So as the moments dwindle down to the new year, I am a little overwhelmed by the sentiments I'm reading pretty much everywhere about the horrible year 2009 was and how we're well shut of it - good riddance 2009.
Might I be so bold to tell everyone to get over himself?
This is one of those things that might drive me a little crazy. Yes. 2009 hit some low points. We're poorer for one. But the (I guess entirely predictable) overdoing of the import of the horrors of 2009 make me, a cynic if ever there was one, want to reach into the annals and pull out some good things that happened in 2009. Mostly to shut all the crybabies up.
But before I do that, I'd like to explain myself. One of my main complaints with the society I currently live in is that we are self-involved to the point of comedy - except we don't know it. Gas prices go up 25c and the news badgers local pumpers to bitch and moan about the extra 3 bucks they'll spend each time they fill up; an unmarked van is abandoned in Times Square causing police activity, and 1010 WINS finds some brainless midwestern tourist to complain about how it ruined the trip for her kids. This is to say nothing of the Mexicans who take your jobs, the socialists who turn your kids commie, the gays who engayenate your kids and, so I don't seem overly partisan, the ban-all-gun nuts, PETA-freaks, and sugared soda crazies. Isn't anyone at all not miserable about everything?
Life sucks. I paraphrase Hobbes, of course, but who told you (collective) that life owed you dick? Yeah, sometimes the economy tanks and your 401k gets eviscerated. Sometimes a giant frickin wave obliterates your town. Sometimes you must choose to fill your car with gas as opposed to buying your latte at Starbucks. War means people die; pluralism means you don't get your way all the time; and frequently you have to pay for things you don't necessarily think are important. Welcome to the real world - you've been living here all along, just with your ears plugged, your eyes closed, and pablum oozing from the sides of your lips.
But you know the nice thing? Even a brief glimpse at the recorded history of the world will tell you that ups and downs are NORMAL. Yeah, you lost half of your savings, but it will come back, and then it will grow larger. Currently religious freaks of every type are intervening where I, personally, would rather they didn't, but that too will pass. Currently Mad Men is on hiatus, but I'm pretty sure there will be another season, so I'm not going to maul a local news reporter to get on camera saying the producers of Mad Men should think of my needs and wants and broadcast new episodes every week of the year.
I'm tired of being surrounded by entitled complainers (and I count myself among them from time to time). I'm tired of being labeled a loony liberal by certain friends and occasionally devoted partner, and a slowly turning republican by my loony liberal parents - frankly I think both sides are worthless POS (this just in: I am seriously considering running against Joe Lieberman for CT senator - my slogan: I couldn't possibly do a worse job than Joe) and are more interested in entertaining me, Jerry Springer style, than doing anything remotely substantive. But the reason they suck so hard is that we want them to. Substantive discourse is way beyond our soon to be outsourced brains, so we'd prefer to watch politics the way we watch television: numbly.
So saying 2009 sucked hard, even if it didn't suck that hard for you, is jumping on a bandwagon that I'd just as soon see pushed off a cliff. People got married in 2009. They had babies. Some bought their first homes. Some realized that getting fired or laid off was the best thing that ever happened to them because if forced them to take stock of their lives and choose things more meaningful to them. Some people me the loves of their lives, others escaped bad relationships. Some people saw Paris for the first time; the Great Wall; the Pyramids. Some people read and wrote good books, started new companies, sold their first paintings. I would be willing to bet that here, in America, there isn't a single person who can't find something good that happened in 2009. So stop bellyaching already! Every year isn't going to be a non-stop date with Brad Pitt eating chocolate cake in a jacuzzi full of money.
I always hope the year to come will be better than the year that was simply because it's nice to look forward to things, and I certainly hope that 2010 will be better than 2009. But not because I'm owed it.
I wish everyone a good 2010, but I implore you, in these last moments of 2009, think of something good that happened in 2009. To do otherwise is beneath you.
2 weeks ago