The negative in 2009 was omnipresent. The positive was ducked down in a corner of the school house, hands over head, to soften the blow of debris from the nuclear explosion. Nonetheless, I managed to find at least ten stories from 2009 that will have a positive impact on mankind, in our coming days, otherwise known as our future.
The positive will shape our future, not the negative (I said that). Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give it a whirl! Boyle, Gaga and Sully are just on the horizon, mateys!
1. “I Dreamed A Dream”-Susan Boyle is not a ‘Publicity Stunt’! Susan has gained Fame by way of her Virtue, her simply Marvelous, Lovely Voice!
Demi Moore’s twitter that Susan “brought her to tears” sparked a download explosion on YouTube for Boyle’s performance (4/14) on Britain’s Got Talent. How would I explain this phenomenon? Was it a fluke? No! People around the globe want real talent, a perfect singing voice is what they’re after. Clothes and hairdo don’t matter.
I take away two lessons from the Boyle Miracle: 1. Beauty is skin deep. Cream floats to the surface. The underdog will prevail in the long run. Rags to riches and the princess Cinderella floats aloft on the ‘Mammoth Stage of Life!’ 2. The Internet is the ‘Voice of the People’ now and forever. Talent matters. Superficiality will be exposed. The Balloon Boy scam can never get over; the INTERNET EQUALIZER marches triumphantly, the mouse click is our voting device for now on.
2. Lady Gaga Dances in the Moonlight with All of her Might-Lady Jane or Lady Godiva, I’ll let you decide!
The crowning event for Lady Gaga was when she curtsied to the Queen, in her odd red Elizabethan dress, and with her cat-like painted red eyes peering out. This was for the Royal Variety Performance at Blackpool (August 11th), and the 23 year old native New Yorker toned down her act in deference to the Queen. (In my opinion) Gaga upstaged the other stars, like Miley Cyrus or classical singer Faryl Smith. The photo of Gaga bowing to her royal highness is the ‘Image of Year’ also! (Mirror.co.uk-CELEBS)
3. The Beatles’ Re-mastered Catalog Issued on September 9th-“The Dream is Over” or is it?
I was in line just like millions of other fans on September 9th, to get those gems. I bought Abbey Road first and their first record, Please Please Me. Back in the 60s I did the exact same thing. I would buy the record right on its release date. I would roll up pennies purloined from my Dad’s secret piggybank (he knew I was doing it!) and scurry over to the Melody Shop and pick up my Fab Four disc.
The sound quality is wonderful; you feel like you are right in the studio with the boys while they rock-out on their electric guitars. Many of the pics are new and the documentary features put you back into the moment of truth. The moment when Art was being made. I’ve been able to simulate much of the optimism of the period, by bombarding myself with these re-mastered plums. Just a few albums to buy, then my collection will be complete! Still need the mono set, though? “We love you Beatles, oh yes we do…”
4. Senate Approves Health Care Bill-Tens of Millions of Americans will have access to health care now.
“But I was just in dreamland, thinking about where we had come.” Harry Reid had responded no to the roll call initially just as a joke. “This is for my friend Ted Kennedy,” said the 92 year old senator from West Virginia, Robert C. Byrd. The business model of the insurance industry “deserves a stake through its cold and greedy heart,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island.
Now differences will have to be worked out between the House version and the Senate version. Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson cast the needed 60th vote for the historic bill. This is as big as the passing of Social Security in 1935 or Medicare in 1965. For many the dropping of the public option on the Senate document waters things down too much. But it would not have passed without concessions being made to conservative democrats, like Ben Nelson. (Senate Approves Health Care Bill In Party-Line Vote-New York Times-by Robert Pear-12/25/2009
5. President Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize with International diplomacy back in vogue!
Others great presidents have received the Nobel Peace Prize, such as Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter and even Teddy Roosevelt. Mahatma Gandhi was denied the prize when he was assassinated on January 30th, 1948. This was unfair. Many have claimed that Obama did not deserve it, but I believe that he did deserve it. The main reason why he got it is because he takes a ‘multilateral approach’ to dealing with other countries. Bush used a ‘unilateral approach,’ and we couldn’t have racked up any more enemies if we tried. Obama has planted lasting seeds of diplomacy with Africa, Europe and Asia. This will work!
6. The 30,000 Troop Surge in Afghanistan-Necessary or not? A Two-Sided Sword.
President Obama gave his speech on December 1st, now it was official, that the 30,000 troops would be deployed to Afghanistan immediately. The President did do a good job of explaining his reasons for doing this. Moreover, It took a great amount of time for him to come to this crucial decision. Personally, I was opposed to this surge. I have spent much time studying this issue, and have been conducting a comparison with Vietnam.
Obama has access to better intelligence than I do, so I respect his decision. Just today we’ve seen that another terrorist exploded a device on a plane yesterday, Christmas Day. But this doesn’t have anything to do with Afghanistan, or does it? Is Afghanistan a quagmire (the term is a result of the breakthrough journalism of David Halberstam), just like Vietnam was?
My favorite movie for 2009 is The Hurt Locker. It shows war as its naked self. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.” (May 3, 1919) And so, it is a two-sided sword, or perhaps a two-headed monster. I just pray that it’s not a repeat of LBJ’s War in Indochina. I’m wary that it is.
7. Newsblaze, TheSOP.org and Around the Water Cooler Bring Americans Unfiltered News!
More and more people are turning to these innovative, revolutionizing, electronic news services, because ‘the people’ do not want filtered news that is spun with a slanted point of view. Fox News spins everything they promulgate with a right-wing hue (red). In all fairness, publications on the left do the exact same thing (no need to weave a blacklist).
The real point that I am trying to make, is that the above electronic news sites are natural information. Organic data (I would call it) that has not been massaged by corrupt editors or CEOs, which are simply trying to manipulate the outcome of events in politics and society. Those that are guilty of this are not really news services, but truly tabloids that simply are trying to titillate people, turn them into robots, tabla rosa zombies, zonked and programmed to destroy mankind.
These are the weirdoes who make the Foxy Bill O’Riley such a big star on the Boob Tube. (Disclosure-I write for the above sites, but I am a freelancer, not a puppet on a string, programmed to plug a dodgy agenda, that will sink our beautiful country into a ditchy stink hole without a handy tow truck in sight.)
The only way to democratize ‘The News’ is to let it out on the internet, absolutely ‘unfiltered’! You may have to chew on what UNFILTERED actually means? This is PUNK! Now the little guy can put in his (her) two cents worth.
8. Apple Inc. Smartest Hand-Held Thingamabob since the Etch-A-Sketch!
Apple shares hit an all-time high on Christmas Eve. It is looking like Apple will make a major product announcement on January 26th. They will unveil their latest snappy gadget, the Apple Tablet. Supposedly bigger than the iphone, the tablet is a mini lap-top that is portable, with a larger screen to view the circadian milestones, the burgeoning bulletins of cyber-teletype. (Apple shares hit new high on tablet excitement-CNBC (Reuters) by Gabriel Madway and Doris Frankel-12/24/2009)
And Apple has had a very good year with their staples too: the iphone, Mac computers and ipods. I just got an iphone about a month ago, and it has changed my life. I feel like I now keep my brain in my pocket. Photos, phone calls, movies, tunes, emails, live news-unless your battery needs recharging-you are never again a Medieval curmudgeon stalking the cornfields, forging for kernel corn. Food for thought (or thought for food?) is stored in your pocket; but don’t forget your password!
9. ‘Cash for Clunkers’-Good for the Economy, Environment and Auto Industry!
The Car Allowance Rebate System, known on the street as Cash for Clunkers, was an ingenious ploy by the Obama Administration to inject a spark of life into a fledgling American economy. The consumer was caught in a ‘liquidity trap.’ According to the economist, John Maynard Keynes, when consumers are down, they won’t spend. This hurls the economy into a downward spiral. Cash for Clunkers gave them the incentive to spend.
Toyota did the best, but General Motors, Ford and Honda posted respectable sales as well. There was a total of $2.877 billion in rebates. There was a 58 % fuel efficiency improvement from the cars traded in to the new cars purchased. Less fossil fuel helps our pooped-out environment. (Wikipedia)
Critics have cited some negative effects of the program, such as the cost recycling the old cars and converting them to scrap metal. But our major automobile manufacturers were on the verge of collapsing. This was psychological, the C for C got consumers back in the dealerships and buying cars! Our Capitalist system will collapse as soon as people stop purchasing goods and services. This is what happened during The Great Depression.
10. ‘Miracle on the Hudson’-Hero Pilot Sully Sullenberger and the Bird Menace
Since the days of Orville Wright bird strikes have been a problem. On January 15th, US Airways Airbus A320 was struck by a flock of birds shortly after taking off from LaGuardia, bound for Charlotte, NC. A cool, calm and collect airline pilot with 40 years of experience, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, floated the big bird into the Hudson River.
A passenger Joe Hart said, “He was phenomenal, he landed it-I tell you what-the impact wasn’t a whole lot more than a rear-end (collision).” All 155 passengers and crew members survived the crash. Bob Read, a television producer, witnessed the crash from his office window, and said that it appeared to be a “controlled descent.” (N.Y. jet crash called ‘miracle on the Hudson’-January 15th, 2009-MSNBC)
I take away two lessons from this miraculous plane crash: 1. Sully Sullenberger is a consummate professional who did not clutch when a ‘frame of fate’ came knocking on his door. 2. The mounting issue of striking bird flocks, that seem to come out of nowhere, is a thorn in the side for the Federal Aviation Administration. They need to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds several million more times in order to properly gage the ‘Bird Menace.’ It is oh so real!
It was a terrific year! Many things were wake-up calls, however. The prescription-drug-addled Michael Jackson, who OD’d, was one. The shattering of the Hero-Myth-Sports-Star (Tiger Woods) is another. I stopped worshipping sports stars way back when Dallas Cowboy, Michael Irvin, was busted for cocaine and hookers! But I must let it go. I am an optimist. I believe that the negative will be forgotten, and the positive will flourish and heal our people. If you need to worship someone, worship Sully Sullenberger! Happy New Year!