Category Archives: New Year’s List

Tradition! Tradition!

I’m sure y’all will be shocked to learn that I’m not one to get hung up on tradition. I’ve already taken down the tree, packed up the Christmas crap, and returned the house to normal. This is a new record for me; usually I do it on New Year’s Day. But the way the holiday fell this year gave me an extra weekend to clean up and I am overjoyed to have everything back to normal before New Year’s Eve. You know what? Christmas is messy and a lot of work and involves turning my home inside out for a month and I hate it. Also, you people who keep your tree and lights up until Valentine’s Day? Just, no. Seriously, get a new hobby.

I’ve heard some pretty crazy New Year’s superstitions, like how you aren’t supposed to take anything out of the house on New Years Day because you might do without it in the coming year. Or how you’re not supposed to do laundry on New Years Day, as you could wash away the life of a loved one. Okay, who thinks that last one was invented by some overworked housewife who just wanted a day off?

The New Year is filled with lots of weird traditions too, and I don’t mean the “getting drunk and passing out in Times Square” kind, either. Someone told me that at midnight you’re supposed to open the back door to let the old year out and the front door to let the new year in. I think if we did that we’d spend the rest of the night herding cats back into the house. Also, I’ve heard of this thing where you put money outside the front door before the year goes out, then bring it back inside when the New Year arrives — all without crossing the threshold.

I do have one thing I do every New Year’s Eve. I’ve written about my New Year’s Eve burn list here before; that’s where I make a list of all the things I don’t want to take into the new year, then go outside and burn it. And people, it works! Last year I put the Tea Party and Sarah Palin on the list and look what happened. I rest my case.

I haven’t really devoted much thought to my list this year but we’ve got lots of candidates for burning. There are some Tennessee Republicans whose names will make the list this year for sure. Also probably the NRA, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and climate change deniers. Those last two are on the list every year, by the way. Some funk is just too nasty to burn off all in one year.

New Year’s Day has a lot of food traditions. In the South you’re supposed to eat black-eyed peas cooked with ham and collard greens; I think it’s supposed to symbolize good luck, love and money or some such. People, I have tried this tradition and I just can’t do it, I just don’t like the dish. Southern food and I do not get along, too bland, too starchy, too salty, too fatty. So Mr. Beale and I are going to start a new tradition. We’re making margaritas and tacos tomorrow. The green stuff can symbolize money, the golden taco shells and cheddar cheese can be good luck, the meat and tomatoes can be romance, and the onion can be excitement or something. Why the hell not?

So, I would love to hear what your New Year’s Eve traditions/superstitions are. What’s on the agenda for tonight?

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My New Year’s Eve Burn List

Hey, John Bolton! You’re on it.

Here’s why:

Yesterday, on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes, Iran war hawk John Bolton said that Israel’s recent bombing campaign in Gaza is all the more reason for the United States to bomb Iran now. “So while our focus obviously is on Gaza right now, this could turn out to be a much larger conflict,” he said, adding that “we’re looking at potentially a multi-front war here.”

Not only does Bolton say now is the perfect time to bomb Iran, but he says

I think in many Arab states in the region … they’d be doing the equivalent of popping champagne corks because the Arab states don’t want Iran with nuclear weapons any more than Israel does.

Champagne corks, peeps! It’s the 2008 version of chocolates and roses.

Here are some other folks on my New Years Eve Burn List:

• Tim Russert. Please, enough with the endless eulogizing. Let the poor man rest in peace already. Enough.

• William Kristol. The man has been wrong about absolutely everything, since forever. Why does anyone bother with him anymore?

• Joe Scarborough. On “Morning Joe” today, discussing the issue of Obama and race with John Ridley, I heard the following exchange:

Ridley: But you can also look at all of these people who were at these rallies saying “kill him.” I mean, there were people yelling, “Kill him, he’s a terrorist.”

Joe S: Come on, John!

Ridley: Did that not happen, did that not happen Joseph Scarborough?

Joe S: Come on. I guarantee you Barack Obama had no more people yelling “kill him” at a rally as I do every time I walk through a Democratic rally. Shouting at me. Come on! That’s such a cop out. You’re out of line.

Talk about your cop-outs. How many Democratic rallies do you attend, JoeScar? I’ve never seen you at one, but then I don’t imagine you make it to Tennessee too often. But I will say this: at all of the crazy, wild, liberal-orgy anti-war rallies I’ve attended, Democratic and otherwise, I have yet to hear anyone yell “kill him” at anyone. “Impeach him,” yes. “Arrest him for war crimes,” yes. “Kill him”? No.

So stuff it, JoeScar.

• Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack. The Brookings Institute’s resident war hawks have also been wrong about everything, since forever. So no, I don’t want to see either of these clowns at the State Department or anywhere else that places them within striking distance of our foreign policy.

I’m just getting warmed up. Whose Who’s on your Burn List? (That’s what I get for doing this on one cup of coffee.)

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My New Year’s Burn List

I don’t, as a rule, make New Year’s resolutions. It’s a fine exercise if you want to do it, but the surest way to start the New Year off on the wrong foot is to assign oneself a litany of self-improvement goals that inevitably are not reached. Then it’s an entire year of guilt and self-loathing for continuing to be the overweight, beer-drinking, smoking, couch potato you’ve always been.

Where resolutions are concerned, Attaturk has it about right: make a bunch of resolutions you have no intention of keeping but are so nasty, you’re better off for it anyway.

My list is a little different. I list all of the things from 2007 that I don’t want to carry into 2008. Then I go outside, light a match to it and watch the sucker burn.

There will be personal things on my list (which I won’t post here), but also things about the world and this country I think we’d be better off without. It’s my list so I get to make the rules. And nothing is too big or too trivial to make my burn list.

In no particular order, but as they come to mind, is my Burn List (I’m still working on it, so if you have suggestions, feel free to add them in comments):

1. Iraq War
2. Inaction on global climate change
3. Inaction on impeachment
4. Spineless Democrats
5. Torture of prisoners
6. Religious extremism
7. Bush Administration partisan deceit
8. Homelessness in Nashville
9. Hunger in Nashville
10. Mall/school shootings
11. Violence against women and children
12. Intolerance
13. Right-wing hate radio (buh-bye Michael Savage!)
14. Celebrity news as real news
15. Nashville Predators’ poor game performance
16. Mainstream media ineptitude
17. Global AIDs/HIV
18. Animal torture
19. People speeding down my street
20. Bill O’Reilly (I really do wish he’d just go away)
21. Those stupid GEICO advertisements
22. Phone calls from telemarketers

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