A lot of things make me hopeful that 2012 will be a good year, and that's mostly because of how sucky the year before was.
I wish I could say the crappiness of 2011 was just from the strange, idiotic ways of my fellow humans, embodied glaringly by the Occupy movements here, there and every-damn-where, trying to make living like a bum look fashionable while not having a damn clue what their goals were. I can't kid about that...most of those bush-league activists didn't even know what they wanted, or how to get it outside of sitting in public places with a pout. We lost those who one way or the other made our lives brighter, or at least more entertaining, and I don't just mean Elizabeth Taylor; James Arness, Matt Dillon himself from "Gunsmoke", and Susannah York, who played the one true love of a rascal in "Tom Jones" (perhaps the best comedy ever made) and the mother of Kal-El in Richard Donner's first two "Superman" films, were among many who left our mortal coil feeling a little emptier. It was a year of highs and lows, too...from my Cardinals winning the World Series to Albert Pujols leaving for an offer in the HUNDREDS of millions of dollars. I could make a blog about how possessive sports fans are, but I'd only get some folks mad. I could also make one about how absolutely ludicrous the business of sports has become that team owners would shell out so much for a friggin' BASEBALL PLAYER, but then my head would hurt from the idiocy...
Yeah, 2011 was sucky...but it could have been a lot worse.
In the Spring in my area, a tornado passed through my neighborhood and St. Louis County. Power was lost to many areas for weeks and homes were heavily damaged in the storm's violent path. It could have been a lot worse...my home could have been one of those damaged or destroyed. My family was without power for a mere few days, but it could have been for a lot longer.
But my heart and soul keeps thinking of Japan, a country I've always wanted to visit and explore, and how much worse it could have been there.
No one expected the merciless one-two punch of both an earthquake and tsunami hitting Japan, one after the other. In spite of the best safety restrictions, several nuclear reactors in the country were heavily damaged and radiation leaked out. Human ingenuity and a massive groundswell of international support kept the situation from getting into the realm of a disaster like Chernobyl, but the cleanup is still a very long way from being done, and entire communites had been displaced or evacuated.
That's why I'm hopeful for a happier new year, for Japan and everyone.