Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Let’s get this 2012 business over and start the good times

So, how was it for you?

For many, 2011 was a terrible year. They found nothing whatsoever to like about it.

Money was short, prices were high and there were too many dim-witted people making less-than-profound assertions about the future of the world and of the country. Everything!

For me, 2011 wasn’t all that bad. There was much to like, and the things I didn’t like were the same things I complain about all the time anyway.

It is now 2012 and I still have that bad habit of shouting at the TV when one of the aforementioned dimwits tells me something I know is patently untrue.

Maybe I’ll get over that. I’ll try.

For those who found 2011 a bad year, I can only reiterate the words of my kids (an enlightened lot if ever there were one) when they were in school. “Bummer.”

In truth, that is one word, not “words.” But I digress.

Did you have an enjoyable evening last night? Did you partake of nice dinner, have a drink or two, celebrate the coming New Year with friends and get home in time to watch a good movie, as we did?

There are many who party far too heartily. I heard from my friend Doug Atkin in Smyrna, Tenn., about those who overdo on occasion.

He related the story of someone who lamented, “They are always telling us, ‘Don’t drink and drive. It only invites trouble.’

So the guy gave it some thought, and after having far too much to drink, decided to take a bus home.

“Actually,” the guy said, “I had never driven a bus before, I don’t remember where I got it, and I don’t know how to get it back.”

Knowing Doug, he could have made up the whole thing.

One thing I hated in 2011 that I still hate in 2012 is the fact that a preposterous amount of importance is placed on voting in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Who cares about those three states?

If they seceded from the union and took their primaries and straw polls with them, I wouldn’t miss them.

For my money, we could hold the election right now. Enough people have their minds already made up that they could make an immediate decision and spare us considerable time plus billions of dollars in TV blurbs.

On the presidential front, I am finding two kinds of people.

Those who are enamored of Obama and devoutedly wish for his re-election, and for his policies to continue what they are doing for the country – they are prepared to vote – right now.

Those who abhor Obama and despise what his policies are doing to the country are also prepared to vote – right now.

It matters little to them who the challenger is. They would vote for Romney, Gingrich, Perry, Paul, Donald Trump or Donald Duck. Or even one of my all-time favorites, Andy Gump. Anybody but Obama.

The feelings are exceptionally strong on both sides. I say, forget about all those primaries that numb the mind. Let’s get on with it!

Speaking of Andy Gump, there are voters with his acumen who vote in every election. Let me elucidate. A few years ago I served on the Willoughby Charter Review Commission. We submitted a charter change to the voters of Willoughby for their approval. It would have established a uniform swearing-in date for newly elected officials so they would all take the oath of office on the same date.
Eleven percent of the voters voted against the change.

Don’t tell me how smart the voters are. The late Barry Byron, a brilliant attorney and a dear friend, called that “The Tarzan Vote.”

I think more highly of Tarzan. I call it “The Andy Gump Vote.”

Before we give up on 2011, let us look back on the seasons of the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers.

Now let’s look ahead to the New Year, which, for purposes of identification we will call 2012.

The Indians will be better this year, because they can’t get much worse. The Browns will be better. Same reason.

I have given up on professional basketball.

Any sport that allows three or four players to determine which teams they will play for has lost me as fan.

But I know you’ve been waiting impatiently for those three little words. No, not “I Love You,” although I do love all of you dearly.

No, the three little words for today are:

Happy New Year!


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