Happy New Year! (Good Riddance, 2009)

Originally published January 2010

Good riddance, 2009! It's about time you left, you with your self-aggrandizing martinets, your liars, your feckless fools, your vicious slanderers, your greedy bankers and your pandering patriotism police. Goodbye to the sadness and the loss and the constant churning up of fear — of unemployment and terrorism and ... shall we say it? ... socialism! 

Let's hope we're saying goodbye, too, to the political concept that health care is a profit-making right of insurance companies. And let's hope we're saying farewell to the media's conviction that the public is so bored that it clamors for unending coverage of empty balloons and golf-playing adulterers, of right-wing jingoism and left-wing incompetence. What the public clamors for is more popcorn! (I have this on good authority.)

Ah, 2009, you did have a few good moments. The Yankees did win the World Series and retook their rightful place at the top of the baseball food chain. And your Chronicler did go back on stage after a 20-year intermission. These were definite pluses in a year that ripped away much-loved people and valued ideals.

All in all, 2009 deserves to be thrown in the trash heap with other garbage years. 

Welcome, 2010! May you bring in new hope and fulfillment, and may our goals be the ending of war and the erasure of hatred. May we usher in peace and the love and concern for our fellow human beings and the other beautiful life forms that inhabit our planet. May good will to all replace the "What's in it for me?" mantra that we've heard so much this past year.

Good health. Love. Good friends. Joy. I send these wishes for the new New Year.