Hope And Change 2011

The story of the year has been published. Only a few days into the new year and we have a story that encapsulates the entire year. The story is at once a story of Hope, a story of desperation, and a somewhat mixed message of the value of reality.

Because this is our inaugural article for 2011 we wanted to publish a heartwarming story of the blazing candle in the wind alight even in darkest Winter. But alas we could not find such inspiration in non-fiction periodicals and publications. Then from New York City came a New Year’s story which somewhat meets the metaphorical moment.

A relatively young man of 26, long troubled, practiced at attempts to end his life, and lately despondent over the likely loss of a rent controlled apartment (the kind of low rent apartment Charlie Rangel managed to acquire four of from a developer with business before his committee – but we digress) attempted suicide yet again. The young man jumped from his ninth floor apartment.

Anytime we refer to suicide or suicide attempts it is necessary to add a disclaimer as to the pain and misery suicide inflicts on friends and families of the person attempting such a desperate act. In this case we must be extra repentant because there is an element of humor woven into this story and the point we are attempting to make.

It turns out that the young 26 year old man failed in his attempted self-slaughter. His life saving “Angel” as it were, was a small mountain of 100 uncollected garbage bags.

This is not a story of New York City falling apart amidst piles of stinking garbage. The garbage was not collected because snow removal became the priority for the New York Sanitation Department. ‘”He landed on a garbage pile,” one official said. “That’s the only reason he’s alive.“‘

As of today, the young man is in “critical but stable condition”. The young man’s story is difficult (repeated suicide attempts, loneliness, fear of losing his rent controlled apartment, a nervous breakdown at his last appearance in Housing Court, father paralyzed and with cancer now living in a nursing home, throat slit with a knife before jumping and an attempted self-hanging). We wish him well.

However reading the story reminded us of the despondent American people and our collective political plight – After two years of Barack Obama we are so despondent that we are hoping for a pile of garbage to save us.

Never did we think that we would depend on a Republican congress to save us! But that is the situation we find ourselves in. Pile up the garbage!

Republican readers will likely be offended by our comparison. But if they reflect on Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger’s commutation of sentence for the son of a Democratic political crony they’ll agree with us at least as far as Schwarzenegger. After a few months of compromises and kow-towing to Obama by the Republicans in the new Congress the now offended will agree with us even more.

We hope we are wrong. It is possible that the Tea Party activists will prove much much much more honorable and consistent and unrelenting towards “theirs” – unlike those Dimocrats who continue to aid and abet Barack Obama because he is one of “theirs” – no matter how many Obama treacheries are experienced.

We hope that the promises of drained swamps and policy investigations are kept. But we won’t hold our breath. Instead we will have to breathe in the stink from the garbage piles.

As Americans fly through the air after another year of an “economic recovery” without jobs we’ll hope to hit the garbage bags for a softer landing that will leave us only bleeding and hospitalized.

The shiny garbage bags will be better than being beaten with golf clubs. In two years we have seen enough of the golf clubs (already more than twice as George W. in all his 8 years). Mark Knoller has the other numbers detailing all the piles of words, the many trips, the vacations, the basketball, the unemployment rates and the mounting debt.

It’s our first post of the new year so we want to be hopeful and optimistic and full of good cheer. But we have to be honest – those attributes are in short supply for this year. So we’ll stick with reality and the hard times ahead.

We know the stink came from both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue in 2010 and 2009. We know that the best we can expect in 2011 is a bit of stink covering perfume from the Capitol to combat the stink from 1600 Pennsylvania. But we will remain hopeful that the promises of the 2010 elections are kept.

Our sad message for 2011 is – avoid the golf clubs and aim for the garbage bags.

In 2012 things will be a lot better – after November – if we do our jobs right. Let’s get the job done in 2011 and drive Obama out to a life of retirement at the Rezko house. That’s enough Hope and Change for now, isn’t it?