Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Laughing into 2009

More than a year ago I broached the idea of a Year of the Jackpot. Last February I went out on a limb and named 2009 as the most likely candidate.

Nothing has happened in the meantime to change my mind. If anything, the prospect seems even more likely now.

Even though Ireland has thrown a spanner into the works of the EU, and the full implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon has been delayed, the Islamization of Europe is still on track and accelerating.

Last winter I expected Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for president. I didn’t seriously entertain the notion that B. Hussein Obama would be our next President. Yet here we are, on the threshold of 2009, about to walk through the door into the glittering paradise of Obamaland. Hang onto your hats!

The new year comes with an Iranian bomb. There’s war in Gaza, and on Israel’s northern border Hezbollah stands poised for a repeat of August 2006. The mujahideen in Waziristan are that much closer to getting their hands on Pakistan’s nukes. The UK is cracking down on the Internet, and Sweden is about to read everyone’s emails.

And now we have to add the current financial crisis into the mix. The worst recession/depression since… What? Jimmy Carter? 1933? The fall of Rome? Take your pick.

It seems more and more as if we just finished up 1938 and are headed into 1939. A return look at “Autumn Journal” (Part XXIV) by Louis MacNeice is appropriate:

Sleep, the past, and wake, the future,
     And walk out promptly through the open door;
But you, my coward doubts, may go on sleeping,
     You need not wake again — not any more.
The New Year comes with bombs, it is too late
     To dose the dead with honourable intentions:
If you have honour to spare, employ it on the living;
     The dead are dead as Nineteen-Thirty-Eight.
Sleep to the noise of running water
     To-morrow to be crossed, however deep;
This is no river of the dead or Lethe,
     To-night we sleep
On the banks of Rubicon — the die is cast;
     There will be time to audit
The accounts later, there will be sunlight later
     And the equation will come out at last.

So let’s light the fireworks, drink a toast, and say good-bye to the world as we know it!

From “Laughing Into 1939” by Al Stewart:
- - - - - - - - -
For tonight is New Year’s Eve
Uncork your spirits and welcome it in
Who knows what it’s got up its sleeve
Can’t wait for it all to begin
Stand by the girl with the purple balloon
The look in her eyes just lights up the room
In the corner of her smile
She’ll be seeing you soon
Under a mistletoe moon

Out on to the balcony
Come the King and Queen
And the crowd go wild
He’s a little bit nervous
But that’s just fine
And they’re laughing, laughing into 1939
Oh, laughing, laughing into 1939

Happy New Year, everyone!

6 comments:

Tuan Jim said...

Well, on a semi-casual note - ie. I'm not doing any research - the current situation in Gaza combined with some of the stateside protests (such as that video that Robert translated and pointed out at Jihadwatch)- might just be the start of a tipping point in the US for awareness of the issues. I don't get a newspaper and I followed the "Obsession" dvd online mostly at JW and elsewhere - but my folks and some of their friends who got it in the newspaper were talking about it a lot.

Natalie said...

Happy New Year to both you and Dymphna, Baron. The more I learn about our world, the crazier it seems. I couldn't even make up half the stuff that goes on if I tried.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Baron, Dymphna, everyone:

Thanks for a very creative and active year!

We're facing some significant chaos, and citizens standing for what's Rigth is the antidote. But we can't stop the crisis, it's too advanced.

Apart from Islamofascists left and right, I'd certainly worry about a financial crisis on a different scale than the current one. Key to this is refinancing of the current debts of the US federal government. If that fails, we have something at hand comparable to the fall or Rome...

That said, I wish everyone an exiting and useful New Year!

Profitsbeard said...

A Fine 2009 to all!

A book worth a read in the new year is "The Dawn of Conscience" by Egyptologist Breasted.

Giving a longer, and somewhat more optimistic view of the slow, but growing effort to gain some hard-won human decency from the pre-moral tohu bohu.

Zenster said...

I'm rather certain that our near term future is what the Chinese would refer to as "interesting times".

As to a longer perspective, the present financial crisis, peak oil and even Islamic jihad will all fade into insignificance in the face of Water Poverty. If you think the current wars over oil are something, just wait and see how people fight over drinking water.

Need I mention how the MME (Muslim Middle East) is one of the most water impoverished regions on earth? I'll close by noting how idiotic it is to make so many enemies when you have so little water and grow so little food.

Clinton said...

If instability due to Water Poverty in the MME gets
bad, imagine the tsunami of immigration the rest
of the world will have to cope with. We will become
Antwerp writ large.

Similarly, if a substitute for petrochemicals is ever
found the MME's most valuable resource would be
obsolete. Imagine the troubles as the region slid
back into political and economic obscurity -- and
imagine the exodus...

What is the Chinese for "VERY interesting times"?