Best Political Writing of 2012?

It just might be Dave Barry’s lousy, no-good 2012 year-in-review essay for the Miami Herald.

Here’s a tidbit:

It was a cruel, cruel year — a year that kept raising our hopes, only to squash them flatter than a dead possum on the interstate… 

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, having dealt with all of the city’s other concerns — disaster preparation, for example — turns his attention to the lone remaining problem facing New Yorkers: soft drinks. For far too long, these uncontrolled beverages have roamed the city in vicious large-container packs, forcing innocent people to drink them and become obese. Bloomberg’s plan would prohibit the sale of soft drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, thereby making it impossible to consume larger quantities, unless, of course, somebody bought two containers, but the mayor is confident that nobody except him would ever be smart enough to think of that… 

San Francisco, not wishing to be outdone by New York in the field of caring about the public welfare, bans beverage containers altogether, requiring restaurants to serve soft drinks by pouring them directly into their customers’ mouths.

The full article is worth a read–full of laughs AND insight. Read the rest here.

Proposition: If you were given a momentary pass on the virtue of optimism, would you agree with Dave that 2012 was a lousy year? Why or why not?

  1. Severely Ltd.

    I just read it this morning, torn between laughing and crying. With Dave, the laughs come out on top.

    As in most cases, all’s well that ends well  and this years last couple of months were as black as they come. I’m counting on a phoenix rising from the ashes.

  2. DocJay

    I would counter that 2012 will be about the best we have left in terms of standard of living. Ten years of progressive destruction will make this seem like the good old days to the sheep who wonder how it all fell down. Happy New Year Nathan :).

  3. Rachel Lu

    Good year for football. Bad year for politics.

  4. D.C. McAllister
    C

    Another WHAP I’d add is the long-anticipated ending of Twilight with the final movie of Breaking Dawn. Finally, I thought the Twihards would ooze back into the crevices from which they crawled and give us all some literary and aesthetic peace.

    But alas, WHAP! Twilight didn’t really die, thanks to the rise of Fifty Shades of Grey. Truly a lousy reality in the world of literature and entertainment. 

  5. KC Mulville

    As a conservative, I preserve the distinction between the public and private sector, and I hold that the private sector is much more important. The private sector contains the bulk of culture; arts, business, religion, and the realms of life that make it interesting.

    But in 2012, politics and the public sector squashed almost everything in its path. It was like being at a party where one guy wanted all the attention. All he ever does is insult others and wait for adulation. And the media was determined to give it to him.

    Which makes for a really boring party.

    2012. I’m delighted that party’s over.

  6. tabula rasa

    This is my favorite line from Barry’s 2012 review (from the November section):

    “[A]fter an election cycle in which an estimated $6 billion was spent on races for the presidency and Congress, the American voters — who by every account are disgusted with Washington and desperately want change — vote to keep everything pretty much the same. President Obama wins all the key battleground states except Florida, where, after a week of ballot-counting delays caused by denture adhesive in the scanners, election officials finally announce that the state’s 29 electoral votes will be awarded to the Kansas City Chiefs.”

    Barry’s year-end review is great.  He’s particularly good at exposing the “silliness” level of our political process.

    And, like the MSM, Barry isn’t concerned much with accuracy (the difference is that, unlike the MSM, Dave doesn’t pretend to be accurate).

  7. Western Chauvinist

    Well, having read Dave Barry’s take, 2012 doesn’t look quite so bad. At least the absurdity of it all was good for a few laughs.

  8. Nathan Harden
    C

    Rachel, As an avid Miami Dolphins fan, I can’t agree with the first part of your assessment. Another year missing the playoffs, and missing Dan Marino.

    Rachel L.: Good year for football. Bad year for politics. · 11 hours ago

  9. Nathan Harden
    C

    Denise,

    I agree WHAP (X10) with the 50 Shades drivel.

    Denise McAllister: Another WHAP I’d add is the long-anticipated ending of Twilight with the final movie of Breaking Dawn. Finally, I thought the Twihards would ooze back into the crevices from which they crawled and give us all some literary and aesthetic peace.

    But alas, WHAP! Twilight didn’t really die, thanks to the rise of Fifty Shades of Grey. Truly a lousy reality in the world of literature and entertainment.  · 11 hours ago

  10. Adam Koslin

    “With polls showing a very tight race, the final weeks of the campaign are a textbook example of what this great experiment called “American democracy” is all about: two opposing political parties, each with valid positions, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on comically simplistic radio and TV ads designed by consultants to terrify ill-informed halfwits.

    …Yup.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/29/3160638_p4/dave-barrys-year-in-review.html#storylink=cpy

  11. Aaron Miller

    What is the proper response to a world in which satire cannot be distinguished from reality?

    KC Mulville: As a conservative, I preserve the distinction between the public and private sector, and I hold that the private sector is much more important.  ….

    That’s a mental distinction. The problem is that they are not so separate in reality, and ever less so.

    How many private companies depend upon government contracts… or depend on other companies which depend on government contracts? How many business decisions revolve around government regulations? How many old experiences can we not privately share with our children because those actions have been banned since we were kids?

    None of us is content with freedom only within our own homes. How we act and interact publicly is essential to who we are as human beings. And what we do in public is influenced ever more by laws and edicts.

    I don’t mean to exagerrate. Americans are still exceptionally free in many ways. In other ways, we are not.

  12. Merina Smith

    I vote Dave Barry be given a show opposite Stewart or Colbert. 

  13. Koblog

    Funniest part (although bourbon may have adjusted the humor-quotient):

    “In science news, physicists announce that, after decades of research costing billions of dollars, they believe they have confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, which, according to them, is an extremely exciting, tiny invisible thing next to which all the other bosons pale by comparison. This is breathlessly reported as major news by journalists who majored in English and whose knowledge of science is derived exclusively from making baking-soda volcanoes in third grade. Back in the lab, the physicists enjoy a hearty scientific laugh, then resume the important work of thinking up names for exciting new invisible things they can announce the discovery of.”

    I must admit that the Higgs is, by far, my favorite boson.

    It’s funny because it’s only slightly more rational than what’s going on in Washington. Mostly because Washington deals in trillions, not mere billions.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/29/3160638_p4/dave-barrys-year-in-review.html#storylink=cpy