Despite the News, Let’s Brighten Up for Christmas and the New Year



The holidays—you know, Christmas, plus others, plus agnostics and the church of shopping and unheard of sales and Santa Claus—swirl around us this time of year along with the occasional snow flurry. The holiday machine revs up like an SUV with all the horses and extras. In this city, we cannot escape the news: Syria, Iran, Ukraine snuck in there, but so far has not yet broken through the evening news. At last, Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball seems to have stopped wrecking things.
This city is, however, odd as it gets still. The passing of Nelson Mandela managed to put the world into a kind of celebratory mourning as a great man disappeared from the scene, leaving South Africans to fret. Refreshingly, Pope Francis became Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.

With 2013 coming to an end, it’s time to assess and shop as well, and it was commonly agreed that President Barack Obama had the worst year of all, if you don’t count relatives of the young leader in North Korea. There’s the NSA scandal, Obamacare, Syria, Iran, the government shutdown. The rollout of Obama put Obama in a position where, according to one poll, he’s as popular as the Republican-controlled House, which is to say hardly at all.

Vincent Gray—our current mayor—ended the guessing game and decided to run for re-election, even though that old investigatory cloud hangs over him like a pimple. He may yet have second thoughts about—people actually yelled at him loudly at a recent candidate forum on education. As long as the mayor says he didn’t do anything—not exactly a rousing call to action—he’s going to get treatment like that. It’s less than four months to the April 1 primary election. And now at-large councilman and independent David Catania says he’s exploring a possible candidacy—and why shouldn’t he?
These were all interesting things, as are the Golden Globe nominations, the new high-tech gadgets, and even those commercials in which ticked-off squirrels attack a fine American man.

But were we talking about any of that stuff, at length, in our town? God forbid—and maybe he should—but local news folks, be they sportscasters or not, were talking Redskins. Will Coach Shanahan quit? Why is he benching RGIII? Why won’t Dan Snyder budge on the name game regarding the Redskins? Yadda yadda yadda, your da-da team has won three games, and people must toss and turn all night over this and wake up screaming.

Put an end to it. Folks, whoever you are still paying top dollar to see a deadskin game, have the decency to put a brown paper bag over your head.

After all, it is time for all of us to brighten up and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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