Well folks, we’re not just peeking over our shoulder at a year slipping into the past but a whole darn decade.
Dang. You know you’re getting old when decades whisk by like seasons used to.
It’s been a remarkable one for a host of reasons, led by two numbers which came to represent a new, world-wide reality: 9/11.
~ The election of a mixed-race man to the office of President of the United States was certainly a notable event. (More’s the pity.) Surely, it will hasten the day when race, gender and sexual orientation play no part in deciding who is fit to lead a nation.
~ It was a decade in which global terrorism both helped and hindered the spread of tolerance. It subjected many innocent Muslims and people of Mid-Eastern descent to uncomfortable scrutiny and even outright bigotry. At the same time, identifying a small minority of fanatics who pose a real danger to the world helped put into a more realistic perspective the “threat” posed by such horrors as gay marriage and female clergy.
~ Personally, my path took many turns. It was a tumultuous time, featuring the death of my wife, the closing of my business, my Stupid Heart Attack, the publication of my book and the arrival in my life of Hilary and Benny. (There were other high and low-lights but I’ll leave their recounting to my Boswell.)
~ There were many falls from grace. Tiger Woods’ belly flop probably came from the loftiest height. It’ll take a goodly chunk of Tiger’s money to try to knit together the tatters of his reputation. Serves him right. He was a twit.
~ But I have to award the Twit of the Year to Michael Vick. (Background for those unfamiliar with him: He was a multi-million dollar quarterback in the NFL who served 18 months in prison for running a dog fighting ring. His treatment of the dogs was horrifying, killing those who lost by drowning or electrocuting them. After serving his time, he was allowed back into the NFL and is poised to re-make millions of dollars.)
Vick is not my choice because he’s an asswipe who tortured dogs. He’s my choice because, upon receiving an award from his teammates, he had the gall to say: “I've overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear.”
He doesn’t get it.
18 months in prison plus a million-dollar contract (and an option for $5.2 million next year) does not add up to overcoming more than a single individual can bear!
I think he needs to talk to parents who’ve buried children or children whose Daddy isn’t coming home from Afghanistan or maimed soldiers who left body parts on foreign soil.
But I suspect even then he wouldn’t get it. Which is what makes Michael Vick a major league twit.
~ What’s in store for 2010 and beyond? I dunno but I’m sure it will be interesting. My hope is that we remain, or get healthy, and find fulfillment in what we do and who we are.
I’ll leave you with a YouTube video of my favourite song of the year. This clip is a live version from the Letterman show. On my computer, it's very slightly out of sync but that doesn't detract from the performance too much. Hope you enjoy.
Happy New Year!