Thursday, January 1, 2009

So It's a New Year

January 1, 2009

I just love those montages of world events they put on tv at the end of every year, even the inevitable memorials to those well-known people we lost during the year. Don't you?

A review of the past year is somehow cathartic, and perhaps even necessary to the prep of facing the incoming one. We never know what lies ahead, and at least once a year we think about that fact.

The year 2008 was one of the most momentous of my lifetime. In my day I've seen more than the advent and exit of Detroit bombs like the Edsel, above; I've seen the end of a "great" war; the beginning of many infamous ones; a trickle of lackluster election campaigns; a parade of decent presidents and a few scoundrels in the job--but none of these compares to the impact in my life of the presidential election year of 2008, in which a true talent emerged and convinced enough people he could do the job that he vanquished some formidable opponents and actually won. It was good to know that the man in the White House might undo some of the pain wrought over the past polarizing eight years.

Whenever I see the memorials, however, I am saddened: Paul Newman, Charlton Heston, Suzanne Pleshette, George Carlin, Heath Ledger, Bernie Mac, and all the others whom I shall miss. I remind myself that they remain with us in their films, but we all know that isn't the same. We know that others will succeed them, but they will not truly be replaced. We know that 2009 will bring some rewarding and excellent movies and books, some unanticipated artists in any number of fields, but knowing that these people are not on the earth any more triggers the inevitable sense of loss and wonder.

As we retrain ourselves to put a "9" where we had become accustomed to putting an "8" at the end of the date, we will add a hopeful sigh, knowing that another year is beginning. As with the birth of a baby, we anticipate the best and have some apprehension that our hopes may not be met.

Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

Only the number has changed. (America wanted a change. )

And so they got it...a change to what?...As I see it, it will change for the the next year I see Russian troops being deployed to the Middle East. I see Joe Biden as president, and Hillary as vice president. You can blame the nation of Islam for they did with Malcolm X. I see a jobless America, India and Pakistan at war, and Israel fighting for its life...and a draft returns here in America, our banks and stocks taking a dive.

A gloomy future awaits us. I really do hope I'm wrong, but that's what I see coming.

Mary Lois said...

If I didn't know you better, hk, I'd ask what you've been smoking (or drinking). This sad prediction is based on what, I wonder. The fact that we've got a new president coming in? You don't like him, that's one thing, but all this?

Let's lighten up around here. Most of the world thinks the U.S. is doing something right for a change--we've got a lot to make up for the mistakes of the past eight years (speaking of our banks and stocks taking a dive!), but we can do it. And we will.

Anonymous said...

I don't drink or smoke, but I do study alarming predictions I really hope don't come true, for my grandchildren's sake. I wish good luck to our new president. He seems like a good man for the job, BUT there are some in this country I distrust. The Middle East is ripe for another war. History has its way of repeating itself. Sorry, but things don't look good...if a 9/11 was to happen again here would the new president look the other way? I don't think so...I really hope i'm wrong, but it worries me.

Mary Lois said...

We've got a lot to do to clean up all the messes, but we do need a positive attitude or we won't even start.

Besides, a new year is more than politics. Maybe Ford will reinvent the Edsel or Brad Pitt will build some new houses in New Orleans or be in another movie or something.

As for me, I have a new book coming out that I'll write a blog post about soon.