I have yet to read Dave Barry’s Year in Review. It’s hard to compete with the masters so If I do, I won’t write this column.
Now that 2013 has come to a close, it’s healthy to look back and see how much the world, or at least the world I see has changed. I think it was a pretty good year. Again the world didn’t end. The stock market made already filthy rich people even richer. The first South American pope was elected in time to bless Argentina’s chances before the World Cup and to increase the sales of communion wine. And people with beards were very successful (more on this later) But there were several not so pleasant developments during this time which are worth noting. The first is that Health Care seems to be both the problem and the answer to all of our nation’s most pressing problems. Forget education and violence. Health care is the opium of the masses, so much so that Ted Cruz opted to filibuster for 23 hours to try to block the passage of the bill.
Amazingly there seem to be a few institutions with more influence than health care, one of which is Chase Bank. Despite some fraudulent speculation on the part of JP Morgan, which cost the bank, actually taxpayers and clients 9 billion, they still had enough in reserve to purchase a large chunk of the United States and almost all parts of Miami that are not occupied by Crossfits or Food Trucks. I suppose the assumption is that everyone has a lot of money to deposit or Chase Bank and Mormonism have merged.
Then there is Google. If Chase is the equivalent of planet Earth, then Google is the Milky Way. I think most people say Google during the course of the day more than they send text messages which is hard to believe. Between Google glasses, cars, phones, and the rest of their core applications, I think there is sufficient proof that the Matrix does exist.
A good adage for this past year is “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” There were regime changes in Venezuela, Iran and Egypt, but nothing actually changed except for more tweets by the respective presidents. I can apply this to teaching as well. I went back to classroom teaching (part time) and the paper load on an English teacher hasn’t dwindled a lick. In other words, teaching doesn’t get better, just more annoying.
T.V. is another story altogether. Since I’m not much of a thinker, I do have the TV on a lot and am amazed at how many programs revolve around either food or fashion. This isn’t so bad though I suppose it’s unnecessary for four panelists to judge the quality of a grilled cheese. Breaking Bad had its finale which is a good reminder of how poorly teachers are paid, and how whacky good TV scripts have become. Downton Abbey is my guilty pleasure though I’m open to recommendations on other worthy shows.
In Sports, actually I didn’t really watch any sports which is the main reason why my favorite baseball team The Red Sox miraculously won the World Series. The victory was a stern reminder that I had wasted several decades of my life thinking that watching games actually could steer the outcome in a particular direction. In other news, Alabama won the Super Bowl while Peyton Manning simultaneously set new records in passing and snow shoveling. As for the Heat, Charles Darwin’s study of finch beaks has nothing on what King James’ demonstrates about natural selection. And what’s all this jazz about Dwayne Wade fathering a child out of wedlock. Duh! Like I said, Natural selection. With his talents, he should father a whole basketball team.
On a personal note, I managed to avoid playing fantasy football which made for some rather uneventful Sundays. This is however, was very good for getting to church and cleaning the house. The best part of the year was getting engaged. They say “it’s better to be lucky than good” and I am certainly lucky to have such an amazing fiancée.
So 2014 is here and with it, the rather fortunate realization that my role in the world is very limited. I won’t do a 23 hour filibuster nor will be able to grow a beard. But I will spend a decent amount of time at Chase Bank and will hopefully Google more than I text message.
In all seriousness, I just feel grateful to be alive, hopefully in good graces and can’t wait to finally get hitched. May the future be even better than the past – for all of us