Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Why 2013 is going to be awful"

So, a new year, a clean slate. None of my resolutions has been broken yet.

In the early morning, I'm off to Denny's with my husband to eat a breakfast cooked by somebody else. Not bad actually. Afterwards, we swung by the grocery store - which was practically deserted! - to pick up black-eyed peas, cabbage, and sweet potatoes for our "lucky" New Year's lunch.

Home again, I fire up my computer and probably the second thing I see is this: "Why 2013 is going to be awful" by Alex Pareene in Salon. I read the article and realize that, yes, we are in fact doomed. Oh, well, it was a nice year while it lasted.

Of course, the first thing I had read was Paul Krugman's blog, which wasn't exactly a ray of sunshine either. He writes about the bargain made to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and comments on Barack Obama's negotiating style, which always seems to be to give away the candy store:
So why the bad taste in progressives’ mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.
If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him. 
Standing his ground does not seem to be Mr. Obama's forte, even when he's just won reelection by wiping the floor with his opponent. He keeps assuring us that he's going to pursue the agenda that the liberals who elected him favor - gun control, ameliorating climate change, etc. It all reminds me, sadly, of a post I did about him back in 2010, in which I opined that in negotiations it was "better to be his enemy than his friend." Two years do not seem to have changed things on that front.

So there's no hope in the world of politics, perhaps we can look to the world of books to offer us salvation. 2012 was a busy reading year for me. I had my goal set to read 85 books during the year. In fact, I got on a roll and actually read 100, many of them absolutely wonderful. My new goal for 2013 will be to read 90 books - seven-and-a-half books a month. That at least gives me something to look forward to and saves me from despair.

Of course, my paltry 100 books were as nothing compared to this guy's 366 books in 366 days! l wonder if he can even remember the plots of any of them. And his resolution for this year is to read 365 books in 365 days.

Well, more power to him. I think I'll stick to my plan to read 90 and take time to savor the words. With such an "awful year" ahead of me, I need all the comfort and escape I can find.

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