Favorite

Swami sez 

Below are a few predictions for the year 2010.

• It is revealed within the next few days that at the annual David O. Dodd memorial service last week, the Boy Martyr himself appeared in zombie form, his head bobbing wildly at the upper end of his 5-foot-long neck, but that he was discreetly wished back to his resting place in Mount Holly Cemetery by an attendee-admirer, a man named Griffin Dweeb, using a mysterious monkey's paw.

• An unannounced and uninscribed Zoroastrian monolith rises on the State Capitol lawn next Christmas; Family Council blames godless abortion advocates.

• ED crisis threatens Duggar Guinness pursuit.

• Like a sawblade in the cake, Betsey Wright attempts furtive entry into the Miss Arkansas pageant as Miss Cummins Unit. 

• Oaklawn Park announces that its spring race meeting will reduce the payout on wagering to 0 percent, with all proceeds, minus taxes, going to the track. Payout on poker machines in the casino also reduced to 0 percent. Bettors barely notice the policy change, since the bottom-line outcome for practically all of them is little affected.

• Frank Broyles experiences transfiguration, oinked off to glory by winged and ululating cherub boars.

• As a change of pace, the Gillett Coon Supper this year  features possum innards.

There are more predictions where those came from, but I want to use the rest of today's space to make an apology. I know you're already at least a week beyond being sick and tired of New Year's predictions columns, and this offering is even harder to justify inasmuch as the year is already 4 percent gone. Making predictions for 96 percent of a year is not timely journalism. It's about as stale as the journalism gets in a publication as cutting-edge as this one. About as lame as it gets, too.

    But this isn't altogether my fault. Our Arkansas Times publication schedule here in the bleak midwinter is a little unconventional, and this being our first regular issue of 2010, it's my first opportunity to peer into the 2010 glass ball and give you a fair and balanced report on what I've espied there. The ball remains cloudy until the year actually turns, so those prognosticators who plunged early were just making stuff up. They're no different from astrologers or necromancers or televangelists mind-melding Biblical prophesy.

    If you wonder why they even bother — why the charade — I can answer that. It's because bogus predictions are a lot easier of composition than hard-thought treatments of important topics such as politics, finance, education or dog-peter gnats. If even the op-ed feebs at the local daily can hoke up a few predictions that are either too earnest or wholly lacking in earnestness, and get them published, then you know that there can't be a hell of a lot to it. So they get a little extra holiday time off to be with their families, probably to their families' considerable dismay.

If you're a week past being sick and tired of columns looking ahead to 2010, you must be two weeks past being weary of those looking back on 2009. My guess is that you were already worn out thinking about 2009 along about mid-May, and that by mid-October you had quietly resolved that if you made it through to the end of the son-of-a-bitch, you would put it out of your mind for the duration.

History or psychology ought to develop a process similar to the judicial one that would allow a year like 2009 to be declared a nullity and then put away some place in a musty archive where it wouldn't trouble immediate memory. I don't mean ignoring history or rewriting it like the Soviet or Oceania drones — because then we'd have to repeat the sorry thing. But what would it hurt to put the memory of it in a drawer with a Don't-open-for-50-years sign on it like on Mark Twain's blasphemies or John F. Kennedy's brain?

The denouement of 2009 not only brought out the usual  depressing year-end rehashes, it also obliged you to  to look back in sorrow over the decade that's being called The Aughts. I thought it should be called the Double Aughts, like the buckshot, because each of its crummy years had the two zeroes in the middle. Jethro Bodeen, recalling the spy, would have called it the Double Naught decade.

It was a vile decade — the most inane of the seven I've lived in or through. Willful ignorance was ascendant and boundless greed ruled, obnoxious guised up as clever, and courtesy died, as did felicity of public expression, and the old-time cheerful willingness to agree to disagree. The Double Aughts threw journalism to the dogs, and tried to do as much for science. And maybe the worst thing about it was how shallow it got, and stayed. Imbeciles rose to prominence in the Double Aughts.  If you had gumption enough to come in out of the rain, you probably didn't fare as well.

Let the dead bury the dead, it is written. Double Aught ghoulies and boy martyrs with stretched necks. The late stinky ano. To the extent that I've been complicit in keeping them topside and a-dangle, I do humbly beg your pardon.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Bob Lancaster

  • Wretched rez

    I had some New Year's Rez(olutions) for 2016 but that ship sailed so I'm renaming them my Spring Rez or my All-Occasion Whatevers and sending them along.
    • May 26, 2016
  • Nod to Bob

    A look back at the weird and wonderful world of Bob Lancaster.
    • Mar 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • More »

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Bob Lancaster

  • Lancaster retires

    Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.

    • Feb 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • Making it through

    Made it through another January, thank the Lord.
    • Feb 6, 2013
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • IBS, were you there in Benghazi to personally witness all of Hillary's blunders like you…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • If God felt it necessary to replace the ten commandments, he could do it like…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Football for UA Little Rock

    • He's BSC. Students and tuition-paying parents should be VERY vocal that a football program won't…

    • on July 23, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation