It was a cruel, cruel year — a year that kept raising our hopes, only to squash them flatter than a dead possum on the interstate.
Example: This year the "reality" show "Jersey Shore," which for six hideous seasons has been a compelling argument in favor of a major earth-asteroid collision, finally got canceled, and we dared to wonder if maybe, just maybe, we, as a society, were becoming slightly less stupid.But then, WHAP, we were slapped by the cold hard frozen mackerel of reality in the form of the hugely popular new "reality" show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," which, in terms of intellectual content, makes "Jersey Shore" look like "Hamlet."
Another example: As the year began, the hottest recording artist was the brilliant singer-songwriter Adele, whose popularity made us think that maybe, just maybe, after years of rewarding overhyped auto-tuned dreck, we were finally developing more sophisticated musical tastes, and then ... WHAP, we were assaulted from all sides by the monster megahit video "Gangnam Style," in which a man prances around a variety of bizarre South Korean settings riding an imaginary Korean horse and shouting a song that, except for the words "Eh, sexy lady," is entirely in Korean.
It was that kind of year. Remember back in 2011, when the big sex scandal involved Anthony Weiner, the ferretlike congressperson who committed political suicide by Tweet? We all thought, "Oh well, another Washington politician who wants to regulate everything except his own personal dingdong. At least there are SOME institutions, such as the Secret Service, the CIA and the Army, where males in positions of responsibility can control their ..."
Did anything good come out of 2012? Maybe. Consider: For years, Washington has been paralyzed by bitterly partisan gridlock, unable and unwilling to act in the face of a potentially disastrous economic crisis. But this year, we, the people, finally did something about it. We went to the polls, and made our decision. Which is why now, as the year ends, we can look forward to a future in which Washington is ...
So, OK, basically we need to forget about 2012 as soon as possible. But just so we can remember exactly what it is we need to forget, let's pour ourselves a stiff drink and take a look back at the train wreck we're staggering away from, starting with ...
President Barack Obama, in the State of the Union address, boldly rebuts critics who charge that his economic policies have been a failure by displaying the scalp of Osama bin Laden, which a White House aide carries in a special briefcase.
Meanwhile, the race for the Republican presidential nomination, which began in 2003, continues to be a spicy political gumbo of excitement. The emerging front runner is Mitt Romney, who combines a strong resume of executive experience with the easy-going natural human warmth of a parking meter. Still in contention, however, is Newt Gingrich, whose popularity surges briefly, only to wane when voters begin to grasp the fact that he is Newt Gingrich. This opens the door for Rick Santorum, whose strong suit is that he has a normal first name, and who apparently at one point was a senator or governor of Pennsylvania or possibly Vermont.
In the new year's first major disaster, the Mediterranean cruise ship Costa Concordia goes way off course, hits a rock and sinks. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is immediately relieved of command and placed in charge of the Italian economy.
The economic news remains bad in ...
American motorists struggle to afford ever-higher gasoline prices, prompting a pledge from President Obama to do "whatever it takes" to bring relief at the pump, "including killing Osama bin Laden again." Mitt Romney responds that he, more than any other candidate, understands the consumers' pain over this issue, since he owns "at least 45 cars."
Tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan mount after eyewitnesses in Waziristan claim that an unmanned U.S. Predator drone robbed a convenience store. Meanwhile, in what international observers see as a red flag, Iran places an ad on Craigslist stating "WE PAY CASH FOR NUCLEAR BOMB MATERIALS."
In sports news, Indianapolis, shedding its "hick town" image, shows that it is truly a world-class city as it hosts Super Bowl XLVI, in which the Giants seal a dramatic 21-17 victory when Ahmad Bradshaw, with 57 seconds left, reaches the end zone by vaulting over a cow that wandered onto the field.
Speaking of dramatic in ...
In Europe, the economic crisis continues to worsen as the government of Greece, desperate for revenue, is forced to lease the Parthenon to Hooters. Meanwhile Moody's Investors Service downgrades the credit rating of Spain to "putrid" after an audit reveals that the national treasury consists entirely of Groupons.