Longtime readers know I don't make New Year's resolutions. I make more than enough promises to myself that I don't keep already.
I do, however, have hopes for a few things to happen in the new year.
• A return of common sense. In a rational world, experts in particular subject areas are heeded because they've dedicated their lives to studying those things; they've put in the hard work needed to become economists, doctors, attorneys, or whatever else. Now, however, apparently all it takes is a social media account and gullible followers to become an "expert" and get people to believe dangerous and insane things about the world. There are people dead due to covid who would probably still be alive now had they listened to the actual experts. Common sense tells us that most of the time they know what they're talking about in their particular area of expertise, and if they're wrong, they'll admit it. The people who never admit they're wrong are the ones you should ignore.
• The disappearance of spite. Oh, how I miss the days when people would simply do as they're asked for the good of all. Instead, now we have people who insist on breaking rules made for everyone. While some may say it's because their rights are being infringed upon (they're really not), in too many cases, it's really because of spite. A politician or writer they hate--or worse, the CDC--recommends masks? Ha! They'll show them, and for good measure, they'll cough on a bunch of people and troll the CDC's social media while they're at it!
Are we 3 years old? Grow up. We live in a society where everyone has to do their part for the whole to succeed. That means cooperating with public health measures, for example, instead of throwing tantrums like an attention-starved brat and/or making laws to keep public health authorities from doing their jobs.
• A resurgence of responsible media. We've spent too much of the past couple of decades watching cable "news" that isn't news for the most part, but opinion. People have come to identify news sources as reliable only if they print or broadcast things with which they agree, regardless of whether those things are truthful. Local newspapers have suffered the brunt of the anger toward news media in general, even though their editorial and news coverage decisions have little to nothing to do with what's being done by the national media, and in most cases, the editorial and news functions of newspapers are separate from each other.
Support local newspapers, because without them shining a light on government actions, corruption can flourish.
• That politics takes a vacation. Politics has infected far too much of our lives, and to our detriment. What's worse, we attribute to state party members exactly the same beliefs as those in D.C., which means that in some places, it's hard for them to get elected no matter how wise and hardworking they are because all people see is the letter after their name on the ballot. Let's get back to the idea of electing people, not parties. If all you're interested in is keeping your party in power because the other side is evil and has cooties, perhaps reconsider your goals. Why not vote for the person who has actual workable ideas that would help most constituents rather than the person whose main purpose is to throw a wrench in the works? We should value public service over politics.
• An end to portraying issues as something they're not. Too many people have taken legitimate issues and broadened or narrowed their definitions so much that they're meaningless. Critical race theory is a mostly graduate-level university course on the legal codification of racism. It isn't history courses in primary and secondary schools that include sections on slavery, discrimination, voting rights and the like (that's called history, which is all the parts, not just what makes you comfortable). Abortion isn't indiscriminate killing of fully formed babies as a form of birth control, but usually a very serious decision made with much thought in consultation with a doctor. There's also the fact that men's responsibilities aren't even mentioned.
Whatever the issue, it should debated in good faith, without all the political baggage often larded on.
All these things make me very cranky. I'm not that fun when I'm cranky.
There are other things I'd like to see as well in the new year ... I mean, besides the new Doctor Who with Russell Davies back as showrunner, which won't be until November 2023 (why????); the last few specials with Jodie Whittaker will have to hold me till then.
In the meantime, how about:
• Chocolate without calories. It's the ultimate comfort food, but those extra pounds aren't comforting. C'mon!
• Nonpolitical humor. If that means it's mostly cat memes from now on, I'm OK with that.
• More visits from Boo the Warehouse Cat. He tends to show up on the weekends and when he senses I need a little extra comfort. Plus, he knows I'm a soft touch and keep some wet food by the door just for him.
• A big sack o' money. I'm not likely to get rich any other way.
Assistant Editor Brenda Looper is editor of the Voices page. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at blooper0223.wordpress.com.