Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Underemployed 2011 Year in Review

A friend of mine (at least he was a friend of mine, up until the incident I am about to describe), once asked me if I read the newspaper or watched the news on TV.  I said no, and was about to qualify the statement by saying that my husband and children keep me informed, when he turned to his companion and said, "You see, I told you that old people don't pay any attention to the news!"

I'm sure you appreciate why this person's name no longer appears on my dance card.

However, I freely admit that my grasp on current events is tenuous at best.  This may, indeed, be due to my age.  I am 55 now (and was 51 when the comment above was made), and I find there are several good reasons why "old people" don't pay any attention to the news, so my "friend" could possibly have been right (the little asshole, he was 30 at the time).  I am hereby granting him a point (I threw my keys at his head, but didn't leave a scar).

Old people do not pay any attention to the news because:
  1. Much of it they've heard before, and it wasn't all that interesting the first time.  This is especially true of politics;
  2. The news is relentlessly depressing.  Not that everything that happens in the world is bad, but bad news is what sells, so that's what we get;
  3. Most technological innovations do very little to improve our lives.  I cite as evidence cable TV, video games, microwave ovens, and smart phones.  Remember the "paperless" office?  Hah!  Wake me from my nap when somebody comes up with something as good as the washing machine or the vacuum cleaner;
  4. We just don't have the time.  You all don't let us retire any more.  And as our mortality becomes somewhat more than a distant notion, we prefer to spend what free time we have left on stuff that is meaningful (if we are wise) or just feels good (me).
Which is not to say that everything escaped my notice this year.  Here is 2011 in Review, from the point of view of an underemployed (old) person who is only half paying attention:

Brenda Starr, the coming strip I had been reading since I was 6-years-old, ended.  (Why?  Why? In other news, Arab people all over the world are getting cranky at the same time.  The American economy sucks, and I am still underemployed although I have gotten a raise.  I now make $11/hr.

The Obama administration decides that the Defense of Marriage Act is stupid.  I didn't even know we had a Defense of Marriage Act.  Why would we possibly need a Defense of Marriage Act and how much of our taxes did we use to pay the legislators who came up with it?  Given the divorce rate in this country, the only defense that marriage needs is against serial offenders, such as Newt Gingrich.

Japan experiences a national tragedy in the form of a devastating earthquake.  The world shares their grief and worries that their beef might be radioactive.  The National Football League shuts down.  Nobody notices.  The economy still sucks.

The U.S. Federal Government threatens to shut down.  Americans think, "We should be so lucky."  Obama releases his birth certificate, thereby ensuring the nutbars who demanded to see it in the first place will form more elaborate conspiracy theories.  Kate Middleton marries Prince William.  She is pretty.

Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. Navy Seals while having lunch at a secret Taco Bell in Pakistan.  Under intense questioning by U.S. intelligence agents, the cashier admits she didn't recognize him.

Mitt Romney announces his candidacy for U.S. President.  Which affects nobody in any way. 

South Sudan becomes a nation, giving us another much-needed holiday in July, should we for some reason choose to celebrate it.  The American economy still sucks.  Job growth slows and economists are puzzled, which means the connection between job growth and health care costs still eludes them.

Standard and Poor's lowers the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+, citing "poor class participation" and "does not play well with others".  In retaliation, Kim Kardashian gets married.

Saudi Arabia grants women the right to vote, if they can get a ride to the polling place and can find a man to chaperone them.  Saudi Arabia fails to see the humor in this.

Incoherently silly people begin occupying Wall Street.  They are noisy and create a big mess which inspires U.S. businesses and the government to finally do something about jobs as the importance of keeping people "really, really busy" finally hits home.

The U.S. government forms a Super Committee.  Nobody really understands what this is all about, and it fails to inspire a graphic novel, which is a great opportunity left untaken.  In Iran, protesters storm the British embassy, shouting "Death to England" and vandalizing offices.  In England, people wonder why anybody would act that way.

The Russians finally get on the protest bandwagon when they realize that it's a fun way to meet people.  In a shocking development in the U.S., the unemployment rate drops due to businesses hiring Christmas help.  This is easy enough for economists understand, so I will assume they are no longer puzzled.  In local news, my boss reprimands me for reprimanding other employees for not filing correctly.  She says that I am expecting too much (i.e., alphabetical order.  Really?  Really?) and that the other employees are afraid of me (apparently not enough). 

The economy still sucks, I am still making $11/hr, and I work amongst people to whom the alphabet is esoteric knowledge.  But if that's the worst thing I can say at the end of this very eventful year, I'll take it.  And I will celebrate tonight with Steak Florentine, a bottle of sparkling red wine, and Season 2 of Arrested Development.

With my family.  I thank them here sincerely for putting up with me for another year.  As I thank all of you. 

May 2012 bring you peace and happiness.  Or at least be entertaining.

I'll try to do my part.


the nyanzi report said...

i love what you wrote about May. happy new year to you!

sacramento said...

Have a wonderful Year, my dearest. You are a treasure, always there, like a true friend.

look-scout said...

What a wonderful blog. The events you listed really give a good impression of what 2011 was about. Wish you a wonderful and successful 2012 and that all your dreams come true. Hope you visit me and we follow each other if you like :)

Staff Piusc said...

Hy, this is my first time on your blog, i like it so much and i follow you by now!
If you want, you can follow me too!I'm wait your opinion on my blogv for one project that is close to my heart..
All the best

sacramento said...

I told my family to give me ONLY presents I could wear.
Our house is already taken by my husband´s books, model cars, planes, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
It is always such a pleasure to read your comments.

Kevin said...

You really are funny. I hope you keep it up in 2012.