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mr. in-between
a thanksgiving leftover
by joe redden tigan
1.29.10
pop culture

The following 2009 year-in-review perspective was originally meant for publication in The Internet Is Always Right: The Intrepid Media Collection 2009, but spacing/pricing constraints being what they are, it was not to be.

Why is it that year-in-review columns gravitate so readily towards warnings of moral decay, the subsequent obligatory dark-age renderings, and hearty disgruntlement that we mysteriously abide this shame even as we warn and are warned against it?

Youre right. Too easy. Let me skip ahead here a bit.

When I started outlining this column, sure, of course, I was as drawn to how shitty things are just as much as the next guy. To give you a taste of where I was originally headed, one of the opening-line options I almost went with was "Just when you thought the party couldn't get any worse, Adam Lambert shows up." Another one was "As a resident of Illinois, and with Adam Lambert's AMA performance as fresh leverage, please join me in calling for the End of Days."

But at the last minute, I decided nope. Not that old routine. Adam, Rod Blagojevich, and all the terrorists in Guantanamo Bay soon to be my next-door neighbors aren't going to steal my sunshine.

Neither will Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, Kourtney Kardashian, Bernie Madoff, steroids, Kim Jong-il, Goldman Sachs, Rihanna's tattooing any single square inch of that body, the U.S. auto industry, The View, what Twitter actually turned out to be, ACORN, the amount of leniency we allow our professional athletes with regards to what they can get away with and still keep their jobs and I know I've already mentioned steroids but I mean lots of other stuff too and would be willing to bank on you knowing what I mean, Balloon Boy's parents, the U.S. deficit, the sound of Chris Matthews' voice, crystal meth, Kate Gosselin, the much maligned meaning of the word stimulus, Khloe Kardashian, vampires, Kim Kardashian, the IRS, Citigroup, the U.S.-Mexican border, Michael Vick and I know I already mentioned the amount of leniency we allow our professional athletes with regards to what they can get away with and still keep their jobs but Michael deserves special and reiterated mention, Joseph Jackson, Jon Gosselin, Chicago public schools, AIG, hybrid cars still getting only about 42 mpg and in some cases less, the U.S. deficit's relationship with China, the announcement that The Who will play a Super Bowl half-time show, the sound of Keith Olberman's voice and Keith in general, the amount of leniency we allow our politicians with regards to what they can get away with and still keep their jobs, the word Brangelina and other words like it, cell phones, Kanye West, party crashers, the sound of Joy Behar's voice, 2012, any current- or future-term politician that took campaign contributions from ACORN and I know I've already mentioned both ACORN and the amount of leniency we allow our politicians with regards to what they can get away with and still keep their jobs but this particular group of politicians deserves special and reiterated mention, or Bill Maher.

You know why? Because of Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III.

Yes, there's a stunning differential between the number of detractors and the number of friends, even after running several search engines through their paces to try to find more friends. And there might be a slight exaggeration on my part. But seriously, it is slight. Those search engine results for "good things done and the people who did them 2009" were scattered, at best.

Except for one interesting exception: local results. On a local to regional level, you can't believe the amount of good work being done. But, for my purposes here, I figured you might not be as familiar with the guy that lives across town who ran a marathon for March of Dimes and coach's Little Guys 'N Gals lacrosse on weekends as you would be with Captain Sullenberger. Point being, there's probably as much good being done out there as bad, but unless it comes with an inordinate amount of visual stimulation and is juxtaposed against a really bad thing that could've happened (if not for the good thing), odds are very poor that the good thing will be covered by MSNBC on a half-hourly basis weeks and months and years on end.

Be that as it may, I'm glad I caught myself in the nick of time to use this column to accentuate the positive. The road I was going down with Adam Lambert and Illinois was going to be pretty depressing. I knew that up front. But luckily, something came over me. Something said "Don't let it get you down." It said "Television and core-rotten politicians don't even begin to account for a fraction of what's really going on and who's really doing what. They aren't the least bit concerned with the sublime efficaciousness of common folk and, if you ask me, they both seem to be in cahoots with each other to suppress it. Basically, ignore TV. Elect new leaders. Leverage your earning/buying power against both until you get what you know is right. Strike. Boycott. Demand special elections. Demand MTV devote one hour of prime time every night to the subject of Habitat for Humanity. Work together. Pretend you're in a Capra movie, if it comes to that."

I liked what that something had to say, surprisingly verbose though it was for an ether.

Wow. I'm just realizing that I'm writing this on Thanksgiving morning. I'm eschewing Adam Lambert and emphasizing Captain Sullenberger and in a roundabout kind of a way I'm saying that I'm thankful for good things still being carried out, however unheralded. I can see where this sudden awareness could seem contrived (these stream-of-consciousness oh-wait-I-just-realized-something(s) often do in writing), but, for real, it has just dawned on me that it's Thanksgiving morning, and here I am doing this. This is the kind of cheese-ball instinct I normally have to guard myself against, but I'm done now and I have a deadline. And I'm OK with it this time.

Go kick some ass, 2010.


ABOUT JOE REDDEN TIGAN

Joe Redden Tigan’s first novel does not have enough commas. It says so right there in the Foreword magazine review. Despite that, Waggle was bumped to iUniverse's Star Book program and is currently being considered for an Independent Publisher’s Book Award.

more about joe redden tigan

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