I feel bad that I haven’t blogged recently. I simply have not felt like doing a clever 2008 wrap-up or an upbeat wish for a jolly 2009. This year has been too gruesome for people, here and abroad. All I really want to do is throw a great big shoe at 2008 and tell it to get out already.
Could it get any worse in 2009?
Depends who you are.
If you’re a child in Gaza, your life (if you’re not among the nearly 400 dead this week from bombings – 4 Israelis have died) is going to be one of terrible deprivation and fear in the face of brutal attacks by the Israeli Occupation.
If you’re an Iraqi, you’re hoping to get your electricity, home and life back, while the American Occupation goes on.
If you’re a journalist who has been covering the American war in Iraq, you’ve probably been reposted to Afghanistan or been laid off with all the other unemployed journalists – which is why Iraq seems so quiet of late.
If you’re Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense in Israel and candidate for upcoming Prime Ministerial elections, you’re justifying this “all-out war” by quoting the now-silent Barack Obama (He said he’d protect his daughters against rocket attacks, too).
If you’re an Israeli at yet another anti-Occupation demonstration that is being ignored by the world press, you’re hoping the debate about ending the Occupation will become as open in the States as it is in Israel. (The sign in the photo of the Tel Aviv demonstration says: Only Peace will Cease the Fire.)
If you’re an executive in the finance industry, you won’t have to put your “unwanted” gold jewelry into an envelope in the hopes of getting back a check for groceries.
If you’re a devotedly purposeful homophobic preacher, you get to open the ceremonies on January 20th.
If you’re working, you’re aware that an American job is being lost every 15 seconds.
If you’re a writer, you’ll have to adjust to the decimation of the very idea of copyright now that the highest form of digital flattery is apparently stealing your content and posting it elsewhere.
If you’re me, you’re paying nearly $600.00 a month for a health insurance policy so riddled with co-pays and deductibles and percentages and exclusions that it sure ain’t insurance and is definitely bad for my health.
If you’re Bernard Madoff, you’re still under “house arrest” with a new anklet in your fabulous gazillion dollar digs won through ripping off charities.
If you’re Henry Paulson, you’re chuckling at your ability to not only assist in bringing down the world economy (while facilitating industry consolidation), but to play on the subsequent fears to gain $700 billion to pass among your already rich friends without any accountability whatsoever.
If you’re a working class man with construction skills, you can have some hope that Obama’s so-far narrow notion of “infrastructure” (things having to do with concrete and steel) will open some job opportunities; if you’re part of the 46% of working people who are women, you’re hoping he’ll expand his notion of infrastructure to include education, healthcare, libraries and childcare so women too can work.
And if you’re a blogger who likes to provide a giggle now and again, you are very worried about what 2009 is going to offer. It’s almost enough to make you miss Sarah Palin.
Best wishes for justice, peace and enough to eat in 2009.