We can't remember a single good New Year's Eve. We've spent them drunk, and we've spent them sober, and we'll be damned if we could tell the difference. They've all sucked.
When we were 21 and hitting new lows alcoholically speaking we celebrated a New Year's Eve in the UF Family ancestral home (folks were away somewhere) and everybody was there: our sister and all her friends, us and all our friends, our little brother. And we lured one of our sister's girlfriends upstairs and were well on our way to getting her into bed when our sister burst into the room and liberated her, because (and we'll never forgive our sister, never!) she was (still is, as a matter of fact) a card-carrying lesbian and wanted her (the friend, that is, who we were diabolically trying to seduce) for herself!
Talk about selfish!
That New Year's was ruined!
Somebody out there must have some good New Year's Eve memories. Hell, maybe we have some even, if we could just remember them. Because that's the problem with alcohol--if you use it right, you wake up no more memories than a newborn baby. You bounce out of bed, everything a blank, and go in search of the car. You know you parked it somewhere. Hopefully in one piece. And with no blood on the fenders.
And what a debacle of a decade it was. Unremitting failure from beginning to end. A total calamity.
And we had such high hopes for the 21st Century.
At least the Backstreet Boys didn't reunite.
Some people will undoubtedly point to the election of Barack Obama as a ray of hope. These people are, in psychiatric parlance, deluded. Sure, Obama beats Bush, but in the same way that rickets beats Ebola.
You don't shout Progress! while pointing at a disease.
Or maybe you do. Maybe that's what we've come to. No doubt about it, we couldn't go any lower than Dick Cheney.
Some decades you write epitaphs for. Some you lead into the woods and shoot. We'll leave it up to you to decide whether we should bury the aughts, or just let the buzzards get at 'em.
We have, after much consideration, decided not to compile a year's best list. Because you know what? There wasn't one good movie, book, or CD released this year. We wouldn't go so far as to say everything sucked utterly, but everything pretty much sucked at least in part, every movie, book, and CD pretty much sucked at least in part, and we should know because we saw every movie, read every book, and listened to every CD released this year, give or take the large numbers of movies, books, and CDs we were too lazy to watch, read, or listen to, being at heart a lugubrious and lackluster bastard.
Oh, we know what you're thinking. You're thinking, what about The Fantastic Mr. Fox? Bah. It was only so so, based on the previews we saw. Kind of like Paris, which we were just in the Paris airport and can say with authority that if Paris is anything like its airport, it's a shitty town.
Let's face it: movies, books, and CDs aren't what they used to be. Movie makers have forgotten how to make movies, authors have forgotten how to write books, and musicians have forgotten how to make music. Not that they've given up, mind you. No, they're all out there flailing around, with their movies and their books and their CDs that are just so so, at best.
That said, if we had to pick a musician of the year we might pick Kurt Vile, and if we had to pick a movie of the year we might pick The Informant, and if we had to pick a book of the year we might, and we cannot overstress that might, pick Dexter Filkins' The Forever War. But what do we know? We read, watch, and listen to so little. We're an uninformed moron. Who, like every uninformed moron, doesn't even have the good sense to be ashamed.
Worst movie of the year? Without a doubt, Inglourious Basterds!
We especially miss the comforting sense you get from having absolutely no idea what's going on around you. Everything that comes out of people's mouths is gibberish. The newspapers are gibberish. The television, total gibberish.
Over there we're an ignorant man-innocent, suddenly free from the terrible onus of understanding. We walk around a happy idiot, liberated from the terror of meaning. An ape in mufti, we mingle with the citizenry, thrilled as a retard at Christmas.
Every once in a while we vow to learn German, but that would only ruin everything. Ignorance IS bliss, as we learned every morning when we sat at the kitchen table and stared at a newspaper that was marvelous in its total opacity. We didn't have to worry about being contaminated by information that we could do nothing about. All we had to do was stare at the pictures, and the really really long words, one of which we would occasionally, to our horror, recognize.
We like not knowing the German language. That said, we like knowing this much about the German language. That the German word for poison, is Gift.
He wasn't breathing. Or you could hardly call it breathing. He was breathing dismally. Like someone who has forgotten how to breath and is trying to remember how to breath but getting it all wrong.
We were at this party and a gun appeared and somebody pulled the trigger as a joke and the bullet, jokester that it was, found Larry on the sofa. Who knew the gun was loaded? There was too much booze around for anyone to get really hurt or so we thought, so we reasonably thought.
So there was Larry, bleeding on the sofa. He thought it was as funny as everybody else did, that there was a bullet in the gun and that it had found him. He didn't even put down his beer. He just said "Look at that," as the blood spread across his shirt.
So we got Larry out to the car, Ed's Karmen Ghia, and we were speeding him to the emergency room when he handed Bill his beer and stopped breathing or commenced dying, take your pick. But first he said, "Feels like there's a wolf in my chest," which was a funny thing to say or would have been a funny thing to say in different circumstances, like if we were all smoking pot out in the woods.
Anyway, Ed, who'd pulled the trigger, took as usual the long view. He suggested that we just drop Larry off at the emergency room, anonymously as it were, rather than have to go through the whole long story about how the whole thing was a terrible trick played upon Larry by a supposedly unloaded gun.
Nobody said anything. Except Bill, who was nudging Larry and saying, not unkindly, "That isn't how you breathe, you dumb motherfucker. Don't you remember how to breathe?"