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New Year’s Eve

It was rather depressing to read the summary of the main events of 2006 in The Age today. Quite a bit of the coverage related to show business, the antics of talentless actors and TV personalities as well as the usual tedious politics and sports hero-worship.

As much as I love Shane Warne I am tiring of his adulation and of hearing how great the Australian cricket team is. Australia won a good game where you hit a ball with a chunk of wood and its time to now just shut-up. Paris Hilton’s shopping sprees in Sydney and Melbourne have got detailed coverage in all the national media so maybe I am a bit sensitive to the ‘celebrities’ issue – she seems to me to the essence of the forgettable, dumb, chick.

As we all marked one more year in the step towards permanent oblivion – on boot hill – there was surely more to 2006 at the macro level than that. Wasn’t there?

For some, there were more serious things to contend with as 2006 closed:

I was touched by the words of despair and the look of utter despair on ex-NSW Premier John Fahey’s face as he attended his youngest daughter’s funeral – it is every parent’s nightmare and I empathized with him. My sympathies go out to him and his wife for what will be a difficult New Year. John has had a difficult time recently involving a struggle with cancer and this is a terrible blow.

John Fahey is a moral, decent man. At the other end of the spectrum – but equally tragic in its own right – the evil thug Saddam was hanged. Indeed, a reader sent in a video recording of his death (the video of the killing of Saddam) with the instruction ‘enjoy’. However I can’t enjoy this at all. We should all watch it however – it is wrong for this barbarous behavior to be hidden and sanitized as an ‘execution’. A New
Year’s bad.

On the brighter side, even though it looks like raining tonight, I have arranged a good perch for viewing the early and late fireworks displays in Melbourne with good wine – the Wendouree 1990 shiraz. (An outstanding, massive red that is just moving into late adolescence – it will be good drinking through to 2025 at least and, yes, I have more than enough tucked away to see me through). Two of my kids are out of own tonight with their friends so a diminished family will welcome in the New Year.

My New Year’s resolutions for 2007? To get fit by exercising and watching my solid and (more important) liquid diet. Modest objectives that as a matter of course I set every year and fail to keep. But I’ll try once again. I also want to get back into academic life after 3 years of being primarily an administrator.

Best wishes for a great New Year to my readers. Thanks for contributing to my blog in its inaugural year.

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