This will be the last in my series emulating the banal, creepily nostalgic pop culture artifact of reviewing the past year as it reaches its end. I won't use a headline like the San Francisco Chronic did today (Explosive losses, Giant victories), because eywwh.
Instead, I'll do a reverse-order top 5 kind of list. Those are always really uninteresting, aren't they? Gee, whatever could the top 5 stories of the year 2010 be? It's just that they write up all this stuff in early December so nobody actually has to work between Christmas and New Year's. Basically, almost nothing of global import happens during that week, except the occasional bombing, or attempted bombing, or maybe an assassination plot - nothing that won't keep until Monday morning, anyway.
5. The Apocalypse
This didn't actually happen. We did drive through Bakersfield on the way to and from LA several times, but that's really only a metaphor for the Apocalypse, not the actual event. This is what I tell myself over and over whenever we drive through. It helps.
4. Avalanche buries Cow State Santa Claus
This didn't happen, either. What did happen was the ongoing unrest on campus from Fall 2009 morphed into protests against the administration on March 4 and in the summer, related to some kind of event on campus the nature of which has slipped from my memory.
The avalanche referred to here is, like Bakersfield, metaphorical. It could be an allusion to the shredded non-existent documents allegedly the private property and garbage of a university official who maintained the non-existent documents on university property but which documents, had they existed, would not be university documents. Yes, that's right, it's an avalanche of bullshit. But seriously, what other kind could possibly strike our campus, given the topography around here (to say nothing of the climate)?
3. Former college instructor arrested following crime spree
This also didn't happen, but it was a near miss. Through much of the Spring semester, it seemed 90% certain that all or most of my work in the department would be cut. The philosophy job market nationwide was practically non-existent, as well. I had one interview, that I botched, for a job at a community college in Ohio where I wouldn't have been happy.
Given my advanced educational attainment in the humanities, my career options would have been sorely limited. Other than returning to school for something else, my best bet would have been a life of crime. I used to be pretty good at stealing stuff and breaking into places.
I'm glad to be teaching ethics, instead.
2. New enlightenment flourishes in social life and politics
Now I'm just making shit up, just like the pros do it. Although, even here, there's a grain of truth, if by "enlightenment" we mean an era of shrill, screeching, pandering, fear-mongering, and slander.
1. 2011 canceled due to budget cuts
We can't be sure this won't happen until midnight tonight. Given how many state budgets are in the crapper, and how poor the economy continues to treat most of us, states like California and Arizona could try this as a way to reduce deficits, or at least shift attention away from their gross irresponsibility when it comes to dealing with fiscal realities.
On the other hand, given how well the economy treats people who still profit from it, and how much they stand to benefit from this continuing, and paupering states in the process while they collect interest, tax breaks, and public money in the form of fees paid to outsource formerly public services like education, probably 2011 won't be canceled at all, it'll just be a repeat of 2010.
I don't know about you, but I'm planning to have bubbly on hand for the countdown.