Usually I come crawling to the end of the year like a severely dehydrated, utterly spent long-distance runner. I collapse over the finish line with the feeling of, "Well...At least I made it. Let's hope that I'm in better shape for next-year's race."
This year, however, I'm as giddy as a boy scout at a supermodel convention.
See, for me so far this new millennium has been a thudding disappointment. When I was a kid I assumed the 21st century would bring levitating cars and a soulless but perpetually healthy population of thirtysomethings in spandex. There is no way in hell that in 2006 I would have said we would still be ruled by a bunch of second-string Ford, Nixon and Reagan appointees. So far the new century has seemed like a Groundhog Year of around 1982.
They say the last century didn't begin until 1914. I say this new one doesn't begin until 2007.
With the passing of Gerald Ford, James Brown and Republican control over Congress, the future has finally arrived. Sure, we still have two more lame duck years of Bush but the wheel has already, irrevocably turned. The midterms gave hope to Americans that together we could take back control of our government. In 2007 we can all build on that and start fixing this broken planet.
I just saw the most brilliant film last night, Children of Men, by Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien). It shows a very different future, as bleak as can be. Along with V for Vendetta it is one of the most moving and searing indictments of contemporary Western culture I have ever seen. Like V, Children of Men shows the logical, inevitable conclusion of a world molded by Bush and his greedy and fearful septuagenarian cronies.
We Americans have said no to that future. Now it's time to design one of our own.