12.31.122013: BRING IT!
If 2012 had its ups and downs, so will 2013
2013 will be a kick-ass year.
In 2013, there will be no gun-related murders in America. Also, all of this country's one percenters will have to pay their entire income in taxes while those making less than $75,000 per year will all become millionaires. Everything will be free, everybody will get a new car in their garage and Justin Bieber will be given the death penalty.
But in a normal world, that will never, ever happen, I'm afraid.
Last year at this time, people were wondering what would happen in 2012. Would it be a good year or a bad year? It's safe to say that just about every other year, it's had its ups and downs.
2012's biggest disappointment was undoubtedly the tragic amount of shootings that took place in this great country, and the fact that they were the brainchildren of those with mental problems. To too many, some wonder why we're the most-violent nation on Earth. Why is it easier for somebody to get a Bushmaster than to get help for their problems? Then again, it's proof that some people are stupid, like Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association who would rather start wars between good and evil than to just get semi-automatic guns off the streets altogether. Bear in mind that back in 1776, our Founding Fathers only had muskets that took forever to re-load.
But that wasn't the only disappointment 2012 had. We had to deal with elected officials who would rather push Americans over the Fiscal Cliff over making the playing field fair for everybody. We had to deal with heads of big companies like Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-A who used the company's image to bash gays and "Papa John" Schnatter who tried to screw over his employees and customers and blamed everything on Obamacare. We also had the threat of SOPA/PIPA that would have made the internet a worse place and Rush Limbaugh making AM talk radio an even worse hellhole by calling an intelligent college student a slut over her beliefs.
And yes, there's that war in Afghanistan that's now the longest war in history. Yeah, we're out in a few more years, but at what cost? Gas prices are still sky-high, and I doubt we'll ever see prices under $2 per gallon ever again. We can conserve, but that's it.
In 2012, we lost a lot of influential folks. Love music? Well, if you love rock, you lost MC5 bassist Michael Davis, The Monkees' Davy Jones, Ronnie Montrose, Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack, amplifier wiz Jim Marshall, Men at Work's Greg Ham, The Band's Levon Helm, Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Fleetwood Mac's Bob Welch, Deep Purple's Jon Lord, No Use For A Name's Tony Sly, "San Francisco" singer Scott McKenzie, songwriter Hal David, Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence, *catches breath because yes, this is quite the run-on sentence* and Lee Dorman of Iron Butterfly. The world of Saturday morning dance shows lost both Dick Clark and Don Cornelius, and Etta James, Whitney Houston, Johnny Otis, Jimmy Castor, Chuck Brown, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb, Joe South, R.B. Greaves, Major Harris, Mickey Baker and Fontella Bass came with him to create the ultimate Soul Train line.
Country fans were lucky; they only lost Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Kitty Wells and not much else. Jazz lost Dave Brubeck and the sitar lost its superstar, Ravi Shankar.
But 2012 also took away two Sweathogs: Robert Hedgyes and Ron Parillo. The world of sports said goodbye to Sarah Burke, Gary Carter, Art Modell, Junior Seau, Alex Karras, Steve Sabol, and Hector Camacho. The man who gave us The Price is Right and Password, Bob Stewart, also died. The world of acting also lost Ian Abercrombie, writer Zalman King, Jonathan Frid, Dick Beals, Richard Dawson, Eduard Khil, Ann Rutherford, Ernest Borgnine, producer Richard Zanuck, Celeste Holm, comic (and former sidekick to future senator Al Franken) Tom Davis, Sherman Helmsley, Gore Vidal, director Tony Scott, Phyllis Diller, William Windom, Muppeteer Jerry Nelson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Gary Collins, Lucille Bliss, Larry Hagman, Jack Klugman, Andy Griffith, Sylvia Kristal and Charles Durning.
And last but not least, we lost a ton more: Berenstain Bears creator Jan Berenstain, songwriter Robert B. Sherman, comic book legend John Severin, boxing writer Bert Sugar, wrestlers Chief Jay Strongbow and Brag Armstrong, car moguls Ferdinland Porsche and Carroll Shelby, artists Leroy Neiman and Thomas Kinkade, journalist Mike Wallace, author Maurice Sendak, Vidal Sassoon, mobster Henry Hill, writer Nora Ephron, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride, composer Marvin Hamlisch, Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown, singer Andy Williams, Detroit Red Wings announcer Budd Lynch and senators Arlen Spector, George McGovern and Daniel Inouye. I think I missed a few, but oh, well.
But cheer up! 2012 had its pluses!
True, NBC might have made Olympic fans angry over their terrible coverage, at least we got to watch the Furious Five become the queens of gymnastics. We also saw a jerk, Jerry Sandusky begin to rot in jail for what he did over the years to all those children while his boss, Joe Paterno died a coward over dying a hero.
But probably the best news of 2012 was the fact that for the second time, we all said "YES WE CAN!" to Barack Obama as he was re-elected for a second term in the White House. We proved that we're learning from our mistakes in 2010 and that whatever the Tea Party created just doesn't work for the average American.
Oh, and December 21st came and went. Thanks, Mayans!
Even personally, I had a few bad and good things happen to me; my apartment got flooded thanks to a neglectful neighbor and my pay went down while my hours went up thanks to restructuring at my job, plus the fact that I didn't even receive a holiday bonus from my boss. However, the good news is that he's retiring and on a personal note, I've actually been on a few dates and job interviews this past year.
Oh, sadly, I lost a great aunt - who was the last relative from my maternal Grandparents' generation and a family friend who worked with my father for many years. Where I lived in northern Michigan, we lost beloved TV newsman Scott Michael Trager, whose death shocked and stunned many.
I could go on and on, but like the old Chappelle's Show sketch, I better "Wrap It Up!"
My prediction on 2013 looks like this: it'll be just like 2012, plain and simple. There will be improvement on a few things and sadly, bad things will happen. Tragedies will occur, people will die and prices will go up. But if we can work together, 2013 won't end up like the 2000's.
That's why I say to 2013 to BRING IT. Bring your challenges because we're more-prepared now. We worked through the mistakes of the 2000s and what happened after the 2010 elections to know much better now. We won't back down, and if something happens, we'll soldier forward to prevent it from happening again. Like all other years before this one, we have just two choices: swim or sink. If we swim together, the world will be a better place. If not, we'll sink like a mob hit tied to a sack of bricks in the Hudson River.
So, who's with me?