I for one will not be sorry to see this sorry excuse of a year come to a close. And "don't let the door knob hit you where the good lord split you" on your way out 2K9.
Good riddance to this last decade as well.
Whatever it was called.
After a decade of this new millennium now, we still don't have a common easy way to refer to this last ten years. In my life time, we had the 60s, the 70's, the 80's and the 90's. But what do we call this first ten years of this new millennium?
I would suggest we call this last decade the "Oh-Ohs".
More bad than good came of this last decade.
That's an understatement.
The millennium opened with the American election and inauguration of the Dub-ya administration ruling the U.S. after a twisted electoral vote dispute over hanging chads in the state of Florida – governed at the time by Dub-ya's brother Jeb. A short nine months later we witnessed the event that changed the western world - the 911 attacks.
This led to chasing down Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan that somehow was deferred to invading Iraq.
Fear gripped the world – most noticeably in the United States. Homeland Security became the most powerful branch of law enforcement in the lower forty-eight, highlighted by its designer security threat color codes.
I forget now how threatening fuchsia was.
As well, gas prices soared through the roof, while Iran started threatening with nuclear missile development.
China rose to the forefront of economic power – while North America watched it's jobs leave the west and move into the eastern lands of China and India.
And then came Katrina – which showed us just how Mother Nature could take advantage of a neglected city like New Orleans and turn it into a soup bowl over night. Having spent a good deal of time in New Orleans in the early eighties, this incident really disturbed me in how badly the aftermath played out.
Then there was a tsunami that devastated the populations of the Malaysian coastal areas.
And earthquakes devastating areas in China and Pakistan.
And all the while the Africans kept killing each other in a battle of the genocides.
Last year the financial meltdown as big as the great depression of the 1930's threw many in financial disparity.
Homes foreclosed on.
Banks failed and major financial institutions came close to folding – caused by years of corporate executive greed with multimillion dollar bonuses being paid to those very executives who put in place the practices that caused the meltdown.
The American banks received trillions of dollars in American Bailout monies. Other nations like Great Britain followed suit.
And General Motors – the company that once gauged the prosperity of North America went into bankruptcy proceedings and had to be floated by billion dollar bailout package to restructure and be overseen by a government appointed Automotive Czar.
As well, Al Gore – the very presidential candidate that lost to Dub-ya in the election of 2000 by a hanging chad – has spent the last ten years growing beards and shaving them off as he shows the world his power point presentation about the irreversible effects of global warming – and chanting "I told you so" every time we see an odd weather pattern appear.
Ten years into the millenium and we sit in a tough situation – high debt owed to China – skilled professional jobs outsourced to underdeveloped nations abroad – wars on two fronts – and some say the worse is yet to come.
And Osama Bin Laden is still nowhere to be found.
The Oh-Ohs indeed.
The western world is far worse for wear that it was a decade ago.
And many actually believe the ending of the Mayan calendar in 2012 means the end of the world.
Thanks Nostradamus. Great timing.
Let's usher this decade out with all the grief we can muster, and usher in the next decade of the Teens with all the celebration, pomp and ceremony that we possibly can.
Because while I would like to tell you that it can't get much worse – it certainly can.
But we can't dwell on how bad it might be.
We need to knuckle down now to do our best to ensure this next decade unfolds much better.
We need to find an alternative to fossil fuels to not only stem the tide of pollutants in our environment, but more importantly (in my personal opinion) to neutralize the power and influence of the oil barons and the dastardly (bastardly) destruction the lust for oil has created.
We need to find ways to use this new technology we spent the last decade building other than to download movies and music illegally to really bring cultures together to find common grounds – lowest common denominators of understanding – to work together.
To understand each other.
We need to do something different.
If we are moving into a global shift of power – from North America to Asian and Persia – we need to understand the causes of that shift – and what our new roles will likely be. And how we can perhaps shift that balance back to a more equal level.
I believe this next decade will be ten years of the greatest opportunities mankind has yet to encounter. And how we embrace these challenges will determine our ability to grasp these opportunities to benefit of all of us.
Or maybe the Mayans are right?
If we don't start the awakening soon, the Mayan's may as well be right.
Join with me now as we kiss the "Oh-Ohs" good bye- and lets join hands and celebrate what can be. What should be.
On New Year's Eve 2009, have the one you love by your side – take their hand – and make the commitment together to embrace this next decade with all the optimism and spirit of community you can muster.
Happy New Year everybody. And raise your glass high to a happy new decade.
And next year - this next decade- may we all win.
Whatever we call it.