2019: The Examined Year
Ian Shoales

23 December 2019

There was a dispute about how much AT&T wanted to charge DISH, which led to DISH no longer carrying HBO. I’d have pay more for just HBO, and I already have Hulu, and Netflix, and DMZ, and Amazon Prime, and DISH. And Apple and Disney are leaping into the brave new world of streaming, so I missed the new adaptation of Watchmen. Thanks, 2019. 

However, I understand that Dr. Manhattan is being played by a black actor. In the original comic, Doctor Manhattan was a white guy who looked like a cross between the Academy Award statue, and Brainiac. Remember Brainiac? He always gave Superman a run for his money.  Why didn’t Brainiac get a reboot in 2019? I mean Superman languished in 2019, because he is kind of boring, but Joker got his own movie. On the rise, with nary a Batman in sight. So whither Brainiac? Avengers is over. Marvel ran out of second string superheroes to fill the roster. 

Also, speaking of second stringers, not knowing as of this taping whether the president has been tarred and feathered or given a medal. Could go either way. The Inspector General report said there was no deep state plot to bring Trump down. The next day Trump claimed exoneration.  What? From what now? Attorney General William Barr said the report was probably wrong, just one more potshot designed to bring down the high flying bird that is the Trump presidency. Even Obama spied on Trump, or could have—we need to investigate further.

The leader of North Korea has threatened to resume calling President Trump a “dotard.” Which doesn’t seem like much of a threat. It’s what fans of The Avengers could call Martin Scorsese, following his opinion that superhero movies might be rollercoaster rides, but they are not film. 2019 finally brought it home, we are all privileged, yet all victims, and everything is in flux. Like what is “film.” Identity. Democracy. Gender. I read an alarmed conservative tweet that the country is being overrun by a “trans ideology,” whatever that even means. Boys who are girls, girls who are boys, owning their pronouns, children, and all the while the men’s men of Ukraine are just trying to make a damn living.

Is Hunter Biden still working there? What is his actual job? Does it take food from my table? Also, did Ukraine frame Russia for the election rigging which was supposed to help Hillary but went horribly wrong? And did the Democratic party bury a computer in Ukraine? Why? Giuliani is on the case with a right wing news crew, interviewing disgraced Ukrainian oligarchs with a view to bring Hillary down, and make Donald Trump president at last. When imperfect means the very best.

In Manhattan, which is not a real doctor, the Museum of Modern Art reopened—better and much bigger, appropriately, because it has become more inclusive, which is great, but makes everything enlarged and clunky. Takes a month just to virtue signal through the permanent collection.

Over the summer, researchers came up with a new “psychological syndrome” among disaffected young men. Dubbed a “Need for Chaos,” it explains incels, white supremacists, antifa, and fa, toxic work environments. This could even be the dawn of a new age of toxic masculinity, on a boring level, cads, boors, horse’s behinds….They read hidden message from Q Anon, and wait for the signal to leap from the basement with Super Soakers filled with hot sauce, ready to cause blisters to the libtards of this broken world. Alternative realities have taken over, is what I am saying, and we’re all gonna be left behind with our Shen Yun fliers and broken dreams. Q is leaving secret messages which we need to find and translate. JFK Jr is still alive, and Hillary fronts a pedophile ring, and Trump though president is not exactly president, kind of like those dreams when you move back home, and it’s the same except now your Mom smokes dope and Vin Diesel is living in the basement and you didn’t have a basement before. That kind of real. You believe it totally until you wake up, except nobody’s waking up. New studies indicate that unless we act soon, the earth as we know it is doomed. If we’re arachnids in Australia, we might get lucky, if we burrow deep enough. 

So anyway the idea that Dr. Manhattan is now an African American, well, he is a shapeshifting god and when you reboot or sequelize a classic doing something to confuse or tick off the fans is part of the process. That’s why Ernst Stavro Blofeld is now James Bond’s long lost brother.  Ask Star Wars. Whatever, says the Need for Chaos. To the quid pro go the quos. Veni vidi vici. By by earth. But not before all the grifters of the world cash in a couple more times. You and I will be killing each other for hoarded Red Bulls, but they’ll be on their own island, sitting pretty. With their bespoke oxygen tanks. Their vintage inhalers. Their sunblock so thick they slide uphill. 

Happy New Year! I gotta go.


Comments (3)

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Thursday, December 19, 2019 -- 9:58 AM

Trying to think rationally

Trying to think rationally about this, I guess I'd just as soon '86' 2019. It was remarkable, but only in unremarkable ways. Another friend, Allan Combs, reportedly moved to Ecuador, having gotten fed up with these United States for reasons known mostly to himself. I will not miss 2019. Hell, I did not miss 1969; 1970-71; or 1980 either. The more we know, the more we find we do not know. Sometimes we also find we should have been better off not knowing certain things. But, you can't go back. May as well go forward then?

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Sunday, December 29, 2019 -- 10:21 AM

The irony of the coming year,

The irony of the coming year, based solely upon the number, 2020, was lost to me until quite recently. I was discussing (with my wife) the tragedies which have occurred---plane crashes; natural (and not so much) disasters; deaths of cultural icons and other noteworthy individuals; and, last but not least; deaths related to vanity and other forms of human foolishness. We have seen much this year, much of it avoidable, if only people would have paid attention to their surroundings; heeded warnings from experts; and not tried to cover their asses when losses of big dollars were at stake. This all may seem too early, and is when compared to examining 2019. But, just by-way-of prognostication, 2020, as we all know, is significant to an eye specialist, Wouldn't it be great if, in 2020, we were all able to see more clearly?

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 -- 11:19 AM

I thought a little more about

I thought a little more about 'the year in review' and my personal goals for 2020. I still remember my grandfather's philosophy on being less-well-off than his neighbors. He was born in the late nineteenth century; raised two sons and two daughters; was a jack-of-all-trades and struggled (with many others) through the Great Depression. His economic stance was, briefly: "You do with what you've got." Since he had little, he learned to use well and reuse, if necessary, anything that could be reused. These scores of years later, I have re-ordered and augmented his statement: Do as much as you can with what you have got and as much more as you may beg, borrow or steal. This might be viewed as essentialist or minimalist, or some other 'isticism'. But I am, for want of a better description, a frugal pragmatist. I make-do and get-by. What I have found encouraging is that providence smiles on determination and purpose (PSDP, for short). You can never win them all, but with some effort, good things are attainable. And you can take that all the way to Rhode Island.