The close of 365 days and the start of a new go at it.
Some events have been sad shockers. Our bees–those intrepid workers, those pollinators of our life-line (food)–dying off mysteriously. The world’s continual ignoring of Darfur. Benazir Bhutto’s unfair and tragic exit from this world. Other moments have been glorious. Any baby born healthy. The promise of a new American leader. The sheltering and feeding of a homeless person, not only with canned beans but with organic vegetables, grass-fed beef.
A week ago, in Terminal 3 at JFK airport, I heard chirping, looked up and bore witness to three black birds swooping from corner to corner in the massive space. They surveyed the scene of people below them. How they came to be inside among the chaos I don’t know. “Someone has got to help them get out!” echoed in my head. I was nervous for them, nervous for what it means to be trapped. Today in Montana, I saw a bald eagle perched on a leafless cottonwood, casting his glance over a snowy field. He was the size of a small child and full of dignity. In June of this year, the Interior Department took the American bald eagle off the endangered species list. Here’s to hope for 2008.
My connection to the Pakistani national tragedy (that’s my sister, a photographer, on a photo shoot in Dubai before Bhutto moved back):
“Happy new year’s baby
We could probably fix it if we clean it up all day
Or we could simply pack our bags
And catch a plane to Barcelona ’cause this city’s a drag”
–Counting Crows, Holiday in Spain
So this is it. The end of 2007.
You know what I’m going to miss most?
It is a shame I only get to hear Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” six weeks out of the year.
And I would like to send a special shout out to hip hop legends, Run DMC. Who made the classic “Christmas in Hollis” with no sense of irony. Just a love of Santa. And collard greens. And holiday cheer.
Enough reminiscing. Here are seven things I want to see in 2008.
1.An actual presidential election
Just like everyone else who has access to a toilet, women on the birth control pill flush pee down the white bowl. But along with their pee, synthetic estrogen flows. Somewhere downstream those hormones enter the water supply and a small 8-year-old girl drinks it. Her body is provoked and soon she is menstruating. Fish react differently to the estrogen. They simply become hermaphrodites. Biologists cannot name the sex of these fish, and they say that the fish are equally confused. Apparently a similiar thing happens to sea otters. Apparently some men develop breasts.
6. Radiohead – In Rainbows
A scaled-back, more personal set of ten tracks by what is arguably my generation’s favorite band ever. It was actually a very strong year for my high school musical crushes, with great and mostly innovative albums by PJ Harvey, Björk, and Air all making appearances in my top 20. This might be because I’m getting very close to thirty and becoming more reluctant to embrace new sounds, but I really hope it’s because these artists are coming into their own now, making work that has no benchmarks but their own. With the syrupy-sexy (as far as echoey floaty Thom Yorke songs can really be called sticky) “House of Cards”, Radiohead at least broke new ground in lyrical content, “I don’t wanna be your friend, I just wanna be your lover,” is positively Prince. Continue reading
Maybe I’ve just never been invited to the right parties, but I’m not a huge fan of the large and loud celebrations of New Year’s Eve. My celebrations tend to be quieter, more reflective. This is a kind of dorky celebration, but at the end of each December, I like looking at my yearly calendar and writing little summary paragraphs of each month. I forget so easily what I’ve done in a year; this helps me remember and wrap it all up, and let it go.
This brings me to New Year’s resolutions.
Why is it so darn difficult to place an op-ed???
College affordability is a really important issue in this country, and I saw a window to talk about it a few weeks ago when Harvard announced that they were increasing financial aid for middle class families. Cool, I thought after reading the article, which shot to number one on the New York Times’ “most emailed” list the next day, I should write an op-ed (see below) that focuses on hardworking, middle class kidz. Poor kidz not going to college isn’t really “news,” after all, and won’t sell papers.
My non-brilliant strategy didn’t work. The op-ed never got picked up.