Saturday, January 01, 2005

Late to the party

Welcome to the first day of the rest of 2005.

Since it's a new day in a new year, I've decided to finally join the e-volution and do up a fancy-schmancy blog. Since all the cool kids seem to be doing it. And I wanna be cool, don't I? Of course I do.

So, next week, I'm sure I'll think this blog was a terrible idea since I don't know what I want to say. But then again, I won't know what I want to say until I've said it.

2 years ago, I was ringing in the New Year in the sweltering heat of Guantanamo Bay (I'd say I was on the right side of the fence, but these days, who can tell anymore). Last year, while I ushered in 2004 in the crowded streets of NYC, my father was enduring the jarring strains of Jay-Z and 50 Cent in the Kuwaiti desert. The hip-hop/gangsta music part was a result of being surrounded by young men and women who desperately needed a little easing of tension. The Kuwaiti desert part was due to a little-known war that happened to be going on. Which also still happens to be going on. I mention this only because I have many friends and colleagues who are scattered throughout the world right now, celebrating the holidays far from their homes, families, friends, and loved ones. And while I appreciate how fortunate I am to be home and to have my father back home, I look forward to the day when everybody's home safe and sound.

Jay-zus H. Keee-riiist, Benari (is what you may be shouting at the monitor right now. Or you may not. It's your world) - why such a downer on New Year's farging Day? Well, I'm getting to my real point.

Which is this: Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year celebration last night. Sans Dick Clark. Millions of lives have been impacted by the tsunamis in South Asia. War is raging in Afghanistan and Iraq. Revolution has gripped the Ukraine. But in the good ol' U.S.of A., our thoughts and prayers were with Dick Clark. Now, clearly, I appreciate Dick Clark's contributions to our pop culture as much as the next red-blooded American citizen. I ain't no Commie. But. Maybe, just the big ol' grand scheme of things, MAYBE we should have had a little more perspective on things. I'm just sayin', Dick Clark's failing health, while definitely sad, maybe wasn't the most distressing part of New Year's. Except, to America, it was.

War? Revolt? Natural disaster? Terrible. Wait? What? Dick Clark's not hosting the New Year's Eve spectacular?! NOO!!! Please, no! Please, I'm not a praying man, but please, don't shatter the stable monotony of my New Year's Eve. Please bring Dick Clark a full and healthy recovery so I don't have to ponder the fragile and fleeting nature of my own mortality! Why, if death can stalk even the immortal Dick Clark - Dick Clark, the Eternal; Dick Clark, the Ever-Lasting - if death can take him, then what chance do I have?! Please, Lord, LET DICK CLARK LIVE!!!

At least, that's what I took away from last night's telecast. I just felt vaguely uneasy watching the stars sending Dick awkwardly taped well-wishes, as intro'd by our own Regis Philbin, who must certainly be a member of the Illuminati. Of course, this did lead to my favorite line - and probably the most surreal moment - of the evening. They interviewed an Army Sgt. who had just returned from Iraq and he wished everyone well. Then, they cut back to Regis in the booth, who - without any sense of irony - uttered the following:

"Thank you, and of course, our hearts and prayers are with all those brave men and women in Iraq. Hey, Dick, here's Madonna!"

I think that pretty much sums up our country in a nutshell.

Resolutions (subject to change):

1. I resolve to do something important this year.

2. I resolve to kiss a pretty girl this year, for no other reason than I find her to be pretty.

3. I resolve to make someone laugh this year.

4. I resolve to do something surprising.

5. I resolve to come up with better resolutions next year.