Goodbye, 2018 don’t let the screen door hit you in the butt on the way out.
It’s the time of year when we in the news biz like to take stock of what happened over the past 12 months. But in the case of 2018, I figure we’ll all be suffering from PTSD flashbacks for years to come so, who am I to jump the gun?
If only there were some secret serum that would spare us the residual remorse and just let we few, we happy few, move on to 2019 with the help of a vaccination shot.
If that were so, only Ashland residents would be left to deal with the nightmares.
Here at the Mail Tribune, you might have noticed, we’re in the midst of a series of stories centered around the theme of “2019: A Look Ahead” — which, given the options, is far easier to write at this point than stories detailing “2019: A Look Back.”
Numerologically, “2019” is considered a 3 year, and the number 3 itself is considered sacred: Not only are we beings composed of mind, body and spirit on the third rock from the sun ... but the Rule of Three is the basic formation for telling a good joke.
And if there’s any group of people who know a good joke when they see one, it’s the readers of this column.
In the spirit of corporate synergy, therefore, I’ve come up with my own contribution to this series. Let’s call it “2019: A Look Ahead At Three Horrors That We Can Only Hope Will Be Among The Ruin And Rust That We Left In The Dust Of 2018.”
(It’s only a working title; so, well, it needs work.)
Let’s start with the first leg of this triangle NATURAL DISASTERS.
And, by “natural,” let’s be clear that we’re not talking about disasters caused by the blindfolded stupidity of the human race — things such as climate change, the trend of using butter instead of cream in our coffee, and presidential elections.
This isn’t breaking any new ground, but I’m getting immune to the ever-present reminders that an Earth-shaking event is due at any minute.
Yes, yes the Cascadia Subduction Zone will someday send us all scurrying to Bend (where we’ll have to pay even more for our butter-infused lattes), but aside from making sure we have an escape plan in place ... stop telling me about it. It’s not like you can start a countdown clock to serve as a daily reminder.
... wait, what?
It’s bad enough that I now know what the word “subduction” means. If I want to hear about the earth moving under my feet, I’ll put “Tapestry” on the CD player.
Meanwhile, if I know my tinfoil-topped wingnuts, the drumbeat soon will start on the meteor shower expected in the middle of June when big rocks are expected to fall out of the sky. Let’s do each other a favor ahead of time: If either of us gets hit by an asteroid in June, don’t ruin the other’s summer by complaining about it.
Besides, by the middle of June, we’re supposed to be in the midst of the next fire season. And wildfire season brings me to the second panel of our triptych of torment PASSING THE BUCK.
Specifically, the notion that some of our problems are so yuge that the best we can hope for is to nudge them this way and that down the road until it’s time for our children’s children to solve them unless they’re hit by giant rocks falling from the sky.
Doesn’t it seem as though we’ve had the same debates about the same issues for as long as we were sure that those who disagreed with us were wrong? Gun control, environmental safeguards, which D-lister won “Dancing With The Stars.” (Ah, the Rule of Three.)
Heck, the Supreme Court ruling on abortion was handed down in 1973 and, 45 years later, the only thing we all can agree on is that Dan Quayle was wrong when he thought Roe vs. Wade were George Washington’s options for crossing the Delaware.
Locally, though, it’s the wildfire dilemma that has folks all hot and bothered.
I claim no expertise on this topic, but I know this much from watching how passionate people stand their diametrically opposed grounds — no great problem, outside of defeating the Nazis, gets resolved without the dreaded C-word.
And it is the power of compromise that brings us to the last of our three stooges INCIVILITY.
I read an opinion piece the other day that posited public and political discourse in America had been irrevocably changed by the coarseness exhibited through our conditioned crudity on social media and the unhinged hatred by those in positions of power.
And, sorry for the language, but I’m sick of that crap.
We like to think of ourselves as an enlightened, advanced society — and yet among us are an increasingly vocal subset proud to discriminate against whoever or whatever the nincompoops on the tubes tell them to degrade.
So, if you’re among the horde who hurl baseless and tasteless accusations against people for their looks, skin color, country of origin, gender, sexual identity, financial status or religious beliefs; or turn a blind eye to scientific truths, belittle the justice system, and scorn those whose politics differ from your own; or make Americans grate by taking pride in producing parroted, prejudiced pejoratives ... well, the screen door is over there.
The rest of us are rooting, hard, for a far better 2019.
From everyone at email@example.com, have a safe and happy New Year or we call it, Tuesday.