I just spent the better part of the last hour trying to think of something good that happened in 2012 and all I could come up with was that the Earth wasn’t invaded by Justin Beiber clones who enslaved the planet and forced us all to dance Gangnam style in a Honey Boo Boo outfit. Although, now that I think about it, even that might have been preferable to some of the actual events that did take place in the past year.
Every year about this time we sing “should auld acquaintance be forgotten” meaning it shouldn't be and wondering what “auld” means. I suggest we change that this year to “auld acquaintance should be forgotten” when it comes to 2012. And I’m still not sure what “auld” means.
Think about the major events of the year. We had a presidential election campaign that seemed to never end and to have been scripted by political satirists. The Republicans fielded a large selection of alternatives to the sitting president all of whom seemed to come straight from central casting assuming you were casting a remake of the Keystone Cops.
There was Texas Gov. Rick Perry who knew he wanted to cut some government agencies but just couldn't remember which ones. There was pizza mogul Herman Cain who couldn't seem to remember whether 9-9-9 was his tax reform plan or his area code. And then the one left standing, Mittens, who suffered from terminal foot-in-mouth disease.
And we were forced to watch it all, unable to escape the incessant advertising funded by millions of dollars forked over by rich people who, in the end and much to their dismay, were forced to admit that money can't buy everything.
Then there was the weather. Extremes so extreme that even global warming skeptics had to admit that it just might be possible to sell air conditioners to Eskimos. And “super storm” Sandy, which made many in the Northeast look at us in the South and think, maybe they're not such crybabies after all.
And then there were the shootings. So many and so unfathomable. The year 2012 drove home, parked and closed the garage door on the notion that there are any really safe places left.
Is it any wonder then that, when December rolled around and we were reminded of the Mayan prediction of the end of the world, many of us were hoping they were right, maybe not about the end of the world, but at least the end of the year.
So here's hoping 2013 brings better things and not more of the same. My hope is that, at this time next year, we can look back and say the worst thing that happened was that “Duck Dynasty” was renewed for another season.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.