Thursday, December 31, 2020

Begone 2020!!!!

Well boys and girls, I guess this is as good a time as any to put out Uncle P's Semi-Traditional New Year's Screed. 

For those who have just become Facebook friends this year, this is a more or less annual thing that I put out on New Year's Eve where I yammer senselessly about the year gone past and put forth my hopes and dreams for the coming years.  It's like all the other long tortured FB rants I put out over the years. Completely off the top of my head. No rhyme or reason. It'll be edited and amended multiple times of the day as stuff pops into my head after I finish writing. 

I am not a professional author.  I'm just some idiot who likes to write. And my style is wordy at best.  And don't expect the Great American Novel or some beautiful tome that you'll want to mold your life by or use to divine some hidden knowledge.  If you choose to use it as such, God help you. This, like most long posts like this will end up on my personal collection of writings at 

 My personal blog which I've maintained since 2006. It's the repository of all the bits and pieces of mental gunk that accumulates in my head and won't go away willingly.  I don't advertise it, don't really care if anybody reads it. It's my personal real estate on teh Interwebs.  It exists primarily for my self therapy. Read it your own risk...or not. I don't care. 

Ooookay, preliminaries aside. Let's just say that THIS YEAR SSSSSUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKEEEEEDDDDD! If ever there was a year that the world would give anything to see the back of, it was 2020.  It started out fine, then a tiny virus too small to be seen with the naked eye caused the world to be turned inside out.  Countries locked down their borders. They asked, and some cases ordered their residents to stay home. Face masks became a required article of wardrobe. The six foot shuffle became a new dance step as the term 'social distancing' became a part of our vocabulary. Businesses large and small dependent on social interaction shut down. Many never to open again. Employees of those businesses were thrown out of work while state struggled to handle the overflow of unemployment insurance claims.  

The federal government was thrown into chaos as various states took differing approaches towards dealing with the new virus. Some locked down completely, some took a laissez-faire attitude until the positive cases mounted up. Congress wrestled with providing trillions of dollars of aid to the population. 

Either way governors were damned whatever way they chose.  Cultural arts organizations shut their theaters and museums.  Opera and, ballet  companies and symphony orchestras could not do live performances losing millions in irreplaceable revenues. Schools shut down forcing kids to learn via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Everybody learned to homeschool whether they wanted to or not.   Sports leagues changed the way they did business. Smaller leagues shut down completely. Bigger leagues either shortened their seasons, played in "bubbles" and radically changed when they were to begin play. 

And on top of all this was the summer of our discontent.  The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others by police ignited afresh protests against police brutality against unarmed Black folks. The voice of protest rang out throughout the country. Some of which turned violent. Some of which turned destructive. All of which added to the anger and hostility of a population being denied simple pleasures as eating out, hitting the bars and watching sports live and in person.  The country ground its teeth on edge.  But the fun wasn't over yet. 

There was a little thing called the Presidential election.  I'll be the first to say that the choice between which two of the old decrepit white dudes we ended up with was the lesser of two evils.  

Trump needed no introduction.  To be graceful, as I do have some Trump supporters in my FB friends.  There was nothing in between about President Trump. Either you loved him, or you hated him. His years as President upended many of the norms and expectations we asked of our elected leaders.  He careened from one extreme to the other spreading chaos and unpredictability wherever he went.  The Left couldn't stand him. The Right virtually deified him.  

As a result of one of the most diversified Democratic campaigns in US history, involving a slate of candidates covering all manner of races,, creeds, colors, sexual orientations and whether they pronounced To-MAY-to or To-MAH-to, we ended up with...Joe Biden. An old dude who spent almost half a century in elected office, was the former vice President to Barack Obama, 78 years young, and was probably the most mediocre candidate of the field. Give Joe credit, he chose a history making VP candidate in Kamala Harris that may end up moving into the White House sooner than she expects because, frankly, I doubt Biden finishes his first term. The Presidency of the US is one of the toughest jobs in the world that chews up its officeholders and spits them out. Seen Obama lately? A lot of snow on his roof.  There are people who retire from jobs much less stressful than POTUS at much younger ages.  Maybe Biden will prove me wrong, but I doubt it. 

Long story short, this thing is getting ponderous even for me. After an election where paper ballots and stamped envelopes replaced the voting booth for millions of Americans, Biden ended up winning. But Trump being Trump, refuses to relinquish the stage making baseless claim after claim that the election was stolen from him.  The Pirates have a better winning record than Trump in terms of the number of lawsuits and court cases brought forward versus the number won. Something like 1-58. At least the Bucs won about a third of their games this season. 

Well there's a lot more stuff I can go over, but this thing is running long. Covid has claimed the lives of about 300k Americans in 2020. It is turned our lives inside out and upside down. Most Americans are willing to put up with the inconveniences that have resulted citing a need to support the public good, but a significant amount are thumbing their noses in defiance claiming infringements on their freedoms.

 I don't know. All I know is that 2020 has been a year that I'd describe with a vulgar Navy term that rhymes with 'Floatpuck.' I'll leave it to you to figure it out. 

Aaaaanyway. I'll conclude that personally, 2020 wasn't a bad year for me. I dodged a bullet in terms of staying employed. I have stayed free of the Covid bug.  Other than buying waaay too many books that will be gathering dust until I get around to reading them. I did miss going to Riverhounds games, and spending time with friends.

 Haven't seen the inside of Holy Cross in months. Can't bear to watch services online. I do miss going out to eat. I pretty much just stay home but occasionally go out to get food and beer.  Tonight, I'm planning on staying home, drinking a couple of British beers. I was thinking of getting a bottle of Budweiser or Coors Light so I could send off a shitty year by drinking shitty beer.  

Well, kids. I hope that 2021 is a damn sight better than 2020 for you. It's a pretty low bar. May you all maintain or attain good health. Kiss your kids and critters. Even though 2020 is going away, Covid is still out there, until vaccinations are commonplace, and we put this bug behind us, mask up, do the six foot shuffle, and watch yourselves out there. 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. 
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and grant you peace. 

Be good to each other, love each other. Bear each other's burdens. We're all in this together, no matter how much we like to wall ourselves off under the guise of rugged individualism.  Humans are social creatures. We need each other. And sacrificing for the public good helps us all in the end.

From the Little House in the Ghetto located in the bucolic and pastoral neighborhood of Homewood-Brushton in the fair city of Picksburgh, Taxsylvania. This is your 99 and 44/100% pure Pierre Wheaton signing off. See yinz on the other side. 😁😁😁🤣🤣🤣