Well, it is official, the year is almost over.
It seems we should almost give a nod to China since we are leaving the year of the rabbit for the year of the dragon. So how to diagnose this year’s worldwide horoscope?
Let’s start with the two biggest stories this year right here in Alabama: the Crimson Tide and immigration. Let’s take the most hotly debated first. I have to admit that when I was younger and more immature (I still have not grown up according to either my ex-wife or the country girl--but, hey, I’m almost proud of it), I used to say foolish things like why does football get more funding than, say, the symphony orchestra. It says all we need to know about our state that even the self-absorbed intelligentsia substitutes football for stealth bombers in that cynical formula. But that is one small way in which I’ve learned my lesson and turned over the ledger. I too am looking forward to Dre Kirkpatrick’s crackback block on the honey badger.
On the second front, the governor had a press conference on prescription drugs Rx, but all the TV reporters were there to get a quote about HB56. They were too chicken to raise the issue, though (what with his disapproval expected), so I, publisher of the Weekly, had to ask him what was his take on arresting Mercedes execs.
He turned to me with surprising focus.
I have to say I have never gotten so much notice from any sitting governor. I’ve only had more interaction with ex-govs Carter and Clinton, and those two only after they were prezes. So maybe I have to put it down to shock that I did not quite understand the words coming out of the governor’s mouth. What he said was that there is already an agreement with Germany and Japan (formerly the Axis Powers, which is equally relevant) to get reciprocal drivers licenses in the U.S., and furthermore the State of Alabama is busy notifying every major corporation in the world--presumably, including our dragon friends in China--just what Alabama’s documentary requirements are.
Say what? So what were you expecting?
For him to admit it was all a bad idea to pass a law that led to the arrest of Honda corporate brass? Now who looks like an ass.
Well, at least constitutional scholars no longer need address the views of the country girl on Arizona making federal policy--because she surely was not getting it on Fox news. I should have known something was wrong with her when she said on our first date that she loved Dick Cheney’s voice. Personally, the very sound of it has always made me shudder (and now the thought of it makes me want to puke). It makes you wonder what is wrong with me. Unfortunately, I know already what my weakness is.
So let’s take a hint from past presidential debates (can you believe we are already going through that again, and it is going to get worse unless Newt will take the dough to go away) and change the subject to the economy. I wish it would improve just like the rest of you. When business had a downturn this year the girl who angled so hard for a marriage proposal broke off our intended engagement--she said she did not need a financial albatross--even though I didn’t actually take a loss--she said she saw it coming and was out the door. What happened to for richer, for poorer?
I guess she is not a fan of Tammy Wynette (Stand By Your Man) or even the Clash (Stand By Me). And it is all the poor Birmingham Weekly’s fault, after I had to take it over after a loan default. She said she didn’t need that kind of trouble (as if I did). That nasty economy again. It has been a rough year. But now see what a ball we are having!
In Seen you can see one of the first parties in our new event space. We had scores of Black Girls Run members here, the most African-American females ever, and I can tell you we have never had more decibels either! I can’t wait to catch a breath in the new year and get set to invite you down for some art exhibitions, receptions, concerts, lectures, and wine tastings. We might even hold an albatross of the year awards ceremony, and rest assured the country girl can’t afford the ticket.
On the international plane, perhaps the story of the year was the Arab spring. I think that’s a funny linguistic concoction because I’ve been to the Arab world in March of the year and I don’t exactly remember dogwoods in bloom. But I can say that after I came in from two weeks in the desert--even in February--a cold beer never tasted so good. That’s about as close as I can relate to All-American springtime activities in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.
And sure enough it turns out to be easier to get rid of Mubarak and Godaffy than to set up a democratic government (see Newt)--after all, the country girl gets to vote, too. But that takes nothing away from the heroism of the people in Syria who, long after the news buzz has diminished, are still standing up to tyranny and brutality in Syria. The UN estimates that 5000 people have been killed in government crackdowns. And as you can see in Seen, there is solidarity for their brave stand right here in Birmingham.
What else? Oh yeah, I know what you are waiting for, fearing I am about to get too serious.
One of the biggest stories of the year was Kim Kardashian? Please. She has about as much brains and talent as the country girl, and even in the same places. I just can’t watch any more of that shit on TV, or in reality either. Let’s forego it for our new year’s resolution.
Of course you can’t consider the zodiac without taking romance into account and I think I see a pattern in the stars. I seem to go in two-year cycles for female friends, but for the last two the cycle has been vicious and I hate to say trending downwards. The next to last one, 2008- 2009 was a little nutty. She started to think she was under computer attack and then tried to run over me with her car, but I tried to help her anyway, in spite of her curse, though there was nothing I could do about it. But loyalty really got the best of me this last time, in the downward spiral, when I stuck out the cycle with the worst girlfriend ever in 2010- 2011. . Whatever she falsely accused me of was what she herself was doing. It makes me wonder what I thought was wrong with 2006-07, just as I’m sure she does. Come back, dear! I am going to have to consult my calendar and look up who that was.
Well, let’s hope for better things in 2012. I plan to make the most in the coming 365 days--whose outcome is yet to be determined--of all the momentum I have gathered coming out of the far turn and down the home stretch in the year of the Bunny. Meanwhile, like it says in the title to this column, I think I’ll go have my head examined.