STEVE BOUSER: Yet Another Wish List for the Coming Year
Things I hope (but don't necessarily expect) to see in the year 2009:
- The beginning, at least, of a recovery from our alarming economic free fall -- but accompanied by a chastening national realization that the crisis is a wake-up call, warning us that we can never return to our wasteful, selfish old ways.
- Less light (or lite) beer. More real, non-watery beer like Yuengling and Killian's Red.
- More movies like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which I consider a masterpiece in every way and which is my choice for the 2008 Oscar. (But be aware that it is nearly three hours long, stars Brad Pitt, and is about a guy who ages backward.)
- More acoustic guitars. Fewer electric.
- More TV series like HBO's splendid "John Adams." (I am now prevailing upon my daughter, home from Carolina for the holidays, poor girl, to watch all seven episodes with me on DVD.)
- A public admission by President Bush that, though perhaps well-meaning at the beginning, he surrounded himself with the wrong people, led the country in a lot of wrong directions, and invaded the wrong country.
- An epidemic of bicycle-riding in Moore County and its towns, encouraged by the provision of bike paths and other amenities.
- More people passing up dogs from puppy mills, especially cruel overseas puppy mills, in favor of shelter dogs. Specifically black shelter dogs, who too often get a raw deal.
- In general, more dogs and fewer cats.
- Approval of legislation to take advantage of the current low gasoline prices to enact a 50-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax, the proceeds going to help fund a national crash program to improve our dangerously deteriorating infrastructure, put a lot of people to work, and move our country toward energy independence.
- Fewer young people making the idiotic decision to start smoking.
- The capture or killing of Osama Bin Laden. I don't much care which.
- A display of willingness by the American people to view our president-elect, Barack Obama, with an open mind, give him the benefit of the doubt, and even find it in our hearts to support him at least during a honeymoon period as he tackles the Herculean challenges confronting him. (Remember, I said, " but don't necessarily expect.")
- More people turning off their TVs and engaging in family nights involving the playing of Yahtzee, Scrabble, Rummy or Pictionary.
- No more pollution of the airwaves by bullying, demagogic blowhards like Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly and (gag me with a spoon) Rush Limbaugh.
- More people camping out in tents. Fewer in expensive campers that plug into electrical outlets and have color TVs.
- More Americans learning foreign languages and enjoying the broadening experience of living in other countries and learning that there's a whole big world out there.
- Fewer people getting all out of joint about stores and municipal celebrations wishing us "Happy Holidays." (I personally love Christmas, but we live in a pluralistic nation that includes Jews, a few Muslims and quite a few atheists, all of whose sensitivities must be taken into account.)
- More neighborhood block parties.
- A nationwide, grassroots movement whose members sign an oath that they will automatically vote against all candidates, regardless of party, whose commercials spend less time telling you why you should like them than why you should hate their opponents.
- A policy announcement by The History Channel that it has made a radical decision to go back to broadcasting actual history programming, instead of endless segments about UFOs and Ice Road Truckers.
- Supermarkets downsizing and offering me fewer, not more, options when it comes to shampoos, coffees, breads, soft drinks, cookies -- you name it. Variety is nice, but ours has reached obscene levels.
- Fewer e-mails from casual acquaintances whose subjects begin with "fwd" and offer Web links that I either can't download or am afraid might be infected with viruses.
- More roundabouts. (Go drive the new one at N.C. 22 and Airport Road. It works.)
- More pistachios.
- More people attending Sunflix movies at the Sunrise Theater, where you can see fine films that don't make it to the multiplex. (And where else can you have wine with your popcorn?)
- A disc golf course in southern Moore.
- Fewer tattoos on young feminine ankles and backsides.
- And most of all, Dear Reader, a happy new year for you!
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at email@example.com
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