Barring a surge of luck from the cosmos, I should be able to put 2011 down alongside those other vintage years of Booker's life as pretty much a non-event. That's how she cuts, hey!
It wasn't by any means the worst year ever. The feeling of social exclusion in a depressed country being fed back to happiness on a diet of austerity and bad press can wear a fella thin at times. But with a middle aged gut to contend with, maybe that's not a bad thing.
To those who trust those who lead it is a casual shrug of the shoulders it seems. The spread of pain diminishes somewhat the higher you find yourself in the class structure of the country. Top of the class and you're made. Up there you even have the law on your side. It's a phenomenon not exclusive to dear ol' Ireland either. It's widespread - driven by a sick Social Darwinism where even those swept forth from some decent ideal is quickly whipped into believing that if you are not fit, you will not survive. One or two of them should take a bit more care of their own gut. And with Ireland's lower classes being mangled the most, I dare anyone of sound mind to argue against societies direction in 2011 as being totally one of inequality, which, for me anyway, much dis-service to some of the words of the Irish constitution. We shouldn't forget where we came from. And equally careful of where we go.
To the 'unattached' observer, it stops at nothing short of the greatest heist ever undertaken at the expense of the nation's people - and there have been a few.
An ineffective government being submissively held to ransom by German Banks, the IMF, as well as being held here at home by unions. The opposition is weak. Hard core lefties with big expense accounts? Less hard core lefties unable to escape their past. And the Failers. Hardly instills a feeling of confidence, does it?
My guess is one of two things are going to happen in 2012. The Euro will collapse or Ireland will default. I simply can not see us rejecting the new treaty now currently getting meat added to its skeletal totalitarian outline if put to us in a referendum. Many will feel the need to stick with the great European project. Might be worth it short term, but what are the long term repercussions for Ireland if it all goes fubar?
2012 will be a good year for opinion. To bad the majority of it is either ignored or comes in various shades of brown...
As another year prepares to die, a few notables fell from the conveyor belt of life this week.
British writer Christopher Hitchens lost his battle with cancer at 62. Regarded by many as one of the world's leading intellects, the antitheist rose to worldwide prominence for his pro-Iraq War stance during that debacle. Hitchens was fearless in all matters concerning society and leaves behind a rich body of work from future generations to ponder over.
Vaclav Havel, BE, the former President of the Czech Republic died yesterday aged 75 also from cancer. The dissident playwright lead the peaceful 'Velvet' uprising which brought the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989. Also renowned as an intellect, Havel is one of the few politicians on the world stage to be held in high regard for the fearless life he chose to lead both as a writer and also as a leader when his country called on him.
North Korea's favourite son, Kim-Jung, took il on his state train while out on a jaunt and died of a heart attack. The reclusive leader of a country named as one of the 'axis of evil' by that other great 21st century intellect, George W. Bush Jr, died on Saturday. His death was announced to a grief stricken nation this morning after being kept secret for nearly 48 hours in secret spy tests being carried out by il's favorite son, Kim Jung Un, on how much intellect the CIA have at their disposal at present. It's being seen as a minor victory for the new 'Supreme Ultra-sapian' in North Korea's War on American Paranoia and its impact on global affairs.
Did you know Kim Jung Il once had South Korea's best film director kidnapped in an attempt to build a North Korean film industry. Pity the noted film buff wasn't Irish.
The 'mad as a bag of hammers' leader was also supposedly Asia's largest drinker of Hennessy Cognac between 1992 and 1994. He was also fluent in Welsh.
Of course Kim Jung will be remembered mainly for the deaths of millions of his own people that starved to death in the 1990's famine when the economy collapsed due to failed national policies and natural disasters brought about crop failure.
I guess that's the trouble with legacies. They last.