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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Farewell to 2007, welcome to 2008

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Well, the time has come for some year-end pithy thoughts on 2007 and some equally pithy predictions for the coming year. Actually, I just wanted to use the word pithy for some strange reason but now that I'm stuck with the introduction, I have little choice other than to sum up the year.

Truth is, I am not a fan of these annual revisitations of the past 12 months. Not a whole lot we can do about them now so why stomp over old grapes? And besides that, what is a good year to one person may be a miserable one to another. So who am I to try and give some lofty summation to quantify the past year? And for goodness sakes, I have no crystal ball on the coming year.

I'll just take an easy route on the prediction front. It's an election year and I strongly suspect nothing short of universal chaos will nudge the election cycle from our hearts and minds in the 12 months ahead. We may not want it that way but we have little choice.

Actually, virtually every year is marked by both tragedies and triumphs. And more often than not, most years have some defining moment. I have yet to find one for 2007. If we look back at 2007, it may best be described as the year Vladimir Putin was named Time's Man of the Year. Now all I know about comrade Putin is what I read in the newspaper and if that's the best we have for the past year, then 2007 will go down as a yawner in history. And considering that Al Gore was the runner-up for the magazine title, the pickin's were pretty slim it would seem.

Speaking of our friend Mr. Gore, did you notice that 400 scientists this past week issued a lengthy statement saying that Gore was full of hot air? These learned scientists collectively said that Gore and his global warming cohorts were generating lots of press but much less evidence. That didn't stop Gore from condemning them, of course. Now back to Putin. He stepped down from office this year only to then be named the new premiere of the Soviets by his successor in office. Some things never change. Reminds me of Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. Maybe a new face and new approach would serve the Soviets and the Americans as well.

I read a year-end publication that listed some of the top stories of 2007 and six of the top 10 involved Hollywood stars adrift and afoul of the law. We sure like our style over substance.

Looking ahead, I see little other than the presidential election that will top any news cycle for virtually every day of the coming year. OK, so this election is the most important in our history. Garbage! We journalists say that about darned near every election. All that is certain is that the election will be nasty and expensive and divisive and controversial. In other words, just another election.

Just to illustrate how oddly divided we have become, a new poll this week selected President George Bush as the most admired American man and Sen. Hillary Clinton as the most admired woman. Read into that whatever you will. Just another sign that nothing is what it seems in 2007. Can 2008 honestly be any different?

Before I end, I need to say that we calculate the value of a year in two separate ways. First we gauge it on a personal level and then perhaps on a universal level. But for now, let's forget 2007 as some odd, quirky dream and hope and pray that 2008 is better.

Let's make a long list of resolutions and keep some of them for more than a day. Let's hope that the conflict in the Mideast is vastly improved a year from today and that the person in the White House is not a female. And finally, let's hope that when the pundits write the legacy of 2008, it includes more uplifting news that yet another bimbo Hollywood starlet displaying her fanny for all the world to see or some sports "hero" disappointing us yet again. Farewell 2007. I, for one, won't miss you!

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen