1/26/2006

The year of the clueless - Los Angeles Times

Though we've known for decades that New Orleans was going to sink, our plan for Katrina involved giving people a tour of our nation's sports domes.

Our country flipped its opinion on the war even though we brought Iraq democracy not just once, but twice this year, although they apparently ran out of that cool thumb ink the second time.


The year of the clueless - Joel Stein:

Nobody this year did what they were supposed to do, shrugging away all the events we'd been waiting so long for. After 30 years of guessing, Watergate's Deep Throat turned out to be a guy so boring we didn't even bother to ask for his first name. The White Sox ended a 46-year World Series drought and not even Chicago cared. We yawned at the final installment of "Star Wars" and Prince Charles' royal wedding.

Things got so weird that when the NHL canceled its season, Canada didn't seem to mind. I don't know what it takes to get some passion out of those people. I'm guessing it involves being mistaken for an American.

Though we've known for decades that New Orleans was going to sink, our plan for Katrina involved giving people a tour of our nation's sports domes.

Our country flipped its opinion on the war even though we brought Iraq democracy not just once, but twice this year, although they apparently ran out of that cool thumb ink the second time. I'm guessing in 2006, President Bush is going to step it up so that Iraqis are voting as often as people in L.A. County.

Even the Intelligent Designer made some strange decisions. Pope John Paul II's death couldn't have come as a huge surprise, due to his omniscience. Yet, all he had lined up to represent him on Earth was a Hitler youth. The Big Guy had to have noticed the negative play Prince Harry got from wearing the swastika. There's a guy who's powerful enough not to worry about some bad PR.

The most basic of Econ 101 rules didn't apply this year. While Alan Greenspan kept raising the Fed rate, bank loans didn't go up. After finally hitting a big payday after years of struggle, Dave Chappelle didn't show up for work. Bono threw a huge, worldwide day of charity concerts for Africa and forgot to charge for tickets.

The world's biggest movie star knew he had a giant Steven Spielberg movie to promote but decided to take this opportunity to talk about how his religion is based on aliens in a volcano, jump on Oprah's furniture and yell at Matt Lauer. Tom Cruise was so crazily self-destructive he was one talk show appearance away from suggesting Social Security reform.

Even though it was a year of tragedy — London bombings, Katrina, the aftermath of last December's tsunami, the guy who played J. Peterman getting cheated out of his dancing trophy — the bizarre reactions to all of it were somehow comforting.

Because people are so complicated, you never know how the story is going to go. And that, to be honest, is far more important in life than a happy ending.

The year of the clueless - Los Angeles Times

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