2009 came in like a drug-fueled home invasion. Nothing subtle. Very flashy. Lacking any depth. The best thing I saw was while watching CNN. Anderson Cooper, the most masculine man in the country, and Kathy Griffith, a comedian I can't stand, were hosting the festivities. As usual when it comes to these sort of things, there's nothing to report unless a bomb goes off. Cameras keep cutting back to morons celebrating in another part of the world or New York ("It's a new day soon! Woo-hoo! Look, mom, I'm drunker than normal!"). Griffith, and I'm not even sure if that's how you spell her last name (and I'm not researching it), gets bored and when Cooper holds his calloused hand to his weathered ear and announces he is getting word of something, she says, "Ryan Seacrest has been shot."
"Ryan Seacrest has been shot." That was on live television. That was, unfortunately, a lie. Brilliant. Cooper, always a credit to his gender and profession, kept it together. You could tell he was uncomfortable, though, and really wanted a Budweiser.
On New Year's Eve I learned that a co-worker died a horrible death on Christmas, leaving her two children without a mother. It was a car accident, and her vehicle was mangled beyond belief.
I didn't really like the lady, but I understood where she was coming from and had a few pleasant conversations before they turned weird (and I don't use that word loosely). She was not a good worker, but she loved her kids dearly, and I can't help but think of how torn apart they are. She was proud of them and what they had become, and I know she was eager to see what they would be like as adults. She raised them to be independent thinkers and intelligent, and from all accounts it worked.
The news bummed me out. She wasn't an enemy, so I wasn't glad she died (like I was when Reagan finally went back to the Hell that spawned him). I felt like my stomach had dropped out of me, and I kept thinking of the kids. I was glad they weren't with her, but I wonder if it wouldn't have been better. Their lives, their Christmas celebrations, will never be the same. I doubt they'll even be celebrations, which will affect any kids they may have.
There comes a time when every kid becomes an adult. It's not when they turn 18 or lose their virginity. It's when they realize how random and scary life is. It's when they realize that every thing they hold dear and secure can be taken at any moment and turned against them. It's when they realize they aren't properly capable of handling the shit thrown their way.
At midnight I heard the fireworks go off and the gun shots sound. Some people beeped their car horns. All seemed happy to partake in some silly tradition where the only purpose seems to be to say, "I, too, know it's a new year." Some make a resolution to make things better. Some just hope to survive another 365 days of misery. Some wonder what they would be doing if their mom was still around.
Me? I don't really care that it's 2009. It's the same shit. The same blood-soaked path that ends at a cliff. It's one year closer to death. I wasn't firing off M-80s or a shotgun. I wasn't giving it much thought because I was kind of ill. Stress has been doing a number on me, and while I'm not happy to admit it, I believe it's going to get much worse. That said, here's what I wish for the New Year.
More bank robberies. With the economy in the can, you have to go where the money is.
Less violence against innocent people, and more against the people who put us in this position. Politicians. Bankers. Wall Street sharks. Hang them with their own intestines and call it even.
The return of art theft on a grand scale. Art is one of the few things that maintains its value, and it's such a sexy fucking crime. Let's bring it back in force. I've always said the best thing you can do with art is steal it.
Real political debate and discussion making it onto the airwaves. Get on the radio and TV and stir shit up.
More pranks. Good ones. Big ones. Ryan Seacrest was shot type ones.
Let's speed up the inevitable. Again, burn the fuse.