I'm expecting little from 2012. Not that I don't want to have a good year, nothing could be further from the truth, but making plans in the hostile economic world we now live in now would be like banking on Red Rum to win his fourth Grand National in April.
So it's going to be a 'go with the flow' year and just see what happens. Instead of pointingly going in one direction, perhaps it is time to stagger off in other ones and see if things don't come to me for a change. Whenever I think about doing new things I usually get butterflies in my stomach which usually make me feel like getting sick. Not sure why that is. Only answer I have ever found to combating it is just to get the hell on with it and usually that sickly feeling disappears. Face up to all elements that look down usually serves me well.
Haven't really found the metal yet to fully realise what that sort of ethos can achieve, but after 2011, I for one certainly feel that metal needs to be found, as more and more people find themselves in that 'land of limbo' with walls closing in on them and seemingly no place to go.
This is my fourth year of unemployment. Construction was the first to fall in Ireland, even before the banks. And if feeling serves me right, it will be the last sector to recover, and it's looking more and more like it will be well into the next decade.
For others though, this may be their first or second year of hardship - measured in an Irish sense, that is. While many may enter this new situation with positivity and see it as an opportunity to expand horizons in other places, many who choose to stay in dear ol' Ireland will be witness to a society bended from the realities by our light touch mainstream media, but down where it matters, in the communities of Ireland, a deeper, sadder story is struggling to emerge. The story of a people sold out by those we chose to lead and the consequence of living in a state governed by the iron fist of outside influences, backed up by our present day 'leaders.'
Addiction is on the rise. Depression is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. All these things branch out into communities and threaten their structure. Our answer : Austerity.
The equation simply does not work unless your allegiance is to social Darwinism - and I'm pretty sure the great man did not intend it as such. I don't think humans intend it as such.
I'm going to try and use necessity to drive whatever I do this year. No definitive plan. Why have one when the nation doesn't? Kinda doesn't make sense.
There's no need to review the year. It's all here - month on month. I'm currently spending an hour or two a day serializing the blog. Truth be none, the character of Don Booker wasn't supposed to go past the writing of Booker's World. But the times that were 2011 sort of made him want to stay around.
As the year dies I think he's now part of the Irish furniture. Not that aged mahogany in finer quarters- more that new flat pack stuff from IKEA. Trying to evolve with the times.
If for nothing more, maybe someday off in the future Booker might be a reference of this time for someone looking to know what it was REALLY like, as opposed to the white-washed version the ordinary unknowing people of Ireland get and buy so cheaply, whatever the reasons. That seems important right now, especially once Don Booker resides in Ireland.
Best to finish any year off on a high note I reckon. I'm a believer that the Irish are among the best practitioners of humor on the planet and our mindset at times lends credence to the often times quoted 'This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever' allegedly said by Sigmund Freud about us as a race of people. I'm beginning to think that if that were the case the world over, our planet wouldn't be going fubar. Which beggars the question. Was the first man out of Africa genetically embedded with Irishness? Only further DNA mapping shall tell.
I remember Leon asking Larry once if the Irish could save the world?
'They are the only ones who can...' Larry said, before dipping a feather in a quill and working hard on that manifesto of his. Leon seemed happy enough with the answer. And he wasn't even drunk!
I was glad to be honored by Time Magazine this year, although a little disappointed they didn't ask for a better head-shot. I'm not sure how I feel about being on a list that includes Stalin and Hitler!
If 2011 served anything, it sought to capture the mind of ordinary people and make them unite and question the thievery of corporations with government consent the world over. It was a great foundation from which to build - if we are allowed.
So without further ado, Booker's end of year awards go to :
Political Downfall of 2011 -
Fianna Fáil wins here with ease, ahead of Brian Cowan and the Green Party.
As the year ends Fianna Fáil remain stagnant in the polls. Big year ahead for them. The new must realise the old hinders them and act accordingly - even if that means a split.
Dickhead of the Year -
Bill O' Reilly - War-mongering paid propagandist.
Song of the Year -
Tony Don't You Worry - Youth Mass
Sports Person of the Year -
Darren Clarke for winning The Open at the age of 42 in the summer, lending credence to the statement that 'life begins at 42.'
Punch of the Year -
Chancer of the Year -
Uppercut of the Year -
Man of the Year -
Angela Merkle - * Absolutely no offense intended here. Mrs. Merkle's performance in Europe this year far outweighed the combined efforts of Europe's male elite. The feminist lobby should not round on me on this one as, if Merkle saves the Euro, it lends weight to another of Larry's theories about 'a world run by women often appears to run itself.'
And who wouldn't want that? Mary-Lou, Lucinda, Joan?
Well, maybe not Joan.
Evolutionary Move of the Year -
The Civil Partnership Act
Broadcaster of the Year -
Unpaid Writer of the Year -
Most Promising Politician -
Political Party of the Year -
Sinn Féin - Huge year ahead if they have an eye on government. Must come back more to the people. Trying - but more needs doing.
Disappointment of 2011
Country of the Year -
Discovery of the Year -
Falsification of 2011
That the war in Libya was 'just'
County of the Year -
Donegal - more to come...
The Living Brain-Dead Person of 2011
Race of the Year -
Writer of the Year -
Footballer of 2011
Robin Van Persie
Joke of the Year -
American of the Year -
Bravery in 2011 -
Actor of 2011 -
Matt Damon for his narration of Inside Job.
Loser of the Year -
Eccentric of 2011 -
TV Personal Research Show of the Year -
Luckiest Person of 2011 -
Spanner of the Year -
World Leader of 2011 -
Hugo Chavez for taking back his people's gold.
Who'll be most missed of 2011 -
Who'll be least missed of 2011-
Osama Bin Laden
I think that's it for another year. A collective ' thank f*ck' everyone. Thanks to all who drop in apart from the watchers who can't help themselves.
The potential the Internet has to induce change is astronomical. People should fight and fight hard for that freedom - to look for and seek new truths, new ways of living, ways that don't involve beliefs spun to us through the generations, suppressed on us by segments of our society, segments which have failed us over and over again.
2012 is a critical year in many respects. We go into it almost on the floor. If we manage not to hit it, who knows? If we manage to avoid the economic catastrophes of the last century somehow without the aid of a war to sort it out it will be further definitive proof of a positive aspect of our evolution as a species.
The trouble, and it's a huge one, is those who don't want that at all, those among us that joy to profit from human suffering and gross planetary exploitation. 'People' so deluded and empty that they deny its very existence because there is more money in God - but here's the disturbing part, they use it to drive social agenda. Sounds ridiculous, but how sweet it works.
More of that will come to crossroads in 2012. What way will it go?
Not much else to write about I hope between now and midnight. Best piece of advise I have for 2012 is drop the head, lift the heart, but run with your gut. Answer a few questions for yourself, and take it from there. You never know where it'll go.
Last thing to do.
The Writing Life & Other Absurdities Outstanding Humanoid for 2011 is our very own President Higgins. a.k.a Michael D. Higgins -
A person deserved of such a bestowment.
I hope 2012 is all you hope it to be.
With the Mayan exception... of course.
Happy New Year.