Update: Music for tonight from 1936. All lyrics here.
There may be trouble ahead
But while there’s moonlight and music
And love and romance
Let’s face the music and dance
Before the fiddlers have fled
Before they ask us to pay the bill
And while we still
Have the chance
Let’s face the music and dance
Suicide might or might not be painless. But sorry, it’s not allowed. We do however understand the desire to end it all before the horn blows at midnight.
The nauseating news that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have spawned almost sent us over the edge and we started scouting for tall edifices and/or strong medications to relieves us from having to ever hear or see Barack Obama or his lantern-jawed spouse ever again. We recovered briefly from that news but almost immediately we were forced to hunt for termination medication upon reading that 2013 will be a year of film prequels, sequels, and reboots (and really! Ice Age 4 was the second biggest grossing film this year???).
The news just breaking: Obama to speak about the fiscal cliff at 1:30 ET doesn’t help our disposition any. Add the rumors, speculations and video: Hillary Clinton hospitalized with a blood clot and spending the holiday in hospital, along with all the fiscal cliff nonsense from Washington and we’re almost ready to set a place of honor for the Grim Reaper at tonight’s banquet table and take one last meal with friends.
We’d jump over a cliff and end it all but then we wouldn’t be able to have a hearty laugh at fiscal cliff Kabuki theater. And there is a lot to laugh about as the fiscal cliff Birnam wood comes to Dunsinane.
We’ve explained why Republicans have a great deal of leverage in the fiscal cliff follies. Problem is Republican “leaders” don’t seem to believe us. But if we are wrong and Obama’s position is so strong why is Obama even “negotiating” or pretending to negotiate with Republicans? Over at the Obama Dimocrat cult left Jonathan Chiat is upset and wonders why Obama is playing so badly:
“The negotiating style Obama has displayed in these instances is what poker players call “tight-weak.” A tight-strong player avoids throwing in his chips, saving them for a big hand, which he plays aggressively in hopes of a huge win. A loose-weak player plays lots of hands, bluffing frequently. Tight-weak is the worst of all worlds — when you have a weak hand, you lose, and when you have a strong hand, you fail to maximize your position.”
Maybe Obama knows that his hand is not as strong as he has convinced his cult followers (yeah, we do mean Big Media and the DailyKooks) it is. Even Obama cult leader Greg Sargent is beginning to suspect we are right. Or maybe Obama read former supporter Mort Zuckerman’s article on the reality of our economics:
“We are on a trajectory of cumulative fiscal deficits that cannot possibly be sustained. We have gone from being the world’s largest creditor nation, with no foreign debt at the end of World War II, to the world’s largest debtor, with roughly half of our public debt held by foreign lenders. Over the last four years, our national debt has grown by more than $5 trillion to over $16 trillion. We have to service that debt. The Federal Reserve is keeping rates historically low but here’s the cost of paying interest on the debt for fiscal 2012: $359,796,008,919.49
What do you get for that? Nothing.
The greatest fiscal challenge to the U.S. government is not just its annual deficit but its total liabilities. Our federal balance sheet does not include the unfunded social insurance obligations of Medicare, Social Security, and the future retirement benefits of federal employees. Only in the small print of the financial statements do you get some idea of the enormous size of the unfunded commitments. Today the estimated unfunded total is more than $87 trillion, or 550 percent of our GDP. And the debt per household is more than 10 times the median family income. [snip]
If the American public saw our financial statements in the same way that public companies report their pension liabilities, it would clearly see the magnitude of danger represented by the future borrowings that these liabilities to an aging population imply—borrowing on a scale that would not only bankrupt the programs themselves but the entire federal government. And to a worrying extent, we are locked into continued escalation by the fact that social insurance programs, as well as other mandatory programs, carry payments that are in accordance with automatic formulas written into law and are not subject to an annual spending limit. Today, less than 40 percent of our budget is actually decided by Congress and the president, down from 62 percent 40 years ago.
If we continue in these irresponsible ways, an eventual reckoning cannot be avoided. The liabilities are so huge, and multiplying so fast, that there will be one unavoidable demand as the various bills come to their due date.”
It’s an entirely depressing article that by comparison will get us to “kitchy-koo” the Kanye-Kardashian crib occupant. Well, not really. It’s all still very depressing.
So what to do? Invite the Grim Reaper for a fluted glass of Drano? Or celebrate the turning of the 12 to a 13 with some Champagne?
For all the bad ju-ju about the number 13, it usually is a good luck number in our experience. So maybe???? Maybe not all is bleak and 2013 will be a good year? Maybe???? Pretty slim grapes to drink in a Champagne flute though.
But there is tonight the function of ritual. And ritual is not to be cast off lightly. New Year’s Eve is a bittersweet time to remember the past year, glories and defeats, old acquaintances as well as to fill the emptiness of times and persons who have left us with the great surprises of what life presents. That’s what Auld Lang Syne is about.
Yes it is a bittersweet time.
For us the song of the night is not so much the old Scottish favorite. It’s a German song. It’s a German song that during fierce battles and even during imprisonment in camps both sides of the struggle listened to in the quiet of the night. Lili Marlene.
So yes, tonight we will lift and drink a glass of cheer. For real. Hooray! Rejoice. We won’t cast aside the ancient ways but bow to the rituals and honor memory.
Have a Happy New Year one and all.