Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011: All God's Chillun Go to Hebbin

Gosh, an honest-to-blog year-end wrap-up complete with Top Ten lists and everything...

Let's not and say we did.

The truth of the matter is that I'm not really feeling reflective at the moment, odd given the time of year. I suppose my lack of interest in this matter is given to the fact that I engage in this on a daily basis and frankly, I need a bit of a break and so do the rest of you. Can't we just forward with out looking back for a change? I'm not saying "Let's ignore history!" and embrace the ephemeral like the rest of society. No, I'm not conforming to the status quo. I'm just a little sick and tired of instant nostalgia. I want to earn my memories, not cater to them. As for those that I have, I'll wear them like badges of honor, leaving for more as times goes by because it ain't over 'til I sez it's over.

As for what I consider the Best of 2011, I feel ambivalent even mentioning them since it's just more of the same. I can say that the best movie I saw in theaters this year was Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, but the ambiance and my frame of mind had just about everything to do with that choice. I saw it in Brooklyn (Woody's hometown) and I was on one of the best vacations of my entire life. The Book of Mormon was the best live theater event for me this year but once again, I saw it on Broadway and it was the only show I attended this year. (It's still superb, by the way) Do you need to know that I believe Breaking Bad had to be, hands down, the finest TV show of the year and one of the greatest entire seasons in broadcast history, every single episode a knockout? Well, now you do. I also echo just about the entire critical conclave when I say that TV outdid movies AGAIN this year, especially with shows like Treme, Justified, Louie, American Horror Story and Game of Thrones. Music-wise, I stand by my own assessment and choose as my favorite song Dig a Little Deeper from Moonshine Willy's 1998 album Bastard Child and if I hear Adele's Rolling in the Deep one more time, I am going to totally lose my shit. At my age, that's no idle threat. Book-wise, I'll gladly mention Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and hey, an actual title from 2011- Laura Hillebrand's brutally brilliant World War II survival non-fiction work, Unbroken. (Okay. I cheated. I didn't list a Top Ten, just some highlights. I guess I just couldn't resist. Old habits die hard.)

I will look back on 2011 fondly and with gritted teeth. The hardships have increased but it really does make the blessings that much sweeter. And no blessing was greater than the new girl in my life, my incredibly beautiful granddaughter Aefa, born May 31, 2011. It is because of Aefa and what she represents that I will greet 2012 with arms wide open. And that something is hope and with that, I can endure.

To you and yours out there, I wish the same. If you've never had it, find it. If you lost it, reclaim it. Hope will makes us stronger. Hope will allow us to move on. Hope will help us survive. It beats the holy hell out of surrendering.

As always, be good to each other and please be good to yourselves. You deserve it. We all do.

Happy New Year, gang. See you on the other side
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