The Curmudgeon’s Danksagungliste: When the Bourbon Just Isn’t Enough
Okay, let’s face it. It’s been a rough year.
So, maybe not as rough as the year before, and definitely not as bad as 2008-2009, but still pretty rough, all things considered. Overt racism seems to have made a comeback of late, and Boehner and the rest of his jackanapes still arglebargle and caper in the House to the detriment of common decency and good governance. Unemployment hovers around 7 percent, and they decided not to put the pilot for Joe Hill’s Locke and Key on the air, which is holding up the goddam movie.
These, and many, many more things, suck this year. Miley Cyrus sucks. Kanye West is an idiot. Michelle Malkin still has a column, and what the hell is going on with this heathcare website thingie? Get it together, Mr. President, I have to sit through my conservative relatives comparing the ACA to Dachau all weekend because of this. Also, really tired of Louis Gohmert. Reaaaaaaalllly tired. I’d like some fresh wingnuts, please, if I have to deal with wingnuttery at all.
Still, the reason for the holiday, ostensibly, is to give thanks. And as many of us can’t see the forest of gratitude for the trees of student loan debt; unemployment; and discrimination against lady-bits, sodomites, and general brown-ness; I offer here ten gems. Ten reasons to be thankful this turkey season.
You’re welcome. Pass the potatoes.
Reason 1: Doctor Who
Okay, so it’s a tad geeky and over-the-top, so what? This year the good doctor’s programme turned 50, and the basic premise of the series — that life is an adventure to be shared — is still at the heart of each episode. Go on, I dare you not to watch the Doctor save the planet (England) for the umpteenth time and not smile. This last season brought us creepy weeping angel statues that only move when you aren’t looking, the heartbreaking departure of Rory and Amy, and a tantalizing glimpse of the Twelfth Doctor. Say what you like about the series, it’s lasted as long as it has because the premise is brilliant: A good TV writer can literally take you anywhere, anytime, and as far as imagination can travel.
Also, the Eleventh Doctor is super-hot. I’ll miss him.
Reason 2: Elizabeth Warren
The senator from Massachusetts and special advisor to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took office this year, and has been holding Big Finance’s feet to the fire at every opportunity. With an uncompromising insistence on common sense (why IS it okay for big banks to launder money for drug cartels with barely a slap on the wrist, while the average Jane can have her life ruined over an ounce of weed?) and a great sense of the soundbite, Warren has convinced me that there’s somebody actually looking out for the people’s interests in government besides Bernie Sanders.
And I don’t care what Lefty says, I think it’s high time for and all-vagina presidential ticket in the United States. CLINTON/WARREN IN 2016!
Reason 3: Science
Yeah, it’s taken a beating from the drooling side of the aisle lately, but have you checked out some of the bigger advances this year? We can grow an ear in a lab, now. Yeah, that’s right, a whole human ear. Also teeth, livers, and blood vessels.
For those of you interested in something a little less David Lynch, there’s the amazing driverless car, the use of sickle cells to attack treatment-resistant tumors, and let’s not forget that we found the God Particle.
Reason 4: The Affordable Care Act
It’s not single-payer. It’s not even in the same universe as single-payer, frankly, and the byzantine ins and outs of this massive clusterfuck tend to obscure some of its greatest benefits. We’ve already seen pre-existing conditions and lifetime care limits go the way of the dinosaur, and this year Medicaid is expanding (where governors allow) at a rapid clip. Snapshots of states like California, Connecticut, and Kentucky have shown what the law can do when the mechanism for the law is in place and working well.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Let’s not forget that for almost fifty years we’ve had no comprehensive health care reform at all.
Reason 5: Michelle Obama
Want to know how to shut down hatred and bigotry with dignity and class? This is how you shut down hatred and bigotry with dignity and class.
Reason 6: The Dark and Stormy
Spiced Rum. Ginger Beer. Almost as good as anal sex.
Reason 7: Frozen
Okay, full disclosure, I have a financial stake in this, as Mr. Catt gets bonused if the numbers are big enough this weekend. Still, I’ve seen the film, and I have to say that Disney is definitely enjoying a renaissance. With music by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (remember them? No? Remember Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon?), it’s actually an effortlessly feminist princess story with a great deal of charm. It lives up to the hype, trust me. GO SEE IT.
Here is a little bit of the cute short they play before the movie, by the way.
Reason 8: Hot Hot Hot John Cho
Proof there is a God.
Reason 9: Hot Hot Hot Scarlet Johansen
You can thank me later, Dodger.
Reason 10: Community
No, not the series, though that is good too. I’m actually talking about you guys, who, five years after our diaspora, keep coming back and keep keepin’ on. The site waxes and wanes, but I know that if I ever need to express an outrage, an opinion, or a butt shot I know where I have a group of friends 24/7. Special shout out to the regular bloggers — Lefty, Bloggie, Serolf, Chicago Bureau, and wossname, that Limey guy — who take time out so often to provide grist for the mill. And of course, Nojo, who keeps it going. Thanks to all of you, content-provider and plain ol’ ghost-in-the-machine alike. You still keep me sane after all this time.
So that’s it: Ten good reasons to be thankful this holiday season. Raise a glass tomorrow to at least one of them, please, and share your own in the comments. We’ll get out of this recession hole one day.
(Here is another pic of John Cho, because look how beautiful his eyes are.)
More gravy, please.