Friday, December 21, 2012

And Now It May Be Too Late To Teach Charlie To Surf....

"So it's an apocalypse now?"

If you missed the most clever political advertisement of this or any campaign cycle, then click here to check out the West Wing Reunion ad that Bridget McCormack used as part of her winning effort to become a Justice on the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan.  The spot is terrific from start to finish but getting Martin Sheen's President Jed Bartlett to pose that question to his trusted advisor Josh Lyman is the singular, standout moment.  It is at the 2:50-2:51 mark if you want to skip forward to it. 

Today is the shortest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere.  We have arrived at the Winter Solstice.  From this day forward until we reach this day's celestial twin - the Summer Solstice - each day in our neck of the woods shall have a minute or two more of daylight sprinkled into it than its immediate predecessor.  Will it make you feel any warmer when it is -11 degrees on January's third Thursday or some such thing?  Probably not.  But facts are facts.  You cannot escape them.  You cannot ignore them.

Unless of course the Mayans are right and today is not simply the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere but the final day of ANY year in EVERY hemisphere.  I doubt very much they are right but candidly if they would settle for a compromise along the lines of that skillfully crafted by Tom Perrotta in his most recent novel, "The Leftovers", I think that would be fine.  If the Mayans are looking for candidates to "take one for the team" as it were, I volunteer. 

I am forty-five years old (almost forty-six) and have spent the past two decades of my life earning a nice living doing something that I loathe.  At the risk of sounding immodest (as if!) I am quite good at what I do.  Experience has taught people that when shit and fan are fast approaching the point of intersection retaining me to make certain that the two, much like the twain, shall never meet is a very fine idea.  But being skilled at something and deriving a lot of enjoyment out of doing it are two different things entirely.  Facts are facts.  You cannot escape them.  You cannot ignore them. 

I am my father's son so no thought terrifies me more than the thought of not working - even at something that brings me little personal satisfaction.  I am not a "retirement" kind of guy.   The good news is that I am heavily insured so my value dead outweighs my value warm and alive by a significant margin.  Should the Mayans come a-knock, knock, knocking at my door today, Margaret shall be well provided for financially. 

Again, I fully anticipate that the sun shall rise in the east tomorrow - and a minute earlier than it did this morning - and that you, me and the rest of the planet shall be present for it.  I merely wanted the record to be clear that if - in an attempt to avoid public humiliation and ridicule - the Mayans needed to save face with a finely honed and pinpointed apocalypse they can leave the rest of the world alone and pick me.  I have a history of brightening rooms upon leaving far more readily than upon arriving.  I cannot foresee this particular departure being received any differently. 

Facts are facts.  You cannot escape them.  You cannot ignore them.

-AK



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