(30 December 2005) The local indy paper ran a political cartoon this week featuring a holiday card from the infamous East Waynesville NC Baptist Church whose minister instructed parishioners to vote Republican. The picture depicts Jesus being pulled in a chariot by an elephant wearing a Vote Republican banner and the caption reads The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem.
So yeah, 2005. Cindy Sheehan and Terry Schiavo and Lance Armstrong (again) and skyrocketing gas prices. King Bush the Latter’s “Bamboozlepalooza Tour.”
(Wish I could take credit for that description, but alas, a critic coined the phrase, not me.)
A facial transplant and two Supreme Court seats handed on a silver platter to the neocons.The year we executed our one thousandth prisoner since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976.
The year Barbara (wish she’d been born with a silver spoon shoved up her ass) Bush said of Hurricane Katrina refugees who had survived the squalid conditions under one dome only to be transported to another:
So many of the people here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working out very well for them.
Note well, Babs: those refugees were primarily black and primarily poor and primarily carless American citizens who had no way out of the city. They’re also the people whose basic needs are not met when your son gives precedence to private financial gain over human lives—you know, your son who flew off to California to strum his guitar as America’s racial underclass drowned.
(You must be so proud of him.)
But guess what? The whole world saw firsthand the poverty that millions of Americans live in day in and day out and the failed infrastructure that Reagan dismantled in order to increase corporate profits.
Re-election (sigh). Abu Ghraib. Fallujah. Wire-tapping. Camp Casey. Tax breaks for the ultrarich; abject poverty for so many others.
Corporate takeovers of the organic food label.
(Do you care that the number of approved synthetics in your so-called organic food jumped from 30 to 500 this year? I do.)
The ivory-billed woodpecker (again). Disappearing ice caps and a 27 percent increase in greenhouse gases. Avian flu and abstinence. Underfinanced national parks. Pipelines.
Great strides in Africa. A woman president. Swaziland’s laws that finally allow women to own property and take out loans without male sponsorship. Zimbabwean women likewise inheriting property.
Oh and we caught bin Laden.
(Just joking. That would require competency. But maybe Brownie can get right to work on that.)
My pal Tuscaloosa, who partied her way through Naw’leans and Baton Rouge back in the day, greets the dead at midnight on December thirty-first.
Well, this year calls for farewells, not hellos.
Farewell St. Bernard Parish: we hardly knew thee and certainly didn’t see thee.
Farewell Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Farewell Rosa Parks: your bravery gives me hope.
Farewell Terry Schiavo, whose shell of a body was finally allowed to die.
Farewell Richard Pryor: you made me laugh but should have known better than to do what you did with that Bic lighter.
Farewell Uncle Donald: you were too young to die.
Farewell Pope John Paul II: the awful spectacle of you on display in all your tremulous golden-crowned glory moved me even though you’re a homophobe who held firm to misguided ideas about women’s autonomy and our role in the Church.
Farewell 250,000+ South Asian tsunami victims.
Farewell 8,000 Gaza settlers who thought you’d never be evicted.
And—although Cheney insists that we should “pay no attention to the carnage”—farewell to the 30,000+ Iraqis whom my country acknowledges murdering.
(And Dick, just so you know, experts say the actual number exceeds 100,000.)
Farewell 37-cent stamps and farewell to millions of West Africans who died of starvation while we tossed half our lunches into the garbage.
Farewell 2,165 US soldiers who died on Iraqi sand.
Farewell to the innocence of the other 7,500+ US soldiers who were seriously wounded and their families, and farewell to their belief that those fictitious weapons of mass destruction justify this carnage.
Farewell to the people who were simply eating lunch or leaving their Mosque or tying their children’s shoelaces when the suicide bombers found them.
Farewell 73,000 people killed in the Himalayas when the earthquake struck.
Farewell 950 Shiite pilgrims killed in the stampede.
Farewell London commuters.
And farewell to Christo’s beautiful mystical billowing saffron gates
(We needed your magic this year)