Good Riddance 2009

By | Jan 4, 2010

Last year saw a lot of ups and downs. We started off watching the car industry with some disgust, questioning the culture of mediocrity that allowed the situation to spiral out of control. We say: Too big to fall? Too big to exist. Get on top of your credit and take control of your life. Blame venture capitalists – people who invest money are the cause of all our problems. Honestly, if credit is such a problem just start using cash – it’s really as easy as it sounds. The financial power is starting to shift from West to East.

As companies fell one by one, they tried all kinds of bonehead tactics, including suing themselves for damages. The once proud Citigroup self-destructed. Ultimately employees bore the brunt of the economic damage. Greed managed to prevail, of course, as Canada’s capital was held ransom by its transit union in the middle of winter, putting even more of the city’s lowest earners out of work.

Even countries failed. However, it appeared no one told Sweden there was an economic crisis (maybe fueled by the success of the Pirate Party?) while Latvia folded. Eventually the DOW recovered a bit – joy!

Technology may be speeding up our sharing of information, but we still like our embattled old newspapers. Not that it matters, since the only news agency worth following is the BBC, anyway.

Remember Illinois Governer Blagojevich? Let’s not even go there. Blackberry got a presidential endorsement worth over $50 million when President-elect Obama refused to part ways with his cherished device – forcing the CIA to build him a specially-secured unit.

Your privacy remains under siege, but no one seems to worry about the implications of airing their private life on the Internet. The prevailing view is that nothing is your fault anyway – in a particularly gross turn of events, an Ohio teen claimed he shot his parents because they took away his video game.

Facebook is constantly in the news. Your friends are worth less than whopper sandwiches – maybe we would value them more if they weren’t all illiterate.

A bunch of unlikely events happened this year. An African-American man became the 44th President of the United States (and he had his job cut out for him right away), and the Arizona Cardinals made it to the superbowl (although Pittsburgh won it, so all is well in the world). Even the Oscars were weak. While we were otherwise occupied, the monkeys tried to take over.

Not news anymore: The world continues to teeter at the edge of an energy abyss and the powers that be continue to squawk about the merits of the data used to arrive at climate change conclusions when we would be all better off if we started to explore green alternatives. We didn’t even trouble ourselves to write an article about Copenhagen – why bother wasting our breath. Even wind turbines are under seige. California is taking the lead in reducing automobile emissions – time will tell whether they are successful in guiding the rest of the world. I help out by cutting my own firewood from trees that are already dead; I’m a light-weight – real environmentalists use only the finest organic wood(!?). In the end it’s not about technology or one-off changes – creating a sustainable world is going to be hard work – we should start sooner rather than later. Look out for the resource land rush.

At least the spirit of discovery was strong. Using the omniscient Google Earth, scientists were not only able to find the garden of Eden, they were able to find the Lost City of Atlantis! (Although, they lost it again with some haste) Never doubt free information, and never question the wisdom of Wikipedia. Not only is Google leading the way in discovery, they’re leading the way in environmental stewardship by switching their lawn care to goats rather than gas-wasting lawnmowers.

The world continues to resist the magnificent western culture; India made waves once again for its anti-kissing stance… why don’t they want to be hyper-sexualized like us? I wonder if their teenagers spend most of their online time lookup up cosmetic surgery. Maybe they just hate long DVD introductions?

The golden age of Hollywood may be over, but Apple’s is just beginning as video gaming’s Renaissance continues. Sony wasn’t doing so well, and found itself trying to explain why we should care about its PlayStation console. The brave new world has us playing against each other online rather than in the same room.

Back to Obama – the man had some great ideas for improving world security and saving lots of money, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his idealism. We’re hoping 2010 is the year he finally gains traction. How long will Obama cause jubilation everywhere he travels?

With all the coverage in sports, talk of respect and restructuring of the NHL points system (which must have cost Montreal the cup), no one noticed that Cuba’s government shuffled or that the United Kingdom was thinking about letting Catholics reign as monarchs. Wait a minute stop the presses – Michael Jackson died, nothing else matters!

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