The Norman Transcript

Features

December 30, 2012

Looking back at a cruel year

NORMAN — It was a cruel year that kept raising our hopes, only to squash them flatter than a dead possum on the road. Example: This year the “reality” show “Jersey Shore,” which for six hideous seasons has been a compelling argument in favor of a major earth-asteroid collision, finally got canceled, and we dared to wonder if maybe we, as a society, were becoming slightly less stupid.

But then, WHAP, we were slapped in our national face by the hugely popular new “reality” show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which, in terms of intellectual content, makes “Jersey Shore” look like “Hamlet.”

Another example: As the year began, the hottest recording artist was the brilliant singer-songwriter Adele, whose popularity made us think that maybe, just maybe, after years of rewarding overhyped auto-tuned dreck, we were finally developing more sophisticated musical tastes, and then …

WHAP, we were assaulted from all sides by the monster megahit video “Gangnam Style,” in which a Korean man prances around a variety of bizarre Korean settings riding an imaginary Korean horse and shouting a song that, except for the words “Eh, sexy lady,” is entirely in Korean.

Did anything good come out of 2012? Maybe. Just maybe. Consider: For years now, Washington has been paralyzed by bitterly partisan gridlock, unable and unwilling to act in the face of a looming, potentially disastrous economic crisis. But this year, we, the people, finally did something about it. We went to the polls, and we made our decision. Which is why now, as the year ends, we can look forward to a future in which Washington is …

WHAP. So, OK, basically we need to forget about 2012 as soon as possible. But just so we can remember exactly what it is we need to forget, let’s pour ourselves a stiff drink and take a look back at the train wreck we’re staggering away from, starting with …

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