeling, so inappropriate for this season of goodwill, that we're in the process of blowing it.
I don't see how we ever get together as a society and tackle real problems in good faith if we can't under this president. This is as good as it gets, people. I had real optimism when Barack Obama was inaugurated, back in January. I thought we had a chance to heal as a nation. I thought his reasonable, welcoming leadership would help us bridge our bitter, partisan divide, and I wrote about it with hope and conviction.
I've been wrong before, and I'll be so again. But I really wanted to be right this time. It's sad when your fondest dreams are dashed; I had a pretty meh year.
But I don't want to complain too much, there were whole classes of people who had it worse in 2009.
This was a very bad year to be a drug overdose victim if you weren't Michael Jackson.
It doesn't matter if you were a celebrity or just a poor junkie. If you check out on drugs the same year Michael Jackson does, you are doomed to be an afterthought. Who remembers DJ AM now, or Billy Mays? Who mourns for all the anonymous deceased druggies this December?
And the dope they OD'd on was so low rent compared to the King of Pop. He went out with a physician at his side and a drip of drugs so rare you never see them outside of an operating theater.
They OD'd on street drugs bought for cash in an alley on the bad side of town, and nobody cared. Michael departed from Neverland and the whole world mourned.
Your average junkie's stuff went to the Salvation Army. Michael's moonwalk glove fetched $420, 000. Overdosing on drugs is never a good idea, but in 2009 it sucked worse than usual.
This was a terrible year to be a mistress. The field was too crowded. Can anyone tell me, offhand without googling it, the name of John Edwards' UK lover? Mark Sanford's Argentine honey? Max Baucus's Montana momma? Or any single one of Tiger Woods' cocktail-waitresses-of-the-month?
Neither can I. I hope 2010 is kinder to those gals. Maybe they can start a reality show--Desperate Hussies. Have them all live together in a house in Malibu. Which ever girl sleeps with the most happening director wins a contract from Paramount.
Speaking of reality shows, 2009 was a good year for anyone who lives the "screen life." On the little iPhone to the biggest hi-def, America spent the year riveted to screens, wishing it was themselves they were watching.
In 2009 it felt like the whole country was in a reality show and knew that only hate and rants and temper tantrums can bring the ratings. Reasonable is boring, reasonable doesn't sell, reasonable didn't make Carrie Prejean and Glen Beck stars. High dudgeon and low blows did.
Diva behavior is the gold standard for success, if fame is your template. And while most of us will never be famous, we can be heedless jerks, just like the real thing.
The internet screen life is The Little Home Fame Playset. You too can behave like human refuse and be the envy of your social network! When the going gets tough, the tough get on YouTube. Just remember, without conflict there is no drama, so make some and never cooperate or reason together. Unless it's in some lethal guru's smoke lodge and you can sell the story to TMZ.
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