Twelve Months Later…

December 31, 2011

In case you didn’t know already, this is the last evening of 2011.
And if you didn’t have your collective head up your collective ass, you know the past 12 months have been shitsville.

“There are a lot of reasons not to elect me.”
— Mitt Romney, last September

Beyond tomorrow, the Iowa caucus crap-shoot is Tuesday, starting the political version of 2012 — which might be meaningless if other forces, i.e., economics-finance, climate, war, energy, and so forth, don’t blow the lid off before next November — election day seemingly seen from here as way down a patch of real-bad road.

(Illustration found here).

This particular season has been the easiest for me at the liquor store where I work — my fifth New Year, the third as manager — since I have weekends off, missed Christmas, and now New Year’s, and, this is a big, ‘and,’ no long hours, or 13 days in a row — all employees working full shifts, nobody going home for the holidays.
When I left work yesterday afternoon, business was starting to pick up a bit and people had money (checks early for the first of the month).
But a shitload of people still pay for a pack of Marlboro or a Tilt Watermelon with handfuls of coin.

Near shadowing the national picture, decent business comes in binges/holidays/special events with a crater-like effect in between — the store is down near two grand a month compared to 2007.
We’re doing okay at this financial ‘near normal,’ but the owner worries month-to-month.
After this weekend, no blip on the business-traffic radar until Super Bowel Bowl weekend.

Tonight and wee-tomorrow morning, and maybe on into Sunday, a lot of booze will be sucked down, big Times Square crowds, people all over will gushing and hugging and cheering ‘Happy New Year, and then, wake up Monday with a WTF hangover.
And still be just as clueless.
Well beyond any Mayan bullshit, 2012 on its own merits ain’t going to be pretty.

An excitingly long, short year — 2011.
Both it and the year before would have made way-nifty titles for science-fiction novels written in the mid-1970s.
‘Fer instance:

  • 2010 AD” — sprawling, multi-character story of the end of energy told via a war between giant international financial consortiums for oil discovered in the now near-iceless Arctic, even as the world is pitched into chaos due to abrupt and bizarre shifts in weather…

or maybe,

  • 2011: Rise of the Machines” — guy invents a small device in his parents’ garage, said device spawns a vast cornucopia of machines highly morphoditing all of humanity, and except for just 1 percent of the population, machines rule civilization, forcing an occupying of ceaseless uprising begins…

Unfortunately, we’re not back in the naive, dumb-ass’70s.

Even after a not-so-calm 2010, this year quickly coming to close has been one for the literal record books — in the US alone, 14 billion-dollar weather-related disasters; and although all not directly tied to global warming, the collateral effect takes place.

But there is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago.
It’s about a 4 percent extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change.
And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get bigger and worse in the future.

Most-likely climate change is the biggest problem mankind has ever faced — it’s just another Happy New Year.
And to start things off in the right mind, and the real horror of urban life is the reports of a series of arson fires churning up around Los Angeles.
Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran may have coined a ‘new-normal’ phrase, via CNN:

“When you have millions of people living with millions of cars in these very dense neighborhoods, this is becoming a new form of domestic terrorism that really has got our community in a very bad spot.”

Twenty-one of these fires were started in Duran’s town — ‘a new form of domestic terrorism.’

Even as I hear firecrackers popping in the distance, the new year is coming whether I’m ready or not and from all indications, most US peoples will celebrate, but the heart is afraid.
No resolutions will temper the gloom.

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