So I when I began to tot things up, I realized that the year was pretty much all catastrophe. At the same time, the last thing anyone needed was another jeremiad, so I resolved instead to submit a cheerful little jingle. Like this, perhaps:
Goodbye, goodbye, two thousand and four,
We couldn't have wished for a moment more;
Hello, hello, two thousand and five,
I only hope that we'll all survive.
We won't, of course. Not all of us. More men and women and children will die horribly in your war. More men and women and children will die as a consequence of the tragedy in Asia. And many, many more of us will die quite simply because our time will have come. That's just the way things are set up, on this planet. I hope it's not me. I take that to be a good sign--that I'm still more than grateful to wake up every morning. At my age, each morning is a gift to be valued and savored for the privilege of living it.
And I hope it's not you, Bush. Truly. In part, obviously, because then we'd be stuck with Darth Vader; or, if Darth Vader's heart succumbed to the excitement, I guess your job would pass on--isn't this the way it goes?--to the House Majority Leader. Tom Delay. Enough said.
But no, all nightmare scenarios aside, I'm rooting not for your demise but your awakening. To reality, Bush. And for your true happiness. My Buddhist teacher instructs that "true happiness" can only come from within; it does not involve detracting in any way from anyone else's happiness, so it's not a selfish wish. If we were all to find true happiness, my teacher says, the world would be a much better place. Hard to argue with that logic, Bush, I think you'll agree.
So here I am, wishing you a Happy New Year. A "truly happy" one. Good luck with everything. And please take care of yourself, so we don't get stuck with Darth Vader or Delay.