This past year is to suck as the Hindenberg is to flaming bags of gas.
Annus horribilis hardly describes this turd of a year, the culmination of arrogance, hubris and idiocy as the chickens of Milton Friedman's school of irresponsible capitalism, the imperial governance of a fatuous dauphin, and the Terry Schiavo obsessed culture warriors come flying home to crap all over the windshield of America.
Consumers, drunk on EZ credit, bought homes they couldn't afford, flat screen TVs to watch Mama's Boys, and SUVs that cost as much as our first house. Their spending, writ large by Congress, fueled a greed binge on Wall Street that inspired the creation of financial "instruments" that make Chuck Ponzi look like a third-rate purse snatcher.
This was the year that our allies, the Iraqi government, welcomed the president of Iran with flowers, songs and a red carpet while our president had to fly in under the cover of secrecy and stealth.
This was the year when a major political party fell in love with a woman who, when asked her opinion of the Bush Doctrine," asked, "In what respect, Charlie?"
That voice will live like a tumor in my brain for years.
But we do have hope. The family is healthy. For now, both Jenny and I are employed. We live in a small house with a small mortgage. We share that house with a wonderful dog named Duncan and a curmudgeonly cat named Zoe.
We helped elect a man who acts like a grownup when faced with a challenge. Whether he can actually clean our windshield and get us back on the road is still to be seen, but it's more likely than if we'd elected the guy who, one morning, echoed our president in insisting the economic fundamentals were strong, and then reversed himself that afternoon.
And I have you, the readers of The Planet. I'm always amazed when I run into one of you in the real world, especially someone I've never met.
For instance, I was in the Principle art gallery in Virgina one day and mentioned that one of their artists, GC Myers, was a reader. When I mentioned the name of this blog, a customer perusing the art overheard me and said, "You write that? I read that blog all the time."
I immediately apologized.
So, on this gray second day of a new year, I wish all of you a happy, healthy, successful 2009. If we stick together, we just might make it through this with just a few bumps and bruises.
That's my hope, anyway.