by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
January 3, 2008
MORE I CANNOT WISH YOU
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A song by Frank Loesser in "Guys and Dolls" called "More I Cannot Wish You" has been running through my mind as the new year takes shape in the snow outside my window.
There are so many things I hope and wish for - for all of us - in the coming year.
Some are simple, like $1.98 gasoline and an end to news stories about celebrities who don't wear underpants. And some are impossible, like $1.98 gasoline and an end to news stories of celebrities who don't wear underpants.
Some of the things I wish for will actually happen. I used to think that President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would never leave office, that they'd institute martial law "to keep us safe for democracy" and establish a dictatorship. Now I think Mr. Bush will be fleeing next December like his tail is on fire. And Cheney? He'll never leave. He'll turn into a rotting pile of bone and ash that someone, a few years from now, will have to sweep up. And then they'll have to scrub the floors of the vice president's home with a degreaser.
But he'll be history long before that.
To replace Messr.s Bush and Cheney, I wish for the whole world an adult, mature, not crazy-as-a-bedbug, not wild-eyed-ideologue new American president. That leaves out Huckabee, McCain, Giuliani and Thompson.
I also wish an American president who is not an empty shirt stuffed with false entitlement. That leaves out Clinton and Romney.
My guy, who is still not running, is Michael Bloomberg of New York. Failing him, we might be safe with Edwards - Ralph Nader just endorsed him in Iowa - or Obama.
Remember, the presidential sweepstakes season's just getting started. Don't get sucked into the horse race now. All the candidates are already exhausted and only time will tell. The good news is that some of these freaks will be crawling back under their rocks soon.
And then we'll have what we've all been wishing for for eight years - a new government.
Some things I wish for seem hopeless, like climate change reversal. People reason, "If the whole country pulled together, we could do anything. We went to the moon..." Yes, we went to the moon and all we got was Tang, diapers for astronauts, and a planet surrounded by rotating metal junk. It tears my heart out that polar bears are drowning and our government doesn't care. It will take a lot more more than wind farms and a campaign to stop car idling to reverse this trend.
Another hopeless thing I profoundly wish for is an end to our meddling in the Middle East. The sad and horrible - but not unexpected - death of Benazir Bhutto illustrates just how ill-equipped we are to be playing power politics in that part of the world.
I passionately wish for an end to this unjust war in Iraq as well. Yet apart from Dennis Kucinich, there are no candidates talking about pulling out. From the beginning of our sad involvement, there was whispered talk of 14 permanent American bases; at least some of them have been completed now. We also know that our tax dollars have built a huge fortress city in the middle of Baghdad. In other words, one of Osama bin Laden's most important demands after 9/11- that the U.S. military leave Saudi Arabia - has been met. The result is that we could be the permanent occupiers of Iraq. In the end, Osama was pulling President Bush's strings all along, wasn't he?
To go from the cosmic to the comic, one thing I've been wishing will happen on Monday, when Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert start doing fresh shows. They'll be doing them without writers, but at least they'll be back on television. I think the heart of the nation depends, to some sad and twisted degree, on the pair of them puncturing hypocrisy. At this point, they'll need bucket loaders to move the pile that's accumulated since they've been gone.
Which brings me to the issue of the Writers Guild of America strike. I wish with all my heart for the strike to end and for the writers to win.
I make no apologies for the fact that television is my drug of choice, my wind-down from long days spent writing. So I'm pulling for the writers because I wish for lots more scripted dramas like "Friday Night Lights," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Life," "NCIS," "House," "Bones," and the rest. I also want to thank Holly Hunter for the astonishing "Saving Grace."
Remember how full of hope we were when the year 2000 arrived? Eight years and one Mr. George W. Bush later, I look at the new year with advancing dread.
The economy is shaky. People are losing their homes - there's already a cardboard tent city outside of a California suburb. The dollar is sinking - during Christmas, New York was filled with Europeans spending their strong euros and marveling how low our prices were. A "For Sale" sign is strung across America. On Wall Street, I understand, the slogan is "Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai or Goodbye."
With despair in my heart, what can I wish you for the new year?
"Music I can wish you, merry music while you're young. And wisdom when your hair has turned to gray," Loesser wrote. And more I cannot wish you than to wish you have the strength and creativity to deal with what will come your way. "And your own true love this day."
A collection of Joyce Marcel's columns, "A Thousand Words or Less," is available through joycemarcel.com. And write her at joyce firstname.lastname@example.org.