It’s that time again.

It’s time for another year to end and a new one to begin.


It’s that time again.
It’s time for another year to end and a new one to begin.
To borrow a line from John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War Is Over), “Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.”
This is around the time when everyone looks back on the year that’s past. We did have an eventful 366 days (we squeezed in an extra day in February for the leap year, remember?)
I can’t exactly explain why journalists feel it’s necessary to take a look back at the days gone by (slow news days?), but there is something cathartic about it. After all, to know where you’re going, it helps to know where you’ve been.
The biggest stories of the year affected all of us. Some were good, some bad. It was the year we saw the economy tank, and we saw the first African-American win our country’s presidency.
With that historic victory, Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States on Jan. 20. Time magazine has named the president-elect as its Person of the Year, pointing to “the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments” that led him through his candidacy and election.
Surely we won’t soon forget the competition the former Illinois senator faced on the campaign trail. He was once a bitter rival of fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton. But now she’s a member of his cabinet.
Then there was the fierce competition from the Republican ticket. GOP candidate John McCain seemed to court Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as a running mate for a while, but instead, he made a surprising pick by tapping little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The choice propelled her to prominence literally overnight.
I still have to sit and think if it was Palin or Saturday Night Live impersonator Tina Fey who exclaimed one of the best lines of the year, “I can see Russia from my house!”
Of course, all of us in south Louisiana couldn’t give our undivided attention to the Republican National Convention since we were so busy dealing with Hurricane Gustav.
Still to this day, months after it made landfall, Gustav’s mark is still with us. But we’ve come a long way in the recovery process to get back to some normalcy. And just think, matters could have been worse since we were staring down Hurricane Ike just days after Gustav.
Fuel prices were also on everyone’s mind this year. We saw prices hit record highs, only to slowly drop over the last few weeks. Then again those prices are closely tied to the ailing economy, which has certainly seen better days.
Bailouts were all the buzz, as big-company bosses put their hats in their hands and asked for a sizeable chunk of change. Nearly all the letters of the alphabet, from AIG to GM, had their hands out.
We won’t soon forget the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and our American stars, like swimming phenom Michael Phelps, record-tying gymnast Nastia Liukin and our dominant basketball teams. The latest edition of the games didn’t disappoint.
The pop-culture zeitgeist binged on the turbulent times for entertainers like Amy Winehouse and Louisiana’s own Britney Spears. We certainly had our share of trainwrecks to rubberneck at. The public’s insatiable urge for gossip and celebrity dirt only seemed to grow stronger with the growing array of choices on television and the Web. Now that 2009 is here, I can only wonder what the new year will bring. Based on my track record, the only thing I can say is a safe bet is that my resolution probably won’t last through January.
Well, there’s always next year.